Meet the Board…Jim Watson
Community Crossroads is governed by an all volunteer Board of Directors. Bylaw, at least a third of the members must be someone with a developmental disability or a family member of someone with a developmental disability. There are currently 14 members of the Board of Directors. Some have been on the Board for several years and have helped make crucial decisions for the organization while others are brand new members looking forward to being involved.
For Jim Watson, the Chair of the Board of Directors, ‘people come first and everything else comes second’. That is a phrase that Jim values both while serving on the Board of Directors and working at Pfizer, a multinational pharmaceutical company.
His association with Community Crossroads began about eight years ago when his family moved to the area and his son Tyler, who has autism and aspergers, began receiving services. After hearing about the NH Leadership Series, Jim decided to apply. It was through that program that he learned ways to become a leader in the disability community. After that, he decided to join the Board of Directors. Jim feels has helped make decisions that are on the side of what families we serve deserve. He has also been a strong voice for the appreciation and retention of our valued Community Crossroads employees.
In his time on the Board, Jim sees his biggest accomplishment has been being a part of the creation of the Learn To Work program. The Learn To Work program, which was created when Pfizer partnered with Andover High School, is an effort to help students with disabilities learn skills and responsibilities that are needed in a large company. Since the program began in 2014, over 150 students have gone through the program, two of those students have even gone on to work for Pfizer itself. Jim is proud that not only has this program been successful in our area, but it has been replicated at other Pfizer locations.
While Jim has put a lot of effort into helping those with disabilities, he has a learning disability himself. When he was young, he was diagnosed with ADHD and noted that he never forgets where he started from.
Aside from the Ready To Work program, Jim and Pfizer have been longtime supporters of our Annual Golf Tournament, Silent Auction and donate money towards the raffle prizes that take place at our all-staff members. Looking towards the future, Jim plans on continuing to be part of giving back to the community and being open to conversations with our employees about any questions or issues they have. He believes, “in order to make things better, it takes a village” and that involves a group of employees and a Board open to discussions that will improve Community Crossroads.