Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services Announces New Board Members

SPRINGFIELD — Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services Inc. (MLKFS) announced the addition of three new members to its board of directors.

“Our mission and services have expanded to meet in part the incredible needs of the community during this time of hardship,” said Calvin Hill, MLKFS board chair and vice president of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement for Springfield College. “Therefore, adding additional and talented hands to our leadership will assist us in fulfilling the words of Dr. King as we attempt to do more for others.”

The MLKFS Emergency Food Pantry now helps more than 500 people, and after-school and night-spot programs support literacy and academic achievement essential for the life success that disrupts the cycle of poverty. MLKFS also runs a historically black college-tour program. Funding for such socially focused programming continues to become increasingly limited at a time when needs are especially pressing.

At the regular meeting of the board on Jan. 21, the board voted unanimously to accept the three new nominees Rose Colon, John Garvey, and Dr. Allison Sullivan.

Colon is a criminal-defense and personal-injury attorney based in Springfield. She engages in all aspects of criminal-defense and civil personal-injury litigation. She earned her paralegal certificate from the American Bar Assoc., earned a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in legal studies at Bay Path University, and earned her juris doctorate at Western New England University.

Garvey is the founder of Garvey Communication Associates Inc., a Springfield-based digital public-relations and marketing agency. He is a graduate of Marquette University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in arts and sciences with honors, and of American International College, where he earned a master’s degree in organizational development with an emphasis on strategic planning. He is a volunteer at Wild Care Cape Cod, a former board member of Valley Venture Mentors, and a past mentor for the startup accelerators MassChallenge and SparkHolyoke/EforAll.

Sullivan is lead faculty for the Occupational Therapy doctorate program at American International College. As an occupational therapist and educator, she has dedicated her 27-year career to improving the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan, working in day-habilitation services, school-based occupational therapy, and residential settings. She is the chair of the MAOT Western Massachusetts Mental Health Special Interest Group, a certified group-exercise and yoga instructor, and the co-founder and leader of #OTalk2US, a Twitter chat for occupational therapists with tens of millions of views of tweets carrying this tag.

Sullivan earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Amherst College, a master’s degree in occupational therapy from Springfield College, and a doctorate in occupational therapy from Temple University. She currently volunteers as an advisory board member for Lighthouse and a board member and social media committee chair for Allen Cognitive Network, and serves on the human rights committee for Viability.