Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation has named Anna Carollo Cross, Ed.D, executive director of the MetroWest Nonprofit Network, its 2020 John R. Heerwagen Award recipient. A one-time grant of $20,000 was presented to Carollo Cross and will be used in a manner that she believes will benefit the Network.
Established in 2016, the John R. Heerwagen Award recognizes a strong, nonprofit leader whose work has significantly benefited the lives and wellbeing of residents within the Foundation's community. It reflects the support that John R. Heerwagen, former CEO of Middlesex Savings Bank, provided to the Foundation and its efforts to help strengthen local nonprofits and his belief in the importance of developing and recognizing strong leaders.
Carollo Cross has been a resident and leader in the Framingham community for more than 30 years. She directed various community initiatives through the Framingham Schools for more than 20 years before making the transition to the MetroWest Nonprofit Network. There, she has substantially grown the impact of the Network through innovative and expanded programming.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Carollo Cross orchestrated an effort to provide added food security for families and individuals in Framingham most adversely impacted by the health crisis. Additionally, she was instrumental in launching “The Emergency Phone Line project,” a collaboration among the City of Framingham, the Framingham Board of Health, Framingham Public Schools (FPS), Voices of the Community and the Network. The effort provides food and toiletries to local residents who are homebound or disabled, or who cannot get access to other resources or programs in the City. Since it launched, nearly 400 individuals have been served.
“I am honored and humbled to be the recipient of the John R. Heerwagen Award for Nonprofit Leadership,” said Carollo Cross. “I have the privilege of being part of an extraordinary organization whose mission is to support and strengthen committed and passionate nonprofit leaders all over MetroWest. I accept this award on behalf of every single nonprofit leader who believes they can change the world and then goes right ahead and actually makes it happen.”
“The challenges presented by 2020 have made the work of local nonprofit organizations more critical than ever,” said Dana Neshe, president of the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation. “We are humbled and proud to honor Anna Carollo Cross, an inspiring leader in the community who has demonstrated great influence and impact in even the most difficult times.”