Sadly, we report that our dear friend and colleague Mike Reilly passed away recently after experiencing complications from ALS.
Mike was an ardent New Ways supporter and advocate, serving on the Board of Directors as Treasurer for over twenty years. As a member of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, he helped us envision and launch the Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps over ten years ago in partnership with the county water agency and workforce board. It is still in operation and has provided over 1,500 employment opportunities to disadvantaged youth since its inception, inspiring many to pursue careers in environmental or conservation stewardship. The program now offers an extended Career Pathway option for older, disconnected youth, addressing two of Mike’s passions throughout his career in public service, protecting the environment and preparing youth for the future. Prior to his service on the Board of Supervisors, Mike directed West County Community Services, and partnered with New Ways on a number of initiatives, including New Ways Workers and Work Plus, always with a smile, a new idea and the deep commitment to ensure the initiative’s success.
For most of the past 30 years, he has always been there for me personally as well as for New Ways. He never missed a meeting, call or event, connected us to people here in the county and with the state, and helped keep us true to our mission and focussed on the future. We will miss his quick wit, deep sense of purpose and thoughtful perspective.
Mike was truly a great man and even a greater friend.
Our thoughts go out to his family.
Adios y Vaya Con Dios Miguel………