Alumni Hall of Fame - Joseph L. Searles, Jr.

Joseph L. Searles, Jr., ‘89
Vice President and Chief Community Engagement Officer, Trillium Health
Nominated by Gladys Pedraza-Burgos ’91

“I am humbled, honored and excited about the potential of being viewed in this light. If I can be a beacon of hope or inspiration for other young people of color, then I am happy to be that.”

From his early years, Joseph Searles, Jr. knew he had a calling to a career in community service, specifically in working toward empowering historically marginalized communities. He earned his associate degree at Monroe Community College and went on to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in organizational management from Roberts Wesleyan College—the perfect background to become what he calls a “servant leader,” working to engage the community on behalf of his employers.

Joseph’s resumé as a community engagement and diversity equity and inclusion professional reflects this leadership: He currently serves as vice president and chief community engagement officer at Trillium Health, executing community engagement and inclusion strategies to support the company’s mission of improving health throughout the community.

His current position is the culmination of decades of leadership in the healthcare field. Through the implementation of diversity and inclusion corporate training programs, the cultivation of employee resource groups, and other actions, his work has enhanced organizational cultures as well as improved public reputations for diversity and inclusion. He also has championed the cause to recognize women in professional positions, leading to coworkers being awarded both local and national recognition.

Joseph also brings his passion for service to community organizations and is currently serving on the boards of the Avangrid Foundation, Community Technology Advisory Assessment Board, Ibero American Action League and the Urban League of Rochester.

“I have a particular passion and focus to empower and improve lives of individuals from underrepresented and disadvantaged communities,” he said. “I collaborate with community-based organizations that primarily aim to address inequality, racism, poverty, education, employment, housing, nutrition, and other social determinants of health.”