The bridge leadership team
Kenneth J. Bates, President and Chief Executive Officer
Kenneth J. Bates was appointed President and CEO of The Bridge of Central Massachusetts in March 2015.
“Ken brings a wealth of experience and talent to this position,” said Board Chairman Charles O’Neill.
Ken came to The Bridge from his role as Executive Director of New Business and Financial Growth at Commonwealth Medicine, UMass Medical School. He previously worked as Vice President of Behavioral Health at Advocates in Framingham and as Director of Outpatient Services at Spectrum Health Systems.
Ken is a Worcester native and has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Assumption College and a Bachelor’s degree from Worcester State University.
In prior roles, he developed new community programs serving multiple populations and demonstrated knowledge and passion for organizational change that can improve service delivery. He also has shown proven ability to develop programs that meet community needs and build community relationships with a shared sense of purpose, according to O’Neill.
“Ken has both the vision and ability to lead The Bridge into new areas of care,” said O’Neill. “The Board of Directors continues to be committed to growing The Bridge in both agency size and industry leadership reputation. We believe that Ken is the person who can lead us into that."
Administrative Leadership Team
Frederick Battersby, MA, Executive Vice President of Administration and Finance
Fred has been a leader at The Bridge for 34 years, beginning his career in 1979 as a residential counselor at Grove Street Adolescent Residence.
At The Bridge, he has also served as Director of Adolescent Services, Director of Personnel, and Director of Finance.
His broad expertise in programs, personnel, and finance is instrumental in his ability to oversee operations.
Fred is a member of the Central Massachusetts Financial Executives Organization.
Nancy Bishop, MSW, Executive Vice President of Service Operations
Nancy has a Bachelor's degree from Anna Maria College and a Master's in Social Work from Boston University. She began her career in human services working as a counselor at Devereux in their Autistic Treatment Center. She also worked as a social worker in a local day care center. She started at CTC in 1989 and at The Bridge when the two agencies merged in 1997.
Her broad-based career at The Bridge, which includes Residential Counselor, Program Manager, Director of Quality Improvement, Assistant Division Director, Division Director, Assistant Director of Operations, Director of Evidence-based Practices and Director of Service Operations, has provided her with extensive knowledge of all aspects of service delivery.
Nancy received the "Implementation of Best Practices" Award in 2007 from the MHSACM, which is now the Association for Behavioral Health, ABH.
Lorie C. Martiska, M.S., Vice President of Advancement
Lorie became Director of Development at the Bridge in 2012. Prior to that she served as Vice President of Community Relations and Development for Heywood Hospital in Gardner -- a role she held for 24 years. She also worked in printing and publications design, and began her career as Director of Alumni Relations and Fundraising for Fitchburg State University.
She has a bachelor's degree in English from Fitchburg State University and a Master's in Communications from Simmons College. She co-founded the Joint Coalition on Health of North Central Mass., a coalition responsible for the development and implementation of a comprehensive oral health initiative, a federally-funded community health center, a DPH-funded school-based health center, a nationally-recognized health access program and a school-based mental health and substance abuse program.
Lorie serves on the Berlin-Boylston Regional School District School Committee and the Boylston School Committee.
Heidi Pulkkinen, MA, MS, Vice President of Finance
A Bridge employee since 2000, Heidi has served in various roles, most recently as the Director of Fiscal Services overseeing the business office. In her new role, she will oversee all accounting and cash management activity, supervise a staff of five and prepare approximately sixty program budgets totaling $30 million annually.
Heidi holds an MS in Nonprofit Management from Worcester State College, as well as an MA in Counseling Psychology from Framingham State College. She holds two BA degrees: one in sociology and the other in psychology.
Erica Robert, MSW, LCSW, Vice President of Community Services
Erica came to The Bridge in 1997 following her volunteer work in human services which included working with individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and families affected by domestic violence.
Her career at The Bridge has included working as Supported Housing Counselor, Assistant Program Manager, Program Manager, Division Director, and Assistant Director of Operations. In 2010, she became the Director of Adult Mental Health Services.
Erica is a Licensed Certified Social Worker in the state of Massachusetts, and a member of the Massachusetts Chapter of National Association of Social Workers (NASW).
Michael Stuart, MBA, Vice President of Quality Management
Michael Stuart comes to the Bridge with over 20 years of leadership experience in Worcester-based non-profit organizations, including Community HealthLink and Spectrum Health Systems, Inc.
He has held numerous key positions at these organizations, including Director of Corporate Compliance and Executive Director of Inpatient Services.
In his role with The Bridge, Michael provides leadership in the development, execution, and monitoring of quality improvement and regulatory compliance systems through the organization.