News from our members

United Way to Hold Board Connection Event Bringing Together Community Members and Local Non-profits

FITCHBURG, MA: United Way of North Central Massachusetts (UWNCM) is inviting community members who are interested in serving on non-profit boards to meet local non-profit organizations at its inaugural Board Connection event, taking place on Wednesday, October 12, from 5:30pm-7:30pm at Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg.

The event will kick off with a panel discussion on being a non-profit board member moderated by Irene Hernandez Guzman, a trustee on the Mount Wachusett Community College Board of Trustees. Panelists include Eric Carriker, Assistant Attorney General for Massachusetts; Bruce Platzman, Chief Executive Officer at AIS and a member of UWMC’s Board of Directors; and Patricia Stern, Executive Director of Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry.

After the panel, attendees will have the opportunity to connect one-on-one with local non-profits that are seeking board members at an agency exhibition.

Admission is free for community members and the event welcomes attendees with all levels of experience who seek to give back. Attendees can learn about responsibilities involved in being non-profit board members and other opportunities such as volunteer committees.

Organizations with 501c3 non-profit status that serve North Central Massachusetts are also invited to register as event exhibitors for a small fee. Each exhibitor can set up a table at the agency exhibition, during which they can connect with business and community members about opportunities to get involved, as well as network with local professionals and increase brand visibility.

Advance registration is required for both attendees and non-profits and can be completed at

Event panelist Bruce Platzman says he hopes to inspire others to learn more about the benefits of joining non-profit boards, stating, “Serving on these boards of directors has provided tremendous insight and fulfillment on many levels. I look forward to sharing my experiences and perspectives at this important event.”

UWNCM President and CEO Kory Eng adds, “This event will leverage United Way’s duel focus of building non-profit organizational capacity while connecting volunteers to rich experiences to support their community. Serving on a Board of Directors is a great way to connect to the local community, build your skills and to make significant impact on the lives of others.”

The United Way of North Central Massachusetts serves the communities of Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Ayer, Devens, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Harvard, Hubbardston, Leominster, Littleton, Pepperell, Lunenburg, Petersham, Phillipston, Royalston, Shirley, Templeton, Townsend, Westminster and Winchendon.

Andrew Beauvais appointed Vice President, Manager of Fidelity Bank Winchendon Banking Center

(Leominster, Mass.) Fidelity Bank announced the appointment of Andrew Beauvais to Vice President, Manager of the Fidelity Bank Winchendon Banking Center located at 1 School Square in Winchendon.

In this role, he will oversee the LifeDesign banking approach at the Winchendon Banking Center and continue to care for Fidelity Bank clients when they are making financial decisions.

Andrew comes to Fidelity Bank from Worker’s Credit Union where he served as Assistant Vice President, Financial Wellness Coach at its Townsend location. He has more than 10 years of banking experience serving in a variety of management roles at TD Bank and GFA Federal Credit Union.

“Andrew has much experience in providing financial coaching to clients on building savings and credit, eliminating debt, and planning for various phases of life,” said Sheila King-Goodwin, Senior Vice President, Chief Community Banking Officer, Fidelity Bank. “With his additional experience overseeing daily banking center operations and service, he is the perfect fit to bring our LifeDesign approach to banking to our clients in Winchendon.”

A resident of Winchendon, Beauvais earned his high school diploma from Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School. He holds a Massachusetts producer license for Life and Health Insurance and annuities and is a Certified Financial Education Instructor for the National Financial Educators Council.

Fidelity Bank appoints Barbara Yanke to Senior Vice President, Director of Residential Lending

Barbara YankeLeominster, Mass – Fidelity Bank announced the appointment of Barbara Yanke to Senior Vice President, Director of Residential Lending. In this role, Yanke will lead the growth of all residential lending originations and processes while also executing the overall direction of the residential lending sales strategy.

