Fort Collins, CO–After spending over 8 years as a chamber ceo, Scott Soldat-Valenzuela is the new Executive Director of Kids at Heart.

The organization recently celebrated twelve years of primarily serving Larimer County as a respite non-profit for foster, kinship and adoptive families. 

Kids at Heart is well regarded for their signature Fundango program. Children from foster care families engage in educational and fun rotations while parents have four hours of respite. The typical Saturday event includes art, STEM, dinner, reading and active time for kids ranging from newborn to 18 years of age.

Soldat-Valenzuela is familiar with foster care through a personal experience when he and his husband, Jeffrey, fostered and adopted two toddlers over four years ago while living in Arizona.

“I’m very excited to lead such a well-respected organization in Northern Colorado,” remarked Soldat-Valenzuela. He continues, “I expect to use my personal and professional experiences to enrich the organization’s already respected reputation in the foster care community.”

His experience includes serving at President/CEO of the Peoria, AZ Chamber, the Fountain Hills, AZ Chamber and recently the Windsor Chamber. Earlier in his career, Soldat-Valenzuela was the executive director of SkillsUSA Arizona. He holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Business Management and has 18 years of non-profit leadership experience. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic Kids at Heart has transformed much of its programming to video content for older youth and teens. As the State of Colorado begins to loosen restrictions, Kids at Heart also expects to relaunch the Fundago program with social distancing and following State requirements. 

Kids at Heart started as a support group through the Heart of the Rockies Church to help congregation members who were fostering young children. Through the Church’s support, the organization separated into an IRS recognized 501(c)3 and formed Kids at Heart a few years ago. 

Soldat-Valenzuela follows in the footsteps of former directors Erica Wharton and Elena Joyce.