Our Team

Tracye Whitfield

A headshot of Tracye Whitfield

Director of Contract Sales for Manufacturing, IT & General Business




As the Director of Contract Sales, Tracye assists employers in developing custom training to strengthen employee skills and maximize potential. 

Throughout her 20-year career Tracye has managed Springfield City budgets totaling over $34 million, guided youth in advocacy, and worked as data analyst for Springfield Technical Community College and an accounting specialist at MassMutual Financial Group. Tracye does a variety of community service work. Additionally, she is the owner of TW Accounting Service, where her focus is individual and business tax preparation, and credit repair. 

In 2017, Tracye entered the political arena and became Springfield City Councilor At-Large in 2018. She is passionate about community involvement and engagement, public safety, workforce development, and most importantly the wellbeing of individuals and societies. As the co-chair of the Mason Square C-3 Initiative, she works closely with residents, local organizations, and police officers to improve quality of life. 

She earned her BA with a concentration in finance (magna cum laude) as well as her MS in accounting and taxation from American International College.

Sharon Grundel

A headshot of Sharon Grundel

Director of Contract Sales for Health, Non-Profits, & Government



Sharon has nearly 20 years of experience in healthcare workforce development, serving adults and youth, primarily within medically underserved communities in the Commonwealth. She is well versed in the operations of the one-stop career centers and workforce investment boards. While at UMass Medical School she founded and served as state advisor for HOSA–Future Health Professionals, a national student organization. Most recently, Sharon has worked closely with employers in the long-term care industry, specifically home care, to revise and develop new curriculum that boosts the skill set of direct healthcare workers.

Sharon earned her BA in Speech Pathology from the University at Buffalo and a M.Ed. from Cambridge College, Cambridge, MA in Counseling. When she isn’t working you may find her rowing crew on the Connecticut River, pedaling the bike trails near her home, or puttering in the garden. 

Michele Cabral

A headshot of Michele Cabral, director of Training & Workforce Options




The director of Training & Workforce options and the Massachusetts Casino Career Training Institute (a gaming school run jointly with STCC and MGM Springfield), Michele Cabral started her career as a certified public accountant for KPMG Peat Marwick. She graduated from the Leadership Development Program while working for CIGNA Insurance Companies and joined Farm Credit Financial Partners Inc. as the chief financial and operating officer while the company was in its start-up phase.

Previously an accounting professor and dean of Business and Technology at Holyoke Community College, Michele was a key member of the project team that helped establish the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute in downtown Holyoke.

A successful business consultant, she holds a bachelor's degree from Westfield State University and an MBA from Elms College. Michele is the founder of Care For Our Troops, a nonprofit organization serving military personnel in western Massachusetts, and currently serves on the board of directors for Friends of the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke.

Jeff Hayden


VP Business & Community Services, HCC

Executive Director of the Kittredge Center for Business & Workforce Development



Jeff Hayden has over 25 years' experience in workforce and economic development in western Massachusetts. Jeff has lead Holyoke Community College’s Business & Community Services Division for the last 11 years, overseeing workforce development, adult education, community service, and a variety of transition to college and career programs. Prior to HCC, Jeff served in the City of Holyoke’s Office of Planning & Development for 12 years, spending six years as the director. Jeff is recognized in the region as a leader in the process of helping people find a job, get a better job, or to do their job better.

Jeff has been engaged in a variety of projects and initiatives throughout the years, including the planning and development of the Holyoke Transportation Center including the establishment of the Picknelly Adult & Family Education Center; the establishment of Training and Workforce Options (TWO), a joint workforce development initiative of Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College providing customized contract training to area businesses; the creation of the Massachusetts Casino Careers Training Institute (MCCTI) a statewide initiative of the Commonwealth’s community colleges to provide entry level training for jobs to be created by the new-to-Massachusetts casino industry; the planning and development of Holyoke’s Crossroad Business Development park; and the merging of the Holyoke Office of Economic & Industrial Development department, the Holyoke Economic Development & Industrial Corporation, the Holyoke Planning Department, and the Holyoke Board of Appeals into the Holyoke Office for Planning and Development.

Jeff lives in Holyoke. He serves on a number of local community and human service boards.   

Gerardo Zayas

A headshot of Gerardo Zayas

Asst. VP for Workforce Development/Co-Director



Gerardo Zayas Jr. has mentored individuals and led organizations in producing quality services for over 20 years. He is an enthusiastic professional with the ability to create, implement, and monitor performance improvement efforts that are results-driven, possessing a natural ability to promote professional and organizational awareness creating a client-centered approach to services in healthcare, community-based, government services and in higher education. 

While completing his Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice, he gained a clear understanding of community engagement through need assessments to targeted populations.  While pursuing his Masters degree in Business Administration with a concentration in healthcare, he learned and coached organizational leaders on providing best standards of care practices in a culturally competent manner, while making sure an organization operates as a business with a soul.

Zayas mentors leadership teams to achieve professional development and enhance operations management practice resulting in lower staffing turnover rates, and higher client satisfaction survey rates. He prides himself on his ability to work effectively with professionals with diverse educational and experience backgrounds to achieve realistic and necessary outcome measures.