Interim Executive Director
Meet Reed Cochran, ACE’s new interim Executive Director. Read more about the leadership transition and the upcoming executive search process below.
ACE Mentor Program of Greater Boston Announces Leadership Transition
Boston, Mass. (January 1, 2024)
ACE Mentor Program of Greater Boston is excited to announce that Reed Cochran will step into the role of interim executive director while ACE conducts a search for its next permanent E.D.. After four years serving as executive director, Jen Fries has decided to leave her role to pursue other opportunities.
Cochran is a practiced nonprofit executive who specializes in leadership transitions. She takes pride in piloting agencies “from here to there” in an ordered fashion, keeping operations humming while the board stays strategically focused. Her engagements include Somerville’s Door2Door Transportation, The Children’s Museum of Memphis and Ballet Memphis. In prior endeavors, Cochran has been a high school Spanish teacher in her home state of Mississippi and a high-tech management consultant in San Francisco. She earned a BA in History at Brown University and an MPA at the Harvard Kennedy School.
“After four years with ACE, I am pleased to be leaving the organization in a position of strength. ACE is attracting more financial and volunteer support than ever before, and as a result, we are serving more students at more after-school locations than ever,” says outgoing leader Fries. “It was particularly gratifying when we hit the milestone of more than one million dollars in scholarships awarded by ACE to our high school seniors. I know that with Reed’s leadership, the future is bright for ACE.”
ACE’s President Janine Byrne of PCA notes that during Fries’ tenure, ACE more than tripled its annual fundraising, adopted a new strategic plan, and added two new program sites. “As our first Executive Director, Jen’s leadership allowed ACE to create structures and systems that have allowed us to set new records for scholarships awarded, high schools reached, and students served. We are grateful to Jen for her work at ACE and wish her the best in her new endeavors.”
Kicking off the year for ACE
It was great to see students, families, and mentors back at our kickoff event on October 19 at Wentworth. Weekly meetings of the program started October 23, but it’s not too late for students to join ACE. Visit our student page to learn more.
Thanks to you
On June 22, 2023, we came together for our 9th annual ACE Networking Event, raising $636,500 to support ACE Mentor Program’s critical mission. We are grateful to Secretary of Labor Lauren Jones for her kind remarks and her recognition that students need mentors to figure out how to join our professions. Thank you to Boylston Properties for being our presenting sponsor again, and for providing the fuel to allow ACE to grow. Your leadership has brought so many other firms into our orbit.
$636,500 raised to accelerate ACE Mentor’s growth.
Well, 399 to be exact. You came, you networked, and your made it fun to do good.
One hundred and sixty-eight sponsor firms came together to bring A/E/C opportunities to our students.
Our lodestar, our fixed point we move toward, is to bring more young people into carees in architecture, engineering, design, and CM, for a brighter future for our industry.
Thank you to our sponsors
ACE Student Showcase 2023
Hurricane and flooding
The design challenge asked students to create plans for a humanitarian response camp after a hurricane in Boston. The camps needed to be buildable within one week of the disaster, and to provide sleeping, eating, medical, gathering, and other requirements. The camp designs used an existing park or public space as the setting.
Over 15 weeks, the students refined their understanding of architecture, engineering, and construction management. They created designs that were sensitive to the trauma experienced during the disaster, and with their mentors, they created visions for the needs of the survivors. The students then presented their designs at the Student Showcase on March 8, 2023 at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Scroll down to see photos from the event.
Also, you can see the final presentations created by each team here:
ACE is proud to have awarded $210,000 in scholarships to the Class of 2023. We wish them the best on their college, university, and trade school studies.
The Boston Society for Architecture’s Commonwealth Award was created to recognize an outstanding influence on our built environment or our awareness of it. The Society bestowed the BSA Commonwealth Award upon ACE Mentor Program at its January 18th gala. Mike Harris, our President, and Janine Byrne, our Vice President, accepted the award for ACE. Read more here.
The Boston Opportunity Agenda (BOA) is a public/ private partnership that works to increase dramatically the pace and scale of change in education for all children in Boston, with a focus on students who experience the least access to successful pathways.The BOA recently highlighted ACE Mentor Program and its collaboration with Autodesk, Nitsch, Elkus Manfredi, and Gilbane to provide paid summer internship opportunities for our students. We are so grateful to our employers, and particularly Kellyanne Mahoney at Autodesk, for making these summer opportunities possible for our students, and for the recognition of the potential of this work.Read more about the collaboration here.
Speed rotation through the disciplines
On Thursday, October 13, ACE students were invited to Wentworth Institute of Technology for our kickoff event. Students were invited to rotate through activities in five disciplines: architecture, landscape architecture, structural engineering, electrical engineering, and construction management scheduling. Did you miss the kickoff? It’s not too late to join! ACE allows students to register and join when they are able. Click here to learn about registering.