NE Quabbin vets’ district names choice for new director


Recorder Staff
Monday, March 20, 2017

ATHOL — A U.S. Army Reserve instructor and Princeton resident has been chosen as the next Northeast Quabbin Veterans’ Services District director.

The district’s five voting members opted to offer the position to Lt. Col. Fedencia P. Fitch minutes after she left the Athol Public Library’s conference room following her final interview during Friday’s meeting.

Chairman William Meehan said Finch, if she accepts the job offer, would begin on May 1. The current director is Neil McGuirk.

Meehan said the district provides military veterans and their beneficiaries in Orange, Athol, Petersham, Phillipston and Royalston with the services guaranteed to them by Massachusetts state statute. Meehan said a director must always treat veteran care as a top priority.

Fitch, who grew up in California, has been to deployed to Panama, Saudi Arabia and, most recently, Afghanistan.

Meehan asked Fitch a series of questions, mostly pertaining to hypothetical scenarios and how she would handle them. Fitch stressed it is important to be fair and consistent when dealing with a veterans’ issues.

“If I do something for one individual, it has to be the same for another individual,” she said.

Fitch told a story of a potential emergency situation during deployment. She said a warrant officer became agitated due to a family situation and she made sure the man’s weapon was removed for his safety and he was taken to a behavioral health specialist.

Fitch said her organizational skills and attention to detail are her best attributes.

According to her résumé, which was provided by the veterans’ services district, Fitch’s history includes time as a battalion commander and as an assistant professor of military service. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Santa Clara University in 1989 and a master’s in counseling from Fitchburg State University in 2012.

The director position was listed with a starting salary of $43,000, though Meehan said that is negotiable.

You can reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 258.