Greenfield Savings Bank (GSB) named Shandra Richardson senior vice president and senior operations officer. She will direct all aspects of the bank’s operations, including compliance, retail banking, marketing, deposit, electronic, and loan operations, as well as developing and implementing new policies and procedures for organizational systems management. Prior to joining GSB, Richardson held multiple leadership roles at Citizens Bank N.A. and, most recently, at Santander Bank N.A. She specializes in operational life-cycle transformation, regulatory exam preparation, project management, and organizational development. She has also been involved in company diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, including active participation in multiple employee resource groups (ERGs) focusing on the support and empowerment of women and black and Latinx employees. A UMass Amherst graduate, Richardson received a bachelor’s degree in marketing and then went on to earn an MBA along with completing leadership and Lean Methodology Executive Education courses. While working in the Boston area, she has been active in the Greater Boston and South Shore communities volunteering at a wide range of organizations, such as Cradles to Crayons, Dress for Success, United Way, Year Up, and OneBostonDay.org. She also serves as a member of the Harvard Business Review advisory council, an opt-in research community of business professionals, and has also served as the New England regional lead of the Thrive ERG, which provides resources and support to caregivers and individuals with physical or cognitive differences.
After more than four decades of leadership as CEO for HCS Head Start Inc., Janis Santos plans to retire at the end of the year. A search for a new CEO is underway. Santos began her professional teaching career by opening one of the first early-childhood centers in Ludlow in 1973, Parkside Early Learning Center. In 1979, she was hired as executive director of Holyoke Chicopee Head Start Inc. Under her leadership, the organization has grown to be the second-largest Head Start in Massachusetts and one of the largest providers of early-childhood education in Western Mass. A graduate of Holyoke Community College and UMass Amherst, she began teaching at a time when the greater public viewed her chosen career as babysitting. For close to five decades, her unwavering advocacy at the local, state, and national levels has helped change the perception of early-childhood education. She has led the charge ensuring that children from vulnerable backgrounds have access to high-quality early learning, and helped to legitimize and professionalize the field. Santos has chaired the Massachusetts Head Start Directors Assoc. and the New England Head Start Assoc., and was a member of the national advisory panel for the Head Start 2010 Project in Washington, D.C. in 1999. She was also a UCLA Head Start management fellow in the Anderson School of Management and served on the National Head Start Assoc. board of directors from 1997 to 2011. She served as the NHSA vice chairperson from 2007 to 2011.
Allied Flooring, Paint and Design, a home-improvement supplier for homeowners, contractors, and business owners, recently welcomed Jorge Morgado as a partner in the business and president of Sales. “I am thrilled to welcome Jorge as a partner and to run the sales team,” Allied President Mario Tedeschi said. “Jorge and I spent decades as competitors, respecting and admiring each other’s work. Our relationship strengthened over the last few years when he became our sales representative for Tarkett. I saw how much care and dedication he devotes to his clients; that connection led to us becoming partners.” Morgado has more than 25 years of experience in the flooring industry, beginning his career in high school and most recently serving as vice president of Residential Business, East Region, for Tarkett, the third-largest flooring manufacturer in the country. Morgado graduated from UMass Amherst with a degree in business management. He is very involved in the community, currently serving on the board of the East Longmeadow Soccer Assoc.
Market Mentors, a marketing, advertising and public-relations agency, announced the addition of five new team members. The hires span multiple departments, including account services, copywriting, digital advertising, and public relations.
• Elizabeth Barry joined the agency as a public-relations specialist. She has extensive experience gleaned from time spent producing morning news at FOX61 and WFSB in Hartford, Conn. A graduate of Endicott College and Southern New Hampshire University, Barry holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in communications. In her new role, she writes press releases as well as short- and long-form copy, and works to earn media opportunities for clients.
• Chase Hoffman joined the team as an account executive. He possesses previous agency experience and is a graduate of Westfield State University, earning a communications degree with a public relations concentration.
• Christopher Proulx joined the agency as a digital advertising specialist. A graduate of American International College and Westfield State University and holding Google Ads and Analytics certifications, he runs digital advertising campaigns on Google and across social-media channels. In addition, he researches and develops keyword strategies as part of SEO/SEM best practices.
• David Smith joined the firm as a content writer, penning short- and long-form copy for digital and print placements, websites, blogs, and social media. After earning his degree in communications at the University of Connecticut, he worked in broadcast media at WWLP-22 News in Springfield and FOX61 in Hartford.
