BBBS Announced Awards and New Board Members

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & MetroWest held its Annual Meeting on January 23, 2019 at The Hanover Insurance Group. The Annual Meeting was attended by supporters, alumni, staff, board members, corporators and guests. The event featured three award presentations to members of the organization for outstanding achievements and contributions to the agency and also announced 3 new Board members. 

2019 Annual Meeting Awards

The Colleen O’Brien Memorial Award is given annually to a Board Member who exceeded expectations in their contributions to the agency. It is named in honor of Colleen O’Brien, who passed away eight years ago after serving on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest Board of Directors. 

Ryan Kittredge
Kittredge got involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a Big Brother about 10 years ago. Since then, he has embodied the spirit of volunteerism and commitment to BBBS just as Colleen O’Brien did. Ryan has served on the BBBS Board of Directors since 2016. Before his time on the Board, he was an active Corporator and founding member of our BBBS Alumni & Friends Group. Ryan takes an active role in fundraising for the agency, particularly through the Rodman Ride for Kids where he personally raises well over $5,000 each year to support our programs and recruits others to support as well. Ryan is a true ambassador for the agency and has not only spread the word about our mission everywhere he goes, but also helps recruit new Board members and volunteers to help us thrive.

The Dr. H. Martin Deranian Fellowship Award is given annually to a Big Brother or Big Sister who exceeds expectations in their contributions to their mentee and to the agency. It is named in honor of Dr. H. Martin Deranian, the agency’s (and nation’s) longest serving Big Brother (50 years+).

Mary Van Mameren
Mary Van Mameren has served as a Big Sister to her Little Julia for 3 years. Through their time together, Mary stands out as a remarkable Big Sister because of her focus on building confidence and bravery in her Little Sister. Mary embodies what Dr. Deranian stood for in a mentor in that she is consistent and reliable, yet fun and creative in the activities they do together. Mary is dedicated not only to her Little, but goes above and beyond for BBBS and serves on the event committee for Bowl for Kids’ Sake, where she helps plan the event, recruits attendees, and raises money to support our important mission.

The Linda Urbec Award is presented to a match who shows the same persistence and dedication that Linda showed during her time at BBBS.  The match is nominated by BBBS Staff for working through an obstacle or challenge, and has shown perseverance and determination in the process of reaching success.

Kaden & Andrew
Kaden and Andrew have been matched since the fall of 2016 at Assumption College. When Kaden was introduced to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program he was a very energetic child and had some challenges with his grades and homework. The changes in Kaden’s behavior have been remarkable he has been getting along with his peers, and he has a group of friends now who he likes to play with at recess. Kaden’s teachers says that he has done a complete 180 degree turn from where he was last year; he always completes his homework on time and is giving forward a lot more effort.  Kaden and Andrew’s experiences of impacted both of their lives for the better.

Newly Elected Board Members

Eric Jenkins
Eric is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island where he was a member of the football team.  After graduating, Eric began his career working at the Wreath School in Middleton, MA, a residential non-profit that served adolescent boys ages 12-18 with behavior issues. After 8 years, Eric started his industrial equipment sales career.  Currently, Eric is a Regional Sales Manager for Harrington Hoists Inc. Eric was introduced to BBBS through a friend, which led him to become a Big himself.  For the past 4 years, he’s been a Big to his Little Jeremy, a 13 year old from Framingham.  Eric has watched Jeremy grow from a shy little boy to a slightly less shy young m


Michael Burke
Michael joined The Hanover in June 1997.  His current role is Director, Conference & Travel Services.    Current Board member and Past President of FICP (Financial & Insurance Conference Planners Association). Michael has been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a Big since 2010.  Michael earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Roger Williams College and earned his CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) designation from the Convention Industry Council in 2003. Michael enjoys traveling, is a mediocre golfer and spending time with friends and family. He lives in Worcester, MA with his wife Nicole and their two children, Cameron & Colin.

Dr. Arin Whitman
Dr. Arin Whitman is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Western New England University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (WNEU COPHS) where she teaches Hematology-Oncology in the Integrated Pharmacy Care and Patient Management Course Series. . She has been a Big Sister since 2017.  Dr. Whitman received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy in Pittsburgh, PA.

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