Volunteers of America-Greater New York Welcomes Myung J. Lee as Next President & CEO
NEW YORK, May 19, 2020 – Volunteers of America-Greater New York, Inc. (VOA-GNY), one of the New York area's premier human services non-profits providing hope, housing and other life-changing services to 30,000 people in need each year, today announced the appointment of Myung J. Lee as its President & Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Lee joins VOA-GNY from Cities of Service, a global non-profit organization founded in 2009 by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, where she served as its inaugural Executive Director. Ms. Lee succeeds Tere Pettitt, who announced her retirement plans last summer after 18 years with VOA-GNY, which includes serving as Chief Operating Officer before being promoted to President & CEO in 2014.
Ms. Lee will lead VOA-GNY, which creatively and with great compassion and skill delivers 80 vitally important human services programs for numerous vulnerable populations with unique needs. Populations include homeless individuals and families, survivors of domestic violence, veterans struggling to find their footing in society, preschoolers with developmental delays, adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, people living with behavioral health, HIV/AIDS and other substance use issues, and housing for older adults with limited income.
“We are delighted to welcome Myung Lee to Volunteers of America-Greater New York,” said Gerry Cunningham, VOA-GNY Board Chair. “Myung’s passion for service and results-oriented leadership with communities, child welfare, early childhood education, domestic violence, and homelessness, as well as her corporate successes, make her the ideal candidate to guide VOA-GNY in our ever-evolving environment with growing community needs.”
Ms. Lee added, “I am honored to join VOA-GNY’s strong and committed team on the front lines serving our most vulnerable and marginalized neighbors every day. The current crisis has proven how urgent and critical our mission is. I am looking forward to partnering with individuals and organizations across the region to enable our clients to get an even fairer chance at living safe, healthy and productive lives.”
Before joining Cities of Service, Ms. Lee served as a Deputy Commissioner of New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services where she was responsible for the $1 billion Division of Early Care and Education. She was also the Tri-State Region Executive Director at Jumpstart for Young Children, Vice President of Marketing and Development at Safe Horizon, Program Director at the Partnership for the Homeless, and helped launch AmeriCorps at The Corporation for National and Community Service. Ms. Lee has also held senior positions in the private sector at Major League Baseball Advanced Media, LRN the Legal Knowledge Company, Modis legal staffing and the Wallace Law Registry.
Ms. Lee is a New Yorker who graduated from the Bronx High School of Science. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law School. She currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband and their daughter.
Ms. Lee will begin her official duties as President & CEO today. Ms. Pettitt will be a consultant to VOA GNY through July allowing for a period of transition and proper orientation.
During her tenure as VOA-GNY's President & Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Pettitt managed an operating budget of $100 million while driving $40 million in strategic growth through innovation, astute analysis of community needs, and valuable partnerships, especially those developing affordable housing for the formerly homeless and for low-income seniors. Ms. Pettitt leaves VOA-GNY in a strong financial position and with innovative, high-impact programs. Prior to VOA-GNY Ms. Pettitt also served as the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of New York United Hospital Medical Center responsible for in- and out-patient care, and physician practices. After a very successful and challenging 45-year career, Ms. Pettitt made the personal decision last summer to join her recently retired husband in retirement and pursue her personal interests which include her many grandchildren.
"On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to thank Tere for her tireless and exemplary leadership of VOA-GNY," said Mr. Cunningham. "During her tenure, the needs of the region's most vulnerable populations have sadly only increased and become more complex, especially during the COVID 19 pandemic, but Tere and VOA-GNY have met those needs at every turn, providing critical housing, support, and services that support our neighbors in need, and literally changing the trajectory of their lives.
About Volunteers of America
Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-Greater New York) is the local affiliate of the national organization, Volunteers of America, Inc. and is one of the largest providers of human services in the metropolitan New York area. Founded in New York City in 1896 as a charity staffed by volunteers tending to the city’s poor, today VOA-Greater New York has 1,300 paid staff that provide life-changing, often life-saving services through 80 programs in New York City, Westchester County and Northern New Jersey.
VOA-Greater New York expands and introduces new services in response to community needs. As such, it is at the forefront of building affordable, supportive housing for seniors; providing a service-rich continuum of care for formerly homeless veterans; and expanding its services for those recovering from domestic violence. Battle Buddy Bridge®, a peer counseling program for veterans, and the work VOA-Greater New York is doing to raise awareness of the impact of Moral Injury, are examples of the organization’s responsiveness, creativity and life-altering work.
Many of VOA-Greater New York’s programs are nationally recognized and meet the rigorous standards of accrediting bodies CARF, COA and the NAEYC. Operation Backpack® is the organization’s signature community service campaign that ensures every student who calls a NYC shelter “home” has a new backpack full of supplies in time for the first day of school.