After over 42 years at the helm of one of New Mexico’s largest social service nonprofits, Mike Kivitz is retiring from his work as the President/CEO of Adelante Development Center. Adelante is a diverse nonprofit organization that supports people with disabilities, seniors, and disadvantaged populations.

From the early years, Mike Kivitz has lead Adelante

When Kivitz was hired, the organization was in its infancy. It was formed by a group of parents who wanted more than the state institutions could offer their adult sons with Autism. At that time, the nonprofit was named the Teaching Home. It supported just six clients. Today, Adelante provides employment, residential services, day services, and volunteer opportunities for people with disabilities and seniors. Adelante Enterprises provides packaging, janitorial, mailing, scanning, fulfillment, warehouse management, document storage, call center operation, and shredding services to businesses and governmental agencies. Adelante also provides a variety of services addressing hunger and providing resources for disadvantaged populations.

The organization has an annual operating budget of over $30 million a year including its subsidiaries, Storehouse New Mexico and New Mexico AIDS Services. All totaled, the organization has a positive impact on as many as 80,000 people annually, with locations all over New Mexico and services that extend beyond the state’s borders.

Mike Kivitz is shown as the leader of Adelante including an image at a ground breaking for a new location, and bumping fists with one of Adelante's clients.
Mike Kivitz has been Adelante’s President/CEO for over 40 years and made a huge impact on the organization.

Rebecca Sanford Will Be Adelante’s New CEO

Adelante’s board of directors has anticipated the retirement of this long-term leader in the nonprofit sector. They will be following through with the organization’s succession plan, naming Adelante’s Chief Administrative Officer, Rebecca Sanford, as the new CEO.

Sanford has been on the executive team of the organization for over 9 years. She has served in multiple roles at Adelante since she started at the organization as the VP of Human Resources in 2012. For the last five years, Sanford has served as Adelante’s Chief Administrative Officer, steadily increasing her role and supervising training, payroll, human resources, accounting/finance, information technology, marketing, and facilities for the organization which has over 700 employees and more than 30 operational sites.

Rebecca Sanford, Adelante's new CEO
Rebecca Sanford, Adelante’s CEO starting April 2021

Kivitz Will Be Missed, but Adelante Will Be in Good Hands with Sanford

Board chairwoman Ryan Baca announced the leadership update. She had this to say: “Adelante has grown and evolved significantly over the years, always rising to the challenge of meeting the needs of our community. Mike Kivitz has been an excellent leader for over 40 years. I am deeply grateful to him for his years of service and the positive impact he has made on the lives of so many.”

Baca also expressed support for the incoming leader saying, “While Mike will be greatly missed, I am thrilled to introduce a leader of Rebecca Sanford’s caliber into the role of CEO. Rebecca not only has the qualifications and expertise to lead Adelante into the future and create a lasting impact in New Mexico, but she is also extremely knowledgeable about our organization.”

Though retiring, Kivitz will continue serving on various boards. He will be stepping down as CEO of Adelante effective April 1, 2021.