Please welcome the ABUW's new Executive Director Griet Dehandschutter and new President Kristina Rychlik! Below are brief biographies of both Griet and Kristina.

 

Griet Dehandschutter

Griet Dehandschutter, Incoming Executive Director (as of August 1, 2019)

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Griet Dehandschutter brings to ABUW over 20 years of management, strategic fundraising and communication experience, working locally and internationally. Griet is founder of Dehandschutter & Associates, a strategic fundraising consultancy, based in Acton.

Throughout her professional and personal life, Griet has loved to build community. She has been eager to bring people together across cultures and borders in meaningful and creative ways. As co-founder and Managing Director of the European-American Business Council, communications consultant for Burson-Marsteller, representative of the Belgian government to attract American companies to locate in Belgium, and for the past 14 years as a strategic fundraising consultant to large and small nonprofits around the world, she has always emphasized impact and innovation.

Griet has been an active volunteer in her faith community, sports and local schools. As Co-chair, she planned and rallied people in support of the ambitious $1.8 million “Open Doors” Capital Campaign of the United Church of Christ in Boxborough to restore the historic meeting house and the Community Center, creating affordable gathering space and fostering community connections.

Griet believes that diversity is a fact, inclusion is a choice. ABUW is uniquely positioned to offer “one big tent” for all to gather and to take action in our increasingly diverse community. The organization plays a vital role to nimbly identify and respond to critical community needs by securing necessary resources, inspiring volunteers and growing community partnerships.

An Acton resident since 2002, Griet grew up in Antwerp, Belgium, where she studied law. She later married Art Boyd after meeting at the Johns Hopkins University in Bologna, Italy while studying for their Master’s degrees in International Relations. Aside from English, Griet speaks (Flemish) Dutch, French and German. She is the proud mom of three young adults, Alexander, Romie and Nicholas Boyd. Griet loves traveling, playing tennis, reading, painting, storytelling and walking with their dog Champ.

 

Kristina Rychlik

Kristina Rychlik, Incoming President (as of June 12, 2019)

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Kristina has been an active member of the Acton-Boxborough community for 24 years. Kristina and her husband Bruce have three children, Anna (20), Alex (16) and Robbie (13). Kristina possesses a range of volunteer experience, and has served in various roles for many local community organizations, including Infancy to Independence, Acton Family Network, First Connections, Together for Acton, Danny’s Place Steering Committee, Acton Memorial Library Foundation, Minuteman Ridge Neighborhood as well as the Merriam School.

At Merriam, she served as Hospitality Chair, Graduation Co-Chair, Auction Chair and PTO Co-Chair. Kristina later served on the Acton-Boxborough Regional School Committee from 2013 to 2017. During her tenure, she served as Chair of the committee for two years, founding both the Budget and the Outreach Subcommittees, serving as liaison to the Acton Finance Committee and as a member of the Acton Leadership Group, and Chairing the School Building Committee. She currently serves on the Steering Committee for the League of Women Voters – Acton Area and the Minuteman Ridge Homeowners’ Association Board.

A Registered Dietitian by training, Kristina spent her paid career in consulting and communications roles in both non-profit and private sector organizations. She holds a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from Babson.