31 May

NewVue Communities Receives $150,000 Housing for Everyone Grant from TD Charitable Foundation


Fitchburg, MA, May 30, 2023 – NewVue Communities, the leading community development corporation in North Central Massachusetts was recently awarded a $150,000 Housing for Everyone grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®. NewVue Communities is one of 37 non-profit organizations selected from more than 450 applicants to receive a Housing for Everyone grant as part of the TD Charitable Foundation’s signature grant initiative that has helped support organizations that are focused on providing affordable housing and affordable housing services since 2005.

In recent years, the housing affordability crisis has continued to be a financial burden on families. As individuals and families across the country struggle with an exponential rise in rental costs and inflation, affordable housing providers face increased hardship given the growing demand for affordable rental units and emergency rental assistance.

The grant will help preserve affordable housing in Fitchburg’s North of Main Neighborhood. This neighborhood is the focus of a comprehensive community development plan and was the focus of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Working Cities Challenge. NewVue Communities will focus on 52 apartments in three NewVue-owned buildings with renovations and system upgrades.

“We are very grateful to the TD Charitable Foundation for supporting this work. This funding will strengthen our capital and operating budgets and will accelerate NewVue’s comprehensive community development work throughout North of Main,” said Marc Dohan, Executive Director at NewVue Communities.

“The work NewVue Communities does to support the Fitchburg community and its residents is invaluable,” said Sheryl McQuade, Regional President of Metro New England, TD Bank. “NewVue Communities plays a critical role in providing access to safe, affordable housing, and the TD Charitable Foundation is excited to support their work preserving affordable housing in Fitchburg’s North of Man Neighborhood as part of this year’s Housing for Everyone grant competition.”

Through the 17th annual Housing for Everyone grant competition, the TD Charitable Foundation awarded $7 million across the Bank’s Maine-to-Florida footprint and Michigan to help support affordable housing organizations that focus on preserving affordable rental housing in their work to deliver rental assistance, rehabilitating affordable rental housing properties, and build organizational capacity to address resident sustainability for the long-term. Since 2005, the TD Charitable Foundation has given more than $49 million to non-profit and charitable organizations through the Housing for Everyone grant competition and helped support more than 550 affordable housing projects and initiatives.

The Housing for Everyone grant competition supports TD’s longstanding commitment to community enrichment through TD’s corporate citizenship platform, The TD Ready Commitment, which actively promotes inclusivity, economic vitality, and environmental wellbeing, enabling people of all backgrounds to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

To learn more about Housing for Everyone and for a full list of this year’s grant recipients, please visit https://stories.td.com/us/en/article/td-charitable-foundation-awards-7-million-to-37-non-profits-helping-preserve-affordable-rental-housing.


About NewVue Communities

NewVue is the leading community development corporation (CDC) in North Central Massachusetts. As a community-based non-profit organization, NewVue’s mission is to improve the quality of life for low and moderate residents in North Central Massachusetts through community development. NewVue works to: improve and stabilize neighborhoods; promote small business development; and build the economic, physical and personal assets of local communities and their residents. To learn more about NewVue Communities, visit newvuecommunities.org or contact Kerry Flathers, Director of Development and Communications at kflathers@nvcomm.org.

About the TD Charitable Foundation 

The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has distributed over $300 million through donations to local nonprofits from Maine to Florida footprint and Michigan. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation is available at https://www.tdbank.com/corporate-responsibility/the-ready-commitment/funding-opportunities/.

Release Date: 5/30/23

Contact: Kerry Flathers

Director of Development and


kflathers@nvcomm.org 978-870-2474

27 May

Congressman McGovern Brings Great News to Athol

US Congressman James P. McGovern

On Friday, May 26, 2023, US Congressman James P. McGovern greeted NewVue staff, Athol Board of Selectmen members, and supporters of NewVue and Athol residents to announce that he has personally secured $1,000,000 in federal funding to help construct 53 units of affordable housing in Athol. The NewVue Communities Riverbend-Bigelow Schools Project was funded as part of the omnibus appropriations bill that passed the House and Senate in December and was signed into law by President Biden. The development will preserve the historic schools and add a new building designed for seniors.

Some comments from Congressman McGovern included: “This development will help address the pressing issue of affordable housing in our communitieis. I extend my sincerest gratitude to Town Administrator Shaun Sahuski and NewVue’s Executive Director Mark Dohan for their invaluable leadership and relentless efforts in championing affordable housing and community development. The NewVue Communities Riverbend-Bigelow Schools Project will infuse New life into this community and generate commercial demand in Downtown Athol – all while preserving the historic significance of these schools built over 100 years ago.”

