BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The Bridgeport Regional Business Council has chosen William J. Hass, president and CEO of LifeBridge Community Services, to receive the Susan L. Davis Leadership Award.
The award is given to “an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and impact on improving the health and welfare of our region and its residents," according to a statement from LifeBridge.
The award was presented to Hass, a resident of Shelton, at BRBC’s annual dinner last week at the Bridgeport Holiday Inn. More than 200 local business people attended the event.
Over the past 30 years at LifeBridge, Hass, with 23 years as vice president and seven as president and CEO, has had a steady and influential hand in creating the complex $10 million organization that LifeBridge is today.
LifeBridge is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower people in the Greater Bridgeport area to build a brighter future.
With the hands-on experience of having been a licensed clinician himself, Hass understands the needs of both clients and staff. He has been an advocate throughout his tenure, describing mental health issues as his “passion and profession," the statement said.
As community needs evolved, he has applied that same passion and professionalism into the development and integration of LifeBridge’s other program areas — from work skills and job training, to youth development and several creative social enterprises.
Recognizing that growth and collaboration are crucial in order to navigate the evolving needs of the community and constant change in world of nonprofit funding, under Hass' leadership LifeBridge has sought opportunities to grow while keeping true to its mission, according to the statement.
This has resulted in several mergers over the years, including: Sterling Home of Bridgeport (1995); Literacy Volunteers of Southeastern Connecticut (2003); and Fairfield Counseling Services (2016). In each case, a community need was better met when organizations joined together.
Under Hass' leadership, LifeBridge is involved in numerous community impact projects: Bridgeport Prospers Strive Together, a community-wide structure to address youth school achievement and health-related outcomes; 2Gen, supporting families across generations; and current work with two local health centers and the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition on addressing issues of trauma in children.
For more about LifeBridge, visit its website .