The Game Loft is pleased to announce the appointment of our new Board President, Joe Ferlazzo. Joe was born in Brunswick, ME and attended Bowdoin College. He is a longtime Game Loft supporter and former board member. Joe currently resides in Newburyport, MA, fulfilling his role as Board President via telephone calls and monthly visits.
In April, Joe joined us for our annual Community Learning Event: Pax in Our Time. We sat down to chat with him about his new role and history with the Game Loft.
What is your connection to the Game Loft?
I’ve known Ray and Patricia since high school. When Ray started his first game store in Newburyport, MA, I was one of his first customers. We’ve been friends ever since. I’ve helped The Game Loft as a friend and consultant over the past 20 years on issues concerning finance, board development, and long-term strategy.
What is your background?
I worked in the technology industry for 25 years, first as a business consultant to large Fortune 500 companies and then as a founder and manager of, and adviser to, start-up companies.
What are some of the other non-profits you’ve worked with?
I served on the board of the Newburyport Art Association (600 members) for seven years and as their interim Executive Director for one year while the organization was in a state of flux. This has been the most intensive experience I’ve had with non-profits. I’ve also consulted with smaller non-profits.
What are your goals for the Game Loft?
To ensure financial stability and sustainable growth. To attract new board members: more people with more diverse experiences and community representation. Helping the board to manage assets and advising on executive operations so that programs are run effectively.
What is it like to Chair the board remotely?
I’m able to do it because I have the flexibility to spend a lot of time and energy working with Ray and the board. I can travel regularly and make conference calls. So far, the biggest challenge has been the 3-hour drive! It all works because Ray and I have good communication. The longstanding relationship helps.
Why the Game Loft?
I’ve always been impressed by the manner in which Ray and Patricia developed the Loft from a simple after school program to a set of programs tailored to mentoring and helping kids grow and develop into adults. It’s especially important for the community here given the area’s rural poverty. I’ve watched kids who were socially undeveloped grow and become meaningful contributors not only to the Game Loft but to the community as a whole.