HKSB News Release
December 28, 2009, New York — Thomas J. Edwards has been appointed President & Chief Executive Officer of Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB), it was announced today by Richard T. Arkwright, Chairman of HKSB’s Board of Trustees. Mr. Edwards succeeds Mr. Fred W. McPhilliamy, who is retiring from HKSB after 30 years of service. Mr. McPhilliamy’s last day is December 31, 2009.
“I want to thank Fred for his many years of service to HKSB. He was a staunch advocate and great friend of Helen Keller Services for many years,” said Mr. Arkwright. “He will be missed. We look forward to working with Tom as he takes the helm. His leadership will serve the organization well as it continues to help clients develop independence and adapt to the ever changing environment, including those in technology. Tom will guide the agency as they look for new ways to serve their clients’ needs and help them achieve their goals.”
With over 300 employees, Helen Keller Services for the Blind has offices in Brooklyn, Hempstead and Huntington and oversees the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults in Sands Point.
Mr. Edwards is a retired Senior Vice President from Verizon Communications and a Trustee of HKSB since 1993. From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Edwards served as Chairman of HKSB’s Board of Trustees. During a career that spanned 35 years, Mr. Edwards held senior management positions in Operations, Regulatory Matters, Labor Relations, Human Resources and Public Affairs at both the State and Federal Levels.
Over the years Mr. Edwards has been a strong advocate for several not-for-profit organizations. Currently, he is Chairman of the Board of the Lutheran Health Care System which encompasses Lutheran Medical Center, the Augustana Center for Rehabilitation, Shore Hill and Harbor Hill Housing, Lutheran Family Health Centers and the managed care affiliate Health Plus. Mr. Edwards also serves as a member of the Human Resources Committee for the Catholic Health Services of Long Island. He is a Trustee of Fontbonne Hall Academy, Secretary of the Fort Hamilton Citizen’s Action Committee and serves on the Advisory Board for St. Anselm’s/St. Patrick’s Catholic Schools. In 2005, then NY State Governor George Pataki appointed Mr. Edwards to the State Commission that reviews and approves applications for Power Generating Sites in New York City. In recent years Mr. Edwards has served as the Chairman for the Commission on Education for the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens as well as Chairman of the Board for the Frances Schervier Home and Hospital in the Bronx.
Over the last several years Mr. Edwards has been honored as Person of the Year by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Scout of the Year by the Boy Scouts of America, “Brooklyn’s Best” by the Brooklyn Newspaper Publications, Grand Marshall of the Purim Day Parade in Borough Park and Grand Marshall of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
Mr. Edwards received his Bachelors Degree from Fordham University, holds an MBA with Honors from Pace University and has attended the Bell Advanced Management Training Program at the University of Illinois. Mr. Edwards has also been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree from St. Joseph’s College. Mr. Edwards and his wife Ann have six children and reside in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.