We Appreciate Your Support!

After 15 years operating under a fiscal sponsorship model, Leadership SouthCoast has become a 501(c)(3) public charity! It’s now easier than ever to support LSC’s mission to engage, educate, and empower. Your donation helps Leadership SouthCoast to cultivate a robust network of diverse local leaders determined to improve and strengthen the region.

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Bruno works for the City of New Bedford managing grants to eliminate lead hazards from homes and promote healthier living conditions for residents. He also assists in addressing issues like bug infestations, mold, and other hazards, creating safer environments for families in the community. An active community member, he serves on the board of directors for the Cape Verdean Association in New Bedford. 

Bruno joined the LSC board because of its empowering mission, which deeply resonates with him as an immigrant from Cabo Verde. He feels his work with LSC will allow him to play a role in empowering others who may share similar backgrounds. “I am eager to be a part of Leadership Southcoast, as it exemplifies the idea that everyone, regardless of their origins, should have the opportunity to thrive. We can create a positive difference in our community by fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for all.” 

For Bruno, leadership represents a collaborative community where individuals come together to share ideas and solve the challenges our region faces. It is a nurturing space where guidance is readily available to explore innovative approaches to solution seeking. 

When asked about his vision for the south coast Bruno said, “the South Coast is on the cusp of a transformation, and with the right vision, dedication, and cooperation, there is no doubt that the future holds many opportunities for growth and prosperity.” 

Colleen Kennedy-Mello leads the Southeast Tobacco-Free Community Partnership of Seven Hills Behavioral Health. In her position as Program Manager, Colleen works to ensure that racial equity and public health are prioritized over tobacco and vaping industry profits.  She works closely with local partners to fight the industry’s historic targeting of vulnerable populations, including youth and Black, LGBTQ+, and Hispanic/LatinX communities.  Prior to her role with the Partnership, Colleen worked for more than sixteen years in higher education, with a focus on assisting low-income, first-generation students.  Active in the community, in 2010 she co-founded the Fairhaven Turkey Trot for Health and Hunger, and in 2022 served as Curator and Lead Operative for New Bedford’s 20mi2 city-wide celebration.  

Colleen participated in the LSC LEAD 2023 cohort and found her experience to be invaluable in promoting positive changes on the South Coast: “I believe in the vision and purpose of LSC.  Not only was I able to refine my skills as a leader in the community, LSC afforded me the opportunity to broaden my network, collaborate with community organizations and help change in our region.  Only through collaboration and connection can a community flourish, and LSC is instrumental in this regard.”

Colleen believes to be an effective leader one must be an active listener.  One must be open to new perspectives, have compassion and empathy, and strive to connect with others with different experiences and views.  A strong leader encourages others, advocates, and delivers support and resources when needed.”

When asked about her vision for the South Coast, Colleen answered, “I am tremendously heartened by the dynamic change and progress of our region in recent years and the opportunities for us to prosper in the future still.  Most important to me is that we expand that circle of opportunity to encompass all residents and ensure that no one is left behind as our area continues to evolve.”

Ed serves as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education. It is a 30-year-old non-profit representing business voices, including most of the state’s Chambers of Commerce, including One SouthCoast, and other statewide trade and business organizations, in support of equitable access to high quality educational opportunities for students that prepare them for college, career and citizenship. 

As a lifelong resident of the SouthCoast, and someone who has long engaged and interacted with LSC, Ed chooses to serve the LSC mission on the board as a way to expand potential for the organization. “I want to help develop the next generation of regional leaders. I hope to be able to add my perspective and history of regional leadership to the effort.”

For Ed, leadership means serving others and listening to disparate voices while translating the hopes and desires of the community into actionable progress. 

When asked what he sees for the south coast, Ed responded, “Equity for the region within the Commonwealth; advancement in educational and career achievement for residents; a better quality of life for all, in particular working families.”

Vinnie is the Dean of Business and Experiential Education at Bristol Community College. In addition to overseeing several departments and programs in the area of Business Administration he also oversees three collegewide centers: Academic Center for Entrepreneurship (ACE), Experiential Education Center (EEC), and Credit for Prior Learning (CPL). 

Vinnie sees an opportunity to help people understand our community and build their capacity to lead in their organizations and communities.  He brings with him experience working with Leadership Howard County in MD on several collaborative projects. 

