Finding Loyal Supporters During Unprecedented Times
As we have all experienced, 2020 highlighted the fragility of our once “normal” lifestyles. For many people, this past year has brought up countless obstacles both physically and symbolically. For Black and Brown low-income communities in Boston however, the pandemic simply expanded upon and compounded the tribulations already being faced. Non-profits, like Friends of the Children-Boston (Friends-Boston), were able to continue to fulfill their missions because of their proactive leadership and dedicated staff. Anchored in the trusting relationships Friends-Boston holds with youth and caregivers and guided by their feedback, they responded quickly to their most pressing needs early and often to provide them with the services and goods they needed from the start of the pandemic through today.
Through quick and agile adaptation, Friends-Boston rapidly transformed to enhance their services to supply physical goods and, in some cases, direct monetary support to their youth and families in addition to the professional mentoring they were already providing. Families received cleaning supplies, PPE, groceries, help navigating and connecting to a remote learning environment, and enrichment tools to survive the pandemic. The support and supplies provided represents the true belief of building partnership with the family as a whole and the “being there no matter what” attitude and culture that exists at Friends-Boston.. Through all levels of the organization, from staff to board, that spirit of working together and being there no matter what to provide direct aid to families above and incorporating a 2Generation approach is and will continue to be essential in closing the opportunities gap across the Greater Boston area as Friends-Boston prepares and readies their youth and families for post-pandemic recovery.
This remarkable leadership inspired seven passionate supporters of Friends-Boston to step up and make a long-term commitment as Board Members honoring the organization and their efforts to make radical, long-lasting change. Along with two new Board Co-Chairs, Robert E. Hallagan and Julie Lynch, these seven leaders pledged to advocate and provide oversight to Friends-Boston and their youth as new members of the Board of Directors.
Hallagan, the Vice Chairman, Board Leadership Services and Managing Director at Korn Ferry, has been a friend of Friends-Boston for seven years, serving on the Board since 2015 and has been working hard as Board Co-Chair since the beginning of their fiscal year (starting in September 2020). Prior to Korn Ferry, Hallagan has held many distinguished roles in his lifetime including co-founding The Center for Board Leadership and serving as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the Boston Stock Exchange.
Joining Hallagan as Co-Chair to the Friends of the Children-Boston’s Board of Directors, Julie Lynch also has a long history with Friends-Boston. Lynch, currently working as a Rodan + Fields Consultant, served as the Director of Program & Evaluation at Friends-Boston from 2010-2013 leading them on a Strategic Planning effort focused on strength of programming and evaluation and implementing the program evaluation software tools used today – Efforts To Outcomes by Social Solutions. Prior to her commitment at Friends-Boston she was the Program Director at Boston College responsible for training, growth, and development of her staff.
Friends of the Children-Boston proudly welcomed to the Board in 2020: Amir Madjlessi Jr. a seasoned banking executive , Dr. Marvin Loiseau of the Benjamin Franklin Institute, Jim Davey of Hasbro, Deborah Drew of National Grid, Danielle Williams of Wellington Management, Nicole Borden and Independent Consultant, and Jendayi Williams a Program Alumni and student at UMass to join their efforts to providing meaningful and impactful services to their youth and families. Jendayi is a proud alumnus of the program whom many might remember from her keynote speech at our 2019 Friend Raiser or as part of the first winning team in our now annual and award winning Entrepreneurship Business Plan competition, and is currently is a full-time student at University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.
To see the Bios for thesemembers and all the Board Members of Friends-Boston please visit www.friendsboston.org/about/board.