Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Names New Directors And Staff Promotions - Future Of Youth Center Operator Unknown And Subject Of RIOC RFP To Be Awarded In January 2017

Roosevelt Island Youth Program Inc. (RIYP) Executive Director Charlie Defino

reports on the addition of 4 new members to RIYP's Board Of Directors as well as staff promotions and additions.

According to Mr. Defino:
The new members are Maureen Santella, a 25 year resident of the Island and respected educator; David Evans, Southtown's representative to the RIRA Common Council,; John Weaterhead, who has lived on the Island for 40 years and was Vice-President of the Rivercross Board of Directors; and Kwasi Long, a 40 year Island resident and former Vice President of the Garden Club. These new members join Chairperson Jimmie Won, Vice President and Treasurer Steven Kaufman and Secretary Meera Tandon.

Our expanded Board has a total of more then 200 years of residence on Roosevelt Island. Each member brings a record of community leadership and volunteer service.

Staff changes include the promotion Aikaterini Efthymiadou, a 20 year long resident, to Beacon Director and the promotions of Andrey Chicagov and Roy Magasisi to Assistant Beacon Directors. In addition, John Swauger, who directed a multi-service community agency for 30 years, has joined our agency as Assistant to the Executive Director. This team now has a combined 100 years of management experience in not-for-profits.

These changes strengthen the Roosevelt Island Youth Program's already impressive management capability and ensure that the agency is prepared to meet the Island's needs for a fourth decade.
The RIYP has been the operator of the Roosevelt Island Youth Center for almost 40 years.

Will that change? The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued a September 21,2016 Request For Proposals (Page 2 of RFP) inviting:
... a not-for-profit organization or public/governmental entity1 with the appropriate experience, qualifications and capacity to submit proposals to operate and manage (“the Operator”) the Roosevelt Island Youth Center, located at 506 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York, 10044.

The Operator of the Roosevelt Island Youth Center will provide year-round leadership, educational, recreational and cultural programs of exceptional quality. These programs will target a diverse group of Island youth across the age spectrum and be provided free of charge. The Operator is expected to provide all personnel, materials and equipment to operate the facility. The successful Operator will also be expected to perform all tasks indicated in the Scope of Work to ensure the long-term stability and viability of the Roosevelt Island Youth Center.

The facility is a two-story, approximate 7,000 square foot building, comprised of several rooms of varying size. While the successful Operator will have the majority of that space to run its youth programs, other parts of the facility will be reserved for other community purposes. The successful Operator will enter into a Lease (for the facility), an Operating Agreement (to run the facility) and a $200,000 dollar Grant Agreement. Each agreement will be for an initial three (3) year period, with two, one-year extensions at RIOC’s option. The value of the Lease Agreement will be considered an in-kind grant from RIOC; and the Grant Agreement will be renewed annually, subject to the availability of RIOC funds.

The Lease, the Operating Agreement, and the Grant Agreement shall all run concurrently, and shall also be contingent upon the Operator’s compliance with ongoing reporting requirements established by RIOC as well as mutually agreed upon performance measures and contract deliverables. RIOC reserves the right to terminate the Lease, the Operating Agreement, and the Grant Agreement in the event these performance measures and other reporting requirements are not met by the Operator, to RIOC’s satisfaction, or for any other reason. Termination of one agreement may result in the termination of all three agreements....
and (Page 5 of RFP):
The Operator will independently manage the Youth Center and will provide youth programs and services, including leadership development programs; sports, fitness and recreation programs; arts and cultural programs; and health/life skills programs. All programs must be offered free of charge. This programming will serve a diverse Roosevelt Island youth population and the entire spectrum of youth age groups.

The selected Youth Center Operator will be responsible for soliciting and managing youth activity by staff or independent organizations to provide high quality programs and services such as multi-media training, dance classes, computer training, art and music classes, science classes, leadership programs, high school/college/job preparation, homework assistance and other educational programs.

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Executing a Lease Agreement with RIOC and securing supplemental grants
- Arranging for Youth educators, trainers and activity leaders
- Cooperating and collaborating with other entities (such as Cornell Technion) in
providing youth classes and other activities for all youth groups.
- Developing of a Business Plan that can be marketed for philanthropic purposes
- Developing annual budgets, operational costs, and fundraising strategies
The RIYP is one of several organizations bidding to operate the Roosevelt Island Youth Center. Island Kids has submitted a bid and reportedly the Roosevelt Island Center Of Community Development has as well.

RIOC interviewed the applicants to operate the Roosevelt Island Youth Center last week. According to the RFP, the applicants are to be judged by the following criteria (Page 15-16 of the RFP)

Among the rights RIOC reserves in the selection of the Youth Center Operator (Page 17-18 of the RFP) are:
  • Withdraw the RFP at any time, at the agency’s sole discretion;
  • Make an award under the RFP in whole or in part;
RIOC anticipates awarding the Youth Center Operator RFP to be the subject of a vote during the January 8 RIOC Board meeting.

Stay tuned for more.

UPDATE 2 PM - The RIOC Board meeting is scheduled for January 26.