Claudio Martinez, the longtime executive director of the Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF), has resigned from that position, as well as his Boston School Committee seat.
HSTF is a youth leadership organization. Yi-Chin Chen has taken over as interim executive director.
Martinez said in an email to the Gazette that he was unavailable to talk, as he was traveling, but sent the following statement:
“It was after much thought and consideration that I made the difficult decision to step down from the Hyde Square Task Force, but it was necessary in order to refocus my energy on personal matters that needed my attention.
“I am proud of everything that youth leaders, staff, board and volunteers accomplished during my 15 years as executive director of the Task Force. The work of the organization has resulted in many significant changes in Jamaica Plain and the entire city, and I feel lucky to have been a part of this process. I wish everyone at the Task Force all the best as they continue to carry out their important mission.”
Among Martinez’s accomplishments was HSTF’s purchase of the Blessed Sacrament Church. The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation and New Atlantic Development bought the Blessed Sacrament Church campus in 2005 and had planned to turn the church into condos. But HSTF jumped in at the last moment and bought the church to use for community space.
Martinez led the HSTF in securing co-developer status on the redevelopment of Jackson Square. And prior to the HSTF’s acquisition of the Blessed Sacrament Church building, he also oversaw the organization’s purchase of another building on its campus in a major expansion.
In 2005, Martinez was named a fellow of the Barr Foundation, an honor for leaders of nonprofit organizations that includes a sabbatical and technical assistance for their staff.
HSTF board member Mark Saperstein sent the Gazette a statement from the board thanking Martinez for his 15 years of “tireless service” at the organization.
“We are grateful and proud of the many positive changes that occurred during his tenure,” said the statement. “Not only did Hyde Square Task Force grow exponentially under his leadership, but also Claudio’s vision has transformed the lives of thousands of youth in our neighborhood and our city.”
Martinez was named to the School Committee by the late Mayor Thomas Menino in 2008. He was named as its vice-chair in 2013. He was on the committee during the contentious 2010 Boston Public Schools reorganization that shuttered several schools and moved others.