With more than 25 years of experience in residential and consumer lending, Yanke joins Fidelity Bank from Hometown Financial Group where she most recently served as Senior Vice President, Residential and Consumer Lending responsible for three banks: Easthampton Savings Bank, Hometown Bank and Abbington Bank. Prior to that role, she was Vice President, Residential and Consumer Lending Manager of People’s United Bank in Brattleboro, Vermont.

“Barbara has extensive experience in the leadership of mortgage and consumer lending,” said Joseph Silva, Chief Lending Officer, Fidelity Bank. “With Barbara’s knowledge and experience, combined with our LifeDesign approach and C.A.R.E. process, our clients are in good hands when making one of the most important financial decisions of their lives in buying a place to call home.”

A resident of Wilmington, Vermont, Yanke earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a certificate in Human Resource Management from Champlain College. She is also a Certified Mortgage Professional from the Vermont Mortgage Bankers Association. She currently serves on the board of directors at the YWCA of Springfield, and the Mass Mortgage Bankers, and serves on the Development Committee of Worcester Community Housing Resources.

Mount Wachusett Community College Awarded 5 Year, $1.6 Million Upward Bound Math and Science Grant from the US Department of Education

GARDNER, MA – September 12, 2022 – Mount Wachusett Community College has been awarded an Upward Bound Math and Science grant from the US Department of Education for five years beginning September 1, 2022. The grant amount is $312,480 annually or $1.6 million over 5 years. The Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) grant aims to prepare high school students for postsecondary education that leads to careers in the fields of math and science.

The 5-year grant will provide a comprehensive academic year, summer, and bridge program customized to the needs of each participant, preparing high school students for postsecondary education programs that lead to careers in the fields of math and science. The UBMS program will serve 63 high school students from Gardner, Athol, and Winchendon.

“Upward Bound Math and Science programs have touched the lives of many students and their families in North Central Massachusetts,” states MWCC President James Vander Hooven. “This funding ensures that we can continue our mission to support students, families and schools in providing access to STEM career exploration and higher education opportunities.”

During the academic year, UBMS students receive support and guidance in developing a comprehensive individual success plan. Within these plans, students will be provided a variety of in-school and out-of-school services: tutoring, advisement on secondary course selection, assistance with secondary school entry and alternative education programs, and workshops for students and parents/guardians. Additionally, STEM-based cultural/academic enrichment, hands-on labs, career speakers, and field trips are provided. Upperclassmen will have access to dual enrollment courses, SAT preparation, a college fair, college admission assistance and course selection.

“We are so excited to be able to continue to provide this opportunity for students in North Central Massachusetts. Upward Bound Math & Science students have profound learning experiences that help to inform career decisions, provide exposure to math and science in many different forms, and help students to navigate through the college decision, application, and transition process,” states Fagan Forhan, Assistant Dean of K-12 Partnerships and Civic Learning. “We are thrilled to be partnered with Winchendon, Gardner and Athol, who are all deeply committed to expanding STEM opportunities for students who perhaps don’t have a parent who have attended higher education, or who struggle to make ends meet.”

In the summer, students will complete four courses in the areas of math, science, foreign language, and literature/composition during a six-week residential academy hosted on a college campus. Graduating UBMS seniors will participate in college survival and matriculation workshops as well as be encouraged to enroll in college-level courses. Up to five graduating UBMS seniors may serve in a work study capacity as a student leader for UBMS.

Upward Bound Math and Science is part of the Federal TRIO Programs, founded in 1990 to address the need for specific instruction in the fields of math and science, aimed at addressing the underrepresentation of economically disadvantaged college students in math and science careers.

Learn more about the UBMS program at MWCC on

Agewell Expo to Provide Health & Wellness Resources to North Central Massachusetts

AgeWell ExpoLEOMINSTER, MA—Aging Services of North Central Massachusetts (ASNCM), the region’s Aging Services Access Point (ASAP), is pleased to invite the community to the 2022 AGEwell EXPO. The EXPO will highlight the many offerings for everything health and wellness that is offered by our community-based businesses and nonprofit agencies. The AGEwell EXPO is by the community for the community.

