Fresh Start Pallet Products Names Jenna B. Columbus as President and CEO
The Board of Directors of Fresh Start Pallet Products is pleased to announce Jenna B. Columbus as their next President and CEO. Columbus will assume leadership of the organization effective July 1, 2023 from Board Member Vice Chair Rich Carman who served in that role since 2018.
Columbus attended Asnuntuck Community College and the University of Connecticut and joins Fresh Start Pallet Products after a 15 year career with AT&T, most recently as a Lead Marketing Manager in the Global Business and Healthcare sector. Jenna has supported various nonprofits during her time through employee culture groups at AT&T and led the New England Chapter of Oxygen, a volunteer group devoted to career development.
"I am honored and humbled to join Fresh Start Pallet Products as its new President and CEO”, says Columbus. “I look forward to building upon its legacy to expand its business model and services to reach more members of the community. I am grateful to the board of directors for this opportunity to work and move our organization forward together."
Fresh Start Pallet Products Board Chair, Warren Boley, stated, “We recognized Jenna’s talent, commitment, and inclusive approach to our work and mission. Together with our Board, Community Partners, and our Richard P. Garmany Fresh Start Academy program participants, we look forward to expanding our work and impact under Jenna’s leadership.” Boley added, “We are grateful to Rich Carman who served as CEO and President for five years. His leadership and unwavering commitment to the organization was and will continue to be a significant reason for our success.”
Fresh Start Pallet Products, established eight years ago, “Builds Furniture and Rebuilds Lives” is dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated individuals, those recovering from addiction, refugees and those looking to rebuild their lives through on the job training. Using reclaimed and repurposed wood, Fresh Start Pallet Products has built and installed custom furniture for homes, offices, restaurants, and community gardens throughout the Greater Hartford area.
The Richard P. Garmany Fresh Start Academy, founded in 2021, trains students in woodworking, carpentry, sheet-rocking and other related skills through an intensive eight-week program. Conducted at the Fresh Start Pallet Products workshop, 44 individuals received hands-on training and have successfully graduated, with many gaining employment with their newly acquired skills.