Since joining the board of directors of Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island seven years ago, Harold “Skip” Burns—now board chair—has worked with fellow board members to move the agency forward and serve as public advocates for the seniors we serve.
A retired engineer, Burns is well known for his thoughtful leadership style that those who have worked with him say inspires others to work collaboratively in order to achieve results that benefit everyone involved.
Burns is also a member of the board of trustees of William M. Davies Jr. Career and Tech.
What interested you in serving on the agency’s board?
Burns: I watched my mother’s determination to stay in her own home as she aged. Many seniors want to remain living in their own homes, but have difficulty doing so because of health issues, because they don’t live close enough to have family caregiving help or because they fear they won’t be looked after. Meals on Wheels of RI provides services that help those seniors stay healthy—with daily-delivered meals—and that eliminate the fear isolation can bring by giving our clients a daily check-in with a trained volunteer.
What is the most rewarding part of your work with Meals on Wheels of RI?
Burns: Working with the agency leadership, all the staff and my fellow board members to solve challenges and find ways to serve more seniors who need our services.
What are three things you enjoy doing in your free time?
Burns: I’m an avid traveler. I also spend a great deal of time on home improvement projects and I love to read.