The Foundation is pleased to announce the winner of the 18th annual Renaissance Award as Tim Garvin, President & CEO of the United Way of Central Massachusetts in Worcester. He was announced as the winner during the Foundation's annual meeting held virtually on May 17th, where it also released its 2021 financial results and elected new directors and corporators.

Garvin has been a passionate champion for all things Worcester since starting at the United Way in 2006, but passionate about helping people long before that. In his sixteen years at the United Way, Garvin is proud of the community achievements that the United Way has contributed to: a 15% increase in the four year High School graduation rate (now at 83.3%); a focus on early grade literacy; and an involvement with innovative and grassroots community efforts such as One City One Library, Working for Worcester, POW WOW Worcester, Main IDEA, Project New Hope, and Hotel Grace.

“Advancing the entire Central Massachusetts community through philanthropy has been the biggest privilege of my life,” said Garvin. “Thank you for this award; I am so proud of the work made possible by our amazing donors and the extraordinary United Way team. It continues to be an honor to help channel the energy, generosity, and enthusiasm for Worcester into action, as we all work to support this wonderful community's key initiatives.”

In 2020, the United Way, under Garvin's leadership, responded immediately to the global pandemic, first creating the “We Care” fund, then supporting and assisting with the organizing, leading and facilitating the Worcester Together Response Team, and then partnering with the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and the City of Worcester on the Worcester Together Fund.

“There are so many people that need to be recognized in our community for their roles over the past couple years that it was a hard process sifting through the number of worthy applications we received,” said Jim Ayres, President and CEO of the Foundation. “With Tim's partnership, the results were extraordinary - more than $10 million dollars raised in five months and more than 150 organizations receiving ‘life-giving' funding. Tim was, and continues to be, an outstanding partner for GWCF and countless others during a trying time for the city, the nonprofit community, and scores of individuals who needed help.”

The Renaissance Award is a cash prize of $5,000 awarded annually by the Foundation to recognize the exceptional talent and dedication of those who lead nonprofits in Central Massachusetts. It was established as an endowed prize through a gift by the late John W. Lund to show the community's appreciation to those who serve in nonprofit roles. Selection is based on a record of dedicated commitment to the nonprofit sector, professional accomplishments, and talent in fostering collaborative relationships. Recent awardees have included Ernie Floyd (2021), Anh Vu Sawyer (2020), Parlee Jones (2019), and Gordon Hargrove (2018).

In addition to the Renaissance Award, the Foundation's financial reporting for 2021 was released to the public at the annual meeting. With total assets exceeding $200 million comprised of permanent charitable endowments that are available for local grantmaking; the foundation awarded $12.35 million in grants and scholarships and received more than $12.83 million in contributions.

The following were elected to the Board for a four-year term:

Germán Chiriboga, Science Participation Resource Center, UMass Chan Medical School
Gina Plata-Nino, Mass Law Reform Institute
Ronald Waddell, Legendary Legacies

The following were elected as new Corporators for a four-year term:
Julie Bowditch, The CASA Project
Germán Chiriboga, Science Participation Resource Center, UMass Chan Medical School
Moses Dixon, Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging, Inc.
Maria Fernandes-Dominique, Blue Cross Blue Shield
Stacy Lord, Creative Hub Worcester
Laura Marotta, Creative Hub Worcester
Tom McKenney, Nativity School of Worcester
Gina Plata-Nino, Central West Justice Center
Audrey Smolkin, Center on Child Wellbeing and Trauma, UMass Chan Medical School