Big Sister Boston’s Board of Directors has appointed Annissa Essaibi George the new President & CEO of the 71-year-old girl-serving organization. The announcement comes after an extensive search which began following Deb Re’s announcement in May that she was stepping down after 16 years at the helm. Through a video message with Board Member and WBZ anchor Lisa Hughes, Essaibi George expressed her passion and excitement for leading the organization into its next chapter of serving and uplifting the girls and young women of Greater Boston.
Click here to see the video announcement: https://youtu.be/GcIiaRP0lw0
Essaibi George’s appointment comes after an extensive search which commenced earlier this year. To support the search, Big Sister Boston’s Board retained Koya Partners a leading executive search firm with an exclusive focus on recruiting senior leaders to mission driven roles. Koya is the largest woman-founded executive search firm in the world and has assumed a leadership role in building diversity and equity internally and through its placements.
“The Board was extremely pleased with both the number of candidates and the broad range of experience of those who showed interest in the CEO position. It speaks to the importance of Big Sister’s mission,” says Carey Cort, Big Sister Boston Board Chair. “We are excited by Annissa’s breadth of experience and her passion for elevating the girls of Greater Boston She has the strategic vision to build on Deb’s legacy, and to forge strong connections and partnerships in the community that will benefit both Big and Little Sisters for years to come.”
Essaibi George, the daughter of immigrants, was born and raised in Boston. A mom of four, she is currently the owner of Stitch House in Dorchester. Essaibi George was elected as an At Large City Councilor in 2015, where she served as the Chair of the Committee on Education and was a voting member of the Committee on Civil Rights; Committee on Community Preservation Act; Committee on Healthy Women, Families and Communities; Committee on Public Safety and Criminal Justice; Committee on Small Business and Consumer Affairs; and Committee on Ways and Means. Prior to her time on the City Council, she spent 13 years as a teacher at East Boston High School. Essaibi George was a candidate in the 2021 Boston mayoral race and advanced to the runoff election before losing the election to fellow Councilor Michelle Wu.
“Annissa has been a part of the fabric of the Boston community all her life. From growing up in the city to being a teacher, City Councilor, and small business owner, she brings a wealth of lived experiences that will serve her well as the new CEO,” says Re. “Annissa is not new to Big Sister. She has held match activities at her business, spoken about the importance of our work at our Annual Meeting and has also participated as a “role” model in our Fashion Show. I know with her leading this organization, along with our phenomenal Big Sister team, the girls of Greater Boston will have new opportunities to thrive.”
Essaibi George will be meeting informally with Big Sister Boston staff in the coming weeks and will officially begin her tenure on November 28, 2022. The organization will be celebrating and honoring Deb Re’s tenure at the annual Big in Boston gala on October 27th.