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Amy B. Royal was elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the United Way of Hampshire County

Published:  August 19, 2014

As Amy Royal assumes the chair of the UWHC Board, she takes on a familiar role—rallying people together and facilitating relationships to create better lives, just as she has done her entire career.

The Northampton attorney specializes in providing legal representation for nonprofit organizations locally, with a focus on labor management and employment law. Pairing her professional expertise with her personal sense of commitment, Royal has served on numerous non-profit boards and committees, helping agencies beyond legal representation by forging connections between the for-profit business community and the nonprofit sector.

“I knew I found my niche when I started working with nonprofit organizations,” said Royal. “I knew I’d be able to help them in some different ways.”

It was when she attended a sled hockey game at Child & Family Service of Pioneer Valley that Royal was first moved to become more involved. “I was just blown away by the work that they did in terms of empowering children with disabilities to play sports competitively in their programs,” she recalls. “It was really moving to see that these kids had this opportunity and could play at this level.”

As Board chair, Royal plans to continue her role as facilitator, introducing and fostering partnerships among UWHC, its partner agencies and the business community.

“Building relationships, that’s what will sustain us over time,” she said. “I want to get people to hear the stories about how their giving makes a big difference in people’s lives. The stories speak for themselves.”

Royal also plans to continue spreading the LIVE UNITED message, particularly to young professionals, employing social media, for example. And as a Smith College alumna, she appreciates the college’s strong record of annual giving. “I want Smith to succeed and continue playing a prominent role in driving our campaign forward,” she says.

For Royal, volunteering has always been recognized as an important duty. Growing up in Longmeadow, she watched her parents volunteering for a variety of organizations. “I never really thought about it, that was just what they did,” recalls Royal, the mother of two boys, age six and eight. “It seemed natural for me to volunteer.”

When she was first asked to join the UWHC board in 2010, “I immediately said ‘yes,’” said Royal. “It was an easy call.”

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