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The Journal Gazette


  • Szyndrowski
December 02, 2016 1:03 AM

SCAN names its new leader

Tobin-Smith leaving after 31 years

Journal Gazette

After a national search, a seasoned executive who has led mental health and family service organizations in northwest Indiana has been chosen as the next CEO for SCAN Inc.

Deanna Szyndrowski will begin the job with Stop Child Abuse and Neglect on Jan. 3, SCAN announced Thursday.

She will replace Rachel Tobin-Smith, who has been the agency’s top executive since 1985. Tobin-Smith announced this year that she was ready to step aside although she declined to call the move retirement, saying she would still offer her services as a consultant.

A professional search firm helped SCAN conduct its CEO search.

Szyndrowski has more than 15 years of experience serving Indiana families. She was area director for the Institute for Family Centered Services/Indiana Mentor in Merrillville, was associate director and mental health administrator and before that was deputy director of program services for Geminus Head Start in Merrillville. She was also a program supervisor for Tri-City Community Health Center in East Chicago.

“We feel Dee has not only the key skill set necessary to effectively perform as the CEO, but she also has the dedication to the mission of SCAN, a history of serving Indiana families, and commitment to SCAN’s 227 staff members,” Judy Pursley, SCAN’s board president, said in a news release.

Szyndrowski’s educational background includes an MBA from Purdue University, a master’s degree in education from Purdue, and a bachelor’s of science degree in psychology and criminology from Indiana University. 

She is a licensed mental health counselor in Indiana.

Szyndrowski “has a multitude of skill sets, including profit and loss oversight, financial analysis, efficiency strategies, consensus building, and budget development,” SCAN said in the news release.

Szyndrowski said in a statement that she is “excited to have the opportunity to continue building on the foundation that Rachel has set for SCAN,” along with its mission and vision.

SCAN was founded in 1974 by a few community volunteers.

In 1985 when Tobin-Smith was named executive director of SCAN, the agency served about 50 families in Allen County with a budget of $28,000. Tobin-Smith was one of two employees.

As awareness of child abuse increased in the 1980s and 1990s, child abuse reporting laws strengthened, and SCAN expanded. In 2016, nearly 5,930 families were served, representing about 18,825 people in 34 northern Indiana counties.

The agency has a $17.6 million budget.