The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption recognized Joe Turner, Brad Conner and Liliana Esposito for their service as members of its board of trustees as their terms end in December 2022. The three leaders have been unwavering champions of the Foundation’s work, personally committed to the mission of dramatically increasing the number of adoptions of children waiting in North America’s foster care systems.
Turner, a respected franchise leader in the Wendy’s system, served as chair of the board of trustees for three years, prior to that as vice chair and has been a board member since 2007. He also acted as the chair of the Foundation’s board governance committee and the 2021 building fund campaign, raising more than $4 million to make a forever home a reality for the Foundation’s growing staff. He also worked with his colleagues to encourage significant growth of Wendy’ in-restaurant customer-based campaigns supporting the work of the Foundation.
Conner, an adoptive father, has served as a board member since 2009, most recently acting as treasurer and chair of the audit committee and board liaison to the investment advisory committee. Conner has been a passionate advocate for the work of the Foundation, including the Adoption-Friendly Workplace™ program. He paved the way for Citizen’s Financial Group to provide top-notch adoption-friendly policies, and the company has consistently been ranked in the annual Best 100 Adoption-Friendly Workplaces list.
Esposito, a skilled communicator and attorney, has served as a board member since 2015. Throughout her time as a member, Esposito hosted Wendy’s® Family Night in support of the Foundation during the company’s annual convention. In 2022, the event raised more than $1.7 million benefiting the continued expansion of the Foundation’s programs. Esposito has also worked to educate Wendy’s employees about its long-standing partnership with the Foundation as its charity of choice through various communications and presentations over the years.
“On behalf of the Foundation, we sincerely thank Joe, Brad and Liliana for their leadership and commitment to achieving the vision that every child will have a permanent, loving home,” said Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “From serving on board committees to helping to raise awareness and critical support for our mission, these three have left a lasting impact on the Foundation and the children and families we serve.”
Thank you, Joe, Brad and Liliana for your support in finding forever families for children in foster care!