People on the Move

People on the Move

Priscilla Kane Hellweg

Priscilla Kane Hellweg

Enchanted Circle Theater’s executive and artistic director, Priscilla Kane Hellweg, has stepped down after 40 years of service, having grown Enchanted Circle from a small touring educational theater company into a nationally recognized leader in the field of arts integration. The board of directors is currently working with a consultant and staff on temporary management while studying various governance models. The organization will announce the plan by the end of the school year. Under Hellweg’s direction, Enchanted Circle has become the regional leader in the field of arts integration, working district-wide in public schools throughout Western Mass. and collaborating with more than 60 community partner organizations, developing work that bridges arts, education, and human services. She received the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and was a finalist for Excellence in Leadership in 2018. She has received a Champions of Arts Education Award from the Massachusetts Alliance for Arts in Education and a Millennium Award from the National Guild of Community Arts Educators for her commitment to making quality arts education accessible to all. In 2016, Enchanted Circle was nominated to represent Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Cultural Council to receive the Creativity Connects Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Its work was highlighted in the national PBS series, American Graduate, for its Shakespeare program that combats summer learning loss in Holyoke Public Schools. Enchanted Circle received the 2015 Commonwealth Award, Massachusetts’ highest honor in arts, sciences, and humanities; received the 2013 Arts and Humanities Award for Outstanding Organization from NEPR; and was named Outstanding Arts Collaborative in 2011 from Arts/Learning. Hellweg has created district-wide arts-integration initiatives to enhance academic achievement for Holyoke, Amherst, Northampton, and Westfield public schools, and has collaborated on the development of several Teacher Training Institutes with numerous partners, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Teaching American History grants. She has taught professional-development workshops for many district-wide school systems in Massachusetts and Connecticut, including the Wang Center in Boston, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., the History Institute at the University of Massachusetts, and the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton. She has been adjunct faculty at the University of Hartford, Hampshire College, and Westfield State University. She has also co-written and directed several site-based historical plays for educational and cultural tourism sites.

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Melissa English

MP CPAs recently announced the promotion of Melissa English to senior audit manager and Tim Provost to senior tax manager. English works with clients across a variety of industries, including nonprofits, manufacturers, distributors, and other small to medium-sized businesses. She is also the lead professional for the firm’s employee benefit-plan practice. She performs technical reviews of employee benefit-plan audits and is frequently called upon to assist with research regarding plan issues. Her experiences with benefit plans include working on Internal Revenue Service examinations, voluntary plan corrections, and self-corrections of plan errors. English joined the firm in 2001 and has more than 20 years of audit experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Westfield State University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and AICPA’s Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center. She is very active in the community as a volunteer board member of the Down Syndrome Resource Group of Western Massachusetts and the Chicopee Galaxy Youth Athletic Assoc., of which she is also a co-founder. Provost provides consulting and tax solutions to a diverse group of clients including individuals, partnerships, limited-liability companies, corporations, and trusts. He also has experience working with international affiliates on foreign tax issues, and specializes in working with high-net-worth clients and with private equity firms and their owners. Provost joined the firm in 2008 and has more than 13 years of experience in personal and business taxation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Westfield State University and a master’s degree in accounting and taxation from American International College. He is a certified public accountant and a member of AICPA. He is very active in the community as a volunteer board member of the West Springfield Youth Basketball Assoc. and a volunteer youth basketball coach.

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Melissa Stefanowich

Melissa Stefanowich

Country Bank announced that Melissa Stefanowich has joined its Retail Banking division. An experienced leader who has been in the retail banking industry for 14 years, she will serve Western Mass. in her new role at Country Bank. Stafenowich joins Country Bank from Westfield Bank where she was a Retail Banking officer, branch manager, and mortgage specialist. She was responsible for the leadership and management of branch service, sales, operations, and team development. She worked for Chicopee Savings Bank for eight years before it merged in 2016 with Westfield Bank. She is a supporter of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America and Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts.

