John J. Phelan Jr., chairman of Catholic Charities Board of Trustees and former chair of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), died Aug. 4 in New York. He was 81.
Mr. Phelan led the Exchange through the October 1987 stock crash and was lauded for his cool leadership during that crisis. He joined the Catholic Charities board in 1985 and was appointed chair in 2002.
“Mr. Phelan brought insight, integrity and compassion to his role as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities,” said Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities. “His commitment of time and energy was genuinely appreciated by his fellow trustees and those of us who worked at Catholic Charities.
“He understood well the complementary roles of governance and management in an effective nonprofit organization. Catholic Charities’ strength today and its growth over the past decade are directly attributable to John Phelan’s leadership. New Yorkers of all religions who are in need owe a tremendous debt to his efforts.”