2002-02-23 / Community

McDermott Chosen To Fill TSI Post

By Gary G. Toms

Transitional Services for New York, Inc. (TSI) has hired its first full-time Director of Development and Public Affairs, William J. McDermott. McDermott has a background in corporate, technology, and not-for-profit business management. He will report directly to the Executive Director and be a member of the Executive staff. He will oversee the agency's Public Relations, Government Affairs and fundraising initiatives, most notably its "Walk for Mental Health." It will be held on Sunday, April 28 and New York Mets Manager Bobby Valentine will be the Honorary Chairman.

McDermott has held several upper management positions, most recently with Internet start-ups. He recently left his position as Chief Operating Officer for PartnershipCentral, an E-business software Internet corporate Partnership site. As Vice President of YOUNetwork, a publicly registered E-tail consumer-buying network with over one million products, he propelled the business from 2500 members to over 35,000.

Since 1987, McDermott has been a member of the board for the Seton Foundation for Learning, a not-for-profit Catholic learning institution located in Staten Island. It was founded in 1986 for developmentally delayed children. Billy McDermott's son, Robert, was a student at Seton schools. McDermott achieved substantial results in community outreach, branding, and public relations, positioning Seton as the charity of choice.

As Chairman of the Seton Foundation's Christmas Fund Drive, McDermott established and oversaw a volunteer-driven, fund-raising initiative centered around thirty-four StatenIsland Catholic churches. Through public addresses, he appealed to congregations in each church to support the work of the Seton Foundation resulting in an increase of $55,000 in personal contributions in the fund's inaugural year. The Christmas fund has gone on to raise a little over one million dollars in eight years.

Eve Hazel, Ph.D., TSI's Executive Director stated: "We are excited to have Billy join us. His energy level, enthusiasm and passion for our mentally ill population will serve us well as he starts several new fundraising initiatives. It was time to add someone full-time and in-house, especially in light of the soft economy and recent tragic events. Finding alternative solutions will be a priority for Billy."

Larry Grubler, Deputy Director of TSI commented: "We, at TSI work daily to provide quality services to individuals recovering from a myriad of psychiatric disabilities. We have a wide range of programs including residential, clinic, day treatment, crisis intervention, case management, a psychosocial club, self-help programs and a comprehensive array of vocational programs that help people get back into the work force. We have grown dramatically over the past 27 years. Billy is joining us at an exciting time and I am confident that he will help us bring to the public's attention the services we offer, brand us as a leader in the mental health field, and help us raise funds to cover necessities for our consumers that State and City contracts do not provide."

McDermott lives with his wife, Teresa and three children, Robert, 25, Andrew, 19, and Kathryn, 13 years old. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from St. John's University. Since starting his position with the agency, he has been touring facilities, meeting Board members, developing relations with new and existing donors, meeting and developing relations with political and community leaders, and creating an agency-wide Public Relations program.

Transitional Services for New York, Inc. is a twenty-six year old mental health agency with a staff of over 200 serving the needs of more than 2500 clients a year in multiple facilities – both outpatient and residential. TSI is well known and respected for developing new programs.

In 2001, four new outpatient programs were introduced, enabling the agency to serve 350 additional individuals. Recently, they were honored to have been chosen as a provider for Project Liberty, which is a consortium of federal, state, county and city organizations partnering to provide mental health counseling services to anyone in need as a result of the tragedy of September 11, the Rockaway plane crash, and the Anthrax scare.

In the past few months, mental health needs have been most prominent in the news and people from all walks of life are finding themselves in need of assistance.

McDermott has held several upper management positions, most recently with Internet start-ups.

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