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After a nationwide search, Bay Path University announced that Frank Rojas has joined the university as the new vice president of Enrollment Management. In this role, he will oversee many duties, including creating and driving the strategic vision for enrollment, overseeing all aspects of enrollment operations, executing a comprehensive enrollment plan, and identifying and employing strategies that clearly demonstrate the university’s value proposition and align with institutional goals. Rojas has extensive experience in higher education, most recently as chief operating officer and executive vice president at Los Angeles Pacific University. In that position, he led a team that successfully drove enrollment growth and increased revenue, while implementing marketing plans and strategies for an online university that also integrated a focus on student support. As an educator, he is a strong advocate in providing access to learners, including marginalized students in post-secondary higher education. During his career, he has been a results-oriented leader committed to building profitable growth and return on investment both domestically and internationally. He earned a Ph.D. in organizational development and change and a master’s degree in organizational leadership through Fielding Graduate University. In addition, he received an executive MBA through Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from DeVry University.

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American International College (AIC) has appointed Michael Dodge associate vice president for Academic Affairs following a national search. Dodge has been with AIC since 2018, previously serving as dean of Student Success and Opportunity. As dean, he had oversight of the tutoring and advising programs on campus and the James J. Shea Memorial Library, and was instrumental in the success of the AIC’s Plan for Excellence (APEX) program for students, serving as director of the program. In addition, he served as the principal investigator for the U.S. Department of Education Title III Grant program. While maintaining several of his previous responsibilities, as the associate vice president for Academic Affairs, Dodge will serve as the chief of staff to the executive vice president for Academic Affairs (EVPAA), including responsibility for day-to-day operational support for all areas reporting to the EVPAA, including the schools of Business Arts and Sciences, Education, and Health Sciences. Among his many areas of responsibility, Dodge will represent the Office of Academic Affairs to internal and external constituencies to develop comprehensive and integrative structures and processes to support student success and timely graduation. In addition, he will assist in the institution’s assessment processes and support development of meaningful and measurable institution, program, and course student-learning outcomes. He will research and analyze new program proposals from concept to market. Prior to joining AIC, Dodge worked for more than a decade at UMass Amherst in a variety of teaching and administrative roles. He earned his doctorate in educational policy, leadership, and administration at UMass Amherst after first earning his master’s degree in student affairs in higher education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his bachelor’s degree in secondary education and English at the State University of New York Oswego.

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Western New England University School of Law Professor Jennifer Levi has been named an inaugural fellow in a new Salem State University program of the Berry Institute of Politics (IOP). Levi will share this honor with former Boston Mayor Kim Janey for the spring 2022 semester. Levi is a lawyer, professor, and nationally recognized expert on transgender legal issues who has dedicated their career to fighting for the rights of women, children, the poor, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) clients. Currently, Levi serves as director of the Transgender Rights Project for GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and as professor of Law at Western New England University. Throughout their career, Levi has led legal fights for transgender equality across a range of contexts, including in the areas of family law, education, healthcare, incarceration, military service, and beyond. As rising or seasoned professionals, fellows share their knowledge, skills, and experiences with students who are exploring and pursuing careers in politics and public service. As current practitioners, fellows support students building practical skills that will supplement what they are learning through academic courses. Through one-time and ongoing engagement, fellows serve as resources and mentors to students. During their visits, IOP fellows will participate and lead both curricular and co-curricular programs.

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Evelyn Rivera-Riffenburg

Evelyn Rivera-Riffenburg

Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Evelyn Rivera-Riffenburg as the college’s executive director of Human Resources. Rivera-Riffenburg has worked in human resources for more than 25 years. She started her career as a personnel assistant and most recently worked as director of human resources for Chicopee Public Schools. Her previous employment featured positions in human resources for the town of Amherst, Medtronic (formerly Covidien), Hot Mama’s Foods, C&S Wholesale Grocers, and Coca-Cola. She is also an adjunct professor at Bay Path University and Western New England University. Rivera-Riffenburg began her undergraduate education at HCC before transferring to Baker College, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in human resources management. She holds master’s degrees in communications and information management from Bay Path University and in organizational leadership from Southern New Hampshire University. She is a Society for Human Resources Management certified senior professional, an HCRI senior professional in human resources, and a certified K-12 Title IX coordinator.

