Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Local Marketing Executive James Leahy Elected as Westfield State Foundation Chairman

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James M. Leahy of Holyoke, Mass. was recently elected chairman of the Westfield State Foundation Board of Directors.  The Westfield State Foundation is the 501 (c)(3) organizationthat raises funds in support of Westfield State University.

As chair of the Foundation Board, Leahy is responsible for managing fundraising and outreach efforts, as well as advocating on behalf of the Foundation throughout the community. He oversees the board’s 18 members as well as its 92 corporators.

“Mr. Leahy is a seasoned member of the Foundation Board and I look forward to his leadership in advancing our mission to strengthen our culture of philanthropy,” said Dr. Erica Broman, vice president for Institutional Advancement at Westfield State University and executive director of the Westfield State Foundation.

Leahy has served as a Holyoke City Councilor for more than 18 years. On the City Council, he serves as chairman of the Public Service Committee, vice chair of the Public Safety Committee, and as a member of the Finance Committee. He previously held a position in the State of Massachusetts Transportation Department.

He is also co-director of Marketing and Sponsorship for the St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke, Inc., a non-profit organization that operates one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country. The parade, 10K road race, and accompanying events are responsible for contributing more than $20 million annually to the local economy. Leahy also served as the president/CEO of the St. Patrick's Committee, Inc. organization in 2010.

In addition to his work on the St. Patrick’s Committee, Leahy has served on several other local boards including the International Volleyball Hall of Fame, Holyoke Merry Go Round, Boy’s and Girl’s Club of America, Holyoke Youth Soccer, the Holyoke Y.M.C.A, and Children’s Museum of Holyoke.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Westfield State University and is working towards his Master of Education in Education and Corporate Training from Cambridge College. He has been a member of the Foundation board for the past three years.

“I look forward to developing a board that enhances the fundraising capabilities of the university,” said Leahy, whose term ends in September 2018. “I want to focus on the unique ways we can differentiate ourselves from the other public universities in Massachusetts.”

In 2010, Leahy was recognized by BusinessWest as a “40 Under Forty” awardee.  In 2013, he was honored by the St. Patrick’s Committee with the George E. O’Connell Award for his fundraising efforts.

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