Big Sister Association’s Annual Meeting was held on Monday, May 4, at The Boston Foundation. The gathering brought with it some fond farewells, warm welcomes, a new perspective on the power of mentoring, and even funding for a new initiative!
Raising funds needed to support Big Sister’s mentoring programs for girls is one of the main responsibilities of the Board, so it was only fitting that they hear from two of our organization’s funders. The first was Stephanie Lee, regional director of public affairs for Verizon, who announced to the Board that the Verizon Foundation had just granted Big Sister $15,000 to support a new cyber-safety initiative. “The Verizon Foundation is pleased to partner with Big Sister Association to help girls safely use technology that is so much a part of our lives,” said Lee. “We commend Big Sister’s efforts to empower girls to reach their fullest potential.”
Following that announcement, Paul Grogan, President and CEO of The Boston Foundation, which awarded Big Sister $100,000 in December, spoke about the important role mentoring plays in the overall health of our city. “We need to invest in the organizations that are doing the best work and having the most impact so that our city can continue to grow and move forward,” said Grogan. He cited the fact that children with mentors do better in school and may be less likely to drop out if there is a caring adult supporting them and giving them the attention they need. He also shared some intriguing data about the relationship between level of education and quality of life to illustrate why children need to stay in school.
At the meeting we also officially welcomed our newest Board Members. Jane Deery, president of PGR Media; Robin Loporchio, senior counsel for Intellectual Property & Licensing at Raytheon Company; Andreina Morales, investment associate and account vice president at UBS Financial Services, Inc.; and Barbara Zack, controller of Worldwide Field Operations at Veeco Solar Equipment, Inc.; joined the 23 existing members of Big Sister Association’s Board of Directors. As Board members, Deery, Loporchio, Morales, and Zack are charged with fiscal and strategic oversight of the agency, and play an instrumental role in raising the funds needed to continue creating quality mentoring relationships for more than 3,000 of Greater Boston’s girls. In addition to proven leadership skills, these women bring a unique range of professional and philanthropic experience to Big Sister.
Additionally, we welcomed four new Young Professional Board Members: Lucy Campbell, assistant portfolio manager at The Bank of New York Mellon; Maria Fernandes, government relations specialist at Children’s Hospital Boston; Dana Kowalchyk, development associate at Raising a Reader; and Bianca Whitworth, associate director of Boston College’s Athletic Department. Big Sister’s Young Professional Board was established to further our reach and connect with the next generation of philanthropists. This diverse group of under-40 leaders is charged with engaging the young professional community of Boston in Big Sister’s volunteer and fundraising activities.
“Our new Board Members will help us raise the funds and awareness needed to continue providing our city’s girls with quality mentoring services,” said Deborah Re, chief executive officer of Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.