Emerging leaders participate in Community Leadership Institute

Twenty-two men and women, sponsored by area companies as up and coming employees and future leaders in our community, began the North Central Mass Chamber of Commerce’s Community Leadership Institute. The nine-month program is dedicated to providing participants with individual leadership skills and an understanding of the region’s education, government, health care, social services, justice system, media, arts and culture, environment and history.  The Chamber created the Institute to inspire a new generation of men and women to enthusiastically assume important roles in their community.  The program challenges individuals from diverse backgrounds to be influential in our region’s future.

Professor Mike Greenwood, business professor at Fitchburg State University and chairman of the Institute steering committee, is enthusiastic about this year’s participants and the meaningful professional, personal and community development they will take part in. “I have been with the class since it’s reintroduction in 2011. Each year, I am amazed and impressed with the dedication of the participants.  Programs like this are an important asset within the community to ensure one that continues to thrive, even after our current leaders retire.”

Marty Connors, president of Rollstone Bank & Trust and past chairman of the Institute steering committee, led the Institute’s revival in 2010. “I was in the first class of the Institute and it was an integral part of my success in the community. As Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors in 2010, I felt we needed the program back to once again support our needs for leadership and succession planning. Rollstone Bank & Trust’s participants have enjoyed the program and become leaders here in their workplace and in the community. We could not be prouder of the work they have done.”

Kathryn Weldon, home loan specialist at Fidelity Bank and current participants, looks forward to learning more about her community. “I have been in North Central almost my entire life but I know there are areas that I could learn more about, such as our healthcare facilities or economic development. I look forward to the seminars each month to make better connections with my classmates, learn more about the resources in North Central and helping to advance the community.”

Kurt Zelch, Director of Physician Relations at HealthAlliance Hospital, just recently began working in the area. “I am thrilled and honored to be part of this year’s class.  I am most excited about the possibility of incorporating the good ideas of my fellow nominees into my own perspective.  These meetings will surely help all of us in that regard.”


Participants in the 2016 Class include:

Evelyn Cabrera – Director of Residential Services, YWCA
Brian Calnan – Area Administrator, Catholic Charities
Ellen Coughlin – Human Resources Manager, Leominster Credit Union
Katy Cuddahy Kirouac – Head Teller, Avidia Bank
Daniela Cunha Raphael – Customer Service Representative, Avidia Bank
Jennifer DeLisle – Assistant Branch Manager, Workers’ Credit Union
Penny Doolittle – Manufacturing Career Coach, Workforce Investment Board of North Central Mass
Lisa Dutton-Swain – Resource & Development Director, NewVue Communities (formerly Twin Cities CDC)
Scott Farris – Director of Strategic Enrollment Management, Mount Wachusett Community College
Heather Finnerty – Branch Manager, Rollstone Bank & Trust
Kallee George – Admissions Coordinator, The Arc of Opportunity of North Central MA
Holly Kreidler Phaneuf – Assistant Director NCEOC, Mount Wachusett Community College
Lisa Moison – Director of Professional Studies, Fitchburg State University
Susan Piper – Director of Sales & Marketing, DoubleTree by Hilton
Sarah Proctor – Sales & Marketing Coordinator, The Arc of Opportunity of North Central MA
Nicholas Rocheleau – Engineer, Rocheleau Tool & Die
Eric Rodriguez – Lead Organizer, The United Neighbors of Fitchburg
Sandra Sagehorn Elliot – Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Office, Workers’ Credit Union
Natalie Silverthorn Kruger – Retail Manager, Cutiques & Cutie Patuties
Kathryn Weldon – Home Loan Specialist, Fidelit Bank
Katy Whitaker – Development Coordinator, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School
Kurt Zelch – Director of Physician Relations, HealthAlliance Hospital