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Lisa Carter Named Finalist for Leadership Award

Agassiz Village’s executive director recognized for extraordinary organizational results


As a nonprofit dedicated to serving children, we love to brag about our kids. But every now and then we get the chance to share news about Agassiz team members. And this is such an occasion.


We are so thrilled—and proud—to announce that Lisa Carter, our executive director, has been named a 2024 Nonprofit Excellence Awards finalist! The Awards honor the most innovative and creative work being done by nonprofits across the state. Hosted by Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, the voice of the nonprofit sector, and presented by Citizens, six organizations and individuals will be professionally recognized for their accomplishments.


This recognition of Lisa comes as no surprise to Agassiz’s Board of Directors and staff. Since joining in 2020, Lisa has exponentially redefined the future of Agassiz Village and its impact on the children we humbly serve. By quickly identifying the most pressing issues affecting the sustainability of the organization, she created a new strategy and vision for the future.


And she did it by weathering some pretty substantial storms along the way. Just as Lisa began work at Agassiz, COVID hit, and she suddenly had to deal with ceasing summer camp operations and the subsequent halt in funding. What did she do? She innovated, creating a virtual camp, with virtual fundraising events to get through the difficult time.


In addition, she simultaneously addressed the condition of the camp’s aging facilities, ultimately securing a donation for a facility assessment to fully understand what she faced. The report forced Agassiz to tear down five buildings, overhaul the electrical system, and make major repairs before the camp could safely welcome kids again. Lisa collaborated with the staff, the Board, and the community to galvanize their support to positively turn around Agassiz.


“Lisa has infectious energy and enthusiasm which filters to everyone around her,” says Theresa O’Bryant, President of the Agassiz Village Board of Directors. “This is important because there is so much to do with such a small staff and a volunteer board who can easily get exhausted.” 


In addition, Lisa revamped Agassiz’s summer program and launched a new year-round program supporting teens, creating clear and measurable outcomes that have significantly made an impact on the success of the youth in the program. She is passionate about preparing kids from marginalized communities for life’s journey. She empathizes deeply with the families we serve, and this empathy is not passive; it compels action. She is constantly seeking ways to alleviate their burdens and enhance their well-being, ensuring that Agassiz Village is not just a summer camp, but a place of hope and support.


“The capacity we have to make an impact on youth is immense and something I had not fully understood when I accepted this position in 2020,” says Lisa. “Since then, I have seen the transformations we have been able to make in kids’ lives in just two weeks. The youth we serve inspire me every day to work hard to make Agassiz Village the most special place in New England for youth from underserved communities. We have accomplished a lot in four short years, and I am honored to be among such a prestigious group of colleagues recognized for their nonprofit leadership in Massachusetts.” 


Under Lisa’s leadership, more transformation is coming to the camp in the next few years. Agassiz Village is preparing to launch an $8 million capital campaign to raise the funds needed to renovate the facilities—a campaign the Board of Directors was told was impossible to achieve by a consulting firm a year ago, and now is possible after the work Lisa has done to create an engagement committee and galvanize support from the community.


We at Agassiz recognize that the impact Lisa has had on Agassiz Village is immeasurable—and we are so happy that the nonprofit world now knows of her extraordinary talent. She is gifted at galvanizing people to the Agassiz cause, especially bringing in outside entities, helping them understand the mission and need, and finding a way for them to participate in a meaningful way.


The ultimate benefactors of all Lisa’s passion and perseverance are, of course, our kids.


The 2024 Nonprofit Excellence Awards will take place at the New England Aquarium on June 12, 2024. We’ll keep the Agassiz community apprised of the results.


Congratulations, Lisa!


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