40 Under Forty: Courtney E. Pelley, 32


Chief of staff
Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, Worcester

Lives: Leicester

Birthplace: Worcester

Colleges: Wellesley College, Wake Forest University

Pelley has lived and worked in other states, like North Carolina and California, but she was attracted back to Massachusetts – where she was raised in Leicester – because of the state's dedication to health care, including a commitment to improving health outcomes for everyone. That's critical to Pelley, who helps oversee 300 employees caring for 27,000 patients a year. Pelley – who calls herself an introvert who proves quiet leadership isn't an oxymoron – feels there will always be a need for healthcare leaders who are passionate about serving vulnerable populations. Before joining the Kennedy CHC, Pelley taught in Richmond, Calif., for Teach for America, a program placing teachers in high-need school districts, where she saw what communities without adequate healthcare offerings look like. From there, Pelley completed an administrative fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Pelley manages Kennedy CHC's school-based health centers and mentors interns. She is a committee member for Worcester Public Schools and the Coalition for a Healthy Greater Worcester.

From 40 Under Forty judge Milka Njoroge: “Courtney is an emerging leader who understands the importance of collaboration and inclusiveness and is a strong advocate for the underserved.”

Were you a straight-A student? K-12, yes – except for chemistry. What did I end up teaching? Chemistry. Go figure! It's true: The best way to learn is to teach.

If you could go on a road trip with any four people, who would they be? Dad (#MacGyver), Mom (can drive on EITHER side), The Little Mermaid (to see our world through her eyes) and James Corden (Carpool Karaoke – Disney Sing-Along Edition), all in an SUV version of the DeLorean time machine. 
Read about the entire 2018 Class of 40 Under Forty
Michael Alden - Ascentria Care Alliance
Che Anderson - City of Worcester
Victor M. Archila - VMA Electric Inc.
Allison Beckler, DO - YOU, Inc.
Sam Bitar - Webster Five
Mark A. Borenstein - Seder & Chandler LLP
Kate D. Campanale - Massachusetts House of Representatives
Derek Canton - paerpay
Ryan Canuel - Petricore, Inc.
Jennifer Caron - Body Therapeutics
Danielle J. Clark - Clark Career Coaching
Heidi Cooper - Cooper’s Hilltop Farm
Matthew M. Copeland, P.E. - Copeland Building Envelope Consulting
Pat Davis - The DAVIS Cos.
Efua T. Dufu, MSW, LCSW - Ellite Event Planning
Grace Elton - Tower Hill Botanic Garden
Ursula Furi-Perry, J.D. - Becker College
Jared E. Gentilucci - Nitsch Engineering
David Gilchrist, MD, MBA - UMass Memorial Health Care
Alvara Gjylapi - Santander Bank
Erica Grinkis - The GazBar Sports Grill
Meredith Harris - Marlborough Economic Development Corp.
Erin Jansky - Worcester Housing Authority
Ben Jones - Boston Scientific Corp
Alexis Kelleher - Crust Bakeshop; North Main Provisions
Bert LaValley - Sustainable Comfort, Inc.; deadhorse hill & simjang restaurants
Jennifer Leger - Fidelity Bank
Brian Lemerise - Quiet Logistics, Inc.
Tom Lubelczyk - The Worcester Jazz Collective
Laura Marotta - Creative Hub Worcester
Ryan Matson - Small Business Insurance Agency
Michael P. McDonough, CPA - McDonough, McDonough & Corsini, LLP
Madeline Mendoza - NewVue Communities
Jessica Morris - MCPHS University
Nathan Oriol - Oakdale Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center (Oriol Health Care)
Nicholas Pelletier - Pelletier Properties at Keller Williams North Central
Courtney E. Pelley - Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center
Lilian Radke - Unic Pro Inc.
Blaine Schnare - Harrington HealthCare System
Bonnie J. Walker - Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Learn how the winners were picked on our judges' page.