The Power of Two Board of Directors is thrilled to announce the appointment of Coleen Stevens Porcher as the organization’s new Executive Director, effective April 25, 2022. Coleen brings deep experience, a passion for early childhood, and policy advocacy that will enable Power of Two to further realize its vision of an equitable society with strong communities where families thrive and children are healthy, safe and able to reach their full potential. She follows Co-Founder Erasma Beras-Monticciolo, who led the organization since 2019 and announced her intention to relocate her family to the Dominican Republic last August.
This announcement follows a rigorous and inclusive search led by the Board and members of the Power of Two team. Board Member and Executive Search Committee Co-Lead Sasha Carbone said, “Coleen is a strong relationship builder, thought-leader, community partner and employee advocate who will lead Power of Two with great empathy, passion and purpose. We’re excited about the leadership she’s bringing to Power of Two for the next stage of growth.”
Coleen has a proven track record of growing organizations, championing social justice, advocating for and strengthening families, teaching entrepreneurship, and helping parents make informed decisions about early childhood care and education and infant-toddler care. As an immigrant that grew up in East New York, she understands the communities Power of Two serves. Coleen has worked for almost 30 years in educational and social services organizations, serving in executive and institutional advancement roles. Most recently, Coleen has been the CEO of 4Cs of Passaic County, an organization providing early childhood education to over 10,000 children in New Jersey.
As the Board welcomes Coleen, it also honors Erasma’s vision and leadership. Erasma said, “It has been one of my greatest honors to have co-created Power of Two with Anne Heller and Dr. Kristin Bernard and to have served as the organization’s executive director over the past 4 years. Our intent was to create an organization that addressed intergenerational trauma by intentionally investing in the foundational relationship between a parent and child. Fast forward 7 years later, and we have partnered with over 4,000 families supporting them in developing a sense of belonging, cultural pride and tapping into our indigenous values to raise healthy, resilient and independent children. Together, with families, we have created a cycle of intergenerational success. For me, this is not goodbye, as I will continue to watch many more families experience the transformative effects of the work under new leadership..”
Coleen is thrilled to be leading a growing organization rooted in community and backed by science. “In saying yes to Power of Two, I am coming home to continue working in a field that I love, early care and early childhood education. Being a caregiver of children is both rewarding and challenging. Power of Two’s vision and mission make it possible for vulnerable children and families to realize their full potential,” Coleen said. “I am so excited to be engaged in work grounded in evidence-based research that is bearing fruit and has already transformed the lives of more than 10,000 individuals. I am looking forward to deepening and expanding the work in New York City and beyond,” she added.
Sammy Politziner, co-founder of long-time institutional partners Arbor Brothers, said, “Arbor Brothers have been proud supporters of Power of Two since its inception. We have been so impressed with the team and the program over the years and have great confidence that the organization will continue its growth and success with Coleen’s leadership.”
Board Chair Ann Marie Foss said, “Coleen will provide strong leadership for Power of Two as we emerge from the pandemic. We are all committed to stewarding the organization as we have from the outset of the national crisis to keep it in a strong position financially and operationally with 50 team members and an operating budget of $5.7 Million, partnering with over 1,000 families a year in four communities and expanding into three more this coming year. “
Chief Operating Officer Steven Toledo said, “Power of Two, with its robust Leadership Team and seasoned team members, is extremely well positioned to continue executing on our five year strategic plan. The investments we have made in organizational infrastructure and systems, as well as our strong organizational culture, will enable us to continue serving our community families, partnering with local and city-wide agencies, and fulfilling our mission.”
With the deep admiration and gratitude of the Board, Chief Advancement Officer Fatima Malik and Brooklyn Borough Director Seth Lamar will continue to serve as acting Power of Two co-leads until Coleen arrives at the end of the month.