MANCHESTER, NH — Maureen Beauregard has been named the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. The award will be presented on April 19 at the GMCC’s Annual Dinner and Citizen of the Year Celebration at the Manchester Downtown Hotel (formerly the Radisson Hotel). The Citizen of the Year award is an annual tradition of the GMCC which first began in 1954.
Beauregard, President of Families in Transition – New Horizons, began her career in homeless services in 1991 when she was hired by the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund to begin a small transitional housing program for five single mothers and their children. Quickly recognizing the need for more housing and services for homeless families in New Hampshire, Maureen created Families in Transition (FIT), an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide homeless families with the housing and services that they need to recover from their experience and become successful members of the community. With Maureen’s dedication and vision, FIT has become one of the most innovative and successful social service agencies in New Hampshire. Since its inception, FIT has grown from owning five small units of transitional housing to owning over 200 units of emergency, transitional, permanent supportive and affordable housing for homeless and low-income citizens in the state.
Under Maureen’s leadership, FIT has grown exponentially, developing new programs