Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative has selected Phyllis Martin as its next CEO.
She will replace John C. Read, who was the organization’s first CEO and served in that role for the past five years. Read advised the board a year ago of his intent to step down.
Martin currently works as the vice president of community impact and strategic investments for the United Way of Northeast Florida. Prior to that, she led similar work at the United Way of Greenville County in South Carolina.
Martin said it became clear during conversations with community leaders, partners and the Cradle to Career board of directors that they are all rooted in the same understanding: a ZIP code should not determine life’s outcomes, and all children should have the opportunity to succeed.
“I think the opportunity to work with a community and an organization deeply committed to addressing large-scale social issues surrounding education was just very, very compelling to me and builds on the body of work I’ve done in the past,” Martin said.
The most recent regional education report is a reminder that the organization and community have work to do, she said. Martin’s plan for the next several months is to work closely with the board, stakeholders, regional leaders and partners to learn firsthand about their experiences, aspirations, success factors and barriers.
Anita Zucker, board chairwoman for the Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative, praised Martin’s selection in a news release, saying, “Phyllis’ experiences working in leadership positions for large, regional United Way organizations will serve her well in connecting with education stakeholders in the Lowcountry.”
Darrin Goss, who served as the chairman of the CEO search committee, said Martin stood out as someone with a distinctive ability to build lasting relationships throughout the community, given her experience across multiple sectors.
Martin will step into her new role Nov. 18. She will also serve as a member of the board of directors.