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Open Sky Celebrates 50 Years and Recognizes Staff, Individuals

September 2023

From coverage by Spectrum News:

Open Sky Community Services celebrated their 50th anniversary Wednesday at Polar Park in Worcester.

The nonprofit human services provider offers programs across central Massachusetts for people living with mental health challenges, developmental disabilities, brain injury and substance use disorders.

"We're hiring people with lived experience, and those folks are really on the front lines helping draw more people out into the community and providing those supports,” said president & CEO Ken Bates. “So, people with lived experience are one of the keys to success at Open Sky."

"Open Sky has been a foundation to human services for the central Mass. community,” said Kola Akindele, a member of the board of directors. “So, I'm glad that we're celebrating 50 years. And I’m hopeful that we continue to celebrate more years with Open Sky."

Many of the families Open Sky serves joined the celebration Wednesday alongside the nonprofit’s roughly 1,300 employees.


Biggest Cheerleader Award -Tammy Stackpole

Barent W. Walsh Award for Clinical Excellence - William Nall

Dennis H. Rice Award for Community Membership - Family Support Center

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Award - Omolewa Fagboore

Open Sky Community Partner Award - Whitin Community Center

Open Sky Community Champion Award - Karen Andersen Walsh

Rookie of the Year Awards:

Bichtroan Chase

Andreina Concepcion

Fatima Cortez

Benjamin Doyen

Vanessa Rivera

Ryan Zenevitch

Leadership Awards:

Michelle Battista

Heidi Blackmar

Betty Bragdon

Tsitsi Kaneunyenye

Jasmine Vincent

Achievement Awards:

Casey Burgoyne 

Dumas Family

Jennifer Galbraith 

Ollie Hise

Steven "Scott" Manseau

Emma Mata

Maria Mattanza

Shandi Morris 

Jennifer O'Connell

Samantha Robinson

Heidi Pulkkinen

Utsav Shrestha

Ruben Villa

Collaboration Awards:

ASD Outreach

Business Office

CAYAS Division

ACCS Peer Services

Shared Living

Open Sky Champion Awards:

Fred Battersby

Carol Tripp-Tebo

Ariel Family

Judge John McCann

Maria Thomas & Rick Roberts

Molly Hollibaugh

Scott Rossiter

J. Christopher Collins

Dennis Rice

Michael Seibold

Barent Walsh

2023 Program of the Year - Career Services Program

Erica Robert Award for Humanity - Donna Macleod-Prior