New York, NY – December 15, 2016 – The Board of Directors of Seedco announced that Barbara Dwyer Gunn will retire from Seedco this month, after seven years heading the 29-year-old national non-profit. Seedco assists those in need to reach economic stability through workforce and work supports programs in five states: New York, Connecticut, Tennessee, Maryland and Georgia.
Ms. Gunn led the organization through multiple changes and expanded its reach into new areas, including providing health benefits in multiple states under the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of health services; working with those re-entering the workforce after incarceration; assisting young adults as they enter and seek to advance in the workplace; and providing young fathers help in successfully managing work and family relationships. Under Ms. Gunn’s leadership, Seedco enhanced its unique combination of work supports and workforce services to assist those in low-paying jobs trying to stabilize their families and their lives. Ms. Gunn also expanded the Seedco Board, building a commitment to diversity and innovation. The Board has elected a new Chair, Paul R. Franke III and Lilliam Barrios-Paoli is the new Vice-Chair of the Board.
George Pruitt, the outgoing Chair of Seedco, credited Ms. Gunn with the very survival of Seedco in an environment where for-profit organizations were seeking to consolidate programs. Seedco and its Board will greatly miss her strong vision,” he explained, “her excellent organizational skills and most importantly, her unwavering commitment to our essential work.”
Ms. Gunn will be succeeded in January 2017 by Tara Colton, Seedco’s present Senior Vice President of Programs. Ms. Colton joined Seedco in 2015 and has more than 15 years of experience in both the public and nonprofit sectors, including positions as Associate Vice President for Program Development and Planning at FEGS Health & Human Services; Managing Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Human Capital Development; Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education, Director of Strategy and Partnerships at the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Adult and Continuing Education, and Deputy Director at the Center for an Urban Future. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Baruch College School of Public Affairs, a Bachelor’s Degree from Wesleyan University and completed the Coro Leadership New York Program. She was selected as one of New York Nonprofit Media’s inaugural “40 Under 40 Rising Stars,” received the Statewide Leadership Award from the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals and is a board member of the NYC Employment and Training Coalition. She lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her family.
“The Seedco Board is thrilled that Tara will be leading this organization as it enters its thirtieth year of supporting low income communities across the country,” said Paul R. Franke III, Seedco’s incoming Board Chair. “Tara’s career has been dedicated to improving the lives of some of the most vulnerable populations in America. Over the past 15 years, Tara has developed and advanced innovative programs and services for workers, families, and businesses and we are excited to see Seedco’s impact grow under her leadership.”
“For nearly thirty years, Seedco has been a pioneer in supporting low-income families and communities throughout the United States. I am honored to step into this role at a time of profound change for our country – our work is more important now than ever,” said Tara Colton. “With our innovative programs focused on advancing economic opportunity and fostering self-sufficiency, Seedco is positioned to improve the lives of people across the nation.”