Behind every great organization, there is a great woman... or in the case of The Transition Network, great WOMEN!
Charlotte Frank (1935-2015)A traditional retirement had no appeal to Charlotte, whose long and successful career in government service had offered challenge, community, accomplishment and a way to do good for others. How could she continue to have an impact on the world if she had no organizational structure behind her? Essentially a risk taker and a builder, the answer was easy – create an organization providing such a platform. The challenge was to avoid bureaucracy and go for the intimacy of community. And that’s what makes TTN so appealing for those who are looking for what’s next. It offers friendship and support while encouraging its members to look for lives of purpose.
Charlotte's vision and leadership in launching The Transition Network have been recognized by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public (a 2007 Fellowship) and Civic Ventures (she was a 2006 Purpose Prize Fellow with co-founder Christine Millen).
Charlotte’s resume consists of a series of executive positions with cutting edge Federal programs. Her last position was with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey where she served as the Director of Contracting and Procurement. During her ten-year tenure, she was responsible for a contracting program of over $1 billion annually, and for re-outfitting the agency after its World Trade Center headquarters was destroyed in 1993 and again in 2001. There she was also responsible for ensuring that contractors paid competitive wages to blue collar workers and offered equal employment opportunity. Charlotte was the COO of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity under Eleanor Holmes Norton, supervising 3,000 field workers who were fighting discrimination against women, minorities and the disabled. Her other jobs involved executive positions with the U.S. Administration on Aging, the U.S War on Poverty and with various New York State and New York City agencies with strong social missions.
TTN’s Caring Collaborative owes its beginning to Charlotte’s vision. The Caring Collaborative provides members with support from other members who help each other out when “things happen” – a broken leg, a temporary illness. The program is growing and offers a variety of services. Chapters can adopt some or all of these services depending on their need in their individual areas. All of this is was because of Charlotte’s vision to create a community of women who look after and support each other.
Charlotte passed away in November, 2015. She lived in New York City. She was a graduate of the University of Minnesota and earned a Masters degree in political science from the University of Chicago. She was an active participant on the board of her cooperative apartment building. She collected contemporary folk art, was a devotee of theater and the movies, an avid reader, a traveler to remote and interesting places, and loved the company of friends.
The idea for The Transition Network came directly from Christine’s own experience when she was wondering how to move on from an exciting and challenging career in computer consulting to something different. She knew what she wanted to STOP doing but had no idea what she wanted to START doing. She realized that there must be many other women in the same situation and that by sharing our experiences we could learn from each other, bring fresh ideas to the issues, provide support for risk taking and have more fun.
Christine is a retired partner of Deloitte, the international consulting and professional services firm where she led major consulting projects for many of the firm’s largest clients in both the public and private sector. Her expertise covers the use of new technology to transform information systems and the successful implementation of change in existing organizations. She led an award-winning Community Service program in which 2,000 members of Deloitte spent the day working with over 5,000 students in 15 NYC Public Schools. Other responsibilities included participation as a founding member of the Chairman’s Task Force on the Development and Retention of Women, and National Partner responsible for the Deloitte Consulting Women’s Initiative.
For her pivotal role in launching and growing The Transition Network, Chris was recognized as a Civic Ventures Purpose Prize Fellow with co-founder Charlotte Frank in 2006.
Chris is an active member of the Boards of Signature Theatre, a New York theater dedicated to showcasing the works of a single playwright for an entire season, and the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center. She is also a member of the Advocacy Council for the Citizens’ Committee for Children.
Christine is a native of England who lives with her spouse in New York City. She has two adult children who were born and raised in Manhattan and two adult stepchildren. She is a graduate of the University of London. Her personal interests include travel, reading, theater and skiing.