Judith Van Ginkel

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Nonprofit Director, Nonprofit Founder Twitter Linkedin Facebook

Every Child Succeeds

When I founded Every Child Succeeds (ECS), our mission was to offer Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky families support to improve the health and development of at-risk children. We began operation in 1999 and ECS is now an $8 million organization and has served 18,000 at-risk mothers utilizing a business model of accountability that includes comprehensive data and outcome tracking. One important measure, the infant mortality rate among ECS participants, is much lower than local, state and national averages. Progress in achieving other outcome measures is available through the Every Child Succeeds website at www.everychildsuceeds.org.

We built a collaboration of institutions including Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency and fourteen provider agencies to form ECS. By engaging state and local officials, the business community, as well as the partnering organizations, we were able to succeed in gaining operational support and funding. Over time, we have implemented robust research and evaluation protocols based on our own web-based data collection system that supports a multisite community prevention program.

Every Child Succeeds has become nationally recognized for its work in the areas of home visitation and early childhood care and for its innovative business model to create a successful non-profit. We are currently using social entrepreneurship strategies to disseminate a program we developed to treat maternal depression in a home visit setting. The program, Moving Beyond Depression, is currently being used in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Kentucky and Ohio and a literacy curriculum for children 0-3 that we have written and will present nationally with a for-profit partner. In cooperation with the Pew Center of the States, I am able to lead the popular National Summit on Quality in Home Visitation, held annually in Washington, D.C.

I am proud of our awards that include two Premier Care Awards from the National Premier Healthcare Alliance and a NOVA Award from the American Hospital Association and designation of the Torch Award by the Better Business Bureau.


Growing up as the daughter of a pediatrician in West Virginia, I often accompanied my father on house calls, which shaped and developed my values and respect for individuals and in particular for children.

In addition to my career in the non-profit area, I’ve served as chairwoman for six regional boards including WGUC Classical Public Radio and the Hoxworth Blood Center. In 2010 I was honored with the Purpose Prize from the Civic Venture Foundation, a prestigious national award given annually to five individuals who are over the age of sixty. Winners are those who combine their passion and experience in extraordinary ways to solve difficult social problems.

I’ve become an author and have been published in many newspapers including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. My best-selling book, "Life Begins and Ends with Girlfriends," has sold 17,000 copies to date. I am proud to share the value of girlfriendships and relationships with women across the United States.

My strengths are centered on strategic planning, government relations, marketing, social innovation and research-based decision-making. When asked for business advice I say, “surround yourself with smart people who also have a social conscience. Find compelling ways to tell your story, document your outcomes and make your issue matter.”

I have had an encore career, being part of a huge, expanding and compelling demographic of people over sixty who are finding fulfillment by using their remarkable skill and success to help solve society’s most intractable problems.

Reviews (2)

    Judith's experience and common sense insights were very helpful.

    Cindy Work Abell

    Judith was smart, insightful, and a pleasure to talk with. She offered a unique take on how starting and running a nonprofit is very much like running a business. She also gave me some pointers on finding the right people to serve on your board and how important it is to attract them. This was a great session!

    Tehra Peace