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CHRIS CHRISTIE, JEANNE MELINO JOIN METS BOARD OF DIRECTORS BY RICH COUTINHO MET BEAT REPORTER @ NY EXTRA.COM

The Mets announced on Friday that former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was named to the Mets Board of Directors along with Jeanne Melino. They will join Owner Steve Cohen, former owner Fred Wilpon and Mets Vice Chairman Andrew Cohen on the board.

Christie, a lifelong Met fan who was regularly seen at CitiField was elated on the appointment when he said, “I am honored to be named to the Mets Board of Directors as Steve and his wife Alex Cohen have been great friends to me and Mary Pat for years. We thank them for including me in this new challenge and opportunity.”

He went on to say, “As a Met fan for the last 54 years I am looking forward to helping Steve, Alex ,and the New York Mets organization bring a great experience to Met fans and the community.”

Jeanne Melino will be joining the team in the role Senior Vice President Of the Mets Foundation but will also be very involved in community engagement and the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for the team.

Cohen was elated with both hires as he said, “Chris and Jeanne are friends and trusted advisers with decades of leadership experience and I look forward to working with both of them.”

We all know Christie very well but I believe the Melino hire is an awesome move as well. Both our world and the baseball industry is in desperate need of qualified women who can be put in positions of senior leadership. Diversity can only be achieved by creating it in the top levels of baseball teams and that is why I think this is a great addition to the organization, She has the role of chief inclusion and engagement officer at Cohen’s Point 72 Hedge Fund, and her experience will be invaluable as the concepts of diversity and inclusion have become front and center in the past few months.

I am sure she will be heavily involved in the hiring protocol of the team as well as making sure every employee has access to her to discuss the issues that may have been hidden or ignored for the past few years. It is imperative that EVERY organization has a person in this role empowered to research issues, conduct investigations and whose presence makes allegations looked at from every conceivable angle.

When you see what is going on in Governor Cuomo’s office you can readily understand that hiding issues in a closet benefits nobody except the offenders and having a centralized decision maker can alleviate those issues and never make victims feel like their voices are not heard. I can tell you I worked at companies where that fear existed and it just made the offenders more brazen feeling they had immunity while making the victims feel unheard and whose only choice was to leave the company and in some cases the industry.

Christie is the name that will get the headlines but the Melino hire is a stroke of genius from Steve Cohen as she will have a profound impact on the organization.

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