United Way Announces New Board Members

    United Way of Greater New Bedford is pleased to welcome five new members to their Board of Directors: Starlene Alves, Francine Ferguson, Christopher Fortier, Jacqueline Gannon Somerville, and Amilton “A.J.” Tavares Jr.

    “We are honored to have these five individuals join our Board,” said Michelle N. Hantman, President & CEO. “Each brings so much to our work.  They possess strong qualities and skillsets that will help United Way and our programs. Most importantly, they believe in our mission and want to help us serve the community.”

    Starlene Alves was born and raised in New Bedford.  She is a partner at Alves Santos, LLP in New Bedford. She has been practicing law for over a decade after graduating from New England Law and is a member of the Massachusetts and Georgia Bar Associations. Alves also belongs to the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association.

    Francine Ferguson is the Senior Vice President/Retail Banking Officer at Bristol County Savings Bank.  She has spent over 30 years in the financial services industry cultivating changes in both operational processes and implementation of technology. Ferguson is a graduate of Roger Williams University and has completed several leadership programs and certifications.

    Christopher Fortier us the Chief Pharmacy Officer at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He is responsible for the management for all aspects of Mass General’s pharmacy enterprise including all inpatient and ambulatory pharmacy services both on and off-campus. He chairs the Mass General Brigham Chief Pharmacy Officer’s Council and is responsible for leading large scale pharmacy initiatives at the health system level. He received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy. Fortier and his family have volunteered for several years with United Way at Mobile Markets and Hunger Heroes programs.

    Jacqueline Gannon Somerville is currently the Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at SouthCoast Health. She has dedicated her life to the healthcare field for over 30 years and has spent a portion of her career teaching nursing at a number of education institutions across the country. Locally, Somerville serves on the Advisory Committee for the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School of Nursing. She is a published author and holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Nursing from Boston College, William Connell School of Nursing.

    Amilton “A.J.” Tavares Jr. is a Licensed Realtor with Re/Max Vantage and owns his own business, A1 Athletics & Fitness. He has over ten years of experience in human services. Tavares is a University of Massachusetts Dartmouth graduate. He is dedicated to youth in New Bedford and has hosted several skill development clinics in the City to provide positive guidance to develop well-rounded student athletes.

    New Officers of the Board were also voted at the recent annual meeting. Roland Giroux of Acushnet Company as Board Chair, Dr. Shanna Howell of Bristol Community College as Vice Chair, Jennifer Olivier of CliftonLarsonAllen as Treasurer, Jennifer St. Pierre of BankFive as Clerk, and Christopher M. Hodgson of Coastal Financial as Immediate Past Chair.

    United Way of Greater New Bedford fights for the health, education, financial stability, and basic needs of every person in the 9 communities it serve. United Way is committed to making an impact by providing direct services to the community through the New Bedford Shannon and SSYI Programs, the Family Resource & Development Center, Hunger Commission, and New Bedford Community Connections Coalition. Additionally, United Way provides funding to local organizations to provide support to residents through an array programming and services. It also matches volunteers with local opportunities through Volunteer SouthCoast.

    (From left to right) Starlene Alves, Francine Ferguson, Christopher Fortier, Jacqueline Gannon Somerville, and Amilton “A.J.” Tavares Jr.