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JGS volunteer coordinator Erin Shenefield joins NCRW

EAST LONGMEADOW Jewish Geriatric Services (JGS) is proud to announce that its volunteer coordinator, Erin Shenefield has been awarded admission to the National Council for Research on Women's (NCRW) "Building the Next Generation of Women Leaders" project. The NCRW is a network of 120 leading research, policy and advocacy centers committed to improving the lives of women and girls. It provides the latest news, information and strategies needed to ensure fully informed debates, effective policies and inclusive practices. In partnership with business, academic, non-profit and philanthropic organizations, they advance collaborative and transformative change, both nationally and globally. "Young women in non-profits and particularly women's organizations face burnout as a result of low budgets and the absence of mentoring and adequate training," according to the council's project information. "Women make up 70 percent of the non-profit workforce, yet according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the top jobs in nonprofits are still predominantly held by white men. Women are still a minority in chief executive roles in large nonprofits with budgets over $5 million. Additionally, minority employees, the study found, hold only 6.8 percent of full-time, paid leadership positions." The intent of the project is to "entice and retain the strongest talent in nonprofits, opportunities need to be made available to women to enable them to rise to top-level positions in their field and succeed." To that end, over a two-year period, the council proposes to work with 25 entry to mid-level nonprofit managers, eager to develop the skills necessary to advance their careers in women's and other social justice organizations. That Shenefield was chosen to be one of only 25 women to participate in the project came as no surprise to her colleagues at JGS. "Erin has a great deal of experience and was able to hit the ground running from day one," Karen Johnson, head of human resources at JGS, said. "Erin is a perfect example of the mandate of the council. This recognition will allow her another opportunity to grow and thrive in the non-profit sector as a leader in the next generation. JGS is very fortunate to have her work with our marvelous volunteers," Johnson added. "Within her first month, she did a wonderful job coordinating over 60 volunteers to participate in our special day of caring, Honorable Menschen Day, held annually on Dec. 25. Through her outreach activities she has already succeed in attracting new volunteers. We are very proud of Erin for earning this honor." Prior to coming to JGS, Erin worked with the American Cancer Society in a similar capacity. She brought a wealth of experience in volunteer management and event planning to JGS, while attending American International College in her "free time." "There are so many ways people can give of their time and talents and have a meaningful impact on the quality of life of the people we serve," Shenefield noted. "We have created a caring community here at JGS, and volunteers help enrich our community with their friendship and support."

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