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Fortune Appoints Andre Ward As Associate Vice President Of Employment Services & Education

(NEW YORK, NY – December 12, 2018) The Fortune Society, one of the nation’s most respected nonprofit organizations serving and advocating for formerly incarcerated individuals, today announced the appointment of Andre Ward as Associate Vice President (AVP) of Employment Services and Education.

Three veteran staff members – Ronald Day, MPA, Rick Pantaleoni, LCSW, and Robin L Robin – also receive well-deserved promotions.  All are effective immediately.

As AVP, Mr. Ward has managerial oversight of every aspect of Fortune’s robust employment and educational programs, including implementing a strategic vision that creates synergy and a continuum of services between the two units.  Key among his responsibilities are using best practices and evidence-based interventions that improve Fortune’s existing programming.  Specific goals include increasing the rate of job placement for Fortune clients, as well as decreasing time to placement, enhancing rates of retention, increasing starting and current salaries, and increasing skills and certification attainment.  He will also structure Fortune’s education services to improve literacy and math gains. As a member of Fortune’s Executive team, Mr. Ward will also help steer overall agency operation.

Each year, Fortune provides more than 7,000 individuals who have been involved in the criminal justice system with a holistic array of services including education, career readiness and job skills training, housing, counseling, drug treatment and mental health services.

Mr. Ward previously served as Director of Programs at Common Justice, an organization that develops and advances transformative solutions to violence and fosters racial equity without relying on incarceration. At Common Justice, he built community partnerships to support employment, internship, housing, education, vocational training, mental health and substance use needs. At the Osborne Association, a policy advocacy and direct-service organization dedicated to transforming the criminal justice system, Mr. Ward, who is formerly incarcerated, held numerus positions over the course of six years, including Director of Workforce Development.

JoAnne Page, Fortune’s President & CEO, said, “Education and employment are important cornerstones to successful reentry. Andre’s leadership qualities coupled with his vast professional experience and intimate knowledge of the justice system, restorative justice practices, alternatives to incarceration, youth and re-entry issues and personal life experiences will certainly strengthen our organization and the services we provide. The Fortune Society is proud to welcome Andre to our team.”

From entry level to top management, more than half of all Fortune Society employees have histories of criminal justice involvement.

Mr. Ward, who is the author of A Guide to Right Thinking for Reentry: A Comprehensive Study Book for the Presently and Formerly Incarcerated, said, “I truly believe that leadership is when one’s power increases proportionately to one’s ability to serve. And I am deeply grateful to The Fortune Society for this opportunity to serve.”

In announcing the new promotions, Ms. Page added, “From upper-level management to the extraordinary employees who keep our facilities running smoothly, Fortune is blessed with dedicated staff who work tirelessly to ensure that we fulfill our mission day in and day out. Ronald Day, Rick Pantaleoni and Robin L Robin are key members of our team who deserve the highest accolades for their contributions.”

Hired by Fortune in January 2015, Ronald Day, a longtime and passionate advocate for criminal justice reform, was promoted to Vice President of Programs. With this promotion, Mr. Day, who is formerly incarcerated, will now have management responsibility for Fortune’s education, employment and mentoring services. He will continue to provide oversight for the Individualized Correction Achievement Network (I-CAN), a New York City Department of Correction initiative that provides pre- and post-release services to people incarcerated in New York City jails. On December 19, Mr. Day will defend his doctoral dissertation in criminal justice at the CUNY Graduate Center/John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he will soon earn his PhD. Mr. Day also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at John Jay.

Rick Pantaleoni, a licensed clinical social worker who has been on-staff at Fortune for almost one year, was promoted to Associate Vice President of Behavioral Health. With the promotion comes increased oversight for overall operations, budgetary success and strategic vision for Fortune’s behavioral health programs, including its mental health and substance use disorder clinics. Prior to his work in behavioral health and social work, Mr. Pantaleoni enjoyed a 15-year career in diverse aspects of management consulting to firms on their organizational operations as well as real estate portfolio operations and significant direct experience with real estate investment analysis.

Robin L Robin, a career human resources professional with more than 25 years of experience in HR, IT and nonprofit management, was promoted to Associate Vice President of Human Resources. In her new post, Ms. Robin provides the leadership and guidance required to build and maintain a strong, vibrant and passionate staff at Fortune. She oversees a team of five who provide a comprehensive range of services including administration of employee relations issues, staff development and training. Also in her portfolio is overall responsibility for staffing, recruiting, compensation administration, employee relations, benefits administration, organizational effectiveness, training development, employee communications, policy design, and regulatory compliance.

For more information about The Fortune Society, visit www.fortunesociety.org.

Contact:  Colleen Roche

LAK Public Relations, Inc.

212-329-1413

croche@lakpr.com

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ABOUT THE FORTUNE SOCIETY: Founded in 1967, The Fortune Society has advocated on criminal justice issues for five decades and is nationally recognized for developing model programs that help people with criminal justice histories to be assets to their communities.  Fortune offers a holistic and integrated “one-stop-shopping” model of service provision. Among the services offered are discharge planning, licensed outpatient substance abuse and mental health treatment, alternatives to incarceration, HIV/AIDS services, career development and job retention, education, family services, drop in services and supportive housing as well as lifetime access to aftercare.  For more information, visit www.fortunesociety.org.

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