A note from the NYATEP staff

Dec 07, 2023

Dear Members, Partners, and Colleagues,

First, a thank you.

Thank you to everyone who has reached out and kept us in your thoughts and prayers while we have been navigating the loss of our beloved leader, Melinda Mack. While Melinda was larger than life within the workforce sector -- combining her brilliant mind with a charm and wit that energized and mobilized people into action -- to us, she was an unparalleled mentor, a teammate, and a friend who never wavered on her commitment to improving the lives of others.

As many of you know, Melinda’s health journey spanned over two years and included multiple surgeries and challenging treatments. Throughout that time, we stood diligently at her side to serve her vision and honor her repeated requests to “keep doing the work.” And we have. Internally, our small staff banded together to follow the North Star of her leadership by continuing to advocate, provide professional development opportunities and progressive thinking for the field. Each day, we showed up and out to support her as she courageously fought her health battle. Unfortunately, a full recovery was not possible, and the reality of her death has hit us harder than we could have anticipated. And while we roll on, it is important that we acknowledge our grief.

The team and the larger NYATEP board are working together to honor and memorialize Melinda properly. To be transparent, our attempts to encapsulate our feelings into an email, post, or statement frankly feels too overwhelming at this time.

At Melinda’s request, her family is planning a larger celebration in the coming months to fully recognize the monumental contributions this one woman has made in all of our lives. In the interim, we will continue to do the work and honor her legacy. We are committed to collaborating with our members and partners for sustained economic mobility for all New Yorkers.

We know you are mourning with us and welcome you to share your memories, photos, and feelings so we may incorporate them in any future communication. We also ask that you give yourself and us adequate grace and time to heal as we all move into a “new normal” without our collective leader.

In partnership,