Portrait of Kristel Applebee

Kristel Applebee

Executive Director

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The Western Massachusetts Training Consortium welcomes new Executive Director, Kristel Applebee, as successor to longtime leader, Marylou Sullivan. Marylou retired at the end of October, and was at the helm for 38 of the organization’s 45 years. Kristel has served the agency in myriad roles for more than twenty years and is steeped in the values that have shaped the Consortium community for more than four decades. She originally joined the team in 1995 as the Consortium’s first Self-Advocacy Coordinator and has since worked in many capacities including: directing a holistic support program and overseeing operations for Home and Community Connections, managing a training development contract with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, and in her role as the Consortium’s Associate Executive Director, she was responsible for the organization’s daily operations, administration, human resource and fiscal functioning.

She truly believes in “creating conditions in which people with lived experience pursue their dreams and strengthen our communities through full participation.” Her leadership style has been influenced by numerous mentors in Western Massachusetts and beyond. Kristel has served on several local non-profit Boards and as a volunteer and community builder for community groups. She is a fierce advocate for giving voice to the silenced and values being a lifelong learner.

Portrait of Kathy Chaisson

Kathy Chaisson

Human Resources Manager

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As the Human Resources Manager Kathy handles a wide variety of human resource functions including oversight of payroll, benefits administration, workers compensation and short and long term disability. Kathy ensures activities meet with and integrate with organizational requirements for quality management, health and safety, legal stipulations, environmental policies and general duty of care.

Kathy’s goal is to ensure that each staff person has an understanding of their personal benefits as well as the agency supports available to all employees. Kathy’s door is always open and she is always willing to do whatever she can to make sure that every employee feels supported and valued. She has been a valued employee of the Consortium for over 20 years.

Portrait of Mary Kate Farley-Dimino

Mary Kate Farley-Dimino

Organizational Development Manager

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Mary Kate has recently stepped into the role of “Organizational Development Manager” for The Consortium and is responsible for a variety of duties related to the coordination of agency-wide development initiatives including, but not limited to: strategic planning, employee orientation, employee appreciation, and creating conditions for a multicultural community. She also is responsible for offering support and/or acting as a point person for the coordination of ongoing fund and resource development. Her office is located in the Consortium’s main office in Holyoke.

Mary Kate began working for the Consortium in December of 2012, in a role which evolved into “Peer Involvement and Leadership Development Coordinator” at the BSAS funded “Recovery Support Center,” RECOVER Project in Greenfield, MA. She has a particular interest in the peer recovery movement and in complementary modalities such as yoga, meditation, and energy work for healing from trauma.