May 11, 2017 – Springfield, Mass. — The United Way of Pioneer Valley (UWPV) today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Jim Ayres as the organization’s next president and chief executive officer effective June 12. Ayres, who currently serves as the chief executive officer of the United Way Hampshire County, will succeed Dora Robinson, the organization’s most recent president and CEO and current president emeritus.
“After a comprehensive search, the board is thrilled to have found a strong leader with a proven track record to lead this organization that is such an integral part of the Pioneer Valley,” Ben Markens, United Way Pioneer Valley Board Chair, said. “The Board of Directors was impressed with Jim’s extensive nonprofit experience, leadership skills and collaborative approach to problem solving. As we approach our 95th anniversary, it’s only fitting that we’ve found a leader with both enthusiasm for theUnited Way mission and the skills to position us to provide essential services to the community for many years to come.”
Ayres comes to UWPV from the United Way of Hampshire County (UWHC) where he has served as CEO and executive director since 2011. During his tenure there, he expanded the donor base, and increased both funding diversity and overall revenue at a time when many United Ways nationally had experienced shrinkage.
Prior to joining UWHC, he served for 12 years as the executive director of the Center for new Americans, an education and resource center for immigrants, refugees and other limited English speakers in western Massachusetts. With roots in the Springfield Public Schools where he worked as a parent community and involvement coordinator, Ayres has extensive experience working with school systems, local and state governments, community coalitions, workforce boards and other nonprofit organizations to develop programming and policy. He is the incoming board president of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and an adjunct professor of nonprofit administration and philanthropy at Bay Path University. Ayres holds master’s degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
“I am excited for the opportunity to partner with the United Way Pioneer Valley’s steadfast board of directors, dedicated staff and vital community partners to extend the organization’s impact in the communities we serve,” said Ayres. “It’s an honor to be entrusted with the organization’s leadership as we continue to fight for the health, education and financial stability of people across the Pioneer Valley.”
“He is an exceptional leader and very well respected United Way professional who has elevated the respect, trust and engagement of stakeholders with United Ways across our region,” said Robinson. “I’m absolutely thrilled with the Board’s decision to hire Jim.”
UWPV will celebrate Ayres’s arrival at the organization’s 95th anniversary celebration on May 31 at the Barney Carriage House at Forest Park.
Ayers lives in Haydenville, Mass. with his wife Keira Durrett, and two sons, Jackson and Nate.
About United Way of Pioneer Valley
United Way of Pioneer Valley fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community by finding new solutions to old problems, mobilizing the best resources and inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crises.