Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Announces New Board Officers

CHICOPEE — The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts announced the appointment of new officers to its board of directors, effective Jan. 1.

Dr. Charlotte Boney, who has assumed the role of president, chairs the Department of Pediatrics at Baystate Health. The first vice president, Willette Yarbrough Johnson, is a retired educator from Springfield Public Schools, having served 38 years in a variety of capacities. She continues exploring her love of education as a member of the Coalition of Experienced Black Educators, an educational consultant group.

The second vice president is Omar Irizarry, director of Cross Agency Initiatives at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. William Harju, treasurer, is chief financial officer at USA Hauling & Recycling, and the clerk is Shannon Yaremchak, director of Grants and Latino Economic Development Opportunities at Partners for Community, and director of Mission Advancement at New England Farm Workers’ Council.

These appointments reflect the Food Bank’s commitment to diverse voices and strong leadership to carry out its mission to feed its neighbors in need and lead the community to end hunger in Western Mass.

“I am humbled and honored to serve as president of the board,” Boney said. “As a pediatrician, I have seen first-hand that food is medicine, and food insecurity prevents children and families from living their best lives. I am thrilled to be a part of the Food Bank’s mission to end hunger in our community.”

Johnson added that “being an officer on the board of the Food Bank allows me the privilege of serving in a decision-making role with such a vital organization. This new year affords our board and staff the opportunity to contemplate and generate new ways of interrupting the existence of hunger as a true enemy plaguing many in our communities. I will continue to support the mission of the Food Bank to reach the goal of ending food insecurity in Western Massachusetts.”

In their new capacities, the new officers will lead the Food Bank to implement innovative strategies, expand partnerships, and elevate the organization’s impact.

“I’m excited to work with such a dynamic group of community leaders in this next chapter of the Food Bank now that we are settling into our new home in Chicopee to serve all four counties of our region more effectively and efficiently,” said Andrew Morehouse, the Food Bank’s executive director.

Two new board members also began their tenure: Joesiah González, chief Philanthropy & Communications officer at Home City Development Inc., and Xiaolei Hua, first vice president of Commercial Lending at PeoplesBank.