The Board of Directors of Philadelphia Futures announced that Joan C. Mazzotti will step down as Executive Director after 16 years of extraordinary service. Ms. Mazzotti plans to stay through the first of the year, or until her successor is in place, ensuring continuity and a smooth transition in leadership.
“Joan Mazzotti’s exceptional leadership over 16 years has shaped an organization that deeply understands and serves the needs of first-generation-to-college students.” said Laura Williamson, Chair of the Board of Philadelphia Futures. “Joan’s agility in transforming a vision to action with measurable results is evident in every part of the organization today from the depth and reach of the program to the loyalty and generosity of our donor base.”
Ms. Mazzotti said, “One attribute I admire in leaders is knowing when change will be beneficial to the future of an organization. After much consideration, I have concluded that Philadelphia Futures is approaching the point at which new leadership will have an important, positive impact. As I want to be like Derek Jeter and hit a walk-off on my last at-bat, I realized that this is the right time for me.”
“The year just ended was very strong; it was a triple if not a home run. We have an enormously talented and effective staff; Philadelphia Futures is financially sound; and our students and programs are thriving. As we enter the fifth year of our current Strategic Plan, we soon will need to embark on a new planning process; accordingly, it is time for me to pass the mantle to the person who will be implementing the blueprint for the organization’s future.”
Ms. Mazzotti’s leadership of Philadelphia Futures is recognized in Philadelphia and around the country. During her tenure, Philadelphia Futures has become a model of college retention and success for low-income, first-generation-to-college students. Ms. Mazzotti led the successful merger of Philadelphia Futures and White-Williams Scholars in 2011; the launch of new programs and initiatives including College Connection and Outreach Futures; and the organization’s groundbreaking partnerships with colleges and universities which have leveraged over $30 million in institutional financial aid for Philadelphia Futures’ students.
Over Ms. Mazzotti’s tenure the organization’s budget has more than doubled; its net assets have increased by more than 800%; and most important, over 500 Philadelphia Futures’ students have received their college degrees.
“As the Board embarks on a search for a new leader, we proudly honor the strong foundation that has been created under Joan’s leadership and the resulting success that our community has come to value in this institution,” said Ms. Williamson.“Philadelphia Futures is firmly committed to building on that strength. I suspect this will be a highly-coveted position and I am confident we will find the right candidate to take us into the future.”
“I have had the best job in Philadelphia and I have loved every minute of it,” said Mazzotti. “It is going to be very hard to walk away from my work with my colleagues, the students and their parents, our donors, volunteers, partners and friends.”
David O’Connor, Philadelphia Futures board member, added, “This has been more than a job to Joan, it has been her mission, one that has included her entire family. While this work is never fully accomplished, for many past, present and future Philadelphia students, the work that Joan has led has been life changing.”