Date: May 20, 2022
The Board of Directors sadly announces the departure of Jennifer Sun, Co Executive Director of AAFE, effective July 29, 2022. Jennifer informed the Board of her decision to step down due to personal reasons. We thank Jennifer for her devotion and commitment in working these past four years with Co-Executive Director Thomas Yu through AAFE’s first senior leadership transition in a quarter century, guiding the organization through Covid, the continuing waves of anti-Asian hate assaults and the targeting of small businesses in our neighborhoods. AAFE is on solid and improving programmatic and financial footing as we continue our important community development work.
During the past several years, we have accomplished a great deal together, from expanding our community services, emphasizing shared leadership and collaboration, building organizational infrastructure and delivering critical resources to the community during the pandemic. As the immediate health crisis subsides, AAFE is steadfast in its commitment to an equitable recovery by serving our community’s most vulnerable, including through the development of permanent affordable housing and transitional housing for families with children in Flushing, Queens.
Thomas Yu, as Executive Director, will lead the staff and work with the senior team to identify gaps left by Jennifer’s departure and recruit additional leadership in collaboration with the Board.
The Board thanks Jennifer, Thomas and the entire AAFE staff for swiftly adapting to the shifting needs of our communities, tenants, constituents and staff, reopening direct services and programs as waves of Covid have peaked and dropped. All community-based organizations and nonprofits across the country continue to experience tectonic shifts in our industry and the workforce at large as institutions seek a new “normal.” We and our peer organizations engaged in communities experiencing the most severe social, economic and racial impacts of this pandemic have confronted unprecedented challenges. Thanks to the entire AAFE family, we are successfully weathering this onslaught of events.
Statement from Jennifer Sun:
“We are living in an unprecedented time when the pandemic has shaken up most of our lives and caused many of us to think about our professional and personal priorities in new ways. As our country and city begin to emerge from Covid, I decided now was the right time for redefining my work-life balance. It has been a pleasure and a significant growth opportunity to co-lead AAFE through these challenging times. I’m proud to have helped position AAFE for future growth and deeper impact by reinvigorating its community services, creating constructive partnerships both internally and across the community, instilling a spirit of teamwork, and expanding AAFE’s organizational infrastructure.”
Statement from Thomas Yu:
“Jennifer has played a critical role in the development and growth of AAFE during the past four years, helping to navigate the organization through a time of transition and a global pandemic. We are grateful for her dedication and commitment to the communities AAFE serves across New York City. Her vision and leadership will be missed by the staff, Board, and community partners alike. We wish her the best of luck in her next chapter.“
Statement from AAFE Board President Lydia Tom:
I would like to personally thank Jennifer for her steady leadership in the past four years and wish her all the best. The Board looks forward to working with Thomas and AAFE’s staff in the transition and beyond to build on our accomplishments and deepen our community impact. We have always appreciated your enthusiastic support and passion for AAFE and the community, and are grateful for your continued commitment to our shared mission.