On January 26, 2021 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & MetroWest (BBBSCM) hosted its Annual Meeting in a virtual format. Over 60 supporters of the agency attended the meeting in which eight (8) new board members were elected.
Jeffrey Chin, Chief Executive Officer of BBBSCM, welcomed attendees and made remarks about how the agency persevered through the challenging year and will continue to serve its matches in each of its various mentoring programs, including the Community Mentoring Program, Corporate Programs, Worcester Area College Mentoring Program, Mentoring Youth in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (MYSTEAM), and Mazie Mentoring Programs.
“The 2021 Annual Meeting was an opportunity for our organization to review with our supporters and stakeholders the status of our agency and our programs. It was also a wonderful opportunity to celebrate some of the tremendous accomplishments from a wide variety of volunteers who help advance our mission, through the annual H. Martin Deranian Award, the Colleen O’Brien Memorial Award, and the Linda Urbec Awards,” said Chin.
Additionally, newly elected Board Chair, Jack Hoehlein, of Morgan Stanley, introduced the 8 new board members who were elected at the meeting. Brief profiles of each new board member are provided below:
Karen Donovan Bean – Karen Donovan Bean is an experienced Marketing and Development professional. Karen has been a friend of the agency for 8 years, first as an employee and then as a volunteer. In recent years, she has led the efforts for many successful auctions at the agency’s largest fundraising event, The Big Celebration.
Dave Cole – Dave Cole is the President of Arthur Cole Painting Corporation, a commercial painting contractor located in Worcester, MA. Dave has been involved with BBBS since 1995, first as a Big, then on the Board of Corporators, and eventually Board Chair. He recently became involved again in 2020 as Co-Chair of the newly formed Board of Advocates, a re-invigorated version of the Board of Corporators. He looks forward to fostering the relationship between the Board of Directors and Board of Advocates.
Jay Goldfarb – Jay Goldfarb is the Founder and Managing Director at Fortis Management Group, LLC. Jay has been a long-time volunteer and Board of Director for the Mazie Mentoring Program which merged with BBBSCM in 2017. Jay will continue to be involved in the Mazie Mentoring Program but is also looking forward to contributing to all aspects of the agency’s mentoring programs.
Kait MacKenzie – Kait MacKenzie is the Vice President of Global Sales Operations at Brightcove, a Boston based software company that produces an online video platform. Kait first became involved with BBBSCM as a volunteer mentor. Kait has been a Big to her Little for 13 years. Her Little is now a Junior in college. Kait looks forward to applying her work experience coupled with her experience as a Big Sister to the board.
Biju Muduli – Biju Muduli is the VP of Global Demand Generation & Field Marketing at Brightcove, a Boston based software company that produces an online video platform. Biju is looking forward to contributing toward the agency’s strategic goals around marketing.
David Podell – David Podell is the President of MassBay Community College in Framingham, MA. Apart from being a college President, Mr. Podell is also a child psychologist which will bring an important perspective to the board.
Suzanne Sontgerath – Suzanne Sontgerath is the Director of Pre-Collegiate Outreach Programs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She has recently become involved with BBBS as a member of the MYSTEAM Program (STEAM education programming) and Marketing Committees. Suzanne looks forward to lending her experience in STEM outreach.
Mayor Yvonne. M. Spicer – Yvonne M. Spicer is the Mayor of Framingham, MA. Mayor Spicer was previously the Vice President for Advocacy and Educational Partnerships at Boston’s Museum of Science. Mayor Spicer was known for building partnerships in STEM education with policymakers, school districts, businesses, and other organizations. Starting her career as a teacher, she has a passion for working with youth and looks forward to bring her experience to the board.
The Board of Directors of the agency also elected its officers for the coming year, appointing the following members as members of the Executive Committee:
Boar Chair: Jack Hoehlein (Morgan Stanley, resident of Framingham)
Vice Chair: Lynette Paczkowski (Bowditch & Dewey, resident of Worcester)
Treasurer: Todd Tallman (Cornerstone Bank, resident of Ashland)
Clerk / Secretary: Ahmad Lightfoot (The TJX Companies, resident of Waltham)
Immediate Past Chair: Margaret Sullivan (Avidia Bank, resident of Hudson)
After the slate of new board members were introduced, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & MetroWest honored several volunteers who have made an impact on the organization through their service to the mission with the annual awards presentation.
First, The Linda Urbec Award, which recognizes the college match of the year. The award is named for Linda Urbec, a 17-year BBBSCM employee who dedicated her career to supporting youth in the Worcester public schools and working with college mentors from the College of the Holy Cross. Ms. Urbec retired in 2017. This year, the award was presented to Caitlin Keaveny, a Holy Cross Senior, and her Little, Diasanti. Despite facing challenges due to the pandemic, Caitlin and Diasanti remained connected and continued to foster their mentoring relationship.
The Dr. H. Martin Deranian Fellowship Award recognizes the Big Brother/Sister of the year. It is named in memory of Dr. H. Martin Deranian, who first volunteered as a Big in 1965. In 2016, Dr. Deranian and his Little celebrated the 50th anniversary of their mentoring relationship. This year, the award was presented to Eric Jenkins and his Little, Jeremy. Eric and Jeremy have been matched for 6 years and Eric has been a Board Member since 2019.
The Colleen O’Brien Memorial Award is given to a member of the organization who has demonstrated exemplary dedication and service to the agency in a variety of roles. This award is named in honor of Colleen O’Brien, a past member of the Board of Directors who passed away tragically, but whose example inspired others to go above and beyond in their call to service. This year, the award was presented to Jim Johnston for his years of service as a Board Member and Treasurer. Mr. Johnston is stepping off the board in 2021 after helping the organization navigate the uncertainties associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.