Service sector leaders join forces at event

BOSTON—Collaboration was the theme of the day as approximately 120 people gathered this morning at “State of Service: The Next Chapter of Service” at the Liberty Hotel. The event was hosted by the MassINC Associate Board and AmeriCorps Alums Boston, a partnership of young leaders dedicated to improving service in Massachusetts.

The event, the last in a three-part series about improving service programming in Massachusetts, brought together key service organizations to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the service sector and determine effective action items. Throughout the series, representatives from some of the largest service organizations in Massachusetts, funders, and volunteers themselves have worked together to identify best-practices to help make Massachusetts a model of service for the nation. 

Aimee Ward, MassINC Director of Finance and Operations and founder of the MassINC Associate Board, said today’s discussion may have wrapped up the series, but not the conversation. 

“If I have learned anything from working with the service community, it is that they are a committed group of hard-working people.  The community is continuing to build consensus, work together and most importantly, stay connected. MassINC is thankful for the opportunity to bring this important group of people together,” said Ward.

The breakfast event was kicked off with a keynote address by Kristin McSwain, Executive Director, Boston Opportunity Agenda and former Chief of Program Operations for the Corporation for National and Community Service, and was followed by facilitated discussions on topics ranging from technology to advocacy.  A recurring theme of the series was the need for the service community to make better use of technology to stay connected. Another key point was the need to continue to align & strengthen metrics to quantify the value of service. The majority of participants agreed that if the service community was better able to quantitatively demonstrate the value of their service, it would be easier to pursue funding.

Mary Bruce, the Co-Chair of the AmeriCorps Alums – Boston Chapter, said she and fellow alums would continue these conversations to promote service throughout Massachusetts and the nation.

“Massachusetts is the Silicon Valley of service,” said Bruce. “In a time when it can be easy to feel discouraged – when many are in need more than ever before – there is also much cause for hope because of the high-impact, solutions-driven work of the service sector, built on decades of experience. Together, we will continue to strengthen communities – and set the model for the nation – through service.”

About the MassINC Associate Board – The Board evolved from MassINC’s successful RealTalk program, and will build and expand upon the theme of engagement among young people in the Commonwealth.  The MassINC Associate Board’s mission is to build a new generation of civically engaged leaders for the Commonwealth and the nation.  Board members serve as advisors to MassINC’s research, journalism and civic event programs.

About AmeriCorps Alums – Boston Chapter – The AmeriCorps Alums Boston Chapter is a community of experienced volunteer leaders who share a commitment to a vision of a more perfect America.  Nationally, we are a network of over half a million alumni from AmeriCorps national service programs (including NCCC, State/National, VISTA and pre-AmeriCorps VISTA).  Our mission is to fully realize the potential of national service alumni as leaders in communities.  Our goal is to get alumni connected, equipped and engaged in order to foster their leadership drive and potential.  We also aim to support current AmeriCorps Members in their professional and leadership development.

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