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Square One Announces Two Senior-level Promotions

SPRINGFIELD — Square One, a provider of early-learning and family-support services, announced the promotion of two senior-level executives. Dawn Forbes DiStefano has been named executive vice president, and Heather Barrett has been named vice president of Finance.

Following a 25-year career with the YWCA of Western Massachusetts, DiStefano joined the Square One team in January 2016 to lead the agency’s grant-research, grant-writing, and program-compliance efforts. She was quickly promoted to chief Development and Grants officer, where she added oversight of the agency’s financial team to her list of responsibilities.

In her new role, DiStefano will continue with her responsibilities for grants and foundations, as well as program compliance. She will also oversee the early-education and care programs and family-support services, and will manage many areas of operations, including transportation, food service, and IT.

“This is a well-deserved promotion for Dawn, who has taken on numerous responsibilities and who has demonstrated exceptional leadership within Square One, as well as in the community and across the state,” said Joan Kagan, president and CEO.

DiStefano received her bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst and her master’s degree in public administration and nonprofit management from Westfield State University. She serves on the boards of directors for the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, Dress for Success Western Massachusetts, the Springfield Regional Chamber, the Baystate Community Benefits advisory committee, and Businesses to End Human Trafficking. She is the vice president of Community Relations at Westover Job Corps and chair of the Hampden County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.

Barrett joined Square One in June 2017 as a senior accountant, managing the agency’s payables, receivables, and employee payroll. In her new role, she is responsible for building and tracking the agency’s annual budget, as well as managing the agency’s facility needs, procurement, and human resources.

“Heather brings the perfect balance of financial expertise and heart for our mission,” Kagan said. “She is an excellent addition to our senior leadership team.”

Barrett earned her master’s degree in accounting from Bay Path University. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Earlham College. Having worked for numerous institutions of higher education and other nonprofit agencies, she has an extensive background in nonprofit administration, strategic planning, and fiscal management.

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