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Community Foundation Welcomes Shannon Gurek as VP for Finance and Operations

SPRINGFIELD — The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts recently welcomed Shannon Gurek as vice president for Finance and Operations. She will provide strategic leadership in finance, information technology, operations, and risk management during a transformative period for the foundation. She was selected after a national search conducted by Lindauer, a leading executive search firm serving foundation and charity organizations. Lindauer is also leading the foundation’s search for its next president and CEO.

Gurek, who began her career in Springfield and is a life-long resident of Massachusetts, most recently served nine years as vice president for Finance and Administration and treasurer at Mount Holyoke College. While there, she also served as a member of the president’s cabinet and worked closely with the college’s trustees. In addition to overseeing the college’s operating budget, financial planning and reporting, and policies governing the stewardship of its $1 billion endowment, Gurek was responsible for key administrative areas that included human resources, facilities, risk management, and sustainability.

“We are thrilled and fortunate to be welcoming Shannon to the Community Foundation,” said Paul Murphy, trustee chair. “Her expert knowledge and experience will contribute significantly to the advancement of the foundation’s work.”

Prior to joining Mount Holyoke, Gurek was the associate treasurer and director of the budget at Amherst College, and early in her career, she was an audit supervisor at Coopers and Lybrand. A certified public accountant, she earned her MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst and her bachelor’s degree from Nichols College. She is also a member of the board of directors of Holyoke Medical Center.

“I’m humbled to be contributing to the foundation’s efforts during this important time,” Gurek said. “The important work that the foundation is doing and its clear impact on the Valley is what drew me to this position. I’m excited to begin working closely with the foundation’s leadership team and staff during a time in which the organization is experiencing great momentum and growth. I look forward to the work ahead.”

Gurek will be joining Jeffrey Markham Jr., Marty Bongfeldt, Sarah Guerin, and Ann Tweedy, all of whom recently joined the Community Foundation as staff members.

Markham began serving the foundation as program officer for Community Impact and Partnerships after 15 years in public-health research and community-based programming. His previous work was with the MOCHA (Men of Color Health Awareness) program in Springfield, where he directed its Disrupting Systemic and Structural Racism Initiative as well as its research collaboration with the UMass Amherst School of Public Health.

Bongfeldt joined the foundation as its new Donor Services associate. She brings extensive experience as an executive assistant to chief-level leadership in both corporate and nonprofit organizations. Originally from Dallas, Bongfeldt relocated to Western Mass. after her acceptance to Smith College’s Ada Comstock Scholar Program. She earned her bachelor’s degree and master of fine arts degree from Smith. She is also a playwright member of the Dramatist Guild.

Guerin joined the foundation as program assistant after serving the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts for nearly five years. She served as Executive Services assistant to the organization’s CEO and COO. She brings with her a wealth of nonprofit and youth organization experience as well as a strong background in volunteerism.

Tweedy joined the foundation as fund administration associate for Philanthropic Services. She comes to the foundation from Franklin/Hampshire County MassHire’s first upskilling navigator, in which she helped launch the first Career Technical Initiative (CTI) Commonwealth Corp.-funded Adult Vocational Education program at Franklin County Technical School in Turners Falls. She is the treasurer of a family foundation in Providence, R.I. and volunteers on several boards.

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