Mercer Street Friends Board of Trustees announced the appointment of three new leaders to the Board this month. The new members are Tara Butler, Soyini Wilson, and Tonya Woodland.

Ken Blackwell, Chair of the Board, stated, “The Mercer Street Friends Board of Trustees is thrilled to welcome three outstanding leaders with deep Trenton roots to the Board. Tara, Soyini, and Tonya bring exceptional skills and insights to the table. We are delighted they are offering their time and wisdom as we strengthen the organization and move towards a bright future.”

Soyini Wilson | Photo provided by Mercer Street Friends

Soyini Wilson, Sr. Manager of Regulatory Affairs Advertising and Promotion for the medical device and pharmaceutical industries, said, “What strikes me most about the mission of Mercer Street Friends is the simplicity of it, yet the broad and meaningful impact that it has. The food bank and preschool provide healthy and nourishing food which ultimately enables optimal mental capacity. The services that are provided to the students at the community schools serve a dual purpose on an individual and family level. The mission of Mercer Street is actively applied to all of the organization’s programs and ultimately benefits so many throughout Trenton.”

Tara Butler | Photo provided by Mercer Street Friends

As the Director of Community Engagement for the Smith Family Foundation, Tara Butler said, “No child or family should have to go hungry; no parent should be faced with the decision whether to pay their mortgage or put food on the table. When philanthropic organizations invest in Mercer Street Friends, they’re not just giving money. They are helping to transform lives, cultivate relationships, and create self-healing communities.”

Tonya Woodland, Vice President, Administration for the Commonwealth Fund, noted, “As a staunch advocate of access to high quality education, I am honored to be a part of an organization that is responsible for shaping young minds and laying the foundation for our youth to be engaged citizens and future leaders.”

Tonya Woodland | Photo provided by Mercer Street Friends

Bernie Flynn, CEO of Mercer Street Friends, remarked, “As new Trustees of Mercer Street Friends, Tara, Soyini, and Tonya are helping to chart the course for the next chapter in the organization’s history. Their unique perspectives, their desire to support Mercer Street Friends and our neighbors, and their willingness to give of themselves to ensure that our mission remains strong and relevant in Trenton and throughout Mercer County is critical to Mercer Street Friends’ success. We look forward to working side by side with Tara, Soyini, and Tonya, and we thank them for joining the Board at such an important moment in time.”



As a Quaker-affiliated, nonsectarian 501(c)(3) organization, Mercer Street Friends honors the equality of all people and strives for a just, prosperous, and peaceful society for all. Mercer Street Friends mission is focused on nourishing minds and bodies; empowering families and communities. Through a variety of programs and resources, Mercer Street Friends works throughout Mercer County with a concentration in the Greater Trenton area tackling poverty and the physical and emotional trauma it creates for children, families and the community.

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