In Memory of Sylvia Ferrell-Jones (1957-2017)

After over ten years of extraordinary leadership, Sylvia Ferrell-Jones retired from YW Boston on September 14, 2017 and passed away on November 29, 2017.  During her time as President and CEO of YW Boston, Sylvia worked tirelessly to eliminate racism and empower women in Boston and beyond.

To honor her extraordinary contributions and continue to build upon her work, YW Boston set up a fund in her name.  The Sylvia Ferrell-Jones Fund honors the legacy of this visionary leader’s decade of passion and commitment as YW Boston’s President and CEO. The funds directly support YW Boston’s work to eliminate racism and empower women, and promotes peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

In October 2017, Sylvia wrote a letter to the YW Boston community, stating that “When I heard the news that the Sylvia Ferrell-Jones Fund had been created to support the work of YW Boston, it brought me a great sense of peace knowing that this fund will help this important organization continue to grow and impact the lives of future generations.” Through this fund, YW Boston continues the important work that Sylvia spear-headed during her tenure as President and CEO. To make a donation to the Sylvia Ferrell-Jones fund, please click here.

Thank you for helping us honor Sylvia and for supporting the mission she so passionately championed.

Sylvia Ferrell-Jones, Former
President & Chief Executive Officer 

Sylvia Ferrell-Jones joined YW Boston in late January 2007, after 25 years in the fields of real-estate investment management and non-profit governance and executive leadership. At YW Boston, she shepherded a dramatic shift in the organization’s focus, leading towards greater financial stability and enhanced programmatic outcomes. 

For twenty years, Sylvia focused on management of real-estate based assets, serving as a director at AEW Capital Management, headquartered in Boston, and as a principal investment officer with the state of Connecticut Trust Funds, with portfolios ranging up to $2 billion. Subsequently, Sylvia served as Director of Agency Development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, where she provided governance, management and fundraising consultations to a $26 million not-for-profit affiliate portfolio. 

Sylvia earned her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and her juris doctor from Yale Law School. She held leadership roles with numerous community and professional organizations, including local, regional and national real estate organizations; the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ; Big Brothers Big Sisters of America; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay; LeadBoston; and The Partnership.  

At the time of her passing, Sylvia served on the board of directors for United Church Funds; Andover Newton Theological School; and the Wellesley Centers for Women, and sits on an advisory board for Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network, and the corporate advisory board for Women of ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting).