AIM Names Two New Staff Members; Promotes Two Others

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AIM Names Two New Staff Members; Promotes Two Others

News | March 22, 2021
By: Chris Geehern

Associated Industries of Massachusetts has hired two people and promoted two others as the association expands to meet the needs of a growing membership.

Two of the changes come in AIM’s high-profile government affairs operation. Vasundhra Sangar, who has played an important role for the association in federal stimulus advocacy and unemployment insurance policy, has been promoted to Vice President of Government Affairs. Sam Larson will move from his work in the Massachusetts Legislature to join AIM as Associate Vice President of Government Affairs.

AIM also announced that Sephorah Umugisha, who brings international experience at the intersection of marketing and government, has been appointed Marketing Coordinator for the association. And Melissa Wotus, who has planned and executed multiple AIM events since 2018, has been promoted to Events Manager.

“These staff additions and promotions reflect AIM’s determination to hire and promote the most talented people we can find to work on behalf of our 3,300 member companies,” said Christopher Kealey, Chief Operating Officer at AIM.

“AIM continues to grow, and these key people will ensure that the largest business association in Massachusetts will lead the way as the commonwealth moves toward economic recovery.”

Vasundhra Sangar joined AIM in February 2020 after working in a variety of roles in both the Massachusetts House and Senate, beginning as a constituent services director in Pittsfield and ending as a Legislative Director in the House. Originally from San Francisco, California, Ms. Sangar and her family relocated to the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts in the early 2000s, where they still own and operate a small business.

Ms. Sangar has been a Boston resident for almost 10 years since starting her undergraduate career at Boston University, which is where she first found her passion for good government and effective advocacy. Her main issue areas at AIM will be health care legislation, workforce development, and education policy.

Sam Larson joins AIM after having served as research director for the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development in the Massachusetts State Legislature.

In 2018 Mr. Larson was a staffer for the “Grand Bargain” negotiations, which led to several employment and tax law reforms. He served as a committee staffer for Labor and Workforce Development Committee Chairs John Scibak, Paul Brodeur and Josh Cutler and also worked as a field organizer in Michigan for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016.

Mr. Larson is from Belmont. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Gettysburg College and is a Juris Doctorate Candidate at New England Law Boston scheduled to graduate in May of 2022.

Sephorah Umugisha began her marketing career in Rwanda working in public relations for a government agency called the Rwandan Development Board specializing in International Trade and Development. Prior to joining AIM in February, Ms. Umugisha worked for a UK-based non-profit called Aegis Trust, where she planned and executed inbound marketing campaigns and programs, and owned their email marketing, newsletters, paid social, events, and blog.

Her responsibilities at AIM include producing external communications, planning daily content, and crafting messages for AIM’s marketing channels. She works closely with senior vice president of marketing and the leadership team on a range of marketing projects that advocate the AIM Mission.

Ms. Umugisha holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Media from Eastern Nazarene College, and Master of Science in International Marketing from Hult International Business School.

Melissa Wotus is familiar to many AIM members having spent three years overseeing the operation of AIM events ranging from the Annual Meeting to Executive Forums to regional celebrations throughout the commonwealth. She played a key role in migrating AIM events to virtual platforms in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Prior to joining AIM, Ms. Wotus served as Events Coordinator for the National Council for Geographic Education, where she executed annual conferences within cities all over the country. She has also been a lead pre-school teacher and a special education paraprofessional.

Ms. Wotus earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Connecticut.