(Left to Right) Rebecca Bialecki, Athol Select Board,
Marc Dohan, Executive Director, NewVue,
Congressman James P. McGovern,
Andy Sudjak, Athol Select Board,
Shaun Suhoski, Athol Town Administrator

The development will preserve the original 1912 Ellen Bigelow School and the 1907 and 1937 portions of the Riverbend school. The historic buildings occupy a single town block [3.25 acres] set amongst several single-family houses, nearby places of worship and other small local businesses. Situated between both schools is a new social core articulated in a new addition. The building will extend off a central lobby extending to a wing of new apartments designed for an aging generation. Family units with two and three bedrooms bring new life to old classrooms with unique living spaces. Contemporary conveniences are provided to seniors in newly constructed units that stretch out from the common core in a distinct, traditional straightforward style. A two+ story addition, aligned with the primary floors of the existing schools, will be constructed connecting both historic buildings to a new residential section providing twenty-one-bedroom units.

5 May

NewVue Communities Graduates 65 Stewards

NewVue Communities celebrated the graduation of 65 stewards on Wednesday, May 3 at the Highland Baptist Church in Fitchburg. Presented with certificates of completion, the graduates represented cohorts who participated in training series focused on the arts, youth and civic engagement, childcare entrepreneurs, and community organizing. The program is designed to provide residents with leadership development in a number of topics that equip them with the tools to impact the quality of life in their communities.  

Marc Dohan, Executive Director for NewVue welcomed the audience and recognized the work and leadership of each graduate, and acknowledged the important partnerships that the steward training program has developed over the years. This past year, NewVue partnered with Fitchburg Cultural Alliance, The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the Wachusett Area Social Justice Alliance, the Health Equity Partnership (of the Community Health Network of North Central Massachusetts -Region 9) and Empower Children for Success. He noted that what started as the first cohort of ten students in 2018 is now a group of over 300 stewards.

Ines Palmarin

Guest speaker, Ines Palmarin, is the Working Cities Challenge Manager of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Co-Leader of the Leaders for Equitable Local Economies. Leaders for Equitable Local Economies is a pilot initiative that aims to support leaders who are working to make their local economies more inclusive. Ms. Palmarin worked closely with Marites MacLean and Beth Robbins to offer training opportunities to those interested in the childcare profession. Ines said, “the early childcare initiative, as you can see from all the caps and gowns is real. By launching graduates into the early childcare career path this evening, you have already leveled up opportunities not only for the graduates and their families but also for the Fitchburg community. It takes not just leadership but the willingness to want to work together toward a shared vision.”

Beth Robbins, a community steward leader also addressed the graduates. Beth spoke of her journey as a steward. “I became a steward in 2019 because I wanted a place where I belonged, and I could reach my own goals and those of my community. NewVue was that program that was the gateway for me to be able to connect with other people who shared a heart for stewardship and were looking to do some really good things in the community. It opened doors to meeting people and growing in leadership.”

Anyone interested in becoming involved in NewVue Communities’ Steward Leadership Development Program isencouraged to reach out to Francisco Ramos, Director of Community Organizing, at framos@nvcomm.org.

29 Mar

NewVue Communities Chooses Dolores Thibault-Muñoz as its New Deputy Director

NewVue Communities is excited to welcome Dolores Thibault-Muñoz in the newly-created position of Deputy Director. Dolores started in the role on March 10th and will be overseeing NewVue’s housing services, community organizing, small business development, and fundraising and communications teams.

NewVue’s Executive Director, Marc Dohan said, “Dolores brings a combination of skills, leadership experience, and an understanding of the region’s economic development needs that will support NewVue’s mission, strengthen our programs and stretch our impact. She offers a breadth and depth of human service experience in a variety of work settings, and we are fortunate to have her join our team.”

Dolores Thibault-Muñoz

Dolores moved to Fitchburg, MA in 2006, where she became the executive director of the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center.  She then became interim executive director of Growing Places and House of Peace and Education Inc. Dolores has served on multiple boards of local organizations. She was also the first Latina elected City Councilor in the City of Fitchburg. Dolores graduated from DePaul University with a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies with a concentration in Public Policy and graduated with a JD from The Massachusetts School of Law. She most recently was a criminal defense attorney who represented indigent clients for the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), Massachusetts’ Public Defender Agency in Worcester County. She currently lives in Gardner, MA.

