As one of the most recognizable financial institutions in the country, Bank of America making a loan isn’t exactly novel. However, what BofA is lending to Liberty Science Center is perhaps unexpected: its talent.
Bank of America said it would provide the Jersey City-based interactive science museum and learning center with a senior technology leader for 12 months as part of its Leader on Loan program. West Windsor-native Pragna Mehta, BofA’s TechStart Pathways program manager, will serve as LSC’s full-time, interim data and analytics strategist.
Over the past 10 years, LSC has grown rapidly, expanding its footprint (an ongoing effort with its developing SciTech Scity) and reaching nearly 1 million visitors each year, according to the announcement from BofA. To meet the “exciting strategic and operational challenges” that presents, Mehta will work with an internal team at LSC to implement workflows designed to consolidate data management tools. Additionally, she will assist the nonprofit with suggestions for how to prioritize projects, create useful dashboards and metric-driven trackers, and build budget-based solutions that cover the center’s entire portfolio and work, BofA said.
In a statement, Liberty Science Center President and CEO Paul Hoffman said LSC was grateful for how BofA has embraced its mission.
“My background in technology, data analysis, and project management gives me the opportunity to use my entire toolbox of knowledge and skills to help Liberty Science Center create meaningful long-term solutions and achieve organizational goals.
“I am thrilled to be part of the LSC team for the next 12 months and looking forward to gaining tremendous insights into this inspiring nonprofit and the communities it serves.”
— Pragna Mehta
“From preparing high school students for modern STEM careers through our High Schools of the Future initiative to our work together on LSC’s SciTech Scity expansion designed to turn leading-edge business ideas into a reality that makes the world a better place, our collaboration has been both long and impactful,” he said. “We’re thrilled to welcome Pragna to our team through BofA’s Leader on Loan program and know her focus on business tactic analysis and reporting will propel us forward in our next phase of growth.”
Launched in 2017, the nationwide Leader on Loan program sends executives to nonprofit organizations for an average of 12 months as way for BofA to bring additional resources to local communities and help to drive responsible growth, according to the bank. During that time, Bank of America covers the employee’s salary and benefits.
Mehta’s appointment marks the first time a New Jersey-based organization has received a senior technology leader through the Leader on Loan program, BofA told NJBIZ. Her term with LSC began the first week of March.
“By partnering with Liberty Science Center, Bank of America is committing to the growth, development and success of LSC programs that will inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators,” said BofA Market President Alberto Garofalo in a statement. “As one of New Jersey’s most popular learning centers, the bank understands the importance of STEM and we are confident that Pragna’s expertise will make a positive impact within the organization for years to come.”