YONKERS, NY—April 7, 2015… Jody Rollins, a senior vice president for Chubb & Son in Westchester County, has been appointed to the Board of Directors at Leake and Watts Services, Inc., Leake & Watts CEO Alan Mucatel announced today. She joins one of the nonprofit world’s most active boards, known for members who are deeply engaged in oversight and intensely committed to the work of Leake & Watts, which turns around the lives of 8,000 vulnerable children, adults, and families in the Greater New York area each year.
Ms. Rollins has had a long and distinguished career as an underwriter and executive at Chubb. In 2006, when Ms. Rollins was promoted to the position of Regional Branch Manager for the Westchester Region, she moved with three daughters from Houston to Harrison, New York. She quickly became involved in the Westchester business community. She is a board member of both the Westchester County Association and the Food Bank for Westchester, as well as a graduate of Leadership Westchester.
Ms. Rollins said one of her goals is to raise public awareness of the great work of Leake & Watts in the region, and Westchester, in particular. ““Leake & Watts’ support unlocks the potential each person has to lead a successful life and contribute to the community,” she said. She pointed to several of the agency’s programs on its Yonkers campus as examples: the Ames Early Childhood Education programs; the Biondi School, which serves children who have barriers to learning in traditional educational settings; and the Residential Treatment Center for children and adults, among other programs. “This is an exemplary nonprofit organization, based right here in Westchester, and it deserves our support,” she explained.
A Long Courtship
Ms. Rollins noted that her interest in Leake & Watts began when she met Mr. Mucatel. “I was struck by Alan’s passion, knowledge, and commitment to agency’s mission and the population that it serves in New York City and Westchester,” she said, adding that when she met Board President G. Crossan Seybolt, Jr., “He exhibited the same level of passion and knowledge that Alan did,” she said. “After talking to him, I accepted the invitation to be nominated to the board.”
Mr. Mucatel said he had talked to Ms. Rollins about getting involved when they first met in 2011. “We were ecstatic when she finally said yes,” he said. “Jody’s analytical mind, leadership talents, and her empathetic heart make her a tremendous addition to our board.”
A Serious Responsibility
A Leake & Watts board membership is a hands-on job. Board members continually review existing programs and new opportunities, examine metrics and ratings, and compare results to peer organizations, among many other things. “The expectations are extremely high for a Leake & Watts board member,” Ms. Rollins explained. “It is a serious responsibility and time consuming.” But, she added, “It also gives me a great deal of satisfaction.”
Mr. Mucatel explained that Leake & Watts values Ms. Rollins’ experience in leadership development at Chubb, where she is a board member of the company’s Women’s Development Council. She also mentors Chubb employees in this country and aboard. “Jody has done a lot of work in leadership and inspiring talent in Millennials, and many of Leake & Watts supervisors and case workers fall into that category,” Mr. Mucatel said.
Ms. Rollins noted that it is a challenge to learn about a field as complex as human social services, but it also is rewarding. “I joined the board’s programming committee because I felt it was the best way to learn about an organization with 43 programs at 25 different sites. It means a lot to me to know I have an impact on the many people who depend on Leake & Watts’ support to feel safe and get the training and education they need to succeed in life.”
About Leake & Watts
Founded as a Manhattan orphanage in 1831, Leake & Watts operates programs serving more than 8,000 children, adults, and families throughout New York City and Westchester County. Programs include early childhood education, foster care and adoption, specialized education services, a home for teenage mothers in foster care, behavioral/mental health support services, and juvenile justice services. Leake & Watts also operates residences for adults with developmental disabilities and a Preventive Services program to stabilize at-risk families so children can remain in their parents’ care.
Leake and Watts Services, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the Middle States Association, and the Better Business Bureau. It is the recipient of the New York Community Trust 2014 Gold Nonprofit Excellence Award for Overall Management Excellence. The organization’s administrative offices are located in Yonkers. For more information, the public is invited to visit www.leakeandwatts.org, find it on Facebook www.facebook.com/leakeandwatts, and follow it on Twitter twitter.com/leakeandwatts.