September 3, 2021 – I first became aware of Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County (CACCC) about 10 years ago when I was Executive Vice President of JCPenney and each year, some of our merchants would adopt a non-profit and volunteer. That year, the Rainbow Room at the CACCC was adopted and our merchant purchased items needed and set up “the store”. JC Penney had also been a generous contributor to the Center as a corporate sponsor.
One of the members of the Board at JC Penney, Tom Engibous, suggested to me that I may be a good fit for the Board of CACCC. Tom’s wife, Wendy Engibous, and our CEO Lynne McLean met with me for a complete tour. It quickly became evident to me that CACCC was exactly the organization in which I wanted to become involved. The mission was so important and the team so very capable of fulfilling the mission at every step. I became very excited about joining the Board and adding value wherever I could be helpful.
A few years after joining the Board of Directors, I stepped up into a leadership role and became Chair of Community Relations Committee and then Chair of Development Committee and then Vice President of the Board.
My service on the Board and Committee reinforced my initial thoughts that the CACCC deserved its exceptional reputation. The Board was and is highly professional with wonderful skill sets providing incredible guidance. The financial steadiness of the Center made possible by generous donors is another reason we have received a perfect score from Charity Navigator for 10 years in a row! An extraordinary accomplishment given out to only 3% of non-profits. I have made great friends on the Board but most importantly I have expanded my learning of what our Center does and will do for our children.
One my highlights as a Board member has been to attend Kids in Court and experience first-hand how we prepare our kids for their eventual trials. I also love interacting with our staff at company events such as the Child Advocate Appreciation Luncheon, Back to School Fair, and Holiday Project. It is truly amazing to meet these dedicated program staff and hear about their passion for our mission.
I am just finishing up my two years as Board President, but I will stay on the Board as I was elected to an additional term. During the past two years, I was a member of our Capital Campaign and helped raise $10 million for our new Center. It was incredible to be a part of this team and solicit donations with our very capable CEO, Lynne McLean.
I am thrilled to continue my service as a Board member of CACCC. I have experienced great purpose and joy being associated with this incredible organization. It is certainly true that I have received way more than I have given to the Center.
Written by: Elizabeth “Liz” Sweney, Retired Executive, Member of CACCC Board of Directors
Liz Sweney is recognized as a magnet for opportunities to deliver bottom line results whether in a leadership position or governance role. She brings creativity, business acumen and natural instincts for what will work. Respected for her customer focus, she is appreciated for a direct style and always trusted to do the right thing in the right way. Fashioned through developing top performing people, utilizing succession planning to ensure the future of a business or organization and keeping attuned to financial implications of decisions, Liz leads organization to winning strategies.
Liz was EVP & Chief Merchant at JCPenney driving strategies for up to $18 billion in annual revenues spanning stores and e-Commerce for all merchandise categories. She presented at Board of Directors meetings for over a decade, gaining broad exposure to Board activities and decision making. Liz’s relationships with key suppliers and external partners enabled JCPenney to keep the best mix of merchandise in the stores during the company’s most recent turnaround. After Mike Ullman returned to JCPenney in 2013, he tapped Liz to co-chair The Warrior Project, an innovative associate program that was instrumental in reinvigorating employee engagement.
Liz is an active member of National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and holds its Fellowship Credential. As an active member of the governance community, she serves as an Advisory Board Member of NxTSTOP. She is also a current member and former President of the Board of Directors of Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County where she also chaired the Development & Community Relations Committee and was formerly a Trustee of the College of New Rochelle as a member of its Audit & Finance Committee. Liz holds a BA in political science from the College of New Rochelle and completed the Executive Program in Strategy & Organization at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She completed the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management’s corporate governance program in 2016.