PITTSFIELD -- A search committee for the new director of the local Retired Senior Volunteer Program has put forth Deborah Sadowy.

"I was delighted when the search committee came to inform me that Deborah was their choice for the position," Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi said.

Sadowy will replace Sheila Pia, who is retiring from the position. Pia has been the director for two years and has worked with RSVP for 11 years.

"In the past two years as the director, I have recognized how important it was to work as a team with all of our community non-profit organizations, and I have learned what volunteering meant for our volunteers," Pia said.

Bianchi said Pia "has done a remarkable job as director of RSVP. She is truly selfless and fosters an environment in which everyone around her feels valued."

The search and interview committee consisted of Eric Wilder, vice president of the RSVP board, from Goodwill Industries, Andy Perineck, Realtor and past president of RSVP, Rosemary Gould, secretary of RSVP and active community member, Vin Marinaro, treasurer of RSVP and director of the Council on Aging and Carolyn Valli, executive director of Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity.

Sadowy was selected "for her strong leadership skills, successful grant writing history, past experience in human resources, experience working with diverse clientele, extensive knowledge of the community and her strategic and program management skills," according to a release.


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Her past work experience includes the director of Human Resources and Quality Assurance, director of Program Operations for the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Berkshire County, Community Resource Director of the Pittsfield YMCA, and Community Outreach Coordinator at Hillcrest Educational Centers in Pittsfield.

"I am excited to accept the position of executive director of RSVP," Sadowy said, "and feel I have the passion and energy to continue its progress."

RSVP is funded in part by the Corp. for National and Community Service (Senior Corps) and in part by the city. The program, which services people of, and over, the age of 55 who are living in Berkshire County, helps to train and place volunteers around the area.

The seniors who participate in the program volunteer in fields such as public safety, health, environmental needs and educational and human services.