Duty calls for Jeffrey Chin, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/MetroWest.
The U.S. Navy Reservist has been called to serve in Afghanistan for eight months beginning in April, he announced in an email last month.
“As a reservist, it is always ‘part of the deal’ that there will be a chance that you will be called up to active duty for a particular mission or need,” Chin wrote in an email announcing his call to duty.
Chin’s last day with the organization will be April 5, and he ships out April 8.
After his eight-month deployment, Chin intends to return to his post leading Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Chin and the Worcester nonprofit’s leadership team are discussing a transition plan to keep the organization running during his absence, including hiring an interim executive director to be on site two or three days a week.
Terms with an unnamed individual are currently being finalized, but Chin said the individual has extensive experience managing a nonprofit organization and experience in child welfare work.
According to Chin, the interim director will be responsible for specific projects, including executing the budget and ensuring the integration of the organization’s Mazie Mentoring Program team members and organization, which was acquired in July.
A history of service
Chin, a reservist since 2011, said he joined the reserves as a public affairs officer because of his family’s military history. His grandfather served in World War II and the Korean War, so service and patriotism was always instilled in his large family.
Chin, the oldest of 40 grandchildren, said his grandfather’s service helped teach them about what it meant to live in the United States.
“I really admired his service,” he said during a phone interview with the WBJ a week before his deployment.
In his time as a reservist, Chin has fulfilled his obligation with two-to-three-week assignments, usually in the summer months to avoid disruption, as the organization typically slows down programming in the summer.
This deployment to Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital and largest city, will be his longest yet.
The organization shouldn’t miss a beat and the interim director may not even work full time thanks to the solid leadership in place, Chin said.
“I’m very encouraged and hopeful that the agency will continue to flourish,” he said. “We have a great plan in place, and I very much look forward to my return.”