Daily News

Claudia Pazmany Joins Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services

Claudia Pazmany

SPRINGFIELD — Following an eight-month search and interview process, Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services (MLKFS) named Claudia DeVito Pazmany as its new chief Development officer. She will be responsible for developing a sustainable institutional development effort to both support existing programs and expand them to serve the emergent needs of the organization’s clients. Pazmany had served as a volunteer member of the MLKFS development committee before being appointed to her new position.

“Claudia’s dedication to building the beloved community is evident, not only because of her volunteer service to our organization, but also based on her entire career of helping others succeed,” said Shannon Rudder, president and CEO of MLKFS. “She has a long history of social-change fund development mixed with a proven track record of rebuilding and repositioning organizations and nonprofits for success.”

Pazmany comes to MLKFS with 23 years of relationship building, strategic planning, innovative leadership, financial acumen, and visionary critical thinking, most recently serving as executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce. Her experience includes a history of professional fundraising with a career total of raising more than $15 million in a development capacity for other location organizations, including the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts and Providence Ministries. She also serves as volunteer, advisory board member, and former board president of CHD’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, a development committee member of the United Way of Franklin & Hampshire Region, and as a 2020 and 2021 EforAll Pioneer Valley mentor.

In October 2021, Pazmany received a citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives for her leadership role in supporting Amherst’s small businesses throughout COVID, leveraging more than $2 million in small-business assistance. She was honored with the Family 2022 Outreach Center’s Helen Mitchell Community Service Award for conceptualizing and implementing a program that provided restaurant relief while feeding families who were disproportionately impacted by COVID. She was also honored as a 2023 BusinessWest Difference Maker along with Amherst Business Improvement District Executive Director Gabrielle Gould for their partnership and leadership to build a stronger community throughout COVID.

“I am deeply honored to step into this inaugural role at MLKFS,” Pazmany said. “I am eager to develop relationships and engage the community to further the inspired vision of its newest president and CEO, Shannon M. Rudder, whilst connecting its rich history to a strengthened role it can play in ensuring MLKFS for our future generations.”

Pazmany earned a bachelor’s degree with concentrations in French and business from UMass Amherst, and an MBA from Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. She earned a program leadership certificate from the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts’ Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact.