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SPOON-FED:

Learning with Lovin’: Meet the Panelists

On May 19, we’re hosting the next session in our educational series, Learning with Lovin’. In this session, which focuses on “Choosing Your Business Partners,” attendees will hear from us and a few of our community partners about how building strategic relationships has helped us each to meet our business objectives.

This is a free event open to all, however, registration is required. Register here and read on to meet our panelists!

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Lucy Darragh, Director of Corporate Citizenship, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

As Director of Corporate Citizenship at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Lucy Darragh has spent more than a decade launching purpose-driven programming that connects business and community. Throughout her tenure at Blue Cross, Lucy has introduced a number of the company’s civic engagement initiatives including an annual enterprise-wide Service Day, a skills-based volunteer program, community service sabbatical, and “Dot Rx.” Most recently, Lucy has been at the forefront of the company’s community response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which included Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

Prior to joining Blue Cross, Lucy worked at a variety of nonprofits wearing every imaginable hat. She’s held leadership positions at the Museum of Science (Boston), Playworks New England, and Cradles to Crayons; she conducted community needs assessments and created outcome-based evaluation strategies for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center and the Children’s Trust Fund. Lucy graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and earned her master’s in macro practice social work from Boston University. Learn more about Lucy.

Kiera Penpeci, Founder and Principal Consultant, Primed OD

Dr. Kiera Penpeci is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Primed OD, an organizational development collective focused on Whole Person Org Health. She has been passionate about building inclusive workplaces since her own sense of belonging led to fast mobility during her early days in retail. Since then, she’s focused her education on Organizational Development, earning her MA in Organizational Development in 2016 and PsyD in Organizational and Leadership Psychology in 2020 from William James College. Using Organizational Development theory, the power of community, and her research on emotional labor, she’s helped non-profit and high-tech organizations foster inclusion of employees from all walks of life. In her consulting work, Kiera emphasizes acknowledgment of mental health as vital to employee success and has been celebrated for her ability to apply theory to practice starting with data driven insights, and creating holistic interventions to remove barriers to employee success and belonging.

In addition to her consulting work, Kiera advocates for opportunities for underrepresented people on various advisory boards and committees and commits to spreading awareness on DEI topics on people-centered panels and speaking engagements every chance she gets.

Mia Alvarado, Executive Director, Roxbury Youthworks

Since 2008, Mia Alvarado has been the Executive Director of Roxbury Youthworks, a Lovin’ Spoonfuls non-profit partner. She is responsible for a $3.5M annual budget, a 40 member staff, and manages all of the agency’s contracts with the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Youth Services, and the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance, ensuring that the agency is able to carry out its critical work.

A Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Mia has worked extensively in the field of child welfare and juvenile justice. Prior to her current position, Mia was a Special Assistant to the DCF Commissioner’s Office and Chief of Staff to former DSS Commissioner, Harry Spence. Learn more about Mia.

Ashley Stanley, Founder and Executive Director, Lovin’ Spoonfuls

Ashley Stanley is a born and bred Bostonian. Since founding Lovin’ Spoonfuls in 2010, more than 20 million pounds of fresh, healthy food has been rescued and brought into the social service stream. She has created unparalleled awareness for food rescue, with dedication to addressing hunger relief, climate change and health equity. In 2011, the Boston Business Journal named her an ‘Emerging Leader.’ In 2012, Lovin’ Spoonfuls was a two-time winner of the Mass Challenge competition. In 2013, Ashley was selected as one of the BBJ’s ’40 under 40’ and served as a fellow at The Nantucket Project. In 2014, Ashley was recognized by The Boston Globe as a ‘Game Changer’ and in Boston Magazine‘s ‘Power of Ideas.’ She is an Oxfam International Sisters of the Planet Ambassador, a member of TEDWomen, and a TEDx community speaker. She’s been featured on NPR and written for The Huffington Post. Learn more about Ashley.

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Meet our Moderator

Abbey Niezgoda, Reporter, NBC 10 Boston

Abbey Niezgoda enjoys telling all sorts of stories, but has spent the last year reporting on the pandemic. When she’s not asking the Governor questions or interviewing healthcare workers on the front lines, she is dining outdoors and supporting local restaurants. A graduate of Emerson College, she is a longtime supporter of Lovin’ Spoonfuls and a member of Friends of Lovin’ Spoonfuls. Her favorite Lovin’ memories include every Ultimate Tailgate Party and 2019’s Chefs’ Table event, where she served as the auctioneer. Learn more about Abbey.