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.
Lauren Maher Patrick joined the Community Foundation in March 2012 as Program Officer. Lauren brings 20 years of experience in grantmaking and program management to the position. She was most recently employed as Program Officer for Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) in San Francisco, where she managed the collaborative philanthropy of over 30 private, community and corporate foundations, including two nonprofit loan funds and a network of corporate grantmakers. Prior to working for NCG, Lauren worked for the Rockefeller Foundation for eight years. She then managed grantmaking in Rwanda, South Africa, and Zimbabwe as Senior Program Officer for the Firelight Foundation. Her focus on global health, in particular reproductive health and water, has brought her on a dozen trips for field work throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Lauren's most recent field work was in 2012 when she managed a water, sanitation, and hygiene education and data collection campaign in Kenya. Lauren earned her Masters of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She serves on the Board of Directors for the MicroLoan Foundation USA, which supports microfinance and business training services for women in rural sub-Saharan Africa.
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.
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.