Gov. Charlie Baker announced the appointment this week of a new chair of the Holyoke Community College Board of Trustees: Robert W. Gilbert, Jr.

Gilbert, of West Springfield, has served on the board for four years, most recently as the audit committee chairperson and finance committee member. He has strong ties to Holyoke as the chairperson of the board of Dowd Insurance Agencies and as a active member of the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce.

He succeeds Helen Caulton-Harris, who served as chair for three years and has been a board member since 2006. Caulton-Harris is the commissioner of the Springfield department of health and human services.

“Bob has been an integral member and an important voice on the HCC board for the last four years,” College President Bill Messner said, in a statement. “His many years’ experience in the insurance industry, particularly his expertise in the area of risk management, have served HCC very well, and we look forward to his stewardship as chair.”

Baker also appointed another member of the college board of trustees, Evan Plotkin. The Connecticut resident is the president and owner of NAI Samuel D. Plotkin and Associates in Springfield.

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