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This months’ LIPPI alumna spotlight highlights one incredible woman who has made a significant impact in her career and her community. Saskia Coté is a licensed massage therapist of twenty-five years who owns her own business. Her company, Employee Wellness, brings massage into the workplace for employees to enjoy. Saskia also teaches Massage Therapy at The Massage School in Easthampton and owns the Ganesha Institute. Her institute provides quality continuing education for massage therapists throughout the country.

Saskia was inspired to join the LIPPI program after seeing the LIPPI graduating class of 2016 deliver powerful words at their graduation ceremony, which encouraged her to step into the world of public policy. Rather than be bogged down by negativity, Saskia followed in the footsteps of the LIPPI alumnae and made the effort to become more involved and change issues she faced in her profession. Once accepted into the program, LIPPI helped connect Saskia with other women interested in affecting local and state policy. These women encouraged and supported Saskia throughout her personal and professional goals. In her own words Saskia says, “LIPPI has shown me that I can make a difference.”

Since her LIPPI graduation, Saskia has taken a step into public policy to make a difference in her beloved profession. Saskia was recently appointed by Governor Baker to serve as member of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Massage Therapy. This State Board reviews legislation and proposes new rules and regulations affecting the massage therapy profession. Saskia, driven by passion for protecting the people and professionals engaged in massage therapy, sought out an appointment to make sure small businesses are protected, clients and employers alike are represented, and to break up the previously male dominated committee. Saskia has also joined several other boards, which, as she sees it, is a great way to give back to the community and make a difference to creating a better world.

Saskia would like to tell other women interested in public policy, “Follow your heart, you can make a difference.” LIPPI has helped give Saskia the confidence to apply for the boards she has been appointed to, and become more engaged in her community, and the Commonwealth.

We are proud to support our alumnae as they continue to grow and shape the world around them.

The Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI) is a program run by the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts. The program is designed to provide women with the tools, mentors, and confidence they need to become our region’s community leaders and elected officials. Each LIPPI student has their own unique story and desire to be a part of this program. We are proud to highlight the accomplishments of our incredible alumnae in these spotlight features.