2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

MNN is pleased to announce that Joan Wallace-Benjamin, Ph.D., President and CEO of The Home for Little Wanderers, and Michael Weekes, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers (Providers’ Council), are the recipients of the organization’s 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. These awards will be presented at MNN’s annual conference on November 1st.

We are honored to recognize Joan and Michael with Lifetime Achievement Awards at our tenth annual conference,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “Their idealism, their commitment, and their service have made a big difference for people across the Commonwealth.


Joan Wallace-Benjamin, Ph.D.

joan2017 (1)A dedicated nonprofit professional who committed her life to serving the people of the Commonwealth, Joan is being honored for work empowering and inspiring countless organizations to fulfill varied and important missions of service, research, and advocacy.

Joan has worked at The Home for Little Wanderers since 2003 and was instrumental in establishing The Home as a leader in innovative programming for underserved populations and for expanding its role of advocacy for all children. Joan has also served as President and CEO of the Urban League of Massachusetts, and in 2007, served as Governor Deval Patrick’s first Chief of Staff. She has also served on numerous boards of directors, including those of Bridgewater State University, Wellesley College, Northeastern University, and Pine Manor College, and as co-chair of the Families and Children Requiring Assistance Advisory Board. She is widely known and respected for bringing characteristic skill and energy to every organization she has worked with.

It is an honor to be receiving this Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Joan. “For the past fifteen years, I have worked at The Home for Little Wanderers as President and CEO serving some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable children and their families. While challenging at times, it is work that has filled me with joy and pride. I am particularly pleased to be sharing this award with my friend and colleague of many years, Michael Weekes of the Providers Council! Thank you to the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network for this award and for all the work you do to support the nonprofit community.


Michael Weekes

mdw jri headshot (2)As the leader of the Providers’ Council, the largest community-based human service membership organization in Massachusetts, Michael Weekes is being honored for his dedication to serving nonprofits statewide and nationally, working in all capacities.

Since 1998, Michael has spearheaded the Council’s work as the largest human services membership association in Massachusetts and the official voice of the community-based nonprofit human services field. Under his guidance, the Council has increased the capacity of hundreds of health and human service nonprofit providers. Michael has also served as Deputy Commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Social Services, and as Assistant Executive Director of the Center for Human Development, the largest human services organization in western Massachusetts. Michael has served on many boards and as trustee, including those of the United Way of Pioneer Valley, Amherst A Better Chance, NonprofitVOTE, National Council of Nonprofits, and Springfield Technical Community College Foundation. He was a founding board member of MNN and served as its vice chair of the board from 2007-2014.

Thank you to MNN, whose membership includes such a broad array of dynamic organizations. I appreciate their recognition of the Providers’ Council’s focus on the nonprofit human services community’s workforce and the vital social and economic difference we make as nonprofits in the Commonwealth,” said Michael. “It’s an even greater honor to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award with my longtime friend and Providers’ Council Board member, Joan Wallace-Benjamin, whose work at The Home has enormously benefited Massachusetts’ children and families.

Each year, the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network honors outstanding nonprofit leaders who have positively impacted the sector. Past Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include Michael Maso, Deborah Cary, Tim Garvin, Beth Smith, Charles Rucks, Paul Grogan, Bill Walczak, Rev. Ray A. Hammond, and Rev. Gloria White-Hammond.

To learn more about MNN’s conference visit www.massnonprofitnet.org/conference.