February 8, 2017

Inbox [Feb. 8]: Health Foundation taps committee members, Ascentria hires new CFO, Moore announces scholarship, WCAC adds director for employment initiative

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Courtesy Sen. Micheal O. Moore's office

State Sen. Mike Moore

Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

Health Foundation elects community members to committees

The board of The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts recently elected the following individuals to serve three-year terms as community members on various board committees:

Kevin Johnson

Kevin G. Johnson, CPA, supervising accountant at O’Connor, Maloney & Company, was elected to serve a first three-year term on the Audit Committee.

Alexis Travis

Judith L. Kirk, MSPE, director of community impact at Boys & Girls Club of Worcester, and Alexis D. Travis, Ph.D., CHES, chief of community health for the city of Worcester’s Division of Public Health, were elected to serve their first three-year terms on the Community Outreach Committee. Kola A. Akindele, JD, senior director, community and government relations at UMass Medical School, and Abigail R. Averbach, MSc, director, Office of Data Analytics at Commonwealth Medicine, were elected to serve their second three-year terms.

Judith Kirk

Henry L. Ferguson III, JD, was elected to serve a third three-year term on the Investment Committee.

Anthony Poti, MS, was elected to serve a second three-year term on the Nominating Committee.

The foundation was established in 1999 with the proceeds from the sale of Central Massachusetts Health Care Inc., a physician-initiated, not-for-profit HMO. The foundation has assets of approximately $65 million and has awarded grants totaling approximately $36 million.

Ascentria Care Alliance announces new CFO

Ascentria Care Alliance, one of the largest human service nonprofits in New England, announces the addition of James Coyle as chief financial officer (CFO). Coyle joined Ascentria in January and leads the organization’s financial strategy and accountability functions.


Angela Bovill, president and CEO of Ascentria said, “We have been searching for someone with the talent and drive to both ensure effectiveness of our current investments and to help us create innovative new funding solutions to drive sustainable change and achieve our mission. Jim brings extensive experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors and we are thrilled to have someone of his caliber as a member of our team.”

Ascentria programs are located throughout the region – including Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut – and include senior living facilities, teen parenting programs, as well as Services for New Americans, Language Bank, Good News Garage, adoption, foster care, disability and other services.

Before joining Ascentria, Coyle held a number of executive positions including chief financial officer/chief operating officer at MIT Technology Review, a global media company and publisher of MIT Technology Review magazine and technologyreview.com; and treasurer of MIT Enterprise Forum, a global entrepreneurial organization, which helps technology entrepreneurs better commercialize their businesses.

“I am inspired by the mission, vision and values of Ascentria Care Alliance,” explained Coyle. “They are truly an innovative organization focused on changing the landscape of how human services are delivered. I am very much looking forward to playing an active fiscal role in this transformation.”

Sen. Moore announces Thomas M. Reilly Memorial Scholarship

In honor of longtime Millbury-Sutton Chronicle columnist Tom Reilly, who passed away in January, Sen. Michael O. Moore, D-Millbury, is sponsoring a scholarship opportunity for graduating high school seniors who reside in the Second Worcester District.

Interested applicants are requested to submit an essay which discusses some of the challenges faced by residents in their community and ways that the issues can be addressed. Submissions will be evaluated based on the quality of writing and the depth of responding to the essay prompt. The scholarship will be awarded in May to one student in the amount of $500.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to honor Tom’s contributions to the community, and to celebrate his passion for writing, than to encourage the next generation of journalists and writers to share their talents,” Moore said. “I hope many local seniors will take advantage of this scholarship opportunity and I look forward to reading the submissions.”

The Second Worcester District comprises of the towns of Auburn, Grafton, Leicester, Millbury, Shrewsbury, Precincts 2 and 4 in Northbridge, Upton, and Wards 5-7 and Precincts 1 and 5 in Ward 8 of the city of Worcester.

Access to the scholarship application and additional information is available on Sen. Moore’s website

WCAC hires Wills to direct Working Cities Worcester Challenge

Worcester Community Action Council recently welcomed Jenna Wills as initiative director for the Working Cities Worcester Challenge. In this position she will establish the managerial infrastructure and other essential operations for the project’s implementation.

Jenna Wills

Funded by a three-year grant from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the initiative will convene and inspire workers, employers, government, universities, nonprofits and communities to create equitable short- and long-term employment opportunities in the local food service economy to uplift individuals and communities from poverty, with livable wages.

The initiative will provide workforce training and career paths for disadvantaged workers in cooperation with local employers. It will increase career opportunities and operational support for ethnic food vendors and retailers in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and create a learning community to ensure workforce development is a strategic priority in the local food service economy as well as a key item on the economic policy agenda for the city of Worcester.

“I am a big advocate for creative economic solutions that benefit the greater Worcester community, and I think the Working Cities Worcester Initiative can do just that,” Wills said. “I am excited to organize this effort and truly believe in the diverse group of stakeholders involved and their vision for Worcester and its residents.”

Read more about Working Cities Worcester on the WCAC website

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