BENNINGTON, VT >> Lindsay Errichetto, the former executive director of Louison House in Adams, Mass., had been looking for other opportunities to fulfill the needs of high risk populations. Then, a spot opened up at Sunrise Family Resource Center in Bennington.
The organization's new executive director started on June 1. She sits in the office of her predecessor, Linda Dean-Farrar, who retired in the spring of 2015. The search process took a year said Errichetto.
"Sunrise took a very transparent and very mindful approach to succession planning, which, as an applicant for the position, increased my interest level with each interview process," she said. "That level of transparency was the beginning of a fondness that I'm very humbled and privileged to be a part of now. It was an insight into the culture of Sunrise and an insight into the culture of Bennington County."
There were five rounds of interviews, which at some points were open to the entire staff and board, and even partner agencies.
Errichetto lived in Berkshire County for 15 years and had just moved to Williamstown, Mass. with her family. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 2001 with a bachelor of science degree in psychology and a bachelor of arts degree in social thought and political economy. She later obtained a master's degree in public administration and nonprofit management from Westfield State University.
"I wanted to work and live in the community that I served, so that was appealing to me," Errichetto said. "My comfort level is very high coming to Bennington County."
The Berkshires' quality of life and cost of living appealed to Errichetto while some classmates and friends moved to urban areas, despite not knowing anyone in the area. Her mission was, and still is, to work with children in high risk populations in residential care. After becoming a regular vacationer in Vermont, the job opportunity seemed natural.
"I do want to highlight Linda's exceptional support in the transition and being a part of the process and being available to support me in my first month plus," Errichetto said. "It's been an absolute pleasure."
In the short term, Errichetto is thrilled to work with Sunrise's 33 staff members and wants to learn their roles, passions and goals. She said she also wants to continue to pursue opportunities to help overcome challenges and barriers in the community.
Several candidates for governor and lieutenant governor have visited the organization for a listening tour and to meet the staff.
"We can be connected to the people elected," said Amelia Silver, Sunrise development director.
"And they listen," Errichetto said. "That is very positive. We're very fortunate."
"I'm delighted to have Lindsay here," Silver said. "It's really exciting to have a new person who's as excited as we all are. [Dean-Farrar] was here for 27 years. She built this agency. She established an incredible foundation and it was not an easy task for the board to find the right person to replace her. I think that they made a great choice because they picked someone that has many of the particular talents that the previous director had."
Sunrise is one of 15 Parent Child Centers in Vermont. It offers a youth development program, children's integrated services, community-based child care support services, a job club, a family advocacy program and classes for parents. Its mission is to connect families with community resources while providing educational experiences and building relationships to promote independence. For more information visit SunriseFamilyResourceCenter.com.
— Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.