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Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western Mass (BBBSWM) announced that Chris Thompson has been selected as the nonprofit’s chief growth officer. In this role, Thompson will be responsible for strengthening the newly merged agency’s relationship with the communities of Berkshire, Franklin, and Hampden Counties.

“We’re thrilled to have Chris’ expertise at this crucial time for our agency,” said David Beturne, executive director of BBBSWM. “He brings a great deal of experience in sales, promotions, and community engagement. That’s what we looked for during this search, someone who was interested in making new relationships in the three counties.”

A Western Mass. native, Thompson was honored with the BusinessWest 40 Under Forty award in 2009 and is active in the local community. He currently sits on the board of Arrha Credit Union and is a former commissioner for the Western Massachusetts Sports Commission and West Springfield’s Parks and Recreation Commission. As co-founder and owner of the Westfield Starfires of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, Thompson brings a wealth of experience to his new role in the areas of advocacy, community outreach, business development, and external relations. He will lead BBBSWM’s growth efforts in Berkshire and Franklin counties.

Previously, Thompson served on the BBBS of Hampden County board of directors between 2014 and 2021. He brings with him more than 20 years of experience developing marketing partnerships and generating revenue for iconic Western Mass. brands, such as the Springfield Falcons hockey team, where he developed a comprehensive corporate partnership program, and where he led the launch of the Springfield Thunderbirds hockey club, serving as senior vice president of Sales & Strategy.

“This is truly a unique opportunity for me — a chance to partner with an organization I have been passionate about for many years, a chance to challenge myself in new areas, and the opportunity to use my experience and perspective to help the agency grow during our rebrand,” Thompson said. “I am thrilled to join David Beturne, as well as the highly dedicated staff of BBBS and our board of directors, to serve in this new role.”

Daily News

WESTERN MASS. — The mentorship agencies of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Franklin County and BBBS of Hampden County, both founded in 1967, announced they will merge into one organization. The combined agencies, operating under the name Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western Massachusetts (BBBSWM), will become the largest mentorship organization in the region.

David Beturne, executive director of BBBS of Hampden County, who has been acting as interim executive director in Franklin County since April, will lead the new agency. Beturne brings 23 years of experience with BBBS and plans to maintain all staff at both locations.

“The Franklin County office will remain open with minimal changes,” he said. “We are thrilled and energized about this new partnership and know it will bolster our ability to serve more youth and make a stronger impact across our communities.”

Both agencies have a long history of fostering connections in their respective counties, and plan to grow to serve areas without an established BBBS office.

“We have plans to expand into Berkshire county, which is an exciting prospect for all of us,” Beturne said.

The merger does not include the Center for Human Development’s BBBS program, which will continue to serve the Hampshire County area. BBBS of Hampshire County can be reached at (413) 478-8547 or [email protected].

BBBSWM plans to merge duplicate social-media accounts and can currently be found on Facebook at @bbbsfc @bbbshampden, and on Instagram at @bbbsfranklincounty @bbbshampdencounty.

BBBS creates connections between children (Littles) with qualified and vetted mentors (Bigs) in the community to create fulfilling relationships. BBBS monitors all matches to ensure safety standards are upheld and that the relationship is positive and empowering for the children involved.