With nearly fifty exhibitors there will be something for everyone. Highlights of the EXPO include acupuncture, massage therapy, pet therapy, the new nutrition, volunteer & learning opportunities as well as resources galore.

There will be ample opportunities to assess one’s health such as testing eye pressure, blood pressure and fall risks. One can also preregister for the COVID booster clinic.

The AGEwell EXPO is free for all ages with a specific focus towards our older adult population. The EXPO is Thursday, September 29th at Great Wolf Lodge (150 Great Wolf Way, Fitchburg, MA 01420) from 11am – 3pm.

To learn more about the 2022 AGEwell EXPO, or Aging Services of North Central Massachusetts—including programs and services being offered, and ways you can donate or volunteer, please visit or contact David Ginisi, Chief Marketing Officer, at (978) 466-1571 or by email at

Mount Wachusett Community College to Hold Fall Open House

GARDNER, MA  – Mount Wachusett Community College is pleased to announce their Fall Open House to be held on Saturday, October 29, 2022 from 9 am to 12 pm.

Prospective students and families will have the opportunity to speak with academic advisors, explore academic and career programs, bachelor’s degree transfer options, and learn about financial aid and the wide range of student support services available at the Mount.

“Whether students are attending college for the first time, transferring from another college or university, or exploring new career options, our Open House is a great first step for prospective students and families to learn what makes MWCC so special,” states Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management Marcia Rosbury-Henne. “Whether students are looking to start in January, next summer, or next fall, all are welcome.”

Check in and registration will open at 8:30 am, with a welcome and overview at 9:00 am followed by breakout sessions at 10 am and 11 am. Throughout the event, admissions staff will be available for on-the-spot application and acceptance, and student financial services will be available to help with financial aid applications.

To learn more and register, please visit

Mount Wachusett Community College Fall Semester Kicks Off September 7

MWCC Fall Semester Kicks Off September 7

GARDNER, MA – September 6, 2022 – Mount Wachusett Community College held an orientation for new and transfer students on September 1, 2022 in preparation for the start of its 59th academic year on September 7, 2022.

“We are looking forward to welcoming students back to our campus,” stated MWCC President James Vander Hooven. “The life that students and faculty bring to the halls and classrooms has been missed, and I personally have missed interacting with our students, faculty and staff in person.”

Highlights of the Fall Semester include:

– United Way Day of Caring on Friday, September 16. Students, staff, and faculty will be volunteering at various locations in the community as part of this annual event.
– In celebration of Constitution Day the Brewer Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement will be hosting a voter registration table in the Student Center on September 20 from 10 am to 2 pm.
– Pregnant and Parenting Student Expo will be held on Wednesday, September 21st. Our Student Parent Support team will be meeting with pregnant and parenting students to explore the services available to assist them as they pursue their educations.
– Community College Night at the Woo Sox will be held on Thursday, September 22nd. MWCC and the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges organized this statewide evening to watch the Woo Sox take on the Syracuse Mets
– Tea Time Speaker Series returns with “Puerto Rican Declaration of Independence” on Friday, September 23 and “Gender Identity and Understanding LGBTQIA+” on Friday October 21.
– MWCC will be at the North Central Chamber of Commerce “Work North Central” Hiring Event at the Wachusett Mountain Ski Lodge on September 27 from 10 am to 1 pm.
– The MWCC Dental Clinic, co-located with the Community Health Center in Fitchburg, will hold a ribbon cutting to celebrate a significant enhancement to the clinic facility on September 28th.
– The NEACAC College Fair will be held at Mount Fitness on Tuesday, September 27th. Representatives from nearly 100 colleges and universities from all over New England and beyond will be on hand to talk to high school students and other individuals.
– The Coffee and Career Fair returns on Wednesday October 5. MWCC welcomes businesses and recruiters to campus to meet with students and graduates.
– Horticulture students have been raising pumpkins this summer in anticipation of the first MWCC Pumpkin Fest on October 5.
– The Fall Open House will be held on Saturday, October 29. Potential students are welcome to tour and can apply and be accepted on the spot.

