José Martin Jara Elected Board President at Leake & Watts

A Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Jara Exemplifies the New Face of Philanthropy in New York City.

Yonkers, NY, October 18, 2015 --( José Martin Jara, Esq., has been elected president of the board of directors at Leake & Watts, an award-winning New York City nonprofit human services agency. Mr. Jara, who is a principal and national practice leader of multiemployer plans at Buck Consultants, LLC, A Xerox Company, joined the board in 2011, having learned about Leake & Watts through BoardServeNYC, a United Way resource that connects nonprofits with candidates ready to join a board. Since then, he has seen Leake & Watts nearly double in size, and he expects its rapid growth to continue during his two-year term.

Leake & Watts Executive Director Alan Mucatel remarked that Mr. Jara exemplifies the new face of philanthropy in New York City. “The current generation of supporters approach their volunteer work with the same intensity that they approach business,” Mr. Mucatel said. “They understand the need for speed and strategic thinking as the world evolves, and that if a nonprofit agency isn’t growing, then it is falling behind. José and our other board members are comfortable with change, and they help ensure that our agency can grow quickly and responsibly.”

Mr. Jara said he was attracted to the agency because of its work with at-risk populations. “Leake & Watts has used and will continue to use its core expertise to expand into new areas where human services support is greatly needed by children, adults, and families in the Greater New York area,” explained Mr. Jara who has an older sister with developmental disabilities. Leake & Watts’ dedication to helping individuals such as his sister succeed struck a chord with him. “These individuals need assistance, because they are not capable of doing it all themselves,” he said. “Providing them with educational support helps open doors for them.”

A resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, he added that he is firmly committed to Leake & Watts’ mission. “I am and my fellow board members are dedicated to continually growing and strengthening this remarkable agency, and helping at-risk populations through education, therapeutic support, and vocational training.”

Mr. Jara graduated with a BS in Managerial Science from Manhattan College and was awarded a JD in Law from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. He obtained an LLM and certificate in employee benefits law from Georgetown University Law Center. In addition to his service to Leake & Watts, Mr. Jara is a member of the board and chairman of the HR committee at The Center for Family Support, and is a member and recording secretary of the Cardozo Alumni Association’s Executive Committee. Cardozo Law School has honored him twice by presenting him with the BALLSA Alumnus of the Year Award and the Cardozo Alumni Association’s Volunteer Service Award.

About Leake & Watts
Founded as a Manhattan orphanage in 1831, Leake & Watts operates programs serving more than 8,000 children, adults, and families throughout New York City and Westchester County. Programs include early childhood education, foster care and adoption, specialized education services, a home for teenage mothers in foster care, behavioral/mental health support services, and juvenile justice services. Leake & Watts also operates residences for adults with developmental disabilities and a Preventive Services program to stabilize at-risk families so children can remain in their parents’ care.

Leake and Watts Services, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the Middle States Association, and the Better Business Bureau. It is the recipient of the New York Community Trust 2014 Gold Nonprofit Excellence Award for Overall Management Excellence. The organization’s administrative offices are located in Yonkers. For more information, the public is invited to visit, find it on Facebook, and follow it on Twitter
Leake & Watts
Jeannie Ashford
914-242-0010 x 103