Westfield State University announces new board chair/officers and trustee appointments
Dr. Robert Martin will serve as Board Chair
WESTFIELD, Mass.—The Westfield State University Board of Trustees has elected Robert Martin, Ph.D., to serve as its chair, while Trustees Ali Salehi (Columbia Manufacturing, Inc., Westfield) and Lydia Martinez-Alvarez ’86 (Springfield Public Schools) were elected as vice-chair and secretary, respectively. Additions to the board include senior financial executive Theresa Jasmin, West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt ’09, and student Chloe Sanfacon. Mass. Governor Charlie Baker appointed all three, and reappointed MassMutual’s Madeline Landrau.
Dr. Martin has served the University’s Board of Trustees for seven years and most recently chaired the 2020 Presidential Search Committee. The Committee selected Linda Thompson, DrPH, MPH, RN, FAAN, as the University’s new president. He is a former dean of undergraduate students and former associate vice president for academic affairs at Westfield State, where he spent 24 years as a faculty member and administrator. Martin later served for six years as vice president for academic affairs and one year as interim president at Framingham State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wesleyan University and a master’s and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester.
Salehi, a Westfield resident, serves as chief executive officer and president of Westfield-based Columbia Manufacturing Inc., an industry leader in the production of school furniture with an award-winning manufacturing record in sustainability, environmental, and health and safety issues. A former board member of the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce, the Westfield State University Foundation, and the Westfield Redevelopment Authority, Salehi is a current trustee of Suffield Academy and the Baystate Health Foundation. He holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering and an M.S. in engineering management from Western New England University.
Martinez-Alvarez made history when she was selected as the first Latina to serve as assistant superintendent of Springfield Public Schools, a role she has held since 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from Westfield State, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Elms College, and is a doctoral candidate at American International College.
Jasmin has served since 2020 as chief financial officer of Big Y Foods Inc., which she joined in 2005. She previously worked for 14 years in the finance area of Friendly Ice Cream Corp. Jasmin brings an abundance of accounting, finance, audit, and tax experience to the board, and chairs the finance committees of both the YMCA of Greater Springfield and the Massachusetts Food Association. She earned a B.B.A. in accounting from UMass Amherst and an M.B.A. in finance from Western New England College (now University). Her trustee appointment is a five-year term.
Reichelt, a 2009 Westfield State alumnus, was elected mayor of West Springfield in November 2015 at age 29, after serving as its town attorney for two years. He previously was a law clerk and attorney for the town of Agawam. Reichelt is serving his second term as mayor. He holds an A.S. from Holyoke Community College, a B.S. in business administration and management from Westfield State, and an M.B.A. and J.D. from Western New England University and its School of Law, respectively. His trustee term runs until 2025.
Sanfacon of Grafton, Mass., was elected by the student body in April to serve as Westfield State student trustee for the 2021–22 academic year. A junior majoring in English and secondary education, she is secretary of the Class of 2023 after serving as class president during her first two years on campus. Sanfacon is also a peer writing consultant for the University’s Reading & Writing Center, a programming assistant in the Office of Student Activities, a new student orientation leader, and a member of the University’s Honors Program.
Landrau has worked at MassMutual for 25 years, most recently as program engagement manager on the community responsibility team. In her current position, Landrau oversees MassMutual Foundation’s anchor institution portfolio and associated relationship management, working with nonprofit organizations primarily in the Springfield community. She leads LifeBridgeSM, which offers free life insurance coverage to eligible parents and legal guardians to benefit their children’s education. The University’s first Latina trustee, Landrau earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in human services from Springfield College. Her trustee term extends until 2024.
Founded in 1839 by Horace Mann, Westfield State University is an education leader committed to providing every generation of students with a learning experience built on its founding principle as the first public, co-educational college in America to offer an education without barriers to race, gender, or economic status. This spirit of innovative thinking and social responsibility is forged in a curriculum of liberal arts and professional studies that creates a vital community of engaged learners who become confident, capable individuals prepared for leadership and service to society. For more information about Westfield State University, visit www.westfield.ma.edu, www.twitter.com/westfieldstate, or https://www.facebook.com/WestfieldStateUniversity.