NECAT Founder Maarten Hemsley visits Manchester Bidwell in Pittsburgh and meets social entrepreneur Bill Strickland, who inspires Maarten to open a Center in Boston replicating the programs that have been running in Pittsburgh since 1968. A preliminary business plan is created, and connections are developed with potential funders and program partners.
NECAT is formed as a nonprofit corporation, and receives 501c3 approval from the IRS. Bill Pankey joins as a consultant and helps develop widespread community and political support. The Boston Foundation agrees to match the Hemsley family in funding a feasibility study. NECAT signs a Memorandum of Understanding with international foodservice company Sodexo as its culinary programming launch partner.