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Community Foundation Announces Four New Hires

SPRINGFIELD — The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) announced the appointments of Briana Wales as vice president for People and Culture, Emma Mesa-Melendez as director of Communications, Keith McKittrick as Development coordinator, and Ullapi Shrestha as program assistant. These appointments are the latest example of CFWM’s ongoing commitment to expand its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts internally and within the nonprofit sector.

In her new role, Wales will focus on a wide scope of DEI initiatives to guide both the foundation’s external and internal DEI work, training, and development of best practices. She has an extensive career in workforce development for youth and adults and has provided leadership in both nonprofit and quasi-public settings. In her efforts to serve communities, she has fostered partnerships and programming to increase equity and access for underrepresented or marginalized groups. She received her bachelor’s degree in social justice education from UMass Amherst and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mount Holyoke College.

Mesa-Melendez will be responsible for CFWM’s communications strategy and will assist with DEI initiatives. In recent work, she has consulted in marketing and graphic design, and previously served as vice president for Community Relations, Human Resources, and Marketing Management for New Valley Bank & Trust. She received her MBA from Southern New Hampshire University and her bachelor’s degree in critical social thought from Mount Holyoke College. She has worked with several nonprofits as both a board member and volunteer, including the Minority Inclusion Project, Farmington Valley YMCA, Vet Air, and the Performance Project.

McKittrick comes to the foundation with 25 years of experience in philanthropy. He has held positions at UMass Amherst, Western New England University, and Holyoke Community College, where he has worked with donors to establish scholarships and fundraise for educational initiatives. He received his master’s degree in public administration from Framingham State University and his bachelor’s degree in political science from Westfield State University.

Shrestha has worked as an interpreter at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and as an intern at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. She has volunteered with the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. She received her master’s degree in management from Saint Joseph College and her bachelor’s degree in business marketing from the Institute of Technology in Carlow, Ireland.

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