Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley has appointed Kristine Burton as its new Chief Executive Officer, succeeding CEO Thomas J. Conklin, who is retiring after serving for 17 years. Ms. Burton’s appointment will become effective January 3, 2022. With more than two decades of experience in the non-profit field, Ms. Burton has been dedicated to enhancing the lives of young people who need it most. Most recently, for the past 12 years, she served as the Vice President of Madison Square Garden’s (MSG) Garden of Dreams Foundation, where she was responsible for all aspects of the multi-million-dollar non-profit charity, including all strategic, operational, fundraising and programming efforts, as well as board management and administrative matters. Kristine began her role with MSG in 2001 as manager of public relations with MSG Network. She joined the corporate area in 2003 to help direct programming for the Cheering for Children Foundation, which was transformed into the Garden of Dreams Foundation in 2006. Prior to MSG, Ms. Burton spent over seven years with Special Olympics New York. In her last role as Director of Program, she worked with children and adults with intellectual disabilities, directing year-round training and athletic programs.
“I have always been inspired by the remarkable work of Make-A-Wish and the organization’s ability to fulfill wishes for children undergoing treatment for critical illnesses. I am very honored and grateful for the opportunity to lead Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley and to join the remarkable staff and countless volunteers who participate in granting life-changing wishes every day,” Ms. Burton said.
“Kristine is very much dedicated to the Make-A-Wish mission and we are excited to see her leading the organization forward,” said Board Chair, George Whitehead. “We also would like to thank Tom Conklin for his seventeen years of extraordinary service to the local community. Through his dedication and mission-driven leadership, Tom leaves behind a strong, and empowered team, volunteers, and community partners to continue providing wishes for children with critical illnesses and their families.”
“I am honored to have served as CEO for Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley for the last sixteen years. The passion and dedication of the staff and volunteers of this organization is unparalleled and has been the cornerstone of the work done to grant more than 1,850 wishes during my tenure,” Mr. Conklin said. “With the appointment of Kristine, I retire leaving the Hudson Valley chapter in extremely capable hands. She will take our chapter to the next level of success, working with our devoted team in Tarrytown, and with countless, amazing volunteers across the region, to grow the legacy of Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley.”
Ms. Burton is a graduate of State University of New York at Geneseo and has her Sport Philanthropy Executive Certificate from George Washington University School of Business. A lifelong resident of Westchester County and a graduate of Ossining High School, Ms. Burton currently resides in Peekskill.