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AMHERST — The Peace Development Fund announced the addition of two new foundation associates, Sophia Trifone and Sonya Epstein, in its Amherst office. Trifone will oversee the organization’s communication work, including social media, newsletters, press outreach, and annual publications. Epstein will be focused on donor data management, ensuring accurate accounting of donations, grant requests, and support for fiscally sponsored organizations.

After earning her associate degree from Holyoke Community College, Trifone began her career with a prominent local nonprofit focusing on arts and culture in Holyoke’s Puerto Rican cultural district. In her time there, she notably fundraised for signature events and projects, hosted walking tours of the city’s artwork, collaborated with other community organizations, and aided in weekly food distribution.

Epstein is a community organizer who has been deeply involved with student activism around restorative justice, free public higher education, and LGBTQ liberation for many years. They are an immigrant from Belarus and studied social thought & political economy and sociology at UMass Amherst.

Daily News


AMHERST — Lora Wondolowski has joined the Peace Development Fund’s (PDF) Amherst-based staff as the new director of Advancement & Communication.   

Wondolowski comes to PDF with an extensive background in leadership training, environmental advocacy, fundraising, organization building, and voter education, throughout her career working for the National Audubon Society, League of Conservation Voters, the Mass. League of Environmental Voters, and most recently leading Leadership Pioneer Valley in Springfield.   

As the founding executive director of Leadership Pioneer Valley (LPV) since 2011, she managed all aspects of LPV’s training programs and development, while growing LPV from a start-up to an established, successful, and productive regional leadership development organization.   

Wondolowski brings more than 20 years of experience with grassroots organizing and community outreach work to lead PDF’s development operations and capacity-building training program, the Sustainability Project.   

“Over the course of my career, I have designed, implemented, and managed advocacy and outreach programs at regional, statewide, and national levels,” she said. “A recent volunteer campaign working to cure rejected ballots in GA and IA reminded me how much I love grassroots organizing and social justice work. I am thrilled to be joining PDF to help strengthen social justice movements across the country.”   

She is also involved locally serving on the boards of directors of the Connecticut River Conservancy, Public Health Institute of Western MA, and the United Way of Pioneer Valley   

The Peace Development Fund’s mission is to build the capacity of community-based organizations through grants, training, and other resources as partners in human rights and social-justice movements.  

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