For Immediate Release - January 24, 2008

Governor Patrick Taps Community Leaders to Serve on Commonwealth Corps Leadership Team


BOSTON- Thursday, January 24, 2008 - Governor Deval Patrick today appointed 10 residents to the Commonwealth Service Corps Board, bringing extensive leadership and community service experience to the board that will oversee the Governor's statewide volunteer effort.

The Governor inducted members of the leadership team during a State House ceremony before delivering his first State of the Commonwealth address.

"I am so proud to have this extremely talented group of individuals lead the Commonwealth Corps program," said Governor Patrick. "The wealth of experience and leadership skills they bring will help us implement a program that attracts individuals to service and helps generate a real difference in communities across Massachusetts. We have a long history of service in the Commonwealth and I pleased that the Commonwealth Corps has become the next chapter in that history."

Governor Patrick created the Commonwealth Corps as his first initiative when he took office last year. The Corps' mission is to engage Massachusetts residents of all ages and backgrounds in direct service to rebuild communities through mentoring underprivileged children, assisting the elderly, cleaning up parks and beaches and other activities. Members will also recruit and organize additional volunteers with the hopes of expanding membership to 1,000 volunteers.

The Corps will consist of members from diverse backgrounds who are 18 years or older, from high school-age students, to mid-career workers to retirees. Corps members will serve in a part-time or full-time capacity and will dedicate at least one year of service to a nonprofit organization, civic initiative, or public entity, providing direct service to people or communities in need.

The following were appointed by Governor Patrick today to lead the program:


Ron Ancrum, President of the Associated Grant Makers - Ron Ancrum is the President of the Associated Grant Makers, an organization dedicated to supporting the practice and expansion of effective philanthropic giving. Most recently, Ancrum was director of client services and senior consultant at Third Sector New England, a management support organization to non-profit foundation and volunteer organizations. Ancrum has held various leadership and management positions, including interim President of Roxbury Community College and interim manager at Freedom House. In addition to bringing a wide network of non-profit organizations and philanthropic institutions, Ancrum will provide the board with expertise in crafting and reading grants.


Robert Ansin, Founder and President of MASSINNOVATION LLC - Rob Ansin founded MASSINNOVATION LLC, a smart-growth real estate development and investment firm, created with Ansin's notion to pioneer a new concept in mixed-use residential and lifestyle centers that embody sustainable development principles. Among the numerous boards and commissions he dedicates his time to, Ansin currently chairs Lawrence-based Notre Dame High School's Community Campaign and sits on the Essex National Heritage Commission and the board of the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club.


Maureen Curley, President and CEO of Workforce Strategies - Maureen Curley heads Workforce Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in volunteer resource management and workforce recruitment and development. Additionally, she works for Campus Compact, a national coalition dedicated to promoting civic engagement in higher education. Curley has also served as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Service Alliance, the non-profit state agency dedicated to creating, promoting and supporting volunteer opportunities throughout the state. Prior to her current work, Curley was a consultant for clients including Temple University's Center for Intergenerational Learning and the AARP. Curley also helped craft the Commonwealth Corps legislation.


Lucas Guerra, Founder of ARGUS - Lucas Guerra is the Founder, Principal and Creative Director for ARGUS, the only Latino full service advertising agency in Boston. Guerra has extensive experience in multicultural marketing and advertising and is recognized for his leadership and community involvement. Before founding ARGUS, Guerra launched the graphic design firm Connexus, focused on serving the needs of publishers of architecture-related publications. Guerra serves on several non profit boards and is a founding member of OISTE, the Massachusetts Latino Political Organization.


Waleska Lugo-DeJesus, Development and Special Events Coordinator for the YMCA of Greater Springfield - Waleska Lugo-Dejesus is the membership director of the YMCA of Greater Springfield. This historic institution has provided critical services for over 150 years to the Pioneer Valley community. Waleska is also on the Board of Partners for Healthier Communities.


Mary Jane Powell, Co-Founder and Treasurer of Powell Corporation - MJ Powell is a long-time political activist and member of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, serving as its treasurer. She is especially committed to electing women to political office and is active in her community. MJ was a co-founder and Treasurer of Powell Corporation, a specialty nonwoven manufacturing company in Haverhill. She has served as a member of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Massachusetts Advisory Council, and was the Massachusetts co-chair for the White House Conference on Small Business. Powell recently received the Eleanor Roosevelt 2007 Award from the Massachusetts Democratic Party and the Agenda Latina "Maria Garcia Liriano 2007 Award."


David Roach, Principal of Nativity School of Worcester - David Roach is a life-long educator, currently heading the Nativity School of Worcester, a tuition-free, independent middle school designed for inner city youth. Before joining the Nativity School, Roach worked as a superintendent, leading the Millbury Public Schools for more than a decade and the Tantasqua Regional School District for five years before that. He is a strong advocate for service-learning, having initiated a nationally-recognized service-learning program in both districts and having served on the Advisory Committee on Service Learning to the state Board of Education. Additionally, Roach was engaged in crafting the legislation establishing the Commonwealth Corps.


Madhue Shridar, President of the Ajshaya Patra Foundation USA - Madhue Shridar currently leads the Ajshaya Patra Foundation, a leading non-profit organization providing mid day meals to underserved students in government schools in India. Shridar is well known for her former role as President of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, where she led 59 local chapters throughout the Commonwealth to encourage informed and active participation of citizens in government and to influence public policy through education and advocacy. While with the League, Shridar prepared the historic Massachusetts Voters' Bill of Rights to ensure voters clearly understand their voting rights and launched several initiatives to empower young voters and future leaders.


Tim Sullivan, AFL-CIO - Tim Sullivan is the Legislative and Communications Director for the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, the youngest director in the 50-year history of the merged state AFL-CIO. Sullivan has an extensive background in community organizing, having served as the union's public affairs coordinator for nearly three years and working as a regional field director and staffer for several campaigns. Sullivan also brings business experience to the board, having worked as manager for the CIGNA Corp. Human Resources and Operations Leadership Development Program. Sullivan will serve as the designated seat for the AFL-CIO.


Meg Vaillancourt, Executive Director of the Red Sox Foundation - Meg Vaillancourt is the Senior Vice President for Corporate Relations with the Boston Red Sox and Executive Director of the Red Sox Foundation, the world championship team's charity. Since 2004, Vaillancourt has worked together with Red Sox leadership, business partners, players and their wives, managers and coaches, staff and fans to support a variety of non-profit organizations serving children throughout New England. The Foundation provides support to over 800 non-profit groups, and in just four years has become the largest team foundation in New England and in all of Major League Baseball. A former Boston Globe and television news reporter, Vaillancourt has dedicated herself to service, working for the New England Patriots and the Kraft Group before joining the Red Sox. As Vice President for Corporate and Community Affairs, she worked to support the many philanthropic activities of the Kraft family, including the Patriots Charitable Foundation. Vaillancourt brings energy and years of service experience to the Commonwealth Corps board.


Lisa Wong, Mayor of Fitchburg - Lisa Wong is currently serving her first term as the Mayor of Fitchburg, a city of 40,000 residents. As mayor, she oversees a $95 million budget and 1,200 municipal employees. Before she was elected, Wong was the executive director of the Women's Institute for Housing and Economic Development and worked for the Fitchburg Redevelopment Authority for five years prior to that. After graduating from Boston University, Wong's work took her around the world, including human rights work in Australia and a semester teaching global economics at the University of Wyoming. Wong will serve as the designated seat for the Mass Municipal Association.


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