Amanda Lesnick is the Vice President of Support Services at Gándara Mental Health Center. Gándara is a large multi-service non-profit organization headquartered in Springfield, MA serving under-resourced and underserved communities throughout Massachusetts, with service hubs in Brockton, Holyoke, Northampton, and Springfield, MA. The mission of Gándara Center is “to promote the well-being of Hispanics, African-Americans and other culturally diverse populations through innovative, culturally competent behavioral health, prevention, and educational services.” The agency is committed to responding to the changing needs of those we serve; promoting self-determination and informed consent; fully respecting the human dignity and diversity of all individuals; ensuring the health and safety of clients and staff; supporting professional development; and working collaboratively with community partners, government agencies, private funders, and other stakeholders.
As Vice President of Support Services, Amanda provides strategic, mission focused leadership of the Prevention and Community Services Division whose programs and initiatives are primarily focused on delivering preventative, community-based services designed to strengthen protective factors around social determinants of health. Prior to her Vice President role she led the Grants and Contract Management department where she gained extensive experience identifying and securing diverse funding, new program development and implementation, and contract management. Amanda has a BA from UMASS Amherst with a concentration in Non-profit Management.
In addition to Amanda’s professional experience, she also brings valuable lived experience. Amanda is in long term recovery; has lived experience of chronic homelessness, poverty, and childhood abuse. She is passionate about breaking the stigma around these issues and leverages these experiences to bring a perspective to an issue or conversation that might not otherwise be included.