40 Under 40 Class of 2020

Amanda Sbriscia

Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Holyoke Community College; Executive Director, HCC Foundation; Age 35; Education: Cedar Crest College (BA), Drexel University (MA)

Sbriscia’s many leadership roles range from overseeing a $13.4 million endowment and more than $250,000 in scholarship awards annually to supervising completion of the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute and other capital projects.

Amanda Sbriscia

Amanda Sbriscia

What did you want to be when you grew up? Katie Couric. I wanted to be the Today show anchorperson. I even attended a summer camp for electronic media when I was in high school.

What’s been your biggest professional accomplishment so far in your career? Being a small part of providing financial support to students so they can achieve their dreams of a college education. Ultimately, it’s the donor who creates life-changing opportunities. But in my professional capacity, it has been an honor to facilitate the creation of scholarships, programs, and initiatives that make such a lasting and far-reaching difference.

What do you do for fun? Take long-weekend trips with my husband, Keith. Saratoga Springs is a favorite. Also, dance in the kitchen to absolutely any song. My go-to Pandora stations include Hip Hop BBQ, Classic Rock, 90s Pop, and ABBA Radio. They rarely disappoint!

How do you relieve stress? Running will always shake off a bad day, lift a mood, and change my perspective. Also, Netflix.

What’s your favorite hangout or activity in Western Mass., and why? A run on the Norwottuck Rail Trail followed by ice cream at Flayvors of Cook Farm (or ice cream at any spot in Western Mass., really). And though outdoor running will always have my heart, so does CrossFit SVG. The sense of community it provides is extraordinary, and as a result, I’ve come to realize that every one of us is stronger than we think — physically and emotionally.

What person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why? All four of my grandparents, together. I don’t know that I fully appreciated the stories they told when I was younger. I’m blessed to still have both grandmothers, but how great it would be to have them all in the same room again.

What fictional character do you relate to most, and why? Joy from the movie Inside Out. Joy is the engine. She keeps everyone moving and happy, which I try to do. She’s optimistic but, in many ways, also the least flexible. But at least she’s got great hair.