4C names new president/CEO

June 4, 2015

Vanessa Freytag Headshot 2

The 4C for Children Board of Trustees has named Vanessa Freytag, a well-known Cincinnati advocate for women and girls, as the agency’s new president/CEO. Freytag will replace Sallie Westheimer, who is retiring June 30 after 35 years leading the agency. The 4C Board of Trustees affirmed Freytag as the new CEO at a meeting Wednesday evening.

Freytag will assume leadership Aug. 3 of this child care resource and referral agency that serves 40 counties in Ohio and Kentucky. She currently serves as the executive director of the Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation where she has worked for the past eight years.

"The work that I've done on women's economic self-sufficiency brought me together as a collaborator with 4C, Sallie and her wonderful team,” Freytag says. “I see the critical role that quality child care plays and will continue to play in so many issues in our region including early childhood education, workforce development and reducing poverty. I am passionate about helping struggling families succeed and setting the stage for the next generation to thrive.”

Board Chair Diane Jordan-Grizzard assured 4C supporters that “we have selected the right person to lead 4C into the future. From her experiences as a working parent and a business woman, Vanessa understands the critical intersection between quality early education and care for children and parents and the workforce support it provides to parents and their employers.”

In introducing Freytag to the 4C board, Jordan-Grizzard described her as an advocate for working women, focusing on helping to raise them and their families out of poverty. “I know she will continue Sallie’s commitment to support the adults who care for young children—both parents and child care providers—so that all children are prepared for success in school and life,” says Jordan-Grizzard.

Freytag says she is “honored to follow in Sallie's footsteps. She has been a guide, an inspiration and a friend to me.”

Prior to Freytag’s tenure at the Women’s Fund, she was the publisher of Women’s Business Cincinnati, a newspaper serving the Tristate. As the owner of W-Insight, a firm specializing in marketing to women, she has worked with some of the largest corporations in America. 

This built on her experience as senior vice president and director of Women’s Market Initiative at Bank One where she created and led one of the first national efforts to meet the banking needs of women business owners and women consumers. She has also held positions at Key Bank and Bank of Boston.

The four-month search process for 4C’s new CEO was led by Smith Beers Yunker. They identified 100 interested persons and conducted a thorough vetting and interview process.

Read the Cincinnati Business Courier's story.