News and Information about the nonprofit sector in Massachusetts. Check back frequently to keep informed.
April 16, 2021
Gr. Worcester Comm. Foundation CEO Quits, Board Chair Steps In

March 22, 2021 — The Greater Worcester Community Foundation, based in Worcester, today announced that Barbara Fields, chief executive officer of the organization for the last 19 months, resigned effective immediately.

Barbara Fields

The Greater Worcester Foundation (GWCF) said Fields stepped down “to pursue other opportunities.”

“I would like to thank the foundation for the opportunity to serve as its CEO and I am looking forward to the next chapter in my career,” said Fields.

Carolyn Stempler

Carolyn Stempler, a board member since 2000 and current board chair, will serve as interim CEO of GWCF.

The board, which extended thanks to Fields for her work as CEO, said it will establish a search committee to seek a permanent CEO.

Chris Collins, who serves as the vice chair of the board, has been named board chair.

“We look forward to maintaining and growing the important role that the foundation plays in the life of our community,” said Collins. “The foundation, its programs and finances, all remain strong and we are poised to make an even greater impact on the community as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Fields, along with Tim Garvin, CEO of United Way of Central Massachusetts in Worcester, last week were named nonprofit business leaders of the year by the Worcester Business Journal (WBJ) in connection with their jointly forming the Worcester Together Fund in response to the emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, the WBJ named Fields and Stempler among the 50 most influential leaders in the Worcester area.

Noting that the GWCF “is at the heart of the philanthropic activity in Central Massachusetts,” Stempler said it is “poised to make an even bigger impact in 2021 and beyond.”

Fields joined GWCF in August 2019, succeeding Ann Lisi who led the organization for 27 years. Previously, she was CEO and executive director of Rhode Island Housing, and had served in the Obama Administration as the New England Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

When she joined GWCF, Fields said she looked forward to expanding the foundation’s impact in the community and strengthening local partnerships.

Stempler is the owner of Carolyn & June Designs and has a background in event planning, customer service, strategic planning, and marketing strategy. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer information sciences from Arizona State University and a Master of Science in Engineering degree in engineering and business from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Established in 1975, the foundation today manages assets of $135 million. To date, it has awarded $110 million to cultural educational, human service, and civic organizations.

SUBSCRIBE FREE – Keep current with the Wednesday Report emailed to you free each week. Click here.
Got news, advice, resources? Send it to