Page 51 - BusinessWest May 2, 2022
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     Michael Lynch
Chief Financial Officer, Holyoke Soldiers’ Home; Age 31
Michael Lynch’s accounting and finance employees I’ve been lucky to work with,” he
career has long focused on roles with a community benefit.
Like when he joined the city of Springfield in 2014, working in Disaster Recovery and Compliance, a new unit created after the June 2011 tornado to fund new housing projects, demolish blighted properties, and improve the city in other ways.
Four years later, Lynch transitioned to the state level, serving as fiscal director for the Western Region of the Department of Youth Services. When the governor declared a state
of emergency early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Lynch immediately began working with his colleagues to procure appropriate PPE to protect DYS youth and personnel on a daily basis.
A little over a year ago, Lynch saw another opportunity he couldn’t pass up — as chief financial officer at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, which was still recovering from a mismanaged COVID outbreak early in the pandemic that saw dozens of veterans die.
“When this opportunity became available, I had to jump at it,” he said, noting that he was aware of what had happened there, but behind the headlines, he also knew changes were being made, and he wanted to be part of the team that could turn the facility around.
“This is a very special place because of the people we serve, but also because of the
added. “The people here have such a deep level of care for the work they do; they are so committed to helping veterans day in and day out.”
Lynch, an adjunct professor of Accounting at Holyoke Community College, is committed to his community in other ways as well, namely through two charity golf tournaments he organizes each year that have, to date, raised more than $25,000 for local organizations
like Rays of Hope, Miracle League of Western Massachusetts, Autism Speaks New England, Autism Connections, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Special Olympics Massachusetts, and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts’ COVID-19 Response Fund.
“I started these golf tournaments as a way
to make sure families can come together to do something positive for local charities,” he said. “I love doing this; I love event planning. My dream is to add a banquet dinner afterward and a much larger raffle, which will ultimately raise more funds. It’s so exciting to me. I want to continue to do everything I can to help people and bring people together.”
— Joseph Bednar
  Alaina Macaulay
Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion,
Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst; Age 29
2022 A 2 7
When asked why there are now so many colleges, municipalities, and businesses that employ administrators focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), Alaina Macaulay gave a quick but direct answer.
“To be quite honest, many of the ways in which society operates are designed to promote some and exclude others,” she explained. “We need these positions so that we have advocacy for people, but then we’re also dismantling systems that have been oppressive and have kept people out.”
And among area DEI professionals, Macaulay has become a true leader. Formerly the director of DEI at Elms College, she has served for three years now as executive director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, and is the first person to hold that title.
A graduate of Western Illinois University, where she earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees while playing on the volleyball team, Macaulay said each day is different, which is what she likes most about her work. But overall, she works with the Admissions team on encouraging ways to attract and connect with students from all backgrounds “so they see Isenberg is a destination that they want to be a part of and that they feel they can belong in.”
For students already enrolled, she works on programming and creating curriculum that centers the experiences of students that have historically
come from the most marginalized backgrounds. “I advise student groups; work with students,
faculty, and staff closely on DEI initiatives; and I also help with training to make sure we’re all operating from an inclusive and equitable practice,” she explained.
Since arriving at Isenberg, Macaulay has many accomplishments and new initiatives to her credit, including:
• Creating and chairing Isenberg’s diversity, equity, and inclusion committee;
• Launching Isenberg’s first Diversity and Inclusion Education Week;
• Creation of Isenberg’s “Many Minds” workshop series dedicated to discussions on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; and
• Building and maintaining relationships with K-12 organizations to create a pipeline of students from the most marginalized backgrounds.
In addition to her work at Isenberg, Macaulay
is also very involved in the community. She serves on the board of the Young Professional Society
of Greater Springfield and the Chester Theater. She’s also an active volunteer with Sisters of St. Joseph, specifically serving on its peace and justice committee, which is committed to centering racial justice and equity in the congregation.
— George O’Brien

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