40 Under 40 The Class of 2010

Lindsay Porter

Age 28: Leadership and Development Specialist, Big Y Foods

Lindsay Porter says the new title on her business card reveals quite a bit more about what she does than her old one.

‘Leadership and development specialist’ has replaced ‘employment specialist,’ she said, in a move that is part of a restructuring at Big Y Foods, but also an attempt to better explain Porter’s role — both within the company and also with some of its programs in the community.

Porter handles recruiting and hiring duties for Big Y, as well as other employment responsibilities, but she also coordinates leadership and development programs for store managers.

Meanwhile, Porter is heavily involved with the Springfield Work Scholarship Connection program as one of the company’s management representatives. The initiative helps 40 selected students at Sci-Tech High School in Springfield stay in school and graduate by having youth advocates work with them at school, home, and work. Participants are then eligible for hire by Big Y upon graduation if certain criteria are met.

“We work with the students to help build self-esteem and develop the skills and values needed to get and keep a job; it’s in everyone’s best interest that we do something to help students graduate,” she said, adding that it is Big Y’s desire to expand the program to other schools and communities.

In addition to her duties with Springfield Work Scholarship Connection, Porter gives back to the community in a number of other ways. She’s on the board of the Human Resource Management Assoc. of Western New England, and also on the senior HR roundtable with the Economic Development Council of Western Mass., the youth council of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, the Business Advisory Council of Community Enterprises, and the Mass.

Rehabilitation Commission Business Advisory Council, among others. She’s also on the membership and arts committees of the Young Professional Society of Western Mass. and the Women’s Leadership Network of Western Mass., which has, as its mission, the advancement of women of all ages and ability.

Considering all this, Porter’s new title fits her perfectly.

—George O’Brien