MWCC admissions are rolling, students can apply and register for classes up through the first week of the semester. More information on upcoming events at MWCC can be found at

Fidelity Bank appoints Joseph Silva to lead Lending Team

Silva promoted following record-breaking commercial sales with the bank’s LifeDesign approach

Joseph Silva(Leominster, Mass.) Fidelity Bank today announced it has promoted Joseph Silva to Chief Lending Officer. In this role, he will be responsible for all lending activities across the bank, including Commercial, Residential and Consumer, as well as Cash Management.

Silva began working at Fidelity Bank in May 2021 as Senior Vice President, Chief Commercial Banking Officer, where he led all aspects of Commercial Banking and Cash Management sales with a focus on growing the business while also embracing Fidelity Bank’s LifeDesign approach to banking.

“In his first year with Fidelity Bank, Joe has led record-breaking growth in commercial loans and makes him the perfect leader for all of our lending programs moving forward,” said Christopher W. McCarthy, President & COO. “Joe embodies our LifeDesign approach to banking in all that he does and has experienced much success in helping our business clients realize growth and success while achieving their financial goals.”

Silva received a bachelor’s degree in Interpersonal Communications from the University of Rhode Island and is also a graduate of the Bank Leadership Program from the Darden School at the University of Virginia.

United Way of North Central Massachusetts (UWNCM) is pleased to announce our newest initiative, Board Connection

United Way of North Central Massachusetts (UWNCM) is pleased to announce our newest initiative, Board Connection, which will be kicking off in October with an in-person event. This initiative is designed to help bridge the gap between non-profit organizations and professionals residing in our shared communities by helping to connect qualified individuals with openings on various boards (Board of Directors, Advisory Boards, Committees, etc.).

We invite you and your associates to attend this event free of charge on October 12, 2022, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg. The event will include an educational panel highlighting what it means to serve on a board, a resource fair featuring over 40 agencies with open board seats, light refreshments, and a wine/beer cash bar. Registration can be completed by emailing Lisa Normandin at We hope you will join us in this great opportunity to learn how you can become more involved in your community.

Board Connection Event

Mount Wachusett Community College Holds Pinning Ceremony for Dental Assisting Students


GARDNER, MA – September 1, 2022 – Mount Wachusett Community College held a pinning for its Dental Assisting program graduates on Friday, August 26, 2022.

“I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate each of you and thank you for choosing the Mount for your education,” noted MWCC President James Vander Hooven. “Tonight is just the beginning of your next journey, as you enter this field, a caring field I ask you to stay in touch with us and with each other. We look forward to your continued success.”

Students were welcomed by Dental Education Program Director Cynthia Cadoret, and were pinned by faculty members Kristen Columbus, Nicole Galloway, Kaitlyn Geise, and Kelly Jancaitis.

The Dental Assisting Certificate is one of three dental education options at Mount Wachusett Community College. MWCC also offers a two-year Dental Hygiene Associate Degree and a new Dental Radiology Certification program.

MWCC Dental Assisting Graduates August 2022

Photo caption left to right: Christina Raisdanaee, Stephanie Constant, Xenia Rodriguez, Mary Miller, Alyssa Patnaude, Olivia Olmeda, Abigial Sarante, Sophia Wenning, Sky Hutchful

The students who earned their Dental Assisting Certificate are:

Stephanie Constant – Leominster, MA
Sky Hutchful – Fitchburg, MA
Mary Miller – Gardner, MA
Olivia Olmeda – West Townsend, MA
Alyssa Patnaude – Keene, NH
Christina Raisdanaee – Leominster, MA
Xenia Rodriguez – Fitchburg, MA
Abigail Sarante – Leominster, MA
Sophia Wenning – Leominster, MA

To learn more about the Dental Education Programs offered at Mount Wachusett Community College, please visit