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The New England Financial Marketing Assoc. (NEFMA) welcomed Mary Cate Mannion, a digital PR analyst for Garvey Communication Associates Inc. and producer for New England Corporate Video, as the keynote presenter for its virtual Awards Show on Feb. 11. The event featured the winners of awards for the most creative, innovative, and successful campaigns across several different financial-services categories. Mannion’s presentation, “What’s Old Is New: How the Age-old Art of Storytelling Will Set Your Existing Media Channels on Fire,” explained how brands can generate meaningful and measurable engagement while shedding all that extra budget weight of meaningless and empty impressions. Included in her presentation were best-practice examples from HarborOne Bank, Mascoma Bank, Monson Savings Bank, Needham Bank, and PeoplesBank. Mannion has worked in the Holyoke-Springfield DMA as an anchor/reporter for ABC, CBS, and FOX News affiliates; in Bismarck, N.D. as an anchor/reporter for an NBC News affiliate; and in Portland, Maine as a reporter for an ABC News affiliate. She won a Broadcaster’s Award for her work and was nominated for two Midwest Emmy Awards. She is a graduate of Emerson College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. She is also currently a board member of the Willie Ross School for the Deaf and a member of Women in Film & Video New England.

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New England Public Media has named Deepa Krishna director of Finance and Accounting. Krishna will oversee the nonprofit media organization’s $10 million budget, working directly with internal departments as well as community funders and grantors. A licensed certified public accountant, Krishna joins NEPM from the Connecticut Airport Authority in Windsor Locks, where she served as the accounting manager for Bradley International Airport and five general aviation airports, overseeing annual budgets and managing federal and state grants for the nonprofit organization. Prior to that, she was the finance manager for Bristol Hospital and Healthcare Group. She received her master’s degree in commerce and accounting from Madurai Kamaraj University, India, and her bachelor’s degree in commerce and accounting from Mahatma Gandhi University, India.

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Colin Griswold

Colin Griswold

OMG Roofing Products promoted Colin Griswold to the position of codes and approvals engineer. In his new role, he will manage product approvals for OMG Roofing’s product portfolio as well as assist the new-product development team in addressing code and approval issues. In addition, he will work closely with OMG’s private-label customers and code and approval officials with product evaluations, developing technical product specifications, as well as maintaining code approvals and keeping abreast of technical changes and advancements in the commercial roofing industry. Griswold started with OMG Roofing Products in 2013 in the manufacturing area. Since then, he has held positions as a laboratory technician in the company’s New Product Development & Innovation department, and most recently in the Technical Services department as a technical support specialist. He is a member of the Single-Ply Roofing Industry and holds an associate degree in engineering from Springfield Technical Community College.

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Nourse Farms Inc. announced that founder and President Timothy Nourse has transitioned from overall leadership of Nourse Farms to chairman of the board of directors. He is leaving the day-to-day operational oversight in the hands of John Place, who has been promoted to CEO. Over the past 90 years, Nourse Farms has grown to be a leader in berry-plant propagation in North America and now produces more than 30 million strawberry plants in addition to 6 million raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, currant, gooseberry, elderberry, asparagus, rhubarb, and horseradish plants each year to customers around the world. Tim Nourse is recognized as a pioneer in tissue-culture propagation, having built the first lab at Nourse Farms over 40 years ago. Establishing this capability in the 1980s was a key to growth and innovation for customers around the world. Before joining Nourse Farms as chief operating officer in 2019, Place built his career in Pennsylvania at Keepsake Farm. He holds a degree in agriculture and animal science from the University of Delaware and is a highly accomplished farmer and successful business executive.

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