In order to better meet the changing needs of the adoption and foster care adoption community, DAI is currently transitioning to an innovative new leadership structure. We invite you to return in the weeks ahead to meet new staff, Board members and more.

Staff

April Dinwoodie

Chief Executive

(212) 925-4089

The Donaldson Adoption Institute

120 E. 38th Street

New York, NY 10016

April Dinwoodie is a nationally recognized thought leader on adoption and foster care. As Chief Executive of the Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI), April is committed to improving laws, policies and practices through sound research, education and advocacy. She is also a co-founder and Vice President of the Board of Fostering Change for Children, a progressive nonprofit that helps drive innovation in the child welfare system.

Before joining DAI, April created a specialized mentoring program called “Adoptment,” in which adults who were adopted and/or spent time in foster care serve as mentors to youth in care. As a trans-racially adopted person, April shares her experiences at workshops and conferences to help potential adoptive parents and professionals understand both the beauty and complexity of adopting children of another race.

Before she entered the non-profit world, April served as a senior level executive within the marketing and communications departments of some of the most recognized fashion retail companies including: Nine West Group Inc., Kenneth Cole Productions Inc., Nautica Enterprises and J. C. Penney Company Inc., where as Divisional Vice President, she was instrumental in driving transformational change via brand engagement and publicity. Most recently, April served at the Director of External Media at JetBlue Airways, where she managed proactive and reactive communications.

On the agency side, April has worked with Fleishman-Hillard and Ruder Finn on campaigns supporting powerhouse brands such as Gerber, Subway and Cingular Wireless (AT&T). While at Ruder Finn, April championed a web-based teen anti-violence campaign (“Love is Respect”) for The Texas Council on Family Violence. The campaign helped to increase engagement and web traffic by 83% and garnered a WEBBY award for Activism in 2007.

Kim Paglino

Program Director

Kimberly Paglino is a New Jersey born and raised adopted person. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Loyola University in Baltimore, MD, she went on to earn a Masters degree in Social Work from Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ. Kimberly has past professional experience in the area of child welfare, including as a case worker for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. She additionally has developed and presented educational seminars for pre and post adoptive parents at various adoption agencies and parent groups throughout New Jersey and in New York. She has prior served as an Instructor at Monmouth University, teaching in areas of Social Welfare Policy & Services and Human Rights and Social Justice.

Since 2007, Kimberly has been an advocate with the New Jersey Coalition for Adoption Reform and Education (NJ CARE) and has testified for adoptee’s rights before the New Jersey State Legislature. She is proud to have been a part of the effort to have enacted the New Jersey Birthright Bill signed into law on May 27, 2014 by Governor Chris Christie, which allows New Jersey adopted persons to access their original birth certificates.

Brenda Romanchik

Project Lead, Options Counseling

Brenda Romanchik is a therapist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Specializing in trauma and adoption issues, her clients include children, adolescents and adults. She is also an adjunct professor for Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She teaches Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in the School of Social Work. She has written and presented widely on adoption and trauma issues. She three grown children and has nurtured many others.

Heather Schultz

Communications and Development Manager

(212) 925-4089

The Donaldson Adoption Institute

120 E. 38th Street

New York, NY 10016

Heather Schultz is a Long-Island native and transracial Korean adoptee with more than eight years of journalism experience. She has covered a wide array of beats including bridal technology, criminal justice, pop culture, direct marketing, legal technology, digital marketing and interior design. Her articles have been published in The New York Times, NBC News, New York Daily News, St. Louis-Post Dispatch, Kollaboration New York, WhoSay, Library Journal, Direct Marketing News and Law Technology News. She has also written columns on reproductive health for the Center for American Progress and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Aside from her professional writing career, Heather is working on a memoir about her journey for unconditional self-love. She received both a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and Master of Public Administration from Baruch College in New York City. In her spare time, Heather serves on the volunteer Board of Directors of Also-Known-As, Inc. and participates in the annual MS Walk at Jones Beach State Park in memory of her mother, Julia Schultz.