Dolores Thibault-Muñoz stated, “I look forward to taking the best of what I have learned thus far in my nonprofit leadership roles and pairing it with the exciting work in my role at NewVue. It is clear I have joined an organization that has the best interest of the community at the forefront of its work. Sometimes a change makes you feel like you have arrived back home. Returning to nonprofit community-based work in North Central Massachusetts feels very much like home.”

27 Mar

NewVue Communities and Fitchburg Civic Forum Partner to Encourage Civic Engagement

The NewVue Communities Stewards program presents a special municipal election year series of free workshops in partnership with the Fitchburg Civic Forum starting Wednesday, March 30, 2023. The four sessions will be held at the Fitchburg Cultural Alliance at 675 Main Street in Fitchburg.

These workshops are for anyone interested in learning how to run for office, or the protocols for applying to serve on boards and commissions in Fitchburg. From 2008 until the pandemic, the Fitchburg Civic Forum organized a variety of educational opportunities to increase civic engagement and help residents learn how to serve the city that they love. This Civic Ambassador Stewards Training offered with the guidance of Francisco Ramos, NewVue Communities’ Director of Community Organizing will provide a unique opportunity for the public to learn about public service.

Francisco Ramos explains, “although the forum is focused on the City of Fitchburg and community institutions, it is open to all area residents. It will include a presentation on the procedures of registering signatures for nomination papers, organizing a campaign, and voter outreach.”

“Our tradition is to help guide interested individuals on a step-by-step strategy that will help guide them in their area of interest, whether it be serving as an appointed official, or putting oneself forward as a candidate,” says Fitchburg Civic Forum founder Sally Cragin, who also serves as a Councilor-at-Large on the Fitchburg City Council. “In the past, we have had residents from every surrounding town and we welcome everyone.” Ward 6 Councilor Derrick Cruz is also an organizer for this workshop series.

“Programs like these are invaluable in promoting the democratic process and encouraging civic engagement from all of our citizens,” said Fitchburg Mayor, Stephen DiNatale.

Attendance is FREE and open to all. Workshop dates are March 30, April 5, April 13, and April 19, 2023, from 6:30 to 8 pm.  If you are interested in participating or have questions, please contact Francisco Ramos at framos@nvcomm.org

20 Mar

“Donuts With Delegates” and Great Dialogue

St. Patrick’s Day at NewVue Communities kicked off with a gathering of board members, staff, stewards, and delegates to discuss current economic development issues and budget priorities. Donuts With Delegates was an annual event before COVID, and this was the first time since the pandemic that NewVue hosted this event. Donuts With Delegates is an opportunity for staff to share current work, legislative priorities, and requests for support for community development-related budget issues. The gathering was held in person at NewVue Communities, 470 Main Street in Fitchburg.

Staff and guests gather in the NewVue training room.

Senator John Cronin, Representative Natalie Higgins (Leominster) and Rebecca Hess, Aid to Representative Michael Kushmerek (Fitchburg), heard firsthand the impact of the Community Investment Tax Credit Program and the Agency’s ability to leverage operational funds typically not supported through grants and other funding sources.

Additionally, the delegation heard more about the need for affordable housing and small business programs, home ownership and supporting healthier homes. Equally important addressing climate change as well as advocating for increased opportunities for childcare were also raised as topics for discussion by members of the community that are graduates of NewVue’s Stewards Training. Senator Cronin and Representative Higgins and Ms. Hess listened wholeheartedly and voiced their support for NewVue’s key legislative priorities.

Executive Director, Marc Dohan, talks with Board Member, Derek Craig, Representative Natalie Higgins, and Senator John Cronin.

Senator Cronin and Representative Higgins and Ms. Hess provided the group with an overview of their assigned committees on the state legislature and the work that each of those committees would focus on moving forward.

Marc Dohan, Executive Director at NewVue said, “the opportunity to sit and talk about what we see as priorities and to know they match strongly with the interests of our state legislative delegation is exciting. Senator Cronin, Representative Higgins and Representative Kushmerek have always been supporters and advocates for our mission. Their participation in our Donuts With Delegates event certainly reminded us of that strong support.”

