UWGNB Announces New Members to Board of Directors

United Way of Greater New Bedford ushered in three new members to their Board of Directors during their Annual Meeting, which was held on Thursday, October 26. Community and business leaders Michelle Loranger, Matthew J. Payette, and Nelson P. Tavares will serve for three years. Additional governance business during the meeting included the election of officers and renewal of existing Board members.

“We are grateful that Michelle, Matthew, and Nelson are joining our Board,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President & CEO. “Their extensive experience and active community service will serve us well, providing invaluable perspectives and insight into the work of United Way.”

Michelle Loranger is Deputy Director of Day One in Rhode Island, managing its breadth of programs and teams focused on reducing sexual abuse and violence as well as supporting and advocating for those affected by it. In addition to her two decades of leadership in the not-for-profit sector, Loranger was a Governor appointee to the Council for Sexual and Domestic Violence and served on numerous human service focused committees and various Bristol County task forces and coalitions. Michelle has received multiple awards for her work, including the 2017 Southcoast Women of the Year from the Southcoast Today media outlet. Pictured bottom left.

Matthew J. Payette, whose career in banking spans 35 years, is the Senior Vice President and Chief Community Banking Officer for BayCoast Bank. His division encompasses a vast network of 25 branches across southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In addition to being a new Board Member for United Way, he volunteers for My Brother’s Keeper in Dartmouth and was the former chairperson of the annual John C. O’Brien Scholarship Golf Tournament, which benefits deserving students at Bishop Stang High School. He further enriches his community by serving as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Julie Billiart Church in Dartmouth, underscoring his unwavering dedication to community service and support. Pictured bottom middle.

Nelson P. Tavares is a credit union executive with over 20 years of experience and has served as the President & CEO of Taunton Federal Credit Union for the last five years. Tavares is also the Vice-President and Board Member of the Southeastern MA chapter of the Cooperative Credit Union Association and the Taunton Area Chamber of Commerce Board Member. He is also the past president of the New England Adjustment Managers Association. Pictured bottom right.

Additional governance business at the meeting included the election of officers for a one-year term. Dr. Shanna Howell as Board Chair. Christopher Fortier as Vice Chair. Jennifer Olivier as Treasurer. Jennifer St. Pierre as Clerk. And Roland Giroux as the Immediate Past Chair. In addition, renewal nominees for five existing members were approved for an additional three-year term: Starlene Alves, Francine Ferguson, Roland Giroux, Christopher Fortier, and Jacqueline Somerville.

United Way of Greater New Bedford is the local chapter of United Way Worldwide. It has operated since 1953, advocating for family resilience, health access, economic mobility, and educational opportunity for every person in the nine communities it serves through essential services such as the Family Resource & Development Center, Hunger Commission, and New Bedford Community Connections Coalition. Additionally, United Way funds local organizations whose programming addresses these issues and matches them with volunteers through Volunteer SouthCoast.


Michelle Loranger Headshot     Matthew Payette headshot     Nelson Tavares headshot