Iris A. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Opportunity Commission (EOC) of Nassau County, Inc., leads the organization in its mission to help families reach their goals of health and self-reliance. She is the first African-American woman to hold the title of Chief Executive Officer at the EOC, Nassau County’s largest minority employer located in the village of Hempstead. Ms. Johnson oversees a budget of $16 million dollars with proficiency in the areas of program development and implementation.
Ms. Johnson’s career at the EOC spans 34 years in positions of increasing responsibility. She has earned numerous certificates in non-profit management and received a Master of Human Services (MHS) Degree from Lincoln University.
Ms. Johnson’s extraordinary sense of life motivates her to continuously soar to new heights and open doors for others. She is the first credentialed African-American Family Development Program Trainer and Field Advisor of Long Island, completing training through Cornell University. Under Ms. Johnson’s leadership training, thirty-five (35) senior employees from the EOC subsequently became credentialed Family Development Specialists, through Cornell University. Through Ms. Johnson’s visionary solutions, the Family Development philosophy was adopted by the EOC and has become the standard by which empathetic and skilled EOC family development workers build respectful relationships and offer specialized services appropriate to each person’s needs. Ms. Johnson has served for eight years as the Long Island Regional Coordinator of the New York State Family Development Association.
Ms. Johnson is highly recognized for strong problem resolution and negotiation skills, and confidence in making on-the-spot decisions. She has the ability to formulate a powerful team-building approach to direct, develop and motivate associates to be the best they can be. She believes in doing things right the first time around because “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
An advocate for all people, Ms. Johnson assists individuals in cultivating the basic principles of perseverance and personal responsibility to foster health, personal, educational, and professional development. Ms. Johnson has served as foster parent and currently mentors several adults; organized and participated in several local anti-drug demonstrations; and assists individuals and families in crisis, most recently helping fire victims from Hempstead and displaced families affected by Hurricanes Hugo, Ivan, Katrina, and Sandy.
An accomplished workshop presenter and keynote speaker, Ms Johnson has received numerous awards. Her most recent accomplishments include: Soroptimist International of Nassau County-Making a Difference for Women Award; Town of Hempstead Women’s History Month Pathfinder Award; Sisters in the Struggle Award, Recognition by the NYS Head Start Association for Monumental Achievement and Outstanding Contribution, NAACP Freeport/Roosevelt Community Advocate Award, the NY Metropolitan Chapter of Alabama State University Award, the Lakeview NAACP Community Service Award, and the Iris A. Johnson Scholarship set up by The Family Development Association of NYS has named the Iris A. Johnson Scholarship in her honor. In January 2014, Ms. Johnson received the Operation Get Ahead Gerard Burnett, Jr., Award for her work as a Community Advocate. In February 2014, Ms. Johnson was honored by the Freeport/Roosevelt branch of the NAACP during their Annual Black History Month luncheon.
Ms. Johnson is affiliated with various Boards and organizations including, the New York State Community Service Block Grant Advisory Council, Town of Hempstead Workforce Investment Board of Directors, Nassau County Minority Affairs Council, Nassau County Minority Health Task Force, Minority Community Policy Action Network, Nassau County Health and Welfare Council, New York State Family Development Association, New York State Head Start Friends Association, New York State Community Action Association, National Community Action Partnership (NYSCA), the Hempstead NAACP, the Roosevelt/Freeport NAACP, and the Lakeview NAACP.
Ms. Johnson has distinguished herself through leadership and active participation in work responsibilities, community involvement, church related activities and family commitment.