Monday March 26, 2012

GREAT BARRINGTON -- Railroad Street Youth Project has hired as its new executive director a woman with long ties to the organization.

Ananda Timpane will take over the post on April 1, marking her second go-round with the organization after serving on its board. Her hiring was unanimously approved by the board of directors on Friday.

Brian Tobin, Railroad Street Youth Project board chairman, said Timpane will help in the key areas of fundraising, community relations and listening to what young people want out of the organization. Tobin said she has great skills in leading different people, as well as strong organizational skills.

"She comes with a tremendous skill set to do everything that Railroad Street Youth Project does in the community working with youth, and we're all more than confident that she's capable of rising to all the challenges we currently face," Tobin said.

Timpane replaces Brenda Barlow, who left at the end of February for personal reasons. Sally Evans has served as the interim executive director since that time.

Timpane is from the Berkshires and served on the group's board for five years before leaving last year. She is in the process of completing her master's degree in social justice at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Tobin said there were a number of candidates on a short list for the position, but Timpane was the clear choice.


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"Ananda came along and really wowed us with her experience, her education, her interpersonal skills and all of her leadership qualities," Tobin said.

Timpane was not immediately available for comment for this report.

Tobin said Timpane has done extensive community work over the years, including on race, ethnicity and gender issues.

Timpane has worked with the Mentors in Violence Prevention program in Boston, as well as anti-bullying campaigns at grade schools in Lenox and Hancock. She has also been involved in the Berkshire Community Radio Alliance.

Timpane is expected to be introduced at Railroad Street Youth Project's April 3 culinary arts dinner at John Andrews Restaurant in Egremont.

Tobin said the transition should be seamless.

"She's going to hit the ground running because she knows the organization, she embraces the mission and, if anything, she will be just a fantastic leader," Tobin said.