Baden Street Settlelman has new executive director

Cathy Thomas

The board of directors of Baden Street Settlement announced the selection of Catherine “Cathy” Thomas as executive director.

Thomas has served the Rochester community in human services for over 35 years, working to provide basic needs for people in poverty to help them find stability, self-sufficiency, and happiness in their lives. She takes over for Ron Thomas, who served Baden Street Settlement for 30 years and will now serve as executive director emeritus.

 “We are excited to welcome Cathy into the role of executive director,” said Tyrese Bryant, board chairwoman. “Her experience, leadership, and commitment to Rochester align perfectly with our mission of helping people living in poverty in Northeast Rochester be supported so they can have a bright future. We thank Ron Thomas for his tremendous service to Baden Street and the Rochester community for 30 years. Ron is a true champion for people living in poverty and has changed people’s lives with his work and leadership.”

Thomas has worked in the human services field for over 35 years in Rochester, focused on advocacy for underserved children, youth, and families. Throughout her career, she has held various leadership roles at Hillside Family of Agencies, Catholic Family Center, Berkshire Farms Center and Services for Youth, James P. Wilmot Cancer Center and the Monroe County Detention Center. Thomas currently is the chief youth development and engagement officer at the Monroe County Youth Bureau.

“Baden Street Settlement has served Rochester for over 122 years, always adapting to the needs of the community to improve people’s lives,” Thomas said. “I am honored to take on the role of leading this esteemed organization to continue our work to make Rochester a better place to live.”

A native of Rochester and proud product of the Rochester City School District, Thomas is a Benjamin Franklin High School graduate, alumnus of Monroe Community College, where she was inducted into the Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honors Society, and SUNY Brockport, earning her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She also holds two master’s degrees in social work (Syracuse University, 2004) and Teaching in Health Education Professions (University of Rochester, 2016).

She assumes the position Monday, Oct  9.