Independence Mission Schools (IMS), a Philadelphia-based non-profit that provides transformative Catholic education to low-income students of all faiths, today announced the successful completion of its national search and has named Richard Auletta president of the organization. Auletta will build on the successes that IMS has experienced over the past five years in establishing a new model for Catholic schools in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. He will begin his new role on Monday, June 12.
Prior to joining IMS, Auletta served as chief executive officer and president of Softgate Systems, Inc. from 2011 to 2016. Before his time at Softgate, Auletta held executive roles with Princeton eCom, TheStreet.com, Inc. and Standard & Poor’s Corporation. His vast experience in developing strong business models will play a critical role in growing the IMS network as it continues to mature. He is a proven and successful leader with sound relationship building skills and a commitment to the issues of diversity and inclusion.
“Rick is a strong, welcome addition to our team,” said Brian McElwee, chair of the IMS board. “With an extensive background in leadership and management, he is uniquely qualified to develop people, procedures and infrastructure to continue the successful advancement of the IMS network. We are excited to have Rick accelerate our efforts to pave the way to a bright future for our students, enabling them to succeed both in and out of the classroom.”
Auletta will serve as chief executive officer of the organization. He will drive the strategic plan of IMS and work collaboratively with the network’s board, management team and school leadership to help lay the foundation for its continued growth and long-term sustainability.
“I am thrilled to become a part of IMS at such a critical time in the organization’s history,” said Auletta. “At Softgate, we provided electronic bill payment services to 70 million financially underserved consumers in the U.S., helping to build a necessary bridge to financial inclusion. IMS has a similar goal – ensuring that the children of Philadelphia are given equal education opportunities in the hopes of a brighter future. The board, leadership team and staff have made an incredible impact on thousands of students and their families in just five years. I’m energized by the all of the opportunity ahead, and look forward to working with all parties to continue to refine and expand the model as we better the lives of young children and their families.”
Auletta’s appointment marks the conclusion of IMS’ national search and is part of a leadership transition intended to ensure that the organization is well-positioned to become a national model for urban education while continuing to best serve its students and the surrounding community. Anne McGoldrick, IMS’ founding CFO and president since March 2015, will work to support the transition through the summer and then will become a board member and remain an advocate for the organization.
“I am incredibly excited to welcome Rick to the IMS team,” said McGoldrick. “He possesses the skillset needed to guide IMS through its next phase, and I am confident that, under his leadership, the network will continue to grow and thrive. I look forward to working with him through this transition phase and witnessing all that he will accomplish.”
Established in 2012, IMS has engineered a dramatic turnaround for its network of 15 schools, many of which were slated for closure. In just four short years, the schools have revitalized their operations and have seen a 24 percent enrollment increase, created and sustained nearly 500 education-related jobs and invested in a brighter future through increased support and better academic outcomes for nearly 5,000 children and families across Philadelphia.