Story #38

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The BronxWorks Board of Directors:
Time, Talent, Treasure, and Terrific!

As BronxWorks brings to a close the 40th Anniversary Year of Celebration at the June 10th annual fundraising event, we also wrap- up the 40 BronxWorks Stories project that has illustrated the many elements that make up what BronxWorks is and does.  One of those indispensable elements is the Board of Directors.

All non-profit organizations must have a board of directors.  If you think of a non-profit as a 3-legged stool, the legs are:  1) the organization’s staff, including its Executive Director, 2) the program participants, and 3) the board.  It cannot stand without any one of the legs, and each is dependent on and supports the other in order to fulfill the organization’s mission.

Non-profit board members are volunteers and their vital role is often described as giving of their “time, talent, and treasure.”  In the course of any year, it would be difficult to enumerate the multiple ways individual board members support and guide this organization but a few examples of their work are provided below.

Time:  Every BronxWorks board member serves on one or more committees, meaning valuable time allocated to meetings throughout the year.  Their time is also utilized for events that introduce new friends to the organization or raise funds for special projects.  In this past year, two “friendraisers” were held: one hosted in the home of a board member and one at the corporate office of another member.  Both gatherings resulted in new friends learning about BronxWorks and current friends becoming better acquainted with BronxWorks.

Talent means lending their professional expertise in areas where it is needed.  The Facilities committee has recently been deeply involved in issues of concern at BronxWorks’ Community Center.  The iconic yet aging building includes both an indoor pool and a roof that leaks, so plans to rectify these situations have been completed, drawing on board members with expertise in infrastructure, engineering, and physical plants.  Also, because funding must be obtained to implement the projects, the Finance and Development committees are involved.

Continuing in the “talent” vein, the Program committee ensures BronxWorks’ many services and activities stay aligned with its mission.  Members bring a broad array of experience that includes personal knowledge of the foundation world that opens doors to potential funders of projects that will address the needs of our neighbors.

Treasure includes members making their own financial commitment to the organization and reaching out to their personal or professional networks.  But “treasure” can also be defined as the aforementioned “time and talent” the board members bring to the organization.

Although it is not a membership requirement, the majority of this board can claim close ties with the Bronx which fuels their motivation to help others.  For example, one member who was born and raised here reflected on the evolution of the Bronx since his youth: “The faces in the Bronx are different now but the needs and the dreams are the same – to provide a better life for the children especially but also for senior citizens and others in need and to make progress economically.”

The work of the board complements the dedicated BronxWorks staff and every member exhibits a belief in helping the worthy individuals profiled in the 37 other stories. This “3-legged stool” stands strong and will continue to feed, shelter, teach, and support our Bronx neighbors for many decades to come.

BronxWorks is deeply grateful to all 22 board members: Bill Aguado, Roger Begelman, Gordon Campbell, Mike DeAddio, Vito DeSantis, Stan Freilich, Roberto Garcia, Etta Gumbs, Janice Hart, Marc Kemeny, Christian Lee, Judith Leonard, David McLean, Emily Menlo Marks, Kira Mendez, Bruce Phillips, Joan Rosenthal, Jean Smith, Hilary Spann, Lena Townsend, Adele Ursone, and Virginia Wong.  Board members Judy Leonard and Jean Smith are profiled in story #18 and story #34.  Questions or comments? Send them to

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