At the age of twelve, Zack received his first invitation to speak to a group of social workers working in the field of adoption. He engaged the audience immediately with his smile and honesty regarding being an adoptee. That began his guest speaking appearances with groups of prospective adoptive parents sharing his story and answering questions. From “How does it feel to have been adopted?” to questions about race and open adoption issues, Zack has heard it all. He has even been asked, “How has being adopted shaped your career path?”
For the past 2½ years Zack has worked full time in the adoption field with Adoption STAR, a non-profit, authorized child placement agency. Zack first began as the Receptionist and Intake Worker and within a year became the Intake Specialist for the agency. Recently Zack was promoted to the position of Client Relationship Manager (CRM). Along with a new title and a new office, this position provides him with an increased connection to clients.
This full time position allows Zack the opportunity to touch many more people with his knowledge of the adoption field in addition to sharing his personal experiences. Zack not only facilitates the “Talking About Adoption” class which is one of five classes provided to prospective adoptive parents who work with Adoption STAR, but he also speaks at national adoption conferences, most recently at the Adoptive Parent Committee’s Annual Adoption Conference in New York City where he spoke about Transracial adoption and held his own workshop entitled, “Through the Eyes of One Adoptee.”
“Many people apologize before asking me a personal question related to being adopted,” states Zack, “I tell them I love to answer questions and to keep them coming!” You will often find Zack on the telephone mentoring a new adoptive family as they navigate the often confusing and certainly emotional path known as “the adoption process.”
Adoption STAR really understands what the adoption process is all about. Many of their staff members are personally touched by adoption, and this has allowed them to have an insider’s feel for the journey, and why they have a state of the art adoption program. Their staff is comprised of not just adoption social workers but additional social workers that hold the title of Family Advocates. Now with the inclusion of Zack’s new role at the agency in the position of Client Relationship Manager, truly rare in the non-profit sector, they continue to provide clients with yet another positive and immediate link to the agency.
As the Client Relationship Manager, Zack is responsible for taking the initial intakes of prospective clients. His welcoming persona and his adoption knowledge has enabled many seeking adoption information a comfortable atmosphere to ask questions and make plans to begin their adoption journey. Once one becomes a client of Adoption STAR, Zack welcomes them to the agency and then links them to their specific Family Advocate who will follow them through their adoption experience. Zack additionally remains connected to the clients and is a resource to the client as needed. He also creates and maintains the client’s file.
Zack’s promotion also includes the responsibility of supervising the administrative department staff including the Administrative Assistant.
Zack also volunteers as the facilitator of the ACE group. ACE stands for Adoptee Circle of Experience and is an adoptee support group sponsored by Adoption STAR. The group provides support and search information for adult adoptees.
Outside of adoption Zachary has a variety of interests. He is an avid music fan, and you can always find him singing or dancing to something. He also enjoys a good suspenseful crime novel, watching as many movies as he can, working out, and eating. Zack enjoys being in the company of others and is always eager to answer questions!
For more information on adoption and Adoption STAR, Zack can be contacted directly by calling 716.639.3900 or toll free at 1.866.691.3300 or via email at email@example.com.