Families First Announces New Interim CEO

Paula Moody

The Board of Directors of Families First announced today that Paula Moody has agreed to serve as Interim CEO of Families First following the departure of DePriest Waddy, who is leaving the organization to pursue another opportunity.   

“I am honored and humbled to serve with the Families First team as we make a tremendous impact on the Metro Atlanta community together,” said Moody. “Our organization’s growth and success over the past few years has been powered by the strength of our team members here at Families First. Each of them is an integral part of our success and we are in a strong position to continue realizing the mission of our organization thanks to the work they do every day.”  

Moody has over 25 years in non-profit, child welfare direct services and leadership. She joined Families First in September 2013 as the director of child and youth permanency. In December 2017, she was promoted to the senior director of programs and in 2020 assumed the role as chief program officer where she oversees all program operations. Prior to onboarding with Families First, Moody was the executive director of a small, non-profit children and families agency in New Haven, CT, for eight years.  Having devoted most of her professional career working with children, youth and families, she has an array of non-profit program service delivery experience including child welfare, homelessness and behavioral health, as well as non-profit fiscal management, quality assurance, human resources and fund development.    

Moody is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science. She is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University where she obtained a master’s degree in Urban Studies as well as a master’s degree in Social Work. Moody has a 21-year-old son who will be graduating with honors from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in June 2022.    

Waddy recently notified the Board of Directors at Families First that he will be leaving the organization, along with Julio Carillo, the organization’s COO.   

“DePriest joined Families First shortly before COVID and did a great job helping the organization navigate through the effects of COVID on the community. We will be forever grateful for the work he and Julio did as our organization emerged from the pandemic,” said Courtney Showell, chair of the Families First Board of Directors. “Our board has full confidence in Paula’s ability to lead this organization. Her leadership, as well as the hard work of our talented and dedicated team members and partners, will ensure we continue to make progress toward our mission of building resilient families so all children can thrive.” 

The Board has asked Moody to assume the role for at least six months as they work with internal teams and outside consultants to review the organization’s leadership structure before embarking on a search for a new CEO. The review will not slow down the delivery of services to the community but will give the Board the opportunity to ensure it brings in the proper support needed for a post-COVID environment.