Dwyer Receives 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award

December 31, 2019

The GCC Distinguished Alumni Committee is pleased to announce that Michelle L. Dwyer ‘03 of Greenfield has been selected as the 2019 Distinguished Alumnus. She serves the Chief Executive Officer/CEO of Franklin First Federal Credit Union.

GCC President Yves Salomon-Fernández stated, “I am pleased with the decision of the selection committee and thrilled for Michelle.  Her passionate commitment to the well-being of her community has been clearly demonstrated over time. Her compassion, intelligence and focus on supporting the economic health is clear in every step of her journey and especially in her support of the development of GCC’s Ideation and Entrepreneurship Center.  I am honored to have Michelle represent her fellow alums as the 2019 GCC Distinguished Alumni!”

Franklin First Federal Credit Union appointed Michelle Dwyer as its chief executive officer/president in 2016. Hers is a remarkable journey – she began at Franklin First in 2007 as a teller, was promoted to lead teller, and then to accounting specialist in 2013.

Dwyer graduated from Greenfield High School in 2000, earned an associate’s degree in liberal arts from GCC in 2004, graduated from Leadership Pioneer Valley in 2018 and is completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Finance at Southern New Hampshire University.

Reflecting on her time at GCC, she said, “GCC provided me an opportunity to continue my education in a situation where I felt that I was not ready to go to a large college.  GCC is an amazing resource for anyone, of any age to continue their educational journey.  I am very lucky and proud that I have access to such and amazing school.”

Her community service activities include serving as Relay For Life team captain for Franklin First; volunteer at the Franklin County Regional Dog Shelter in Turners Falls; and as either board member, volunteer, donor or dedicated booster for the Children’s Advocacy Center, Franklin County Big Brothers Big Sisters, Franklin County Rotary, Franklin County Young Professionals, The Entrepreneurial Take the Floor Pitch Competition and Greenfield Community College’s developing Ideation & Entrepreneurship Center.

GCC is not the first to honor her – Michelle has also been recognized as:

  • Franklin County  Children’s Advocacy Center 2019 Volunteer of the Year
  • Banking New England Magazine 2019 Woman of FIRE
  • Credit Union Magazine 2018 CU Rockstar
  • BusinessWest 2017 40 Under 40 Awardee
  • Cooperative Credit Union Association 2012 Credit Union Rising Star

In her nomination of Dwyer, Michelle Barthelemy, GCC Business Department Co-Chair, described her nominee as someone who “directs everything she does in support of her vision of a better Franklin County .She creates opportunities for her community through events that develop entrepreneurship, raise money for local charities and support the arts.”

The 2019 GCC Distinguished Alumni Committee is comprised of GCC Alumni Office staff Regina Curtis’86 and Nance Rifanburg, joined by GCC Alumni Association members Carol Aleman‘71 and Saba Yasin’14 of Greenfield, Lindsay Stromgren’95 of Pelham, and Evelyn Stankowski’13 of Hatfield.

For more information about the GCC Foundation and the 2017 Annual Fund Campaign, visit www.gcc.mass.edu/foundation or contact Regina Curtis at (413) 775-1600.

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