Effective December 31, 2018, Robert Pawloski will be retiring as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COMPASS Youth Collaborative. The COMPASS Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Jacquelyn Santiago, the current Chief Operating Officer, will become the CEO upon his retirement.

Robert Pawloski
Jacquelyn Santiago

During his 21-year tenure, Mr. Pawloski built COMPASS from the ground up: he took the helm of a drop-in recreation center in Hartford’s South End and expanded COMPASS to serve the entire city. Under his leadership, the organization became a preeminent provider of youth development programs – delivering program services to youth and families at three school-based sites, and through the COMPASS Peacebuilders, an innovative youth violence prevention model.

Known for his common sense style and thoughtful fiscal stewardship, Mr. Pawloski created an ethos of caring at COMPASS, one that has in turn improved the lives of thousands of youth and their families. For his efforts, he was recently awarded the Director’s Community Leadership Award by the FBI. The award is a national honor for leaders who make extraordinary contributions to their community.

Having spent the past 17 years working in partnership with Mr. Pawloski, Ms. Santiago will be well positioned to assume the responsibilities upon his departure. She began her career at COMPASS as an Assistant Program Director, advancing as the Vice President of Programs, and, since 2013, has served as the Chief Operating Officer. Over the course of her tenure, Ms. Santiago developed COMPASS’ youth development programs, with an increasing focus on enhancing agency operations.

She is also a recognized community leader. Ms. Santiago was named a 40 under 40 by Hartford Business Journal and was the recipient of The 100 Women of Color Award. She received her Masters in Organizational Leadership in 2016 from Quinnipiac University and completed her undergraduate studies in sociology at Trinity College.

From now until December 2018, the agency will undergo a leadership transition guided, in part, by two leading experts. Thanks to the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Ann Thomas of Inspiring Nonprofit Excellence and Patricia Duarte of Third Sector New England will oversee a codification and information sharing process. Beyond preparing Ms. Santiago to lead as CEO, the ultimate goal of this collaboration is to ensure that COMPASS remains at the forefront of providing impactful programs to the youth and families it serves.

“We could not be more appreciative for Bob’s service over the past 21 years, nor more grateful to find a natural successor in Jacquelyn,” notes Tom Geer, the Chair of the COMPASS Board of Directors. “As a board, we are deeply committed to supporting the transition process, as well as the ongoing mission of an organization that does so much for so many.”

By: Clare Timmis
Photo Credits: Julie Burbank Photography