Meet the Judges for 40 Under Forty 2016
Editor’s Note: Again this year, five individuals have been chosen to score the nominations submitted for the 40 Under Forty Class of 2016. In keeping with past practice, BusinessWest has chosen two former winners to be part of this panel — in this case, members of the classes of 2012 and 2015. In addition, BusinessWest has sought out individuals with experience in business and entrepreneurship. This year’s judges are:
Elizabeth Barajas-Román is currently CEO of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, a public foundation that funds gender-based programs and operates a leadership program that trains women to run for public office. She has been a leader in progressive movements including advocating at the national level for the health and rights of immigrant women and their families.
Most recently, she was a manager at the Pew Charitable Trusts, where she directed a portfolio of partners that campaigned for state and federal policy change to improve government performance. Previously, as the Director of Policy at National Latina Institute, she directed the organization’s Washington, D.C.-based office, where she was instrumental in expanding the visibility of the organization on the national stage. She was frequently invited to be a voice in national policy discussions in the media, at the White House, on Capitol Hill, and in target states.
In addition, her leadership has been recognized nationally with a Center for Progressive Leadership Executive Fellowship, an appointment to the American Public Health Assoc. Committee on Women’s Rights, and as a current member of the Assoc. of Public Television Stations Leadership Council. Locally, she is on the WGBY Public Television Board of Tribunes, a member of the steering committee for New England Women’s Policy Initiative, and a member of the External Advisory Board for the University of Massachusetts-Boston Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy. She also serves on the Massachusetts Economic Empowerment Trust Fund Board and the statewide Committee on Wage Equality.
Barajas Román was honored as a member of BusinessWest’s 40 under 40 class of 2015. She is a certified project manager professional, a graduate of Oberlin College, and received her master’s degree in international policy from Harvard University.
Ben Craft is the director of Public Affairs for Baystate Health. He grew up in East Longmeadow and graduated from UMass Amherst in 1996. He spent his early career in New York, where he worked as an editor at the Wall Street Journal and two years at the United Nations, specializing in environmental issues in human development. He joined Baystate Health in 2008.
At Baystate, Craft leads a team of seven in maintaining informative and constructive dialogue with the media and the community, sharing the stories of Baystate’s caregivers and the fulfillment of its mission, and building community relationships to improve health.
He is a graduate of the Springfield Leadership Institute, a member of BusinessWest’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2012, and vice president of the board of the Longmeadow Historical Society. He also coaches youth soccer and basketball and is the father of Emma, 8, and Teddy, 3.
Daniel Flynn is executive vice president and COO of the Wholesale Banking Division at United Bank. In that capacity, he has oversight of the bank’s Greater Springfield commercial-banking operations, development of the bank’s business-loan center, cash-management enhancements, implementation of a new commercial-loan operating system, and incentive planning and administration.
Overall, Flynn has more than 33 years of commercial-banking experience. Prior to his arrival at United Bank, he held a number of positions at People’s United Bank (formerly Bank of Western Mass.) and, prior to that, worked at the First National Bank of Boston and Nations Bank.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in business at Rollins College and his MBA at the E. Crummer Graduate School of Business. He is heavily involved in the community, serving on the board of the YMCA of Greater Springfield and as a member of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts. Previously, he served on the board of the Ronald McDonald House of Springfield, the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, and the South End Community Center.
An avid runner — Flynn has completed four marathons — he is married to Patricia Flynn, and has three children, Kathryn, Robert, and Elisabeth.
Michael Matty, CFA, CFP
A leading investment manager with decades of responsibilities for billions of dollars in equity investments, Michael Matty, president of St. Germain Investment Management, has more than 20 years of investment and wealth-management experience.
Before coming to St. Germain, he was vice president of Investments at Phoenix Investment Counsel, a subsidiary of Phoenix Home Life, as well as a principal at Capital Reflections Inc., an independent firm supplying investment research and stock recommendations to institutional investors and mutual-fund managers.
In his current tenure at St. Germain, Matty has served as executive vice president and chief investment officer, and still oversees investment policy and stock selection for well over $950 million in assets under management. In addition to his responsibilities at the trading desk, he plays a lead role in regulatory and compliance initiatives as directed by the SEC and FINRA.
Matty is a graduate of Penn State with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics, and holds the NASD Series 7 designation. He is also a dedicated mountaineer and enjoys the challenge of high-altitude climbing. In fact, he has succeeded in climbing the tallest mountain on each of the seven continents, the so called Seven Summits: Mt. Kilimanjaro, March 2007; Mt. Elbrus, August 2007; Mt. Vinson, December 2007; Denali, June 2008; Mt. Aconcagua, February 2010; Mt. Kosciuszko, October 2010; and Mt. Everest, May 2011. Only 275 individuals have successfully completed the Seven Summits.
Lora Wondolowski is executive director of Leadership Pioneer Valley. She joined that organization as its founding director in 2011 after serving as the founding executive director of the Mass. League of Environmental Voters (MLEV). Prior to her work with MLEV, she worked for the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and the National Audubon Society in Washington, D.C.
While at LCVEF and Audubon, she launched and organized several successful programs and training programs. She has nearly 20 years of experience with grassroots organizing and community outreach.
Wondolowski holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a master’s degree from Bard College. She was one of the founders of the Friends of the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turner’s Falls, was a volunteer and board member of Pride Zone Youth Center in Northampton, and was the founder of the Progressive Christian Voice at First Churches of Northampton.
She serves on the boards of the Connecticut River Watershed Council, Partners for a Healthier Community, and United Way of Pioneer Valley. She is the recipient of the Community Connector Award from the United Way of Pioneer Valley. She lives in Greenfield with her spouse and two young daughters. n