Foundation committed to finding permanent homes for more than 140,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems
Columbus, Ohio — The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a national, non-profit public charity, today welcomed Michael (Mike) Welch OBE as a member of its board of trustees, serving a three-year term. Welch is CEO and President of e-commerce tire retailer Tirebuyer.com and retail platform Treadsy. He is a prominent entrepreneur, whose numerous companies have revolutionized the way customers purchase tires on both sides of the Atlantic. Welch’s impressive philanthropic efforts are focused on helping children in need.
“Growing up in foster care in Liverpool in the 1980s and 1990s, my life could have taken a different turn, but thanks to my foster family, who later became my adopted family and the intervention of the Prince’s Trust, I found a path to personal and business success,” said Welch. “Now, having made North America my second home, I am committed to giving back and changing the lives of children in foster care.”
After leaving school at 16, Welch set up his first tire business from his childhood bedroom. From there, he went on to become an innovator and champion of online commerce, founding and growing multimillion-dollar businesses in the tire industry and beyond. He established The Welch Trust in 2015 focusing on supporting children and young people in need of foster homes and adoptive families, as well as helping children experiencing terminal illnesses.
“Mike’s firsthand experience living in foster care and knowing the importance, both physically and emotionally, of having legal permanency brings an important voice to our board,” said Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “I look forward to working with Mike in the months to come to help advance the Foundation’s critical work.”
Through its signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids®, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption provides funding to adoption agencies to support the hiring of child welfare professionals, known as recruiters, who implement an evidence-based, child-focused recruitment model. A rigorous, five-year evaluation revealed that the model is up to three times more effective at serving children who have been in foster care the longest, including teenagers, children with special needs and siblings. To date, more than 550 Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters have found forever families for more than 13,800 children in foster care across North America.
“I have immense respect and admiration for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and its impactful work,” said Welch. “Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of children and young people who deserve the chance for a brighter future.”
Welch was awarded an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2016 for services to business and charity. He also received an honorary doctorate in Enterprise from Edinburgh’s Napier University. He lives in Miami, Florida with his wife and three children.
About the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national, nonprofit public charity dedicated to finding permanent homes for the more than 140,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Created by Wendy’s® founder Dave Thomas who was adopted, the Foundation implements evidence-based, results-driven national service programs, foster care adoption awareness campaigns and innovative grantmaking. To learn more, visit davethomasfoundation.org.