• Sara West serves as an account director, leveraging her education at the University of Colorado at Denver and experience amassed from working her way up in the industry. Her primary responsibilities include managing accounts and creating, managing, and executing multi-channel marketing campaigns incorporating SEO, social media, inbound marketing, HubSpot, e-mail, mail, and print campaigns, as well as events to drive customer acquisition for clients.
After three years as president of Greenfield Community College (GCC), Yves Salomon-Fernández announced plans to step down on Aug. 15 to accept a position as senior vice president at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). In a letter to the college community, Salomon-Fernández wrote that she needed to step back a bit, the Greenfield Recorder reported. “I bring 150% to everything I do, and [GCC president] is a very public role. We’ve gone through a pandemic, social change, and racial issues … All of those things made me reflect on what kind of balance I want in my life. This is an all-consuming position. My family and I decided I take a step back from it.” Robert Cohn, chair of GCC’s board of trustees, praised Salomon-Fernández’s leadership, saying she “got the ship steered in the right direction” during her three years at the helm. “It’s unfortunate she’s not going to see how it sails.” Cohn added that “she understood and appreciated the important role GCC plays in Franklin and Hampshire counties and beyond. She stepped in to continue its mission of providing access to education and workforce training to best serve the needs of residents and employers in the region.”
Florence Bank recently announced the appointment of Erin Defoyd to the position of Marketing Communications officer. Defoyd comes to the bank with more than 20 years of banking experience and deep connections in the communities the bank serves. She most recently served as Marketing officer at a local community bank. Her duties included implementation of marketing strategies to increase brand awareness, creation of communications materials, support of media planning, website management, and social-media administration. Defoyd graduated from the New England School for Financial Studies in 2018 and is currently pursuing a degree in marketing at Southern New Hampshire University.
Johan Uvin was announced as the new executive director of the UMass Donahue Institute (UMDI). Uvin continues a strong career in public service at the local and federal levels, and will begin his new role on Aug. 1. Uvin served at the U.S. Department of Education from 2009 to 2017 as senior policy advisor, then deputy assistant secretary, and later acting assistant secretary. At the Department of Education, he coordinated all strategy development for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, with a staff of 80 and more than $1.7 billion in resources. He led policy development and implementation for adult education, career and technical education, community colleges, immigrant integration, and more. From 2017 to 2020, he was president of the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, D.C. There, he facilitated and implemented Rise Up for Equity, the institute’s five-year strategic plan. He has since founded Strategy Advising, a consulting practice that provides strategic advising services in education, workforce development, educational technology startups, and nonprofit organizations. Uvin earlier held various leadership positions with the Rhode Island Department of Education and with Commonwealth Corp. in Boston. He has also managed projects and programs in the Massachusetts Department of Education and a number of nonprofit organizations in Boston, Belgium, and Sierra Leone. Uvin will succeed Eric Heller, the current executive director, who retires this week after more than 35 years at the Donahue Institute. Carol Anne McGowan, UMDI’s associate director, will serve as interim executive director until Aug. 1. She works closely with the executive director to develop and implement management strategies, systems, and practices across the institute, and is directly responsible for overseeing all fiscal and human-resource functions.
Christopher Silipigno has been promoted to CEO of Renaissance Investment Group, LLC, a financial-services firm headquartered in the Berkshires that specializes in comprehensive financial counseling and investment management for high-net-worth individuals. Managing approximately a half-billion dollars in assets, Renaissance’s clients reside across the U.S. with a concentration in Western Mass., Upstate New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. For the last three years, Silipigno has served as chief operating officer, working to grow the business, lead organizational development efforts, and advise clients. During this time, Renaissance has increased its client base at its fastest pace in 20 years and nearly doubled the amount of assets being managed. Silipigno has been instrumental in this development, as well as helping Renaissance introduce new technology, providing even closer client contact and enhanced information sharing for clients and the team, said Trevor Forbes, the firm’s president and chief investment officer. “His efforts have been instrumental in helping the company and its clients through the last difficult and challenging 12 months, coping with the rigors of COVID and working remotely,” Forbes added. “I am delighted to be able to announce this well-deserved appointment, which provides for long-term continuity for both our staff and clients, which has been a hallmark of our success since the establishment of Renaissance 21 years ago. I wish Chris every success in his new role and look forward to continuing our work together in the coming years.”