Vinnie’s idea of leadership is being able to inspire others, motivate, set a vision, communicate, respect others, and of course, lead by example. A leader must have an honest understanding of who they are, what they know, and what they are capable of. “Good leaders are developed through a never-ending process of self-study, education, training, experience and above all- excellent mentorship”. 

When asked about his vision for the south coast, Vinnie said, “When I moved to the south coast region in 2020, besides the sheer natural beauty of the area, I was extremely impressed with a sense of community and a culture of inclusiveness in the region. While there are areas of opportunities for improvement, what is impressive is the desire to make things happen in the region through partnership and collaboration by several sectors such as education, banking, off-shore wind, healthcare etc.”

Dr. Korn is a semi-retired Professor of Leadership.  He worked at Harvard Business School for 17 years. His last position there was as the Executive Director of HBS Doctoral Programs. He was also the Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.  John continues teaching a graduate level course, “Leadership Perspectives”, and executive development courses in leadership at Harvard University.

When asked why he wanted to join the LSC Board, John answered, “I believe that the world needs more leaders at every level in every organization.  LSC provides a path for high potential individuals to begin their leadership journeys.  The region needs organizations like LSC to close the existing leadership gap so that individuals develop key leadership skills.”

For John, leadership is about respect, responsibility, and results.  “Respect for those we lead and the ideals of integrity, service, and a sense of the greater good.  Responsibility for my actions and the actions (or inactions) of those I lead as well as upholding the mission and values of the organization in which I serve.  Results because at the end of the day, leaders are expected to produce, through others, the very best outcomes possible. “ 

He sees the SouthCoast as a land of possibility.  Regionally, there are opportunities that seem to have been missed such as the triad of New Bedford, Fall River, and Taunton as a powerful partnership.  “In my view, that potential has historically been missed.  With the addition of wind power, I hope that the region can collectively leverage that opportunity and become a world leader in the renewable energy sector.  I think that there is an emerging view that excellence can overcome history.  My hope is the SouthCoast will embrace a new way of working and living together.”

Brittany is the Vice President of the Enterprise Project Management Office for Bristol County Savings Bank (BCSB).  Her role is responsible for implementing BCSB’s strategic initiatives. Since joining BCSB in 2018, Brittany created the project management infrastructure and ensures all bank wide initiatives align with the project management policy.

She joined the LSC board because she believes in its vision, that by being the nexus within the community, through fostering diverse leadership opportunities, LSC provides her and the south coast the opportunity to maximize their impact to build a stronger community.

 “I had the pleasure of being a part of the 2019 cohort class and witnessed firsthand the immeasurable benefit LSC provides to not only its participants, but also local organizations. As such, I wanted to ensure that this opportunity was available for fellow colleagues and community members. I am excited to be a part of the LSC board as it continues to grow and make a difference within our community!”

For Brittany leadership is inclusion through influence and inspiration in order to maximize impact. In lieu of trying to fix everything oneself or only leading from above, true leadership, she believes, is when one mobilizes and guides others through innovation and problem solving.

When asked what she sees for the south coast, Brittany answered, “I would hope to see the south coast have educational equality and access on par with the rest of the state.  I foresee this as an opportunity also for LSC to engage class members and alumni to further assist with leveling the playing field. Overall, I envision and am hopeful that the South Coast will be a community further strengthened by its diverse and engaged members that spearhead solutions to community wide issues, ensuring positive growth for all residents!”

Dr. Curtis Odom is an Associate Teaching Professor of Management and Organizational Development at Northeastern University in Boston, Leader of the Coaching, Mentoring & Sponsorship Institute at The Conference Board, and a Senior Council Member at the Forbes Coaches Council. He is also the Managing Partner at Prescient Strategists where clients hire his consulting firm as a strategic partner on targeted business transformations to enable organizations to compete more effectively while making strategic human capital pivots.

Dr. Odom accepted an invitation to join the LSC Board because he feels connected to the organization’s mission. He also has the desire to give back to our community and believes that he can make a positive impact on the organization’s work.

