October 10, 2023 Press Releases
Community Foundation Welcomes Five New Trustees
The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts is pleased to welcome five esteemed professionals as Trustees, following their unanimous approval at the Foundation’s Trustee meeting held on September 2023. Tara Brewster, John Davis, Magdalena Gómez, Dr. Michelle Schutt, and Payton Shubrick will help the Community Foundation accomplish its mission and vision of increasing equity and opportunity and enriching the quality of life for people in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Counties.
“We are thrilled and grateful that Tara, John, Magdalena, Michelle, and Payton agreed to become Community Foundation Trustees,” says Trustee Chair Paul Murphy. “Their diverse backgrounds, skills, and experiences are reflective of the communities we serve. We look forward to working with them in the fulfillment of our mission.”
“Our new Trustees have already demonstrated their commitment to our strategic vision of greater equity and opportunity for all residents of Western MA,” says President and CEO Megan Burke. “The community connections and fresh perspectives they will bring to their role will help to accelerate our efforts to advance that vision of making the Valley an even more vibrant and inclusive place for all.”
Tara Brewster (Hampshire County)
As the Vice President of Business Development and Director of Philanthropy at Greenfield Savings Bank, Brewster brings a wealth of expertise and a strong commitment to western Massachusetts. She is not just an advocate; she is a dedicated volunteer and an integral part of the community she holds dear. Brewster’s roots run deep, having grown up in Northampton where she proudly graduated from Smith College. Her journey as an entrepreneur began locally with the establishment of the men’s clothing store, Jackson & Connor. Brewster credits her early years as a business owner for shaping her purpose, revealing to her the true essence of being a dedicated community member. Brewster has served on the boards of the Cutchins Programs for Children and Families, David Ruggles Center, Double Edge Theatre, Downtown Northampton Association, and North Sar Self-Directed Learning for Teens. She has been recognized by BusinessWest as a 40 under 40 Class of 2009 honoree, and as a 2022 Difference Maker.
John Davis (Franklin County)
Davis serves as the president of Historic Deerfield. He previously served as Provost and Under Secretary for Museums, Education, and Research at the Smithsonian Institution; Executive Director of the Terra Foundation for American Art Europe (Paris); and Alice Pratt Brown Professor of Art at Smith College. He has been a visiting professor in Belgium, France, and Japan, and his research has been supported by the Fulbright Association, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts. John is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society. He is interested in historic American arts and culture, and he participates in the Valley musical community through his passion for Sacred Harp singing.
Magdalena Gómez (Hampden County)
Gómez is a distinguished Springfield-based playwright, performer, and speaker. Her accomplishments in the world of literature and the arts are nothing short of remarkable. Gómez’s play, “Luisa Capetillo: A Beautiful Anarchy,” a portrayal of the life of Puerto Rican labor leader, Capetillo, will be part of an upcoming collection of scholarly essays in The Routledge Companion to Latine Theatre and Performance. She has served as Poet Laureate of Springfield, MA from 2019 to 2022, and as Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow from 2021 to 2022. Gómez received the Latinas 50 Plus Literature Award at Fordham University in 2019 and the Latinx Excellence on the Hill Award from the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus of MA at the State House. Gómez’s dedication to the arts continues to shine brightly as a recent 2023 recipient of a National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) NFA award, which recognizes the development of her recent book, “Mi’ja,” into a solo performance work.
Dr. Michelle Schutt (Franklin County)
President of Greenfield Community College, Schutt, brings her over two decades of invaluable experience supporting students, staff, and faculty as a leader in higher education. Driven by her unwavering commitment to the community college mission of providing affordable and accessible education, she is deeply inspired by the transformative opportunities it offers to change the course of lives. With a leadership style that ignites transformation, Dr. Schutt boasts an impressive track record of orchestrating college wide, student success initiatives. As an educator at heart, she firmly believes that the essence of any college endeavor resides in the classroom where teaching and learning intersect to shape futures. Dr. Schutt is an active contributor to the field through her presentations at national conferences and mentorship of PhD student practicums. She earned her PhD in Education and Human Resource studies from Colorado State University and her educational pursuits include master’s degrees in Social Responsibility and English Education. In the summer of 2019, Dr. Schutt participated in the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University, and she was an Aspen Rising Presidential Fellow in 2021-2022.
Payton Shubrick (Hampden County)
Born and raised in Springfield, Shubrick is no stranger to the economic potential of western Massachusetts. She is the CEO and founder of the two-time award-winning, adult-use dispensary, 6 Brick’s. A proud graduate of Springfield Central High School, College of the Holy Cross, and Bay Path University she is focused on improving her community through economic development, leveraging the emerging cannabis industry. Shubrick lives out her values in being dedicated to community, education, and wellness by siting on four non-profit boards and serving as an Adjunct Professor for Clark University, American International College, and the CT Cannabis Accelerator Program. She has been awarded both the NECANN Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Marijuana Ventures 40 under 40.