The board of directors of Dress for Success WesternMassachusetts has elected a new slate of members and officers to govern the organization’s work of empowering local women to achieve economic independence. This election marks the first time in the organization’s history that the board is at least 50% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), reflecting their dedication to fostering a board that more closely represents the
community they serve.
Newly promoted Board President Tracy Friedenberg, recently named Executive Director at
Bacon Wilson, P.C., is pleased to announce the election of the Dress for Success Western Mass
board’s other officers: Michele Cabral, Professor of Accounting at Holyoke Community College,
as Board Treasurer and Laura Dennis, VP and Regional Manager of Country Bank for Savings,
as Board Secretary.
Friedenberg, who previously served as the board’s Vice President also acted as chairperson for
the relocation committee that helped to select the organization’s new home on Lyman Street in
downtown Springfield where they moved into in August.
“As a Springfield resident and city native, it is important to me to give back to the region that has
given me so much throughout my life,” says Friedenberg. “Being a part of Dress for Success
Western Mass fills my cup in a way I didn't know was possible. To see the strength,
perseverance, and courage of our participants reminds me of the resilience of our community.”
Currently, the women served by Dress for Success Western Mass are 45% Latina, 25% Black,
23% Caucasian, 2% Asian, and 5% Other. In the last year, 57% of the 342 clients served were
Springfield residents. The Pew Research Center reports that women make only 82% of what men
make in salary, a statistic that has barely changed in at least 20 years. In addition, for every
dollar a White man is paid, Black women are paid just 63 cents and Latinas only 55 cents. These
are just a few of the statistics that fuel the volunteers, staff, and donors of Dress for Success to
continue their programming in digital literacy, workforce readiness, mentoring, and providing
professional attire for their clients.
Executive Director Margaret Tantillo says she is excited to continue working with Friedenberg
and the rest of the board members during this transition point in the organization’s life cycle as
the board is evolving from a working board to one that focuses primarily on the organization’s
governance. Of the significant milestones in their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,
Tantillo says, “this achievement of a representative leadership team ensures that Dress for
Success better reflects the community we serve. The diversity in perspectives from our
governing body will strengthen our ability to fulfill our mission and create lasting change for
Other members of the DFSWM board include Arlene Castellano, REALTOR; Tatiana Cole,
Academic Advisor Team Lead, University of Southern New Hampshire; Tamera Crenshaw,
Licensed Mental Health Clinician, Tools for Success Counseling, LLC; Oriana Falkowski,
Founder, Money Map Coaching; Meaghan Murphy, Attorney, Skoler Abbott; Paulette Piñero,
Founder and CEO, Unstoppable Latina LLC; Nancy Rivera, Retired; Deanna Rousseau, GTF
Aftermarket FP&A Manager, Pratt and Whitney; and Nicole Stevenson, AVP, Consumer Loan
Operations Manage, PeoplesBank.
Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts is on a mission to promote the economic
independence of all women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and career
development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. For more information on Dress for
Success, visit www.dfswm.org.