Amherst Survival Center Staff:
Philip Avila, Community Meals Coordinator
email@example.com, x 103
Philip was thrilled to join the Amherst Survival Center in August 2020. A native of California, Philip moved to Amherst in 2018. He brings over 15 years of experience in the restaurant industry, holding numerous positions. He has a BA in sociology, and is pursuing an MS in Sociology with an emphasis in social justice. His goal is to continue to foster a sense of community at the Center through the shared experience of food.
Carleen Basler, Program Director
firstname.lastname@example.org, x 102
Carleen joined the Amherst Survival Center team as Volunteer Coordinator in October 2015. Her background is in education, organizing for social change, and she has had many happy years of volunteer service. Carleen speaks English, Spanish, and a little Mandarin.
Lev Ben-Ezra, Executive Director
email@example.com, x 107
Lev joined the Amherst Survival Center in January 2019, finding that this is the perfect place to combine her passion for social justice, her commitment to making resources to meet basic needs accessible for all, and her skill bringing people together to accomplish big goals. Lev speaks English and a little Spanish.
Sam Guerin, Operations Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org, x 106
Sam joined the Amherst Survival Center in September 2020. He has a background in the non-profit arts community, where he has worked as support staff and as an educator. Sam looks forward to joining the Amherst Survival Center, where he can work to sustain and support the peoples of the pioneer valley.
Marcella McNerney, Service Coordinator
Marcella joined the Amherst Survival Center team in October 2020, bringing a background in teaching and program coordination. Marcella is thrilled to be a part of the Amherst Survival Center team and contribute to the mission by providing a welcoming community and support to residents of Hampshire and Franklin Counties. Marcella speaks English and Spanish.
Lisa Queenin, Development Coordinator
email@example.com, x 108
Lisa joined the Amherst Survival Center team in April 2014. She is grateful for the opportunity to work together with staff, volunteers, and our supporters to build on the incredible community support for the Center, and sustain and grow vital services.
Kara Schnell, Finance and Human Resources Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org, x 105
Kara’s primary duties include accounting for the organization’s financial transactions, preparing budgets and financial reports, assisting with grant applications, and overseeing human resources work. She appreciates the support and expertise of staff and committee members.
Lisa Solowiej, Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator email@example.com, 413-238-1376
Lisa has enjoyed volunteering in the food pantry at the ASC for the past six years and co-coordinating the Neighborhood Food Project for the past year. She is thrilled to join the staff as the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator. Lisa’s background is in Political Science and Legal Studies, with a focus on teaching classes on gender politics and race/ethnicity politics. Lisa speaks English and a little Spanish.
Jenn Suprenant, Food Pantry Manager firstname.lastname@example.org, x 104
Jenn is a Pioneer Valley native who fell in love with the Amherst Survival Center after volunteering in the Food Pantry. The Center’s commitment to community empowerment and social justice inspired her to expand her role by organizing several events and ushering the Center through a major IT transition. Jenn’s diverse professional background and training includes experience in operations management, project management, and contract negotiation. She loves working in the Food Pantry delivering essential household staples to our community.
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Ted Parker, President
Ted is the President of Kohl Construction Inc. He is a real estate developer and construction pro with 35 years of experience managing and financing commercial and residential projects. Ted is a realtor and a licensed real estate agent in association with 5 College Realtors in Amherst. Committees: Finance, Investment.
Nicola Usher, Vice President
Nicola is an undergraduate academic advisor at UMass Amherst. She moved to Amherst with her family in 2013 and has spent time volunteering in the community store and food pantry. She is currently a neighborhood coordinator for the neighborhood food project. Committees: Governance.
Deron Estes, Treasurer
Deron works as the Manager of Financial Decision Support at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. He has an MBA in Non Profit Management from Boston University. He has lived in North Amherst since 2007. Committees: Finance.
Christopher Howland, Clerk
Chris is the Director of Purchasing and Marketing in Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass Amherst. Chris has developed a strong rapport with local farmers and suppliers continuing the department’s strong tradition of local sourcing and outreach. He manages all marketing initiatives for Auxiliary Enterprises including UMass Dining. Commitees: Development.
Jan has committed her career to human services in a variety of areas ranging from sexual and reproductive health to domestic violence to foster care. Jan also served as a former President of the Board of Directors. Commitees: Development.
J. Lynn Griesemer
Lynn is the retired Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Executive Director of the UMass Donahue Institute with the UMass President’s Office. Elected to the first Amherst Town Council, she serves as President of the Council. She has an Ed.D. and MS from the University of Tennessee and a MPA from the Kennedy School, Harvard University. Lynn also served as a former President of the Board of Directors. Committees: Finance, Investment.
Jenn Moyston is a former Food Pantry Coordinator at the Amherst Survival Center. She has been the Administrative Assistant for the Town of Amherst since 2013. Jenn has over 30 years of experience assisting low income, and mentally and physically challenged individuals. Committees: Governance.
Manju works at The Environmental Biotechnology Center at The University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Manju is also the Hindu advisor for Mount Holyoke and Amherst Colleges where she is actively engaged in volunteer and community service projects–some of which directly benefit the Amherst Survival Center. Committees: Governance.
Allison van der Velden
Dr. Allie is the CEO of the Community Health Center of Franklin County. She earned a B.A. from Hampshire College, and then earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona. She now lives in South Deerfield, where she also serves on the town finance committee. Committees: Governance.
Barbara has had several “careers” in her working years from elementary and special needs teacher, to counselor/therapist and administrator in community mental health, to higher education, and later as a caterer, restauranteur and co-owner of the Blue Heron Restaurant in Sunderland. She is a former Amherst Survival Center reception volunteer. Committees: Development.