Meet Julia Spann, SAFE’s CEO

Written by Julia Spann

As I get used to dropping the “Co-” from my former title of “Co-CEO” of SAFE, I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce myself. Or for many of you, to reintroduce myself.

I come from Irish peasant immigrants on my mom’s side and from fifth generation Texans, mostly based in Lampasas, on my dad’s side. My dad was career Army, and we lived overseas when I was young.  When my dad retired, we moved to Arlington, Texas, where I grew up.

Volunteerism was always a huge part of our family—whether it was the church, or with a nonprofit, or as a candy striper at the hospital. I began volunteering when I was 14 years old and have seldom stopped.

I have always wanted to be of service to people, and particularly to children.

Personally, I have formed my family in a rather nontraditional way. I began by adopting my son Jacob, becoming a single mother by choice. I then had my son Isaac, and continued to build out my family through two marriages, which resulted in six more step-children—whom I refer to as my bonus children. These children have now added four bonus partners/spouses to the family, plus three glorious grandchildren.

Professionally, I continue to want to be of service. I am a social worker and non-profit planner and administrator by training. Over my career, I have left community based nonprofits three different times, going to work in statewide agencies and in for-profit companies.  But I always come back to community nonprofit work because change truly happens at the local level.

Two things in particular about this work really inspire me: stories and partnerships. I am continuously inspired by the stories of the people we serve and the amazing SAFE staff. And, I am so grateful for our partnerships with great people and organizations working to make good change through collaboration.

I have worked at SAFE and its predecessor agencies for over 24 years. We have a remarkable organization doing great work. I want us to continue to do the right thing for our communities, to be among the best in our field nationally, and I will work hard to achieve that.  You can count on me to lead, guide, care for and protect SAFE, our staff, and the people and community we serve with everything I have.

I look forward to being your CEO.