We are pleased to announce that Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, Luzed Guzman, Shela Levante, Dr. Martha Potvin, Lisa Ranghelli, Nancy Robinson, Karla Travieso, and Gwendolyn VanSant have joined the Women’s Fund Board of Directors in 2019. Each of these new members will serve a two-year term.
Tahirah Amatul-Wadud is an attorney licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the Northern District of New York. Tahirah is on the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women and in that role advocates before the state legislature to enact laws responsive to the needs of women and girls. She runs a law practice with focus areas in civil rights and domestic relations law. She is a graduate of Elms College in Chicopee and Western New England University School of Law in Springfield. She lives with her husband and seven children in Springfield.
Luzed Guzman is an Insurance Agent at Liberty Mutual Insurance and is the Finance Director on the Campaign to Elect Jesse Lederman to City Council At-Large. Prior to joining Liberty Mutual, Luzed was a Bilingual PAGE Counselor at the YWCA of Western Massachusetts. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from American International College and is currently working toward her Master of Social Work from Westfield State University.
Shela Levante is the Director of Development at Berkshire Community College (BCC) where she is responsible for external fundraising efforts on behalf of the College and the Berkshire Community College Foundation. Prior to joining BCC, Shela was a Community Engagement Officer at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and the Database Administrator at the Arizona Community Foundation. She has a Master of Public Administration from Northeastern University, a Bachelor of Arts in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from Arizona State University, and an Associate of Science from Mesa Community College. Shela lives in Pittsfield with her husband, Gary Levante.
Dr. Martha Potvin has served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Springfield College, since 2016. She brings more than 25 years of academic administrative experience to Springfield College. Nationally, she is a founding board member and current president of the Association of Chief Academic Officers. Martha began her career as a faculty member at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Connecticut, a master’s degree in botany and plant ecology from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska in ecology and evolutionary biology.
Lisa Ranghelli is a long-time advocate for social and racial justice. After many years serving on the grants committee of the Women’s Fund she joined the board in 2019. Professionally she serves as senior director for assessment and special projects at the DC-based National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. In that capacity she has produced numerous publications that documented the positive impacts of foundation-funded social change initiatives and others that evaluated specific foundations with a racial equity and social justice lens. Drawing on this body of work, in 2018 she produced Power Moves: Your essential philanthropy assessment guide for equity and justice. Lisa lives in Greenfield, Mass. and enjoys hiking, drumming, cooking and her book groups.
Nancy Robinson’s support of the work and mission of the WFWM is derived from work through her career with women in business settings and her desire to support opportunities that help address challenges to success. Nancy is the Senior Director of Operations at The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts with oversight for administration and finance, programs, and distribution. Ms. Robinson has helped establish the Coalition to End Hunger, identifying innovative models to end hunger in our region. She is a member of the Food is Medicine statewide planning council and an advocate for women in leadership. Nancy has a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from the University of Buffalo (S.U.N.Y.) and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Connecticut.
Karla Travieso is the Development and Communications Coordinator for Gardening the Community. Prior to joining Gardening the Community, Karla was a Program Lead Facilitator at the Latino Education Institute (L.E.I.). She is a graduate of both WFWM leadership programs: the Young Women’s Initiative (YWI), 2018, and of the Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI), 2019. Karla is currently working towards her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Worcester State University.
Gwendolyn VanSant is an experienced organizational change consultant and coach who works at the intersection of diversity leadership, equity and inclusion, and strategic planning. She is the Founding Director of BRIDGE and the Equity and Inclusion Team Lead at Changemaker Strategies (formerly Imagine Philanthropy). She serves as the Vice Chair of the Town of Great Barrington W. E. B. Du Bois Legacy Committee and she’s on the board of the UU Mass Action Network. A skilled community organizer, Gwendolyn is also a well-recognized thought leader on racial justice and reparations. She has founded several initiatives based in the principles of equity and justice, the inherent dignity and worth of individuals, and our interconnected web of humanity.