News and Events

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March 5, 2024

Celebrations, Community, Disability Rights, HSVS, Thought Leadership

Reflecting on 2023

By Dawn Saffayeh – 

Dear HeartShare Family,

What a year 2023 was. We’re already sprinting into 2024, but I did want to stop and take a minute to reflect on this past year. I was so honored to step into this role of CEO January 2023. I’m so thankful for our staff, supporters, partners, and the people of our programs.

The work never ends, and the challenges we face will continue to grow. But I feel hopeful because of the new foundation we created together. Here are a few takeaways from our year that will continue to propel us forward.

Unlocking the Power of Knowledge

By knowing more, we all will benefit. We aimed to lead with transparency in 2023. From ensuring our directors have better visibility into the logistics of their programs to holding monthly staff-wide digital town halls to discuss agency news and updates, we want everyone at HearShare to understand where we are and where we are going as an organization. As with any new initiative, there is always a period of adjustment, but seeing our employees feel comfortable speaking up, asking questions, and demanding more of us all has been a true joy.

Embracing Technology and Systems

We are very much at the start of this journey, but there are so many digital tools that will make us more efficient and more effective. From accounting to HR, from employee dashboards to program management tools, we are beginning to harness the power of technology and move away from a paper and pencil world.

Creating a Collaborative Culture

Collaboration at HeartShare begins on day 1. With a relaunched new-hire orientation program, we provide every new employee with a complete view of the world of HeartShare, allowing them to see how we show up for our programs and one another. We have a number of large cross-team initiatives underway. It’s amazing to see completely different programs and people come together to tackle huge strategic initiatives. Two of the many that teams are tackling: creating a more manageable and effective fleet to get our people where they need to go, accelerating onboarding so that we can build out the workforce.

Making Our Voice Heard

We’re deep into advocacy season right now, but the planning and speaking up has already been happening since my day one. Our programs depend on the City and State. These are critical supports and we must continue to remind those in power about the work that we do, and the people and families who are impacted by it. Not only in our programs, but the wider NYC community as well.

These few steps are just the beginning of where we plan to take HeartShare in the coming year. I’m honored to be CEO of this organization and will continue fighting for our staff and the children, adults, and families we support.

Thank you for committing to HeartShare and for being part of this journey. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together this year!