Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts (BBBSEM), one of the nation’s leading one-to-one youth mentoring programs and New England’s largest Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate, has appointed Rosemary Sheehan, Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at Mass General Brigham, the largest private employer in Massachusetts with over 82,000 employees, as their new Board Chair. Since 2019, she has served on the agency’s Board of Directors.
Sheehan first joined the BBBSEM team through the agency’s Senior Human Resources Advisors Council. Her passion for the mission grew as she helped staff to develop the nonprofit’s People & Culture strategy. At Mass General Brigham, she partners with executive leadership to develop internal growth, expand/build people and process capabilities, create/drive a culture of innovation, continuous improvement and operational excellence, and strengthen the strategic business alignment of the HR function. She brings more than 30 years of experience in healthcare revenue cycle operations, staff development and leadership, new business development, regulatory compliance, and complex project management.
“I am so proud of how the agency has managed to continue to serve so many children during the pandemic while also recently approving a new strategic plan,” says Sheehan, who walks her talk as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts Mentor 2.0 program. “The pandemic has highlighted the inequities in our society and created a massive mental health issue. I look forward to supporting the new strategic plan and helping the nonprofit play a pivotal role in supporting our youth as the new Board Chair.”
Throughout her personal life and her career, Sheehan has been a champion for those who are marginalized and less fortunate. Her compassion is born out of her personal journey. She is the daughter of immigrants from Portugal, neither of whom were educated beyond the 5th grade, and grew up in Fall River where her parents worked in garment factories. In addition to her parents, her role models as a child were her high school teachers.
“I was lucky to have mentors,” says Sheehan. “I know that I wouldn’t be in the current role I am in if they were not there to guide me. There is a lot of data to show that early mentorship makes a big difference in the lives of youth. We need to ensure that the agency is here long term!”
Sheehan’s passion for mentoring runs in the family. Her husband is also a mentor for the agency’s Mentor 2.0 program and her daughter, when in school at Boston College, serves as a Campus-Based Big Sister. In part thanks to her mentors, Sheehan earned her BA Degree in Chemistry cum laude at Assumption College, and her MBA summa cum laude at Babson College.
“Rosemary is a critical asset to our Board with both the personal and professional experiences that she brings to the table,” says Mark O’Donnell, BBBSEM President & CEO. “As we seek to increase the number of adult mentors in our organization and provide them with the support necessary to foster meaningful relationships with Littles, the encouragement, guidance, and strategic insights provided by our Board Chair is imperative to the success of our organization, and we are elated to welcome Rosemary in this position.”
As Board Chair, Sheehan will partner with O’Donnell and other board members to support and sustain the work of BBBSEM and ensure appropriate board composition with regard to the organization’s strategic objectives. In addition, she will provide governance leadership, and strategic fundraising support to the greater BBBSEM team. Sheehan will help to run board meetings and an annual retreat.
In its 70th year, BBBSEM has created and served more than 20,000 matches. The nonprofit is now enrolling and matching Littles and Bigs. For more information, to register your children or to become a volunteer, visit: www.emassbigs.org.
About Big Brother Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts is an innovative, energetic organization that is making a real difference in the lives of nearly 3,000 youth annually by providing them with an invested, caring adult mentor in long-term, professionally supported relationships. With research and proven outcomes at its core, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts is working to defend the potential of children facing adversity and ensure every child has the support from caring adults that they need for healthy development and success in life. The organization’s vision is to inspire, engage and transform communities in Eastern Massachusetts by helping youth achieve their full potential, contributing to healthier families, better schools, more confident futures and stronger communities. Throughout its 70 years, the largest Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate in New England has created and served more than 20,000 matches. For more information about the agency and its mission, visit www.emassbigs.org.