2024 Thomas Green Award Recipients Announced

Worcester Regional Research Bureau announces the recipients of the 2024 Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards!

Date: April 25, 2024
Contact: Paul Matthews, Executive Director & CEO
508 479 8234,

Since 1988, The Research Bureau has celebrated the unsung heroes of public service through the Thomas S. Green Public Service Award. The Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards publicly recognize the extraordinary efforts of individuals across the region who have dedicated their careers and personal lives to our communities.

This year, The Research Bureau honors five employees who have made outstanding contributions to public service and embody the ideals of the Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards:

  • Exceptional competence and efficient handling of all assigned responsibilities
  • Enthusiastic performance of tasks above and beyond the call of duty
  • Cooperative, helpful, and friendly attitude toward the public and fellow employees
  • Community involvement outside the scope of job-related responsibilities

Susan ChristensenSusan Christensen, Outreach & Prevention Coordinator, Fitchburg Health Department
Ms. Christensen is the voice for the most vulnerable populations in Fitchburg and the Montachusett Public Health Network. Sue led an effort to establish a Warming Center that kept our community’s most-vulnerable safe during extreme weather conditions. She created the Fitchburg Interagency Team Collaborative Hub, helping to break down government silos to better service to those in need.  She even organized the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Resource Options Fair to connect individuals with treatment options. As one of her nominators noted, “Sue Christensen is out there every day in Fitchburg, physically embedded in our streets, serving as not only the eyes and ears of the city with our most vulnerable residents, but sometimes as the first response and last hope for our residents who are most in need.”

Katelyn DuncanKatelyn Duncan, New Americans Librarian, Worcester Public Library
Ms. Duncan is a true renaissance person, with her role encompassing a wide range of essential services for New Americans that seek services at the Worcester Public Library. She connects patrons to English classes or housing or social services; she teaches conversational English and assists in preparation for US Citizenship Exams; all while managing the World Languages and English as a Second Language & Literacy collections in all branches of the Worcester Public Library. Her impacts are not only tangible but transformative in the lives of individuals served by Worcester Public Library, providing an individualized approach to address the unique needs of each and every patron. Katelyn “stands out for her unwavering dedication to providing and connecting New Americans to the services they need to not only survive but thrive in our community.”

George KalivasGeorge Kalivas, Technical Theater Teacher, Burncoat, Worcester Public Schools
Mr. Kalivas is passionate, creative, innovative, and dedicated. These are but a fraction of the adjectives used to describe him. Mr. Kalivas single-handedly developed a theater education curriculum from scratch, teaching set building, lighting design, sound design, costuming, and prop building. In addition to his role as an educator, Mr. Kalivas volunteers as the Technical Director for the Drama Club’s 40-minute show at the Massachusetts Educational Theater One Act Festival Competition. A nominator noted, “his dedication to fostering a supportive and inclusive learning environment sets a shining example for educators everywhere.” He consistently goes above a beyond for his students and for the Burncoat community, he created community partnerships with local businesses, restaurants, and higher education institutions, all in order to ensure his students receive the highest-quality experience and inspiring them for the next steps in their lives, as highlighted by a student-nomination, “I always make sure to use the things he’s taught me and apply them to the real world.”

Victoria KilleenVictoria Killeen, Kitchen Manager, Northborough Senior Center
Ms. Killeen developed The Bistro@119 into not only a self-sufficient enterprise, but a high-quality restaurant serving the Northborough senior community. Her work, however, extends well-beyond the walls of the Senior Center, she has co-led the Northborough Food Pantry, volunteers for the Junior Women’s Club, is President of Our Fathers Tables, serves families at the Haye’s Funeral Home, and much more. Ingrained in her is a desire to help people, which she does with enthusiasm and heart. She hand-delivers food to food pantry patrons who aren’t able to go in person, she counsels families of loved ones who have passed, and as a retired hairdresser, she is the Senior Center’s resident hairdresser, stylist, and manicurist. A nominator wrote, “Vickie Killeen is an inspiring example of what it means to care for and improve our community and the lives of all of us who live and work here. Vickie is a treasured gift to the Senior Center, the town of Northborough, and all who meet her.”

Michelle SmithMichelle Smith, Assistant Chief Development Officer for Planning & Regulatory Services, Worcester Executive Office of Economic Development
Ms. Smith’s deep knowledge and exceptional talent make her a tremendous asset to the City of Worcester and universally respected across City departments, among community members, and with local business and non-profit leadership. Ms. Smith has led the City’s first comprehensive plan in 40-years, Worcester NowǀNext. Through skill, dedication, and an unmatched work ethic, she has led the Planning Division to new heights using innovative thinking, a tenacious focus on continuous improvement, interdepartmental collaborations, and a prioritization of long-range planning initiatives. A nominator wrote, “I hope you will recognize not only Michelle’s tremendous professional accomplishments, but her impact on the field of public service as a role model for other women in local government. Michelle inspired me to continue on my own path into local government and that is a gift.”

Join us in celebrating the 2024 Thomas S. Green Public Service Award Recipients on May 30th, 5:00PM at Mechanics Hall. The Event is Free & Open To The Public. All Are Welcome!

The Award is named in memory of Thomas S. Green, a founder of The Research Bureau and one of its original Directors. Mr. Green was a civic leader for many decades and a Vice President of Norton Company (now Saint-Gobain). This is the thirty-fourth annual Green Awards presentation, which has honored 139 public servants over the past three decades.

The Research Bureau’s Award Committee, composed of representatives from diverse community organizations, selected the recipients from nominees submitted by the public. This year’s committee includes: Chair Ché Anderson, Joyce Augustus, Melanie Bonsu, Kathleen Gagne, Ellen Ganley, Dave Garvin, Paul Matthews, Michael McDermott, Todd Rodman, Michelle Tufau Afriyie, and Ron Waddell.

Ché Anderson, Chair of the Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards Committee, said “The Green Awards offer an opportunity to highlight the incredible work being done in our region by its public servants. This year was an extremely competitive year with so many nominees deserving of recognition for their tireless work on behalf of our communities. However, the 2024 Thomas Green Award Recipients stood out as selfless, committed, innovative, and truly exceptional. I congratulate them all for this well-deserved recognition.”

Paul Matthews, Executive Director and CEO of The Research Bureau, said “The Thomas Green Awards are a highlight of The Research Bureau’s calendar each year. It is an honor to recognize them for their contributions to Worcester County. This year’s recipients hail from multiple communities in the County – Worcester, Fitchburg, & Northborough, representing a multitude of disciplines: public health, education, libraries, planning, and senior services. Our communities are stronger because of individuals like them. Additionally, the Bureau thanks Mechanics Hall for their generous support of the TSG Awards, bringing the ceremony back to its venerable halls.”

The Research Bureau, founded in 1985, serves the public interest of Greater Worcester by conducting independent, non-partisan research and analysis of public policy issues to promote informed public debate and decision-making. For more information see www.wrrb.org, Facebook (The Research Bureau), and Twitter (@WRRBureau).