United Way picks new director of Framingham community support agency


By Mica Kanner-Mascolo | Worcester Business Journal

United Way of Tri-County has named Liz Leonard as director of WHEAT Community Connections, a program within the Framingham-based community support nonprofit. 

WHEAT Community Connections of Clinton is a direct service program aiming to support the low-income residents of the Greater Clinton area through community-centered programs and initiatives. Leonard will step in to oversee the day-to-day operations of several of those programs, including WHEAT’s food pantry, community café, and Hidden Treasures Gift Shop, according to a Tuesday release from United Way of Tri-County.

“I am thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to carry on the important work WHEAT has been accomplishing for decades,” Leonard said in the release. “The need in our community is greater than ever, and we are working diligently to meet this challenge with our own continued growth and evolution.”

Leonard began her tenure at WHEAT as a food pantry volunteer 10 years ago. Most recently, she worked as WHEAT’s program manager before transitioning to director.

Leonard holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Merrimack College in North Andover.

“Liz is a collaborative and generous team member with a positive approach to the many challenges of running a direct service program,” Paul Mina, president and CEO of the United Way of Tri-County, said in the release. “She is a strong leader and has already demonstrated a positive impact in the community. I am confident she will be a great fit in the Greater Clinton region and will continue the high service delivery standards that the community has come to expect from WHEAT.”

Leonard replaces Jodi Breidel who has moved on to a position with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, according to the release. She now serves as assistant secretary for community programs at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs, according to Breidel’s LinkedIn.