For Dr. Odom, inclusive leadership means committing to ensuring all team members are treated equitably, that all team members feel a sense of belonging and value. It is making sure people can bring what their real identity is to the organization. The increasing sense of belonging and value is also about the resources and the support that can be provided, so that people can reach their full potential, bringing their whole selves to work. ” We are at a point where there is a strong business case, a strong moral case, and a strong sense of purpose around inclusive leadership.”

When asked what he sees for the south coast, Dr. Odomanswered, “I see LSC as an advocate for policies and initiatives that benefit underrepresented minority communities of the south coast, such as affordable housing, education, and healthcare.”

Dr. Michael Goodman is a Professor of Public Policy and currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Chancellor for Economic Development & Strategic Initiatives at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. His life’s work is to study and monitor the Massachusetts economy, and to analyze the major policy issues that influence regional and community economic competitiveness, quality of life, and cost of living.

UMass Dartmouth was the birthplace of Leadership SouthCoast (LSC) in 2004.  The institution believes now as strongly as it did nearly 20 years ago in providing opportunities for  students, staff, and neighbors to become prepared to take on leadership roles in their communities and region.  Dr. Goodman is proud to support LSC’s important efforts designed to do just that and to be representing UMass Dartmouth on the LSC Board of Directors.

For Dr. Goodman a good leader is steadfastly focused on the mission and shared goals, has empathy for the people they work with and for, makes an honest effort to listen and respond to the input and feedback of those they lead and serve,  cultivates trust by being honest, fair-minded, and transparent, and is personally and professionally accountable for results.

When asked about what he sees for the south coast, Dr. Goodman answered, “I think the future for the region looks very bright but there is much work to be done. These are exciting times for the south coast.  While much progress has been made in improving local and regional educational outcomes, educational attainment here remains comparatively low for the working -age population.  This is a significant part of the reason why regional incomes have lagged for decades. This progress must continue if the SouthCoast is to reap the full benefits of the once in a generation economic development opportunity presented by the rail extension and the burgeoning offshore wind industry.”

Dawn is the Senior Director of Retail Banking at First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union.  Her role supports the entire organization with a focus on strengthening the retail branches and supporting its members.

She joined the LSC board in 2019 because she is passionate about the purpose of LSC and its focus around educating and empowering community leaders to get involved, do more and support their region.  Being on the LSC board has given Dawn the opportunity to connect with other leaders in the south coast who support the importance of developing leaders within our communities.  The LSC board is made up of people from multiple industries  so sharing expertise from different perspectives is something that can help in one’s own professional development.         

Dawn believes leadership means supporting others and helping them to be successful by setting an example for people to achieve positive change.  “A true leader promotes collaboration, emphasizing that one person cannot do everything; They do, not just say and are not afraid to get out of their comfort zone when it supports the greater good.  A leader should be inspiring, authentic, trustworthy and accountable.

When asked what she sees for the south coast, Dawn answered, “I see emerging leaders who are able to create better opportunities, more support for those who need it, and a place that people are excited to be part of.  We need more awareness for the needs around education, basic individual and family needs and mental health.  I think that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a setback for different organizations who were actively helping in these areas, and we need strong community leaders to help the south coast get better at addressing its needs.”

Scott is the Vice President/Human Resources Director at BayCoast Bank.  As the head of Human Resources, Scott is responsible for developing and executing a human resource strategy in support of the overall business plan and strategic direction of the organization, specifically in the areas of succession planning, talent management, change management, organizational and performance management, training and development, and compensation for the Bank and its subsidiaries. He provides strategic leadership by articulating HR needs and plans to the executive management team and board of directors.

Scott is a proud graduate of the LSC program and wanted to be able to give back by working on the board to continue the success of the organization.  “Being able to provide leadership programs such as the ones LSC provides are extremely important to the success of our local businesses and their employees. I want to make sure LSC has the continued support of the board and I feel that my background with both LSC and my professional life has provided me with the opportunity to help this important cause to continue the success of LSC.“

He views leadership as doing the right thing and leading by example. Scott feels that people are organizations’ most important assets and leadership is about bringing different perspectives together and making something special out of it.

 When asked what he sees for the south coast, Scott answered, “My hope for the South Coast is to be able to provide meaningful work for my children. I would like to see our youth be able to stay in the South Coast and have a positive experience.”

Elise works for the City of New Bedford as the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) Director. It is exciting work putting this historical level of federal investment to work for the City. Aside from Leadership SouthCoast, she also volunteers with other organizations including Science Café and SeaAhead. All share the mission of public education to advance societal goals.

She joined the LSC Board to help people who may not view themselves as leaders unlock their leadership potential with the goal of increasing diversity of thought and managerial capability in organizations throughout the south coast. This was the first board she was  asked to serve on, and thought it was a safe place for a newbie.

 For Elise, leadership is an approach to life that exemplifies being the change you wish to see in the world. “Great leaders lead by example, and thereby help others feel more comfortable with trying new things. This is something we can all do in our daily lives, regardless of whether we occupy positions of power.”

When asked what she sees for the south coast, Elise answered, “The south coast has a lot to offer. Something we can all do now is help each other see the beauty in everyday life on the south coast and be proud of where we are from. Moving forward, I would like to see the south coast leading on issues of environmental sustainability and economic self-sufficiency, thereby becoming more robust to changes in climate and the economy.”

Beth works in communications for Coastline Elderly Services, a nonprofit organization that provides services and programs to help older and disabled adults live independently. Within that role she produces a monthly newspaper specifically for older adults to keep them informed about resources available to them as well as general community news.

 She graduated from LSC in 2013 with such gratitude for the program and the experiences it provided that she jumped at the chance to become a part of making that available for others. “There’s something powerful about bringing people from different career paths and backgrounds together to learn about and discuss community challenges and opportunities over a 10-month period. The bonds formed are amazing and the possibility for change on both an individual and community level is exciting.”

Beth believes we are all leaders and that the best leadership helps others live what’s true for them to then, in turn, pass that onto even more people.

The strength she sees in the South Coast is the incredible number of people who want to help others and create more good for the entire community. When asked what she sees for the south coast Beth responded. “My best vision for this region is seeing all the small groups already doing this work come together to create a more cohesive whole. Imagine us all connected and committed to a set of shared values and goals. What couldn’t we do then?”

Stephen Mitchell (Mitch) serves as First Vice President and Regional Cash Management Specialist for the Northeast Region’s Private Bank at Morgan Stanley.  Mitch shares Morgan Stanley’s core values by doing the right thing, put clients first, lead with exceptional ideas, commit to diversity and inclusion, and give back.   

Mitch joined the LSC Board 9 years ago after graduating from the 2012 cohort and has served on the Executive Board as Treasurer of LSC for the past three years.  He joined the board because the LSC mission has always resonated within him. “I want to engage, educate, and empower a vigorous network of individuals who are determined to give back to the diverse needs of our community that we live and work to improve and strengthen the south coast region.”

 He believes leadership means inspiring and empowering others to lead from where they are towards a common goal or objective.

When asked what he sees for the south coast, Mitch answered, “I envision the south coast as a diverse and inclusive community that has been strengthened by its leaders who are determined to work together to inspire the community to work towards common objectives that will create a realistic and sustainable future while it continues to honor its past rich history.”

Catherine (Cat) currently serves as the Director of Marketing and Development for Cooperative Production, Inc. (CO-OP), a large nonprofit organization that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and brain injuries. Cat oversees CO-OP’s strategic marketing, public relations, fundraising, design, and community outreach activities.

When she went through the LSC program in 2018, Cat had the opportunity to learn leadership techniques, and about our community and her place within it. Through the program she interacted with so many talented people and groups who were invested in improving our region to be a better place to live, work and play for everyone. Cat joined the LSC Board because she wanted to ensure that LSC could continue to provide this opportunity to others in the future. “We get to positively change lives by gathering, educating, and inspiring upcoming leaders. Who could pass that up?”

Cat sees leaders as those who recognize and nurture the strengths and talents of the people around them. She believes leadership requires integrity, humility, and the recognition that learning is a lifelong process.

When asked what she sees for the south coast, Cat responded, “I moved to this area from the Midwest many years ago, and it still amazes me how beautiful it is! There are an abundance of reasons to love living and working here. It is exciting to see the many opportunities coming our way related to the potential of marine science and the offshore wind industry. Our entire region will benefit when our residents work with educational institutions and other organizations to prepare for lucrative roles in these growing industries. My hope is that these opportunities build equitable wealth and power for everyone in our region.”