A Special Message from Carolina Cordero Dyer19 September 2018
I am writing to let you know that I am stepping away from my role as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Osborne Association at the end of next month. It has been a difficult decision, but one that I believe is right for me, my wife, and my two wonderful high-school-aged children who just began at their new school in Syracuse a few weeks ago.
I came to Osborne more than 23 years ago. At that time, we were a far smaller organization, with less than 100 staff and a $6 million budget. I joined a small and committed leadership team that gradually grew Osborne into a leading provider of comprehensive jail, prison, and community-based services. With a staff of nearly 300, we work for systemic reforms even as we provide opportunities for more than 12,000 people each year to reunite with their families, continue their education, prepare for and connect to meaningful employment, and rebuild their lives after incarceration.
As I reflect on my time with Osborne, I realize that my CFO title does not capture the breadth of the work I have done here. And while I won't manage to do that in this note, there are a few things I am especially gratified to have led and accomplished.
In 2008, as the financial collapse threatened the economy broadly, the limited employment opportunities for people coming home from prison quickly dried up. Seeing the need in the lives of our own participants, we launched the Green Career Center to prepare people for the green construction trades. Now called the Osborne Career Center, it is part of a workforce unit that reflects our nearly 20-year commitment to sector-based job training leading to meaningful full-time work. We pair these employment services to more than 2,000 people a year with two social enterprises that employ more than 100 program graduates in jobs that offer family-supporting wages and can lead to long-term employment and professional growth. As part of this commitment to providing pathways to full-time work, I am honored to have served as the Board Treasurer of the NYC Employment and Training Coalition and Board Vice-Chair of the New York State Industries for the Disabled.
I am incredibly proud of the significant real estate and building capacity we have developed—buying our South Bronx Headquarters in 2006 and taking on Liz's complex and complicated dream of converting a closed state prison into a community-based reentry center. Our Fulton Reentry Center project has been several years in the making, and I leave knowing that we have an excellent team and have done the work to ensure the project's success. This month, as we prepare to sign the final funding agreements, we move closer to our goal of beginning construction in 2019.
Finally, I know I leave behind dedicated financial and grants management teams and internal systems that support the organization's continued financial and programmatic success. I am leaving the organization with a healthy balance sheet and strong reserves. And our commitment to real-time program analytics and evaluation ensure that we don't only meet our contract goals, but that we do so in ways that are sustainable and replicable.
As I begin this next chapter in my life, Osborne will write one of its own. We are a healthy, vibrant, and growing organization that is clear in its commitments. Every day, Osborne staff continue to make good on our mission to transform lives, communities, and the criminal justice system.
I am grateful for my time with Osborne's community of participants and alumni, supporters, staff. Thank you so much for your commitment to this work as we continue to build a world that works for everyone.
Carolina Cordero Dyer
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer