Hopeworks Board of Directors Appoints New President and Welcomes New Member
Camden, NJ – August 8, 2022 – Hopeworks, a nonprofit and social enterprise dedicated to providing a positive, healing environment that propels young individuals to build strong futures, announces the appointment of Mark Sarvary as President of its Board of Directors, and the addition of Donald Shields, Vice President and Director of Engineering for New Jersey American Water, to the Board.
“We are proud to announce these exciting changes for the Hopeworks Board of Directors,” said Dan Rhoton, Executive Director of Hopeworks. “Mark joined the board in 2021 after many years of supporting Hopeworks and has been a force for various initiatives, including our pitch competition and our business realignment activities, all while he and his wife, Judy, provide consistent support to graduates through our alumni program. We’re thrilled to have him lead the board team, which we are excited will now include Don Shields. As the executive who signed off on our first GIS contract with New Jersey American Water, Don has been instrumental in developing, and continuously supporting, an important partnership for Hopeworks. Both men represent a promising new phase for Hopeworks, as we further our mission of providing young professionals with the tools and support they need to build strong networks and futures.”
Mark Sarvary brings more than two decades of global leadership, strategic consultancy and consumer product management experience to the board. From 2008 to 2015, Mark was President and CEO of Tempur Sealy, the international mattress and bedding company. Prior to his role at Tempur Sealy, Mark was EVP and President of Campbell’s Soup North American Division. He has held executive roles at J.Crew and Nestlé Frozen Foods Division, as well as roles at Bain & Co. and IBM. Mark holds an MBA from INSEAD and a BSc in Physics from the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.
“Hopeworks is an extraordinary organization, and I am incredibly honored to be named President.” Said Sarvary. “Dan Rhoton and the Hopeworks team have helped so many young people to achieve their goals, and they have exciting plans for expansion – I am committed to do all I can to help them to continue to be successful.
Donald C. Shields, PE, is Vice President and Director of Engineering for New Jersey American Water, overseeing a staff of more than 50 professionals, including construction managers, engineers, planners and geographic information systems (GIS) specialists. He is directly responsible for delivering New Jersey American Water’s capital investment program of more than $350 million per year and provides oversight to engineering activities in the other Eastern Division states, which include Virginia and Maryland. Previously, Don served as Engineering Director of New Business Development for American Water’s Corporate Engineering Group and also spent ten years at American Water’s former subsidiary, Applied Water Management. Prior to joining American Water in 2001, Don spent ten years working for Bergen County Utilities Authority in Northern New Jersey. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in New Jersey, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University.
“Helping to develop the partnership between New Jersey American Water and Hopeworks has been a highlight of my career,” said Shields. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to join the Board of Directors and tie myself and American Water more closely to this incredible organization and their positive impact on the greater community.”
Hopeworks is a social enterprise that uses technology, healing, and entrepreneurship to transform lives. Hopeworks’ unique mix of training, trauma-informed care, and real-world experience is what leads to extraordinary results. The approach, combined with high-demand, high-wage technical training and paid work experience is helping to build a workforce that can not only get the job, but keep it, transforming their lives and the lives of their families.
To provide this experience, Hopeworks runs real businesses, providing technology solutions for businesses in web design and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and trauma-informed solutions through training and consulting services with the Youth Healing Team. These businesses help generate over 125 youth jobs a year, and lead to high-wage, permanent opportunities for youth in a growing tech industry.
Hopeworks’ unique combination has led to extraordinary results, with over 85% of youth associates earning high-wage jobs at the end of their work experience with Hopeworks, and a 12-month retention rate of almost 90% at those jobs. Young professionals entering Hopeworks are typically earning an average of $400 per year and after going through the training program, they have the opportunity to make a livable and comfortable wage, earning over $41,000 annually.