40 Under 40 Class of 2008

David Vermette

Age 37: Marketing Director, MassMutual Financial Services

David Vermette says adoptive parents create something called ‘forever families,’ and it’s a term he’s happy to explain.

“When you adopt a child, you’re giving that child so much potential, and also creating an important ripple effect. The child could be a future police officer, firefighter, or mayor,” he said, adding that he knows firsthand what an adoptive family can do for a child — he’s an adoptee himself. “I often think about how much different my life would have been if my parents had not adopted me and given me a loving home.”

Today, Vermette handles a number of different tasks at MassMutual Financial Services in Springfield. Overall, he provides operational support and devises various marketing and lead-generating tools for agents in the field. He said the environment at MassMutual has provided him with a number of professional options over the past 15 years, as he worked in several different capacities before assuming his current post.

But in addition to professional development, he said his employer is also one that promotes and welcomes volunteerism and charitable work. That was a huge benefit for Vermette when he created a nonprofit of his own with a coworker. The Good Morning Fund (GMF) was launched three years ago to assist families considering adoption with the sometimes-prohibitive fees associated with the process.

“So many people don’t appreciate how much these fees can be, and how many people say ‘no’ to adoption simply because of the cost. We help parents afford adoption, and by doing so, we’re helping to place as many children as we can.”

Most of the fundraisers GMF stages are family-oriented, such as family fun days, mini-golf tournaments, and tag sales.

The group will also help families identify other funding sources, such as grants, that few families realize exist, in part through its Web site, thegoodmorningfund.com.

Vermette said MassMutual also employs a number of adoptive parents, and GMF has already become a well-known organization within its walls. “The company is working with us, and helping me pay it forward,” he said. “When I look at a picture of myself as a baby, I know that, if not for my parents, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today. I know we’re helping other children find that kind of potential.”

Jaclyn Stevenson

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