I am so excited to have taken over the role of CEO of Person-to-Person as of late June. After only a few days I have had the opportunity to experience firsthand the outstanding passion and professionalism of P2P’s staff, board and volunteers, who are the heart of this organization. I have spoken with our clients, who have shared with me their struggles and their gratitude for the vital assistance we are able to provide. In the coming months, I look forward to meeting, talking with and listening to the many community partners and donors whose support makes our work possible.
I come to Person-to-Person having spent most of my nonprofit career working to end hunger and alleviate the negative effects of poverty. For the past seven years I was the Executive Director of Neighbor to Neighbor, a nonprofit organization creating access to food and clothing in Greenwich, and prior to that served as the interim executive director of the YWCA Darien/Norwalk. Early in my career I worked with victims of domestic violence and developed financial independence programs for women. After receiving my law degree, I clerked for the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and practiced civil and employment litigation with Baker McKenzie in New York City.
My passion for our mission is both professional and personal. I still recall the day, many years ago, when my mother took me to meet with my elementary school principal after school. He gave me a book of red paper coupons and explained how to tear one out each day and give it to the lunch lady in exchange for a small carton of milk. I didn’t know that the coupons, which other children’s families purchased, were being provided to me for free. But I understood from the quiet transaction that my mother’s salary as a social worker was not enough to afford milk at lunchtime for me. The next day I was relieved to see that my red milk coupon looked no different than anyone else’s – the principal had made sure to preserve my dignity.
Milk coupons are a thing of the past, but every person’s desire to be treated with kindness and respect endures. In 2018, Person-to-Person provided close to 25,000 individuals from across lower Fairfield County with access to clothing, financial assistance, camperships, scholarships and food assistance across three sites. Our assistance supports individuals and families to overcome daily challenges and improve their lives. We are innovative and impactful, and I am honored to lend my voice to our work.
As a 20-year Darien resident, I have been a long-time supporter of P2P. I look forward now to working alongside this stellar team to achieve educated, financially-stable, hunger-free homes for all.
Nancy Coughlin, CEO