The Board of Directors of the Irish Cultural Center at Elms College in Chicopee has voted unanimously to hire Ellen Dziuraof Chicopee as executive director.

In the position, Dziura will oversee daily operations at the center, organizing events and keeping communications running smoothly. She will also help in formulating a strategic plan to map out operational and facility goals for the future.

ICC President Sean Cahillane said Dziura was chosen from among manyqualified applicants for the position. He said board members found Dziura to be a perfect fit for the organization.

“The Irish Cultural Center has established a strong foundation in the Western New England area primarily due to the dedicated efforts of board members and volunteers. Along with other board members and Ellen, the plan is to further the mission of the Irish Cultural Centerin New England,”Cahillane said.

ICC board member Mary Ellen O’Brien agreed.

“The ICC has plans to grow and Ellen is here to help us,”O’Brien said.
Dziura is a native of Springfield and has lived in this area most of her life. She is the daughter of William and Rosemary Maloney and having grown up in the Hungry Hill section of the city, she has a strong appreciation and love for the Irish culture. She is married to ThomasDziura, and they have two grown sons, Gregory and William.William Dziura is a member of the Irish Cultural Center Board of Directors.
She attended local schools, including Western New England College, now University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree of science in business administration. She also has executive certification from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

She worked for nearly three decades at MassMutual Life Insurance Company, most recently as vice president of annuity customer service, training, financial controls and project management. In that role, she was executive leader for the Annuity Customer Service organization, a highly regulated entity. Prior to that she was vice president of retirement services.

Dziura alsoserved as the president of the board for the South End Community Center where she worked with Mayor Dominic Sarno to preserve valuable services to inner city children. She currently works in the Sisters of Providence Fund Development Office, providing office support, content for fund-raising and campaign management.

Dziura said she is thrilled with her new position.

“I’m excited because I’m working with a highly skilled and dedicated group of individuals who are so committed to the Irish Cultural Center and to strengthening Irish culture across the region. I’m so looking forward to helping in this mission,” she said.

ICC Vice President Francis Hennessey gave Dziura a welcome in her new role.

“To achieve our goals we needed someone with a strong combination of strategic, and operational leadership skills as well as non-profit experience and Ellen brings all of those to the center,” Hennessey said.

Dziura replaces long time executive director Judith E. Kappenman, SSJ, who retired in December.

Since its founding twelve years ago, the ICC has promoted and advocated various events and activities throughout the year. ICC programshave included visits by former Irish president Mary McAleeseand longtime Irish Sinn Féin politicians Gerry Adams andMartin McGuinness.

Many scholars and authors have also given presentations.

The ICC hosts annual trips to Ireland, a winter film series, a yearly breakfast, Christmas with an Irish Touch, a film series, and Celtic Adventures ForKids every summer. In conjunction with the college, Gaelic language classes are offered and a Fulbright scholar from Ireland has been in attendance for the last three years. The ICC maintains a collection of books, paintings, and other memorabilia of museum quality.