September 1, 2008 | last updated March 28, 2012 7:54 am

2008 40 Under Forty: Tara A. Hancock

Tara A. Hancock

Age: 30

Title: Associate Director, Alumni Development

Company: Worcester State College

Company location: Worcester

Residence: Worcester

Career highlights:

After graduating from UMass Amherst, I was employed as a publishing assistant at a small educational publisher in northern Worcester County and later as a development associate at the Doctor Franklin Perkins School. I saw the posting for my current position while I was a graduate student in Worcester State College's nonprofit management program. As the associate director, I am responsible for acting as the staff liaison to the alumni association's advisory board, planning and organizing of alumni programming, homecoming, reunions, and chapter events, as well as the cultivation and stewardship of prospects and donors.

Community involvement:

I have served on the board of Leave a Legacy of Central Massachusetts and the Planned Giving Council of Central Massachusetts since 2003. I believe it is important to educate individuals about the benefits of planned giving and legacy giving within the local community.

Biggest professional success:

My biggest success professionally is earning my master's degree in nonprofit management. My graduate thesis, Engaging Young Alumni: A Case Study, allowed me to do research in a field in which I am employed and the opportunity to apply my theories and findings

Dream job:

An event planning business that focuses on fundraising events for nonprofit organizations.

Businessperson you admire most:

My father is the businessperson who I admire most. He took a risk and started his own business when my sister and I were young. With the support of my mother, he was able to fulfill his dream and become very successful.

Favorite movie:

"E.T." It brings back such great memories of my childhood.

If you were stuck on a desert island, what book would you want to have with you?

Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States." While you may not agree with all Zinn says, you can certainly agree that the book makes you think.

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