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Women’s Initiative of United Way Names New Leadership

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Kerry Melley

The Women’s initiative of the United Way of Central Massachusetts announced that Leah Lamson will become chair and Kerry Melley will become vice chair. Both terms are for two years starting on July 1. 

Leah Lamson 

Leah Lamson,  is currently the managing director of the New England High School Journalism Collaborative and former editor of Worcester Telegram & Gazette. She spent 36 years at the T&G, starting as a reporter and working her way up to being named the first woman to serve as editor at the newspaper.

Lamson, is a founding member of the Women’s Initiative and a member of the United Way of Central Massachusetts Governance Committee. Through her extensive career as a journalist, Lamson has the ability to lead effectively, based on skills that motivate, enthuse and build respect. 

She will take over for Elaine Wright, who recently retired as vice president of business services at Webster Five. 

Kerry Melley 

Kerry Melley, of Worcester, is a financial advisor with Commonwealth Financial Group, will become vice chair. Before her career in financial services, she was a development professional for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Eastman School of Music, working in the areas of strategic planning and relationship management.

Melley is the current vice chair of the Membership Committee. Melley is passionate about helping women grow and preserve their wealth, while building their confidence in planning and managing their financial lives. 

Women’s Initiative 

The mission of the Women’s Initiative is to begin positive change for girls through philanthropy and women’s leadership.  The Women’s Initiative is a volunteer-based women’s group whose vision is to be the premier women’s philanthropic and leadership group in Central Massachusetts funding programs that improve the lives of girls.


Related Slideshow: United Way of Central MA Program Grants

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African Community Education Program

Program: ACE After School

Grant Award: $35,000

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American Red Cross of Central MA

Program: Disaster Services and Preparedness

Grant Award: $100,000

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Ascentria Care Alliance

Programs: Services For New Americans Education & Employment, Services for New Americans Case Management

Grant Awards: $35,000, $35,000

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MA

Program: Making a BIG Difference in Worcester

Grant Award: $90,000

Photo Credit: Big Brothers Big Sisters of America website

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Boys and Girls Club of Worcester

Program: Prevention/Intervention

Grant Award: $10,500

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Catholic Charities

Program: Emergency Services

Grant Award: $41,000

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Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance

Programs: Housing Counseling and Homelessness Prevention, P.O.W.E.R.

Grant Awards: $100,000 and $50,000

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Children's Friend, Inc.

Program: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program At The Ellsworth Center

Grant Award: $20,000

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Community Healthlink, Inc.

Programs: Medical and Emergency Respite, Support for Success: School Based Mental Health Services, and Together For Kids

Grant Awards: $47,000, $73,000, and $80,000

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Community Legal Aid, Inc.

Program: Legal Advocacy Project

Grant Award: $82,500

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Dismas House of Massachusetts

Program: Dismas House

Grant Award: $43,000

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Elder Services of Worcester Area

Programs: Money ManagementNutrition

Grant Awards: $9,000, $43,000

Photo Credit: Elder Services of Worcester Area website

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Elm Park Center

Program: Elm Park Children's Program

Grant Award: $16,730

Photo Credit: Elm Park Center website

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Family Health Center of Worcester, Inc.

Program: Positive Directions!

Grant Award: $70,000

Photo Credit: Family Health Center of Worcester website

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Family Services of Central Massachusetts

Program: Summer Literacy Initiative

Grant Award: $60,000

Photo Credit: A4GPA flickr

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Friendly House, Inc.

Program: Social Service 

Grant Award: $56,000

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Girls Incorporated of Worcester

Program: Comprehensive K-12 Enrichment and Academic Enhancement for Abby Kelly

Grant Award: $46,000

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Guild of St. Agnes

Program: Infant-Toddler Early Education & Care

Grant Award: $30,000

Photo Credit: Guild of St. Agnes website

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Latino Education Institute WSF

Programs: Club E, Innovative Services for Latino Students (ISLA)

Grant Awards: $39,000, $31,000

Photo Credit: LEI Facebook Page

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MA Education and Career Opportunities

Programs: Collegiate Success Institute - CSI Worcester, Teen Parent Program

Grant Awards: $40,000, $42,000

Photo Credit: Massachusetts Education & Career Opportunities website

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Nativity School of Worcester

Program: Graduate Support Program

Grant Award: $30,000

Photo Credit: Nativity School of Worcester Facebook 

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Pernet Family Health Service, Inc.

Program: Emergency Infant Supply Program

Grant Award: $34,500

Photo Credit: Pernet Family Health Service Facebook

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Rainbow Child Development Center

Programs: Rainbow's Preschool, Rainbow's School Age Program

Grant Awards: $34,300, $14,700

Photo Credit: Rainbow Child Development Center website

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Regional Environmental Council, Inc

Program: Food Justice Program

Grant Award: $56,000

Photo Credit: 

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South Middlesex Opportunity Council

Program: Greater Worcester Housing Connection

Grant Award: $100,000

Photo Credit: SMOC Facebook

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Straight Ahead Ministries, Inc.

Program: Worcester Youth Re-entry Program

Grant Award: $40,000

Photo Credit: Straight Ahead Ministries Facebook

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The Bridge of Central Massachusetts

Programs: Safe Homes, Supported Employment & Education

Grant Awards: $45,000, $32,000

Photo Credit: The Bridge of Central Massachusetts website 

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The CASA Project, Inc.

Program: CASA/GAL Child Court Advocacy

Grant Award: $54,000

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UMass Memorial HealthCare, Inc.

Program: HOPE Coalition Mental Health Model

Grant Award: $85,000

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Webster Square Day Care Center, Inc.

Program: Preschool Child Care

Grant Award: $33,000

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Worcester Community Action Council, Inc.

Program: Project Excel

Grant Award: $40,000

Photo Credit: WCAC Facebook

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Worcester Food & Active Living Policy Co

Program: 5210 Worcester

Grant Award: $51,250

Photo Credit: Worcester Food & Active Living Policy Co. Facebook

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Worcester Roots Project

Program: Co-Operative Youth Leadership

Grant Award: $14,000

Photo Credit: Worcester Roots Project Facebook

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Youth Opportunities Upheld, Inc.

Programs: Dynamy Youth AcademyYouthConnect Worcester

Grant Awards: $40,000, $550,000

Photo Credit: Youth Opportunities Upheld website

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YWCA of Central Massachusetts

Programs: Daybreak Emergency Shelter, Girls Choice Middle/High School, Transitional Housing, Worcester Early Education and Care, and Young Parents

Grant Awards: $35,000, $20,000, $67,000, $54,000, and $45,000

Photo Credit: YWCA of Central MA Facebook


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