Providing Programs and Services for Local Schools

School districts and businesses throughout the region have bonded together with the Blackstone Valley Education Foundation (BVEF) to leverage community support that enhances efforts to connect current learning with future career paths for students, whether following post-secondary education or directly after high school graduation.  BVEF provides professional development for teachers and school counselors, as well as innovative career-connection programs that assist students in the development of 21st century skills, by connecting the classroom with local businesses and the community.   The goal is to assist with the development of our future workforce in the Blackstone Valley and throughout the nation.

BVEF initiatives include:

  • Massachusetts Manufacturing Pipeline Program (M2P2)
  • STEM Kids Conference, in partnership with Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Blackstone Valley Youth Leadership Academy
  • Career-focused professional development days for teachers and counselors
  • Education grants to schools to support innovative projects, cirriculum, and field trips
  • Humanities Scholars Program, connecting students with college learning opportunities
  • Art in the Valley, a major student art exhibition for the public
  • Career Connections Program for students seeking local employment
  • Manufacturing Day in collaboration with local manufacturing companies
  • Annual Business and Education Forum
  • Assistance preparing for NEASC, by documenting the school-community connections
  • Early college planning and college admissions presentations

The Blackstone Valley Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization that is funded by gifts, school district membership, the Commonwealth's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, and MassDevelopment Corporation. These funding sources help to connect your students, school, and professionals to business and industry for the purpose of strengthening college and career readiness.

Board of Directors 2017-2018

Officers

Jim Hoban, President 
Anthony Steele, Vice President 
Joseph Meichelbeck, Treasurer
Betsey Brewer, Clerk

Board

Peter Bedigian
Tara Bennett
Rich Brennan
John Clements
Paul Daigle
Chris Foley
Lee Gaudette
Mark Goretti
Marie Heney
Dr. Joseph Maruszczak
MaryAnn Maynard
Dr. Kevin McIntyre
Catherine Stickney

Meet the Staff

Paul Lynskey, Executive Director:   Over twenty years of experience in higher education and career planning administration and counseling; directed the statewide school program for MEFA, providing presentations in over 200 schools across Massachusetts; previously held the positions of Dean of Admissions, Director of Secondary School Relations, and Director of Admissions and Marketing; consultant to College Board and ACT; Past-President of the Massachusetts Educational Opportunity Association; (M.B.A. in Marketing, B.A. in History) plynskey@BVeducationfoundation.org

Erika Baum, Program and Grant Coordinator:  Ten years experience as an assistant principal in both Virginia and Massachusetts; adjunct professor for two colleges and a university; five years classroom teaching experience in a public school district; participated in numerous educational professional development trainings and conferences. (M.A. in Educational Administration, B.A. Psychology, minor in Education) ebaum@BVeducationfoundation.org

Holly McNeil, Communication and Event Coordinator:  Nine years of experience as a Manufacturing Recruiter. Successfully recruited Engineers, Mechanical Technicians, Electronic Technicians, and Machine Operators and placed employees in large local manufacturing companies such as EMC, Saint Gobain, IPG, and Evergreen Solar. Volunteer event planner for non-profit pediatric cancer research charities. (B.S. in Sociology). hmcneil@BVeducationfoundation.org

Amy Healey, Mass Manufacturing Grant Coordinator:  Ten years of experience in Human Resources at EMC, now Dell Technologies.  Partnered with various business units, including Engineering and Manufacturing, to drive strategic HR programs and initiatives.    (M.S. in Marketing and Masters course work in Adult and Organizational Learning). ahealey@BVeducationfoundation.org

Jenna Rizzo:  Eleven years of progressively responsible experience in marketing and sales, including significant business-to-business experience at Shields Health Care Group, Monster, Inc., and Eli Lilly & Company; several recognitions for success at developing and expanding new business markets. (B.S. in Marketing) jrizzo@BVeducationfoundation.org

Megan Potenti, adjunct staff, Blackstone Valley Youth Leadership Academy Coordinator:  Nine years of classroom teaching experience in two public school districts; Senior Counselor at Massachusetts Association of Student Council Student Leadership Camp; five summers as Coordinator of CIT Program for Girls, Inc; Advisor to Student Council in two school districts. (B.A. in History, M.A. in History)