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GWI welcomes Jenn and Mass to the team!

By Hélène Lesterlin

We at GWI are so happy to welcome two new team members to our collaborative Good Work! Jennifer Montalbano joins us as the Development Steward, focused on the design and implementation of GWI’s development strategy, including institutional funder and individual donor cultivation; and Massoumeh Emami takes the reins as Greenhouse Manager, overseeing and activating our community hub in Kingston, called the Greenhouse because it is where ideas, initiatives, and collaborations sprout and grow.

Jenn and Mass bring years of experience, infectious enthusiasm, and a deep commitment to creativity and building community to their respective domains. As of last month, they joined us as workers in our collaborative shared leadership structure. We are so looking forward to having their generous energy and focused attention to help us continue to offer services, workshops, spaces, and opportunities to create positive change, together. We are excited to introduce them to you! 

You can hear directly from Jenn and Mass by listening in on recent conversations we had with them on on Radio Kingston: 

  • “On Inner/Outer Alignment” – In this interview with her new colleague, Susan invites Jennifer to share her first impressions of the Good Work Institute as a workshop participant, her experience-informed perspective on the work of fundraising, and how her path – including degrees in finance and women’s history – led her to this work.
  • “From Film to Building Community at GWI” – Coming from a deep background in the collaborative creative processes of making films, Mass shares her vision for the GWI hub that we call the Greenhouse as she steps into her new role. Interviewed by Helene.

Jenn shares: “GWI offers agents of change tools, workspace, trainings and services — crucial supports for all of us collectively working toward a more just, healthy and vibrant world. I am deeply grateful and thrilled to join GWI to focus on the design and implementation of a development strategy that will provide the necessary resources to bolster and grow this good and important work.”

Mass says: “Working at the Greenhouse is inspiring in a way that I haven’t felt since I walked into my first production office as a 21 year old trying to break into the film business. But even more than that, the work we do here at GWI is renewing. Recharging. If we can help it, work ought to add to the richness and depth of our lives. I feel incredibly fortunate to be in a position as the GWI Greenhouse Manager to help bring that richness, that depth to our community.  I look forward to welcoming more people into the space, nurturing ideas and continuing the amazing work of GWI.”

For more on their backgrounds, read on, and please stop by the Greenhouse to say hello! You can learn more about our shared leadership structure – called a “worker self-directed nonprofit” – in our blog series Sharing Power.


Massoumeh Emami (she/her) was born in Iran and fled the Revolution shortly after with her family. She went from London, to Las Vegas, to Northern Virginia, to Lexington, KY, to NYC, and eventually to Kingston in 2013, where she lives with her husband, two daughters and two pups. She played tennis at the University of Kentucky, and moved to New York after college where she set out on a 20+ year career in the film and TV industry. Mass (pronounced like the unit of measure) has produced feature films, commercials, and web series, and has worked on countless films and TV shows as a script supervisor, including The Squid and the Whale, and The Kite Runner. Whether it’s a film, a tennis match, her work at GWI, or a busy day chasing around her girls, she is passionate about the work in front of her, but not nearly as much as she is about the people around her. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to work locally in her community, bringing people together, as the Greenhouse Manager at GWI. 

Jennifer Montalbano (she/her) began her journey in fundraising as part of the Advancement team at Sarah Lawrence College while pursuing a Masters in Women’s History. She believes wholeheartedly that we are living in a historical moment where inequities and destruction have come to the forefront of our collective consciousness and that the answers lie in people — in democratizing communities, wealth and work. For the past decade and a half, she has helped organizations fund these good and important collaborative efforts. She is passionate about connecting the people doing work toward a Just Transition with those who want to support it. Jennifer grew up in the Mahicantuck Valley and currently resides in Saugerties, NY with her wild spirited 10-year-old son and stubborn but loveable black labrador. She also practices yoga and was trained and certified at Shakti Yoga in Woodstock, NY.

A roundup of GWI news, including general announcements, reflections from our team, and links to resources.

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