SUMMIT, NJ - Summit's Leah Griffith, past president of the Summit Educational Foundation (SEF) and a Trustee of Central Presbyterian Church in Summit, has joined Hilltop City-based Family Promise, a national non-profit helping families experiencing homelessness achieve sustainable independence. The addition of Griffith to the Board is one of several leadership additions, which also include David Fleck becoming a Board Member and Hope Johnson joining its Guest Advisory Council.
Griffith is Managing Partner at Watts Consulting, serving senior executives in consumer-focused industries, and is a former senior manager at Mitchell Madison Group, a spin-off of McKinsey and Co. She and her family have been Family Promise volunteers for seventeen years, with Griffith finding it to be a rewarding way to volunteer with her children from a very young age According to Griffith, by involving her children early on and making Family Promise a part of their lives, it has provided them the opportunity to more fully understand the world around them.
“As a volunteer, I love the personal interaction—there is nothing more basic and relationship building then sharing a meal,” says Griffith. “As a business person, I love the Family Promise model of shared space and leveraging existing infrastructure. It’s a model that works and changes the trajectory of so many families.”
Fleck is Chief Strategy Officer for Disqus, a worldwide blog comment hosting service for web sites and online communities that use a networked platform. Before joining the San Francisco Bay Area tech company, he worked with a variety of startups, including Federated Media Publishing, NuConomy, and BitTorrent as business founder and advisor. Previously, he served as Product Marketing Manager at Google.
Fleck has a long association with Family Promise. His father was an active volunteer for Family Promise of Knoxville, TN. When his father passed away in 2014, Fleck made a donation to Family Promise, prompting Family Promise President Claas Ehlers to reach out to have a conversation. The relationship deepened over the years and Fleck was invited to join the board this summer.
Fleck brings extensive experience in technology platforms and strategic partnerships, areas that Family Promise has identified as high priorities moving forward. As a technologist, he appreciates ideas that scale -- like Family Promise’s 200+ Affiliates nationwide. He is excited to bring his skills and energies to bear on expanding and deepening the services Family Promise offers.
“It brings a smile to my face, and I imagine my dad smiling, every time I think about the course of events that led to my position as a Trustee for Family Promise,” says Fleck. “We have an obligation to help others, just as we would hope they might help us. Service allows me and my family to remember our parents and to appreciate our daily blessings.”
Angela Schroeder, Chair of the Family Promise Board, is enthusiastic about what the newest trustees bring to the table: "Both David and Leah are joining the Board at a pivotal time as we develop our new strategic plan. I know they will each contribute to our work in shaping and defining the future of Family Promise. David brings a particular expertise in technology and communications along with a Silicon Valley presence, while Leah will leverage both her work as a loyal Central Presbyterian Church volunteer and her expertise in strategic consulting."
Hope Johnson is the eighth and newest member of the Guest Advisory Council, comprised of former guests from Affiliates nationwide that provide input and contributions that help Family Promise formulate policy and pursue advocacy that is focused on the needs of the families we serve.
Johnson was a guest at Family Promise of Hunterdon County in 2010. Since graduating the program, she has welcomed a new baby, James, and has risen to the position of solutions manager for Verizon. She volunteers with the Family Promise national organization as well as with her local Affiliate.
She’s happy to give back, saying, “People who help Family Promise not only change lives, but helped change mine and I couldn’t be more grateful. I believe staying connected with Family Promise is the sincerest way of thanking them. Becoming a part of the Advisory Council is a chance to give back to others the way Family Promise gave to me.”