Our Team

Jeff Hayden

Executive Director



Holyoke Community College:

  • VP Business & Community Services
  • Executive Director of the Kittredge Center for Business & Workforce Development
  • Executive Director of Training & Workforce Options (TWO)
  • Executive Director of Massachusetts Casino Careers Institute (MCCTI)

Jeff Hayden has over 25 years experience in workforce and economic development in Western Massachusetts. He has lead Holyoke Community College’s Business & Community Services Division for the last 11 years overseeing Workforce Development, Adult Basic 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, six years as the Director. Jeff is recognized in the region as a leader in the process of helping people get 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 following:

  • The planning and development of the Holyoke Transportation Center including the establishment of the Picknelly Adult & Family Education Center (PAFEC);
  • The establishment of Training & 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 and 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 & Development.

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

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.  

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. 

Tracye Whitfield

Director of Contract Sales for Manufacturing, IT & General Business



Tracye assists employers in developing custom training to strengthen employee skills and maximize potential. During a 20-year career Tracye has managed Springfield City budgets totaling over $50 million, and guided youth in advocacy and community service work. She owns TW Accounting, an individual and business tax preparation service. 

A lifelong resident of the City of Springfield, she is co-chair of the Mason Square C-3 Initiative, working closely with Mason Square residents and police officers to improve quality of life. She serves on the boards of Sabis International Charter School, Wellspring, and the Association of Black Business & Professionals.

Tracye has worked on community projects such as the "Walking School Bus" at Rebecca Johnson Elementary School, the District Attorney's Hoop Hall Basketball Tournament/Job Fair, the Community Family Day at Hennessey Park, MLK’s Safe Summer Resource Fair/Community Resource Block Party, the Historically Black College Tour Committee, and Martin Luther King Day Celebration held at the MassMutual Center.

An active member of Zion Community Baptist Church, Tracye is proud to have raised two outstanding adult children in a wonderful church community.

She graduated from High School of Commerce in 1992, earned an Administrative Assistant Certificate from Salter Schools of in 1993, and holds a BA with concentration in Finance (Magna Cum Laude) and a MS in Accounting and Taxation from American International College. She has taken courses in non-profit management at Bay Path University and is a proud 2013 graduate of Leadership Pioneer Valley.

Michael J. Suzor

Assistant to the President, Springfield Technical Community College



Mike Suzor is a native of Springfield who is committed to its rebirth and to the notion that education is the surest career ladder. He has worked at STCC for over 20 years: five immediately upon college graduation, in addition to the past 15 years, with 20 years of private sector business start-up/growth experience with two companies in between. He serves on a number of community and regional boards. 

Mike has been involved with TWO since its inception, and takes pride in the way that the two colleges have worked together to meet the workforce training needs of Hampden County businesses and organizations.

He holds a bachelor of arts degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester and two masters degrees from Columbia University.