News & Announcements

St Mary’s Center for Women and Children Announces New Leadership

Board of Trustees Appoint Current COO, Alexis Steel, as President

September 14, 2020 (Dorchester, MA) – The Chair of the Board of Trustees for St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children (SMCWC) announced today that Chief Operating Officer (COO), Alexis Steel, has been unanimously approved by the Board as St. Mary’s Center’s new President, effective September 15, 2020. Steel joined St. Mary’s Center in February 2018 as Senior Vice President of Operations and Compliance; she was appointed as COO in December 2019 and has been acting in the capacity of President since January 1, 2020. 

“We are delighted to make this announcement,” said Kathy Maple, chair of the St. Mary’s Center Board of Trustees. “Throughout her tenure at St. Mary’s Center, and most recently in her role as the senior leader, Alexis has demonstrated leadership capabilities of a seasoned executive.” Maple also noted how Steel is ideally suited to lead the Center in its mission and is well regarded and respected internally.   “Alexis communicates honestly and with integrity. She is passionate about social justice for women and children and is committed to creating pathways out of poverty. She sees the value of stabilizing lives and understands how to leverage this stability as a platform for education and employment and, ultimately, for self-sustainability.”  

The past six months significantly tested Steel’s leadership qualities, said Maple. “She served as COO and acting president, was responsible for all internal operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, carefully and skillfully managing all operational aspects at both the Dorchester and East Boston campuses. She led the organization through the early pandemic emergency response, building a Continuity of Operations Plan to protect the 200+ residents on campus and 100+ employees under her leadership, and made tough, mission-driven organizational decisions, to offset unprecedented financial challenges. Alexis is passionate about making a difference in the lives of the people we serve and in the lives of her team. She is the right leader at the right time for St. Mary’s Center.” 

Before joining St. Mary’s Center, Steel was Senior Manager of Global Operations for the Consortium of Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech), Massachusetts General Hospital. Through her work over four years at CAMTech, she was able to build her expertise in working with women and children across the globe, mainly in Uganda and India. Within this start-up she led a business accelerator program pushing medical innovations supporting those most in need through development stage into market. Additionally, in collaboration with rural health centers, major multi-national corporations, tech startups and leading teaching hospitals across the world, Steel worked within a small team to lead advocacy for women in career development internationally, policy change, and promoting innovation addressing major healthcare gaps in the poorest regions of Africa, Asia, and the US. Additionally, Steel also worked in grants and contract administration for large research studies at Partners Healthcare. Elementary teaching experience in a rural village in Honduras, and her participation in the Children’s Enrichment Program at the Women’s Center of Rhode Island have enhanced and complemented her professional background and inherent passions.  

“I am humbled and honored to lead this amazing organization,” said Steel. “With a global pandemic, and the push for social justice for families like ours across the US, this has been one of the toughest years St. Mary’s Center has had since opening its doors. It is our collective mission to ensure that moving forward we continue to be focused on enhancing the services we provide and continue evolving as an organization to provide the best level of service we can to the families we work with every day.”

About St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children: St. Mary’s Center, a multi-service organization supporting women and families, believes shelter is not enough to erase the devastation of cyclical poverty and homelessness. Grounded in social justice, St. Mary’s Center empowers families to achieve emotional stability and economic independence through education, workforce development, and permanent housing. The Center partners with women and families as they ascend to a more thriving, stable future. By understanding the root causes of their trauma and providing services they uniquely need, St. Mary’s joins with families in changing their personal trajectory and leads in influencing systemic change.

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