The Community Service Society is pleased to announce Nicholas Gravante, Jr. as its new Board Chair. Mr. Gravante, a long-serving CSS Trustee who is a top national litigator and Managing Partner for the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, LLP, succeeds Deborah Sale who stepped down after serving her term limits on the board.
A Brooklyn resident, Mr. Gravante was first elected to the CSS Board in June 2003. Over his seventeen years with CSS he has chaired several committees, including the Development, Human Resources, Program and Executive Committees. Most recently, he served as Vice-Chair of the Board.
Mr. Gravante is a Trustee of the Brooklyn Public Library, where he previously served as Board Chair for four years. He also serves as Board Chair for the Poly Prep Country Day School, as a Trustee for the Central Park Conservancy and previously served as a Trustee of Sheltering Arms NY.
Mr. Gravante takes over as CSS Board Chair at a time when the organization –known for advancing and winning progressive policy changes to combat income inequality – has had to adjust to serving its constituents in the midst of a pandemic, a difficult period of unrest that has exposed extreme suffering, and in stark terms, the structural basis for an inadequate healthcare system, disparate law enforcement and punishment practices, and unmitigated inequities in housing and community resources.
CSS President and CEO David R. Jones introduced the new Chair at the organization’s June 3 Board Meeting: “Nick understands this organization and its mission intuitively. He brings an abiding interest and commitment to eradicating social injustices and elevating the voices of the city’s marginalized communities so they are heard by those in positions to effectuate change. He will be an outstanding Chair. Under his leadership, CSS will have the support it needs to continue to make an impact when it comes to addressing human needs, whether it’s health care, housing, meaningful education and job-training, self-determined community development, or reentry,” said Mr. Jones.
Mr. Gravante’s priorities include ensuring that CSS continues to play a major role combatting economic, social, and particularly racial injustice. “I could not have imagined a better time to assume the position as Chair of this outstanding organization, which for 175 years has served as one of the nation’s leading organizations in the never-ending battle against poverty and systemic social inequities,” Mr. Gravante said. “Drawing on my experience serving Brooklyn Public Library’s constituents and my long-standing service for other noteworthy organizations, I could not be more energized to take on this new role.”