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Riverside Adds Four New Board Members

New members will bring diverse experience to the board room as Riverside focuses on expanding programs and employment.

Easthampton, MA – Riverside Industries, Inc. (RSI) announced today four new members have joined its board of directors who will help support its mission to empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live rich and full lives. 

“I’m especially excited to see such a talented group of volunteers join our board as we continue in this current phase of organizational growth,” said Lynn Ireland, President and CEO of RSI. “As our organization battles through the lagging impacts of the pandemic, we are actively expanding our programs and workforce to reach new clients. I will certainly draw on the diverse professional and personal experiences of our board members in pursuit of that effort.” 

Melissa Pike currently serves as Chair of the Board for RSI, a position she has held since 2021. “Personally, I am thrilled to welcome these talented new members to our board and look forward to working alongside them as we address Riverside’s most pressing needs,” said Pike. “Each of these new members brings a unique talent, skill, and perspective to the table. With their input, we immediately add a breadth of knowledge and technical skill that will be immensely helpful as we plot Riverside’s strategic goals for the future.” 

All four of the new board members began their three-year term with RSI effective March 2023. The four new board members are:

Tara Brewster - Vice President of Business Development and Director of Philanthropy, Greenfield Savings Bank. 

After co-founding Jackson & Connor in Thornes Marketplace, Tara’s professional path led her to banking where she plays a pivotal role as VP of Business Development for GSB. Her passion for her home community has led her to a life of service where she continues to be a Difference Maker and a powerful force among the local nonprofit sector. Tara serves as a board member, advocate, donor, and volunteer for several organizations ranging from the Downtown Northampton Association, Hampshire Regional YMCA, Double Edge Theatre, and Cutchins Programs for Children and Families. Tara lives in Florence, MA, with her family – not far from where she grew up. 

Jeff Palm

Jeff Palm - Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Global Educators, Inc. 

Jeff is the Founder and Executive Board member of CIS Abroad, a leading education abroad company that provides transformative, international study and intern abroad experiences to universities and students across the US. Outside of the office, Jeff keeps busy by spending time in the woods and water, volunteering with other impactful, local organizations, and enjoying time with his wife, two sons, and a food-obsessed black lab.

Melissa Pters

Melissa Peters - Human Resource Generalist, Fiducient Advisors. 

Melissa is a Western, MA native. Her heart and home are in Easthampton, MA.  Melissa spent the greater part of her career in Human Resources. People are her passion. She enjoyes building rapport and creating space for employees to grow both professionally and personally. When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her two rescue pups, golf, the outdoors, and long-distance running. She is currently training for the Boston Marathon.  

Teremar Rodriguez

Teremar Rodriguez-Vazquez - Assistant General Counsel, Health New England. 

Teremar is employed at Health New England as the Assistant General Counsel. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Western New England University School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Western New England University. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Hampden Bar Association and Hispanic Bar Association. Additionally, Teremar is a Board of Trustees member for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School of Excellence and a member and secretary of the Western New England School of Law Alumni Association. Teremar is fluent in Spanish and lives in West Springfield. She enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, and watching true crime documentaries. 

Melissa continued, “On behalf of the board, I want to also express our gratitude to Jan Carhart, Jane Curran and Silas Kopf who have each concluded their service as valued members of the board. All three have provided unflinching support for many years and across multiple terms on the board. We look forward to their continued volunteer involvement in other areas of RSI’s operations.”