Chris Watson Wins NAFI New York Spirit of Community

December 17, 2019

Christopher Watson, the Business Manager for NAFI New York, received the 2019 Spirit of the Community award for New York at the North American Family Institute’s recent annual conference.

Executive Director, Lynn Bishop, presents Chris Watson with the Spirit of Community Award.

In giving out the annual awards, attributes of winners were described before their names where revealed.

“This individual is a real team player. He/she comes to work with a great attitude and willingness to pitch in. Helping out colleagues, foster parents and anyone who comes through the door comes natural to them,” said the award testimonial prepared by Don Wiede, Director of Contracts for NAFI New York.

“He/she is a regular at NAFI events, lending a hand from setup to shut down, all while balancing his/her regular responsibilities. Often the first one in, he/she may also be the last one out. Saying “no” is an option he/she rarely applies,” the testimonial said. “From cars to copiers to computers and supplies he/she will help with whatever the current challenge might be.”

The award was presented by Lynn Bishop, Executive Director of NAFI CT, who also oversees the NAFI operations in New York and Rhode Island.

“It’s always nice to be recognized for your contributions,” said Chris Watson, who has been with NAFI for five-and-a-half years but had no idea he was getting an award at the conference. “The spirit that’s here just makes it easy to contribute and help the system in any way that makes everybody’s job a little easier.”

The North American Family Institute (NAFI/NFI) annual conference, 45 Years! Shaping Our Future – Empowered By Our Past, was held in late October at the DoubleTree by Hilton Boston North Shore in Danvers, Mass. Staff from Maine to Florida attended.

“I can say with confidence that NAFI/NFI at forty-five years old is as vibrant and mission-driven as it ever has been,” Dr. Yitzhak Bakal, President of NAFI/NFI, said in a message following the conference. “Your warm and enthusiastic participation makes our gathering joyful and memorable. I feel proud and energized by our reunion and I hope that you are carrying back with you a renewed sense of commitment to our noble mission.”

Founded in 1974, NAFI/NFI is a private, nonprofit human services agency serving eight states with community-based care for children, youth and adults with mental health and/or behavioral issues. Programming and services are designed around the Normative Community Approach, which emphasizes the ability of all people to achieve positive change when they are members of a community united in mission and purpose.

NAFI New York, established in 2005 with the ground-breaking Westchester Wraparound program, is a leader in community-based and therapeutic foster care programming for youth and families across New York state.

A multi-service agency with a mission of creating diverse and innovative services for people, NAFI New York provides programming, consultation and individualized support services to youth and families in a variety of community-based settings. Therapeutic foster care, wraparound services and the highly regarded evidence-based model Parenting with Love and Limits are the broad scope divisions which make up NAFI NY.

To learn more about NAFI New York, see the website at or call 914-355-7442.