Staff and Associates
John Vasconcellos joined the Community Foundation as President on August 1, 2016. Most recently, John served as Senior Regional Director for the Southeast and Boston Regions of The Trustees of Reservations. Other experience includes Managing Director of Development and Marketing for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Vice President of Development and Communications at the Buzzards Bay Coalition and Director of Development for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
Megan Boyle, formerly the SEEAL Coordinator, has also joined the Community Foundation staff as Scholarship Manager and is in charge of gifts and deposits, the scholarship program, and office management responsibilities. She will continue to be the contact for SEEAL as well.
Pamela Evans, CPA, has joined the Community Foundation as Director of Finance and Administration. Pam most recently has been an associate with ML Nunes and Associates. From 2010-2014 she was Director of Finance for the Schwartz Center for Children. Her previous non-profit work included the YWCA of York PA and the Audubon Society. She currently serves as a member of the Finance Committee for the Women’s Fund.
Nancy Harding joined the Community Foundation in 2005 as Communications Director. She brings to this position nearly 15 years of experience in nonprofit communications and development, along with seven years as a daily newspaper reporter. Nancy worked for The New Bedford Standard-Times from 1983-89, then made the switch to the nonprofit world. She spent nearly 10 years as Communications Director for the United Way of Greater New Bedford, followed by four years as regional Development Manager for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Kim Heard joined the Community Foundation in March 2017 as Office Administrator. She began working for The Trustees of Reservations, a Massachusetts based conservation organization, as a part time Administrative Assistant in April 2004 and was promoted to Executive Assistant supporting the Southeast/Boston Regional Director in July 2011. She held that position until her departure in February 2017. Kim grew up in Tiverton, RI and has lived in New Bedford since 1994.
Holly Stickles joined the Community Foundation in April 2017 as Grants Associate. Holly is a recent graduate of the UMASS Dartmouth Master of Public Policy program. As a Southcoast native, Holly has been involved with several public organizations within the region. During her student career, she gained exposure to the public sector through her internships at the Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board and the Community and Economic Development Authority of Wareham. Most recently, she worked as a Graduate Research Assistant at the UMASS Dartmouth Public Policy Center, where she assisted with community-based research initiatives in New Bedford and surrounding communities.
Valerie Bassett joined the Women's Fund in February 2014 as Executive Director. She has spent most of her career in public health policy, with a special interest in leadership development. Valerie began her career as a day care teacher and working for a battered women’s sheltering organization. She went on to lead Intergovernmental Relations for the Boston Public Health Commission, was Director of Policy and Research at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, and served as executive director of the Massachusetts Public Health Association, an education and advocacy organization. For the past two years she’s consulted, including locally with the South Coast Healthy Housing and Workplace Initiative, a project of Voices for a Healthy South Coast.
Traci Calabrese recently joined the Women's Fund as Development Officer. Growing up in New Bedford and Dartmouth, Traci graduated from University of Rhode Island Summa Cum Laude in 2000, and began working at the Development Office while still in school. Upon graduation, she decided that she would pursue non-profit development work as a career. Traci left our region for development positions at Lake Forest College in Illinois, and Convent of the Visitation School in Mendota, Minnesota. She then returned to the Boston area where she worked with several non-profit organizations in annual giving, major gifts and outreach.
Diana Painter recently joined the Women's Fund as Administrative and Marketing Officer. Diana most recently worked as a part-time social media marketer for the Marion Institute through Big Ocean Media and, until a grant recently ended, was Employer Relations Developer for Bristol Community College. She has a strong commitment to feminism and social justice, being an award-winning volunteer for the Coalition for Social Justice and having worked on several political campaigns. In addition, she was an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer with the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, Iowa.
Candace Lee Heald has been Director of AHA! - New Bedford’s 2nd Thursday FREE Art and Culture Night since 2007. Lee previously worked as Vice-President of Programs, Education and Exhibitions at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, where she oversaw educational and public programs, exhibitions and library functions as well as visitor services and volunteers. She received her Ph.D. from Lesley University, an MA in American History from the University of Delaware, and BA in American History from Brown University. Lee was one of the authors for the original AHA! grant, and served as Program and Steering Committee Chairs from 1999 until joining the staff.