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Updated: March 22, 2021

GWCF CEO departs after 19-month tenure

Barbara G. Fields (left), president & CEO of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation; and Carolyn J. Stempler, GWCF board chair

Barbara Fields has resigned as CEO of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation after a little over a year and a half leading the nonprofit.

The Worcester-based foundation announced Fields' immediate resignation late Monday, saying only she was pursuing other opportunities. Fields will be replaced on an interim basis by Carolyn Stempler, who chairs the foundation's board.

The foundation said it would establish a search committee to find Fields' eventual successor. Fields joined the Community Foundation in August 2019 from the Rhode Island housing assistance program RIHousing, where she was the CEO and executive director for four years. Fields also served for 20 years as the founding executive director of the Rhode Island office of Local Initiatives and Support Corp, and served as the Obama Administration's New England Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2011 to 2014.

Fields oversaw the Greater Worcester Community Foundation at a critical time in its history, as it led, along with the United Way of Central Massachusetts, the creation and management of the Worcester Together fund. The fund raised more than $10 million for area agencies to make it through the pandemic, with both short-term needs for its clients, such as housing and food aid, as well as long-term planning assistance.

Fields succeeded Ann Lisi, who had led the nonprofit since 1992.

GWCF listed $135 million in net assets at the end of 2019.

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