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Way Finders Announces Retirement of President and CEO Peter Gagliardi

SPRINGFIELD — Way Finders Inc. announced that President and CEO Peter Gagliardi will retire in June 2020 after more than 28 years of service to the organization.

Since 1991, Gagliardi has served communities in Western Mass. at Way Finders. He has seen the organization through significant growth, including the restoration and development of more than 1,000 units of affordable housing, becoming a chartered member of NeighborWorks America in 2008, and, most recently, the construction of a new Housing Center in downtown Springfield that is due to open its doors in April 2020.

Under Gagliardi’s leadership, Way Finders has become the largest nonprofit housing provider in Western Mass. Last year, the organization impacted the lives of more than 50,000 men, women, and children by providing housing counseling, emergency shelter, affordable-housing development and management, financial education and first-time-homebuyer workshops, employment training and retention services, and neighborhood revitalization. Governed by a 21-member board of directors, Way Finders and its subsidiaries, Common Capital Inc. and MBL Housing and Development, has a staff of more than 240 employees and an annual budget, including its subsidiaries, of $87 million.

“For more than a decade, I’ve enjoyed working with Peter, getting to know him personally and professionally. He has led the organization through turbulent times, weathering literal and economic storms to which others succumbed,” said Trevis Wray, president of Way Finders’ board of directors. “I read that character can be considered the congruence between values and actions, and it is clear what Peter values: commitment, consistency, integrity, and trust. Peter has led an organization built on trustworthy partnerships and has been open to new ideas and always accessible. On behalf of the entire board, I thank Peter for being an exceptional leader and partner.”

Added Gagliardi, “I have been honored to serve as Way Finders’ president and CEO for so many years, and to work alongside such dedicated and passionate colleagues and partners. Together, we have responded to the ever-changing needs of the community by developing new and innovative programs that deliver housing, employment, and economic-mobility opportunities to individuals and families in our region. I have full confidence in the Way Finders team to continue our important work; we have a strong mix of seasoned professionals and up-and-coming leaders. It’s an exciting time for the organization, and I’ll embrace my new role as an advocate and supporter of Way Finders’ mission to light pathways and open doors to homes and communities where people thrive.”

Way Finders’ board of directors has formed a hiring committee and has engaged Marcum LLP to lead a national search for a new CEO beginning in January.

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