August 20, 2018
Class of 2018

40 Under Forty: Courtney E. Pelley, 32

Photo | Erika Sidor
Winners of the WBJ 40 Under Forty award (from left): Matthew M. Copeland, Courtney E. Pelley, Michael Alden, David Gilchrist.

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.

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