HCN News & Notes

Mary Walachy to Retire from Davis Foundation in June

SPRINGFIELD — The directors of the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation announced the retirement of Executive Director Mary Walachy, who has been associated with the foundation for the past 23 years.

Upon her formal retirement in June, Walachy will continue to represent the Davis Foundation in its role as philanthropic lead for the new Educare Springfield early-education center, which is the 24th Educare in the country and the first in Massachusetts.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work for the Davis family,” Walachy said. “I cannot put into words my feelings of gratitude for the opportunity they have given me to serve as executive director of their family foundation over the last many years. They are truly remarkable people, and this community is blessed to have them dedicated to the important issues facing our community and especially those relating to our children and families.

“Additionally,” she went on, “it has been an absolute honor and privilege to work with so many collaborators in the community and the wonderful organizations that I have come in contact with throughout the 23 years I’ve worked for the Davis Foundation. I know that I will treasure my time with the Davis family and my time involved in this important work for many years to come.”

John and Steve Davis, directors of the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, noted in a statement that “our family has been incredibly blessed to have Mary at the helm of the foundation. Her intelligence, good humor, wit, and compassion for other people helped to guide our work in the community. She has been the driving force of many of our strategic initiatives to make a difference in the region, particularly our work focused on education. We will miss her involvement in the day-to-day management of the foundation, but are pleased to share that Mary will continue to guide the foundation in its role as philanthropic lead for the Educare Springfield facility. She has been a wonderful asset to the foundation and the community, and we wish her only the best as she begins the next chapter of her life.”

Hired in 1997 as the first executive director of the foundation, Walachy’s responsibilities have included development of the organization’s strategic direction, general oversight of its administration, and developing new and proactive funding initiatives.

Under Walachy’s leadership, the foundation established several signature initiatives, including Cherish Every Child, the nationally recognized Reading Success by 4th Grade initiative, the Funder Collaborative for Reading Success, the establishment of Springfield Business Leaders for Education, and the launch of Educare Springfield.

Walachy was named a Woman of Distinction by the Pioneer Valley Girl Scout Council in 2005. She received an honorary degree from Springfield Technical Community College and was awarded the 2015 Humanics Achievement Award from Springfield College.

Walachy currently serves as vice chair of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. She is also a member of the board of directors of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, a member of the board of directors of Libertas Academy Charter School, former board member of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, and on the steering committee of the Massachusetts Early Education for All Campaign.

The Davis Foundation has engaged a consultant and has tapped the national search firm Isaacson Miller to identify a new executive director.