Friends of Nathaniel Witherell Elects New Chair and Board Members

Jeff Aldrich, Founder, President and CEO of the Aldrich Group, Inc. and a native of Greenwich, Connecticut, has been named Chairman of the Board of the Friends of Nathaniel Witherell, an independent, non-profit charitableorganization that raises funds to enhance the quality of life of the Nathaniel Witherell’s skilled-nursing care

Jeff Aldrich, Chair, Friends of the Nathaniel Witherell

residents and short-term rehab patients. Aldrich succeeds former chair David G. Ormsby, who founded the Friends in 2007 and successfully spearheaded the Project Renew capital campaign that raised millions of dollars to update and modernize the Witherell facility. Aldrich assumed his new role on February 21, 2024.

The Friends also elected to their Board’ four new members: Michael Guido, Managing Director, Business Development of the Commonfund Group in Wilton, a nonprofit investment manager for public sector and private organizations; Beth Krumeich a corporate attorney and Vice President of the Board of Directors of At Home in Greenwich, and a former member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation, Town of Greenwich; Blaise Punturo a real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty in Greenwich and fundraiser for the Columbus Citizens Foundation; and Sally Van Leeuwen, former analyst for CBS-TV and Volunteer Coordinator for Friends. Continuing on the Board are Bea Crumbine, fondly referred to as Greenwich’s “Ambassador-at-Large,” whose extensive board and community service are legendary; and Fred Li, a biomedical engineer and Owner and Vice President of HLK Services Limited, an engineering and procurement company in Greenwich.

In his initial remarks to the Board, Aldrich thanked David Ormsby for his dedication, vision, and outstanding service to the Friends, and commented on the unique position FNW holds in the community:

A True Public-Private Partnership

“I love the very idea of the Friends as a charity – giving social enrichment and joy to people in the transitional stages of their lives – and as a business and value-added adjunct in service to The Nathaniel Witherell. Importantly, I believe that the concept ‘No Margin, No Mission’ should be the organizing principle for all care-giving nonprofits. It reminds us that it is okay for a hospital or nursing home to be fiscally responsible and make decent margins. In fact, it’s imperative.”

New members of the Friends of Nathaniel Witherell Board of Directors: Blaise Punturo, Beth Krumeich, Jeff Aldrich, Chairman; Sally Van Leeuwen, and Mike Guido

Aldrich also made note of the special relationship between the Friends and the Witherell, which is owned and operated by the Town of Greenwich. “I believe this is a true public-private partnership, one I wholeheartedly embrace. It’s one of the things that distinguishes the Nathaniel Witherell from other skilled nursing facilities.”

Aldrich announced that he is presently developing an ambitious plan, which he calls his “Strategic Intent for the Future,” one that the entire Board, with their valuable expertise and professionalism, will collaborate on as he believes they are “doers first and donors second,” adding, “I want to build on the very solid legacy that David and many others established here and take us to new heights.”

He said his goals are to expand the Friends revenue base by more aggressively cultivating and soliciting corporate, foundation, and other funders; touting the Friends’ important message and mission; and improving and expanding the Friends’ internal infrastructure and staffing. “I am inspired by all that we can accomplish together as a special services charitable organization, delivering distinctive life-enhancing services to the residents of the Nathaniel Witherell, and ultimately, to the community-at-large.”

David Ormsby noted: “Jeff’s executive recruitment expertise and commitment to Friends is a special opportunity for Friends to build its presence in the community and expand its reach to encourage charitable contributions to this treasure of our Town.”

About the Friends of Nathaniel Witherell

Friends of Nathaniel Witherell (FNW) was established in 2007 as a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization to raise funds to support the work of the Nathaniel Witherell, which provides excellent long-term care and short-term rehabilitation services, and to enhance the quality of life of the Witherell’s residents. David G. Ormsby, Friends founder, originally conceived of the idea of a “service enhancer” for those residents who had “lived and worked in Greenwich – our nurses, first responders, teachers, and family members, as we felt it was important to do what we could to make the quality of their experience that much better.”

Through the Friends of Nathaniel Witherell’s Resident Life Fund, into which donations and bequests are made, funds go towards residents’ weekly recreational games, music and art education programs; holiday parties and other special events; subscriptions to newspapers and magazines, monthly resident birthday parties,, and financial support for the Greenwich Chaplaincy. Additionally, the Resident Life Fund covers the salary of the Volunteer Coordinator, who manages and coordinates Witherell’s vibrant volunteer services program which provides valuable and important hands-on support for residents to participate in music therapy, art programs and pet therapy, attend religious services, and be assisted with internal transporting.  The Friends also underwrites the operation of the gift shop and beauty salon, plant care, art shows and other activities.

Under the leadership of former chair David Ormsby, the Friends raised $12.8 million in 2014 from 3,500 donors to support Project Renew to renovate the Witherell facilities, part of which was a $4.4 million State of Connecticut historic income tax credit to offset the construction costs of Project Renew. The Friends also helped obtain a $129,156 energy credit in 2014.with the balance funded by the Town of Greenwich through 20-year bonds. All the funds enabled the Witherell to construct a new 30,000 square foot short-term rehabilitation center and update, modernize, and expand common areas and resident living areas. Over the years, FNW also organized various fundraising events that attracted such keynote speakers as American entrepreneur and domestic lifestyle innovator Martha Stewart, renowned personal finance journalist, speaker, and author Jane Bryant Quinn, New York Times health columnist Jane Brody, and Catherine Kaczorowski, Ph.D., Jackson Laboratory Associate Professor, Envin Family Chair in Alzheimer’s Research.

More About the new Members of the Board of the Friends of Nathaniel Witherell:

Jeff Aldrich is the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Aldrich Group, Inc., an executive search and organizational development services firm that provides talent development support to clients across a spectrum of industries.  Prior to establishing his own firm, Mr. Aldrich was a Managing Director and Senior Director, Human Resources, for American Technologies, Inc.  He previously served as the Manager, Danbury Division of MRI International when Aldrich ran a recruiting desk and led multi-discipline recruiting teams in franchised operations for a national search firm. A native of Greenwich, Aldrich returned to Town over a decade ago, having raised his family in Litchfield County.  Aldrich served on the Board of the Connecticut Community Foundation and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the First Congregational Church of Watertown, Connecticut.  Aldrich holds a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences Degree from the University of Connecticut.

Michael Guido is the Managing Director, Business Development of Commonfund Group in Wilton, Connecticut, who develops outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) solutions across philanthropic organizations in the United States and Canada and serves as a Supervisory Principal responsible for compliance. Commonfund is a non-profit investment manager for endowments, foundations, healthcare, cultural, public sector and private organizations.  Guido holds a Master of Science, Financial Management, from Fairfield University, and a Bachelor of Arts, Humanities from Providence College.

Beth Krumeich practiced as a corporate attorney in several companies, including an international insurance brokerage firm, a specialty chemical company and a financial services firm.  Krumeich served on the Board of Estimate and Taxation (Greenwich Finance Board) for three terms.  During this tenure, Krumeich served on the BET Nathaniel Witherell Strategic Planning Committee and co-wrote the Report of the BET Special Committee on The Nathaniel Witherell.  Krumeich is currently a Vice President of the Board of Directors of At Home in Greenwich, a non-profit organization that supports adults who wish to age in place and remain independent.  Krumeich served as president of the League of Women Voters of Greenwich, Secretary of the Junior League of Greenwich, co-leader of a Girl Scout Troop, and co-president of the North Street School PTA.  Krumeich also served as a Trustee of the Kirkland College Board of Trustees and then as the first Kirkland alumna to serve on the Hamilton College Board of Trustees.  Holding a Juris Doctor Degree from the Columbus School of Law of the Catholic University of America, Krumeich earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Kirkland College, now Hamilton College.

Blaise Punturo is a real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty in Greenwich.  Punturo processes properties for sale by coordinating with various third parties in real estate transactions and carrying out comprehensive business analysis to establish effective plans and reports.  Punturo has a robust track record of fundraising with the Columbus Citizens Foundation (that offers scholarship opportunities for students to study in Italy) and Special Ed Connection (the online source for guidance on special education changes, including education policy and legal and implementation issues of serving students with disabilities).  Punturo holds a Bachelor of Science, with a concentration in Economics, from the State University of New York Old Westbury.

Sally Van Leeuwen served as the Volunteer Coordinator for Friends and held various volunteer positions in service to the facility over many years.  Van Leeuwen is currently running the Witherell Gift Shop for the residents.  Prior to her work with Friends, Van Leeuwen served as Director of Competitive Analysis at CBS when she would compile competitive ad sales analysis and sales budgets for the TV network sales management.  Van Leeuwen served as a Board member for the Greenwich Chaplaincy Services, co-chair of Camp Sunbeam at Christ Church Greenwich, and as a leader and Service Unit Manager of the Girl Scouts in Greenwich.  Van Leeuwen holds a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University and an Artium Baccalaureus Degree (AB) from Dartmouth College.

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