New Community Welcomes New Chief Operating Officer
New Community has gained a new member of its executive team. Fred Hunter joined the organization Oct. 1 as the Chief Operating Officer.
“I am excited at the addition of Fred Hunter to the NCC staff,” said New Community CEO Richard Rohrman. “As Chief Operating Officer, he will be supervising a number of segments of New Community’s operations that are vital to fulfilling our mission. It was not an easy pick. We had a number of great applicants, but Fred is without a doubt the right person for the job. His background in the nonprofit world is wide and he has made many important contributions to the organizations he has been affiliated with. Most important, he feels the mission and is very eager to contribute and is already busy getting to know us.”
In the role of COO, Hunter oversees a number of departments, including Environmental Services, Adult Learning Center, Extended Care, Property Management, Security, New Community Career & Technical Institute and the Department of Health and Human Services. He looks at NCC’s metrics, data and outcomes in relation to the organization’s strategic plan and operational goals.
“I think the role of the Chief Operating Officer should complement the CEO, to provide day-to-day operational supervision as well as leadership, to look at our milestones and set the pace of what our day-to-day metrics should be,” Hunter said. “Making sure we’re achieving deliverables while all the time looking at process improvement and how to improve quality.”
While the COO often takes a higher view to ensure departments are going in the right direction, Hunter said someone in that role also has to be willing to learn about and understand different jobs within the departments, even if that means working alongside an employee for a day to see what it’s like.
“Learning the process and learning the challenges that that person may have that they might live with and we never knew was a problem,” he said. “You have to be willing to roll your sleeves up and get into the weeds.”
Prior to working at New Community, Hunter served as the COO at The Arc Middlesex County, which provides people with developmental and other disabilities, and their families, with supports and services. He worked there for a little more than three years.
Hunter has had a variety of professional experiences, ranging from patient financial services, health care consulting and business management. He has worked in project management, has served as a Chief Financial Officer and has some experience in Human Resources. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and a Master of Science in Business Management.
Hunter wasn’t actively looking for work when New Community’s COO position became available.
“I pretty much dismissed every opportunity that came across my desk and told the headhunters, ‘Let me connect you with someone who can fill the role,’” he said. “But when this COO opportunity came, I thought it was a perfect match.”
While Hunter had heard of New Community, he didn’t know the extent of its offerings. But after researching the organization and its history, he wanted to get involved.
“It had such an esteemed reputation and if I can add value to such a great organization, if I can come there and be a resource there, that will feel good. And that’s what did it,” he said.
Hunter’s favorite part of his job is the ability to contribute toward the mission and goals and actually seeing the results achieved.
“Having the ability to influence actions that are going to be put in play that cause the desired effect of helping the most vulnerable people. That is the most satisfying part of the job,” he said.
He also has enjoyed serving as a nonprofit board member and mentor to staff members in the past.
While Hunter enjoys having a good time, he’s very serious when it comes to his work.
“I typically have a smile when you see me, but I’m certainly an operations person in the sense that there are action items, there are deliverables, there are due dates and there’s followup,” he said.
Employees aren’t left on their own, however. Hunter encourages them to bring him information about challenges that they can work out together.
“My job is to get people connected,” he said. “It’s holding us accountable to our deadlines and the people who are having struggles, working with them to really come to some type of an agreeable outcome.”
Hunter lives in North Brunswick, which he has called home for about 15 years, with his wife Kelly and 12-year-old son. He also has two adult daughters and an adult stepson. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and traveling. Aruba is his favorite destination.