As a member of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC), NewVue Communities joins community development corporations across the Commonwealth to help drive the policy agenda for the 2023/24 legislative session. View all of the MACDC priorities related to advancing racial and economic equity by creating healthy communities:


9 Aug

Riverfront Park Draft Stage Plans to be Reviewed

On Thursday, August 18 at 5:30 pm, Tom Skwierawsk, Executive Director for Community Develpment and Planning, Fitchburg and Marc Dohan, Executive Director, NewVue Communities, will faciliate a discussion about the Riverfront Park drafts stage plans. The discussion will take place at RiverFront Park.


a flyer for the riverfront park stage coming soon
19 Jun

NewVue Communities Will Hold Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at 5:30pm via Zoom.

Join the NewVue team on Thursday, June 24, 2021, for our Annual Meeting. Our guest speaker is Dan Rivera, President, and CEO of the Mass Development Corporation. You can register HERE.

The meeting will include a vote for approval of the minutes from last year. Those minutes are available for your review: Annual Meeting Minutes 2020.

9 Jun

NewVue Communities Steward Leadership Development Program and Fitchburg State University Resident Leadership Institute Celebrate 104 Graduates

a group of people standing in front of a brick building.

With the beautiful courtyard of the Fitchburg Art Museum as the background, NewVue’s Community Stewards gathered on Wednesday evening, June 2, 2021, to celebrate their individual accomplishments as well as their impact as a collective group of caring and committed members of the community. NewVue’s Steward Training Program is designed to provide residents with leadership development training in areas of their choice (Community Organizing, Mental Health, Children with Special Needs, Public Health, Art and Culture, and Clinton Cohort).  Many stewards were recognized for completing multiple trainings, a testimony to their interest in serving as advocates, leaders, and volunteers in the City of Fitchburg and throughout the region. The program graduated 83 Stewards who participated in trainings in the Fall/Winter 2020 and in Spring 2021. The 21 participants who completed the Fitchburg State University Resident Leadership Institute were also recognized.

a man in a suit at a wooden podium
William Cortezia

The common theme for many who spoke was set in motion by William Cortezia, Associate Professor at Fitchburg State University and FSU Resident Leadership Institute Coordinator. His warm welcome to graduates and guests included acknowledging the overwhelming joy everyone felt being able to attend an in-person event. Live streaming of the event was provided for those stewards who were unable to attend the event in person.

a woman standing at a podium in front of a crowd.
Meredith Geraghty

Meredith Geraghty, Program Officer at NewVue welcomed the audience and close-knit group, offering a congratulatory message focused on the incredible difference stewards have made during the past year. Stating that the notable accomplishments of the stewards are too numerous to include them all, Meredith offered the following examples. “You worked in partnership with ReImagine North of Main, Transformative Development Initiative and Team Better Block to implement a successful community art and performance event – the Leap Year Lights Festival at the Riverfront Park in February 2020. You organized one of the few virtual National Night Out events, convening over 350 residents to talk about issues of racial justice with Fitchburg’s Mayor, Chief of Police, and District Attorney.  Parents within the Fitchburg Public Schools benefited from over $55,000 in food and educational supplies as a result of the collaboration of Inform Fitchburg with the Fitchburg Arts Museum and the Fitchburg Public Schools.”

a woman standing at a podium in front of a red sculpture.
Beth Robbins

Stewards, some of whom have ventured out to start up their own nonprofit organizations, spoke about the skills, knowledge and support the steward program provided, allowing them to be better informed as they developed their service mission and pursued a nonprofit status. Beth Robbins is President of Fitchburg Roots, a community-driven nonprofit organization that seeks to humanize Fitchburg’s history and the families who have chosen to settle there. When asked about her experience as a steward, Beth said, “NewVue has helped shape my connections within the community, provided a structure for leadership, and encouraged stewards to take initiative. I have watched fellow stewards pioneer meaningful projects that build bridges for our community.  As steward classes and the Fitchburg State Resident Leadership Institute continue to develop leaders, we will know no bounds in how our communities will flourish.”

The Steward-based nonprofit organizations working to become tax-exempt 501(c)3 organizations are Fitchburg Loves the Children, Inc.; Fitchburg Roots, Inc.; The Thurston Consort, Inc.; Inform Fitchburg; and The Fitchburg Language Learners.

Anyone interested in becoming involved in NewVue Communities’ Steward Leadership Development Program is encouraged to reach out to Francisco Ramos, Director of Community Organizing, at framos@nvcomm.org. Those interested in the FSU Resident Leadership Institute can contact William Cortezia at wcortezi@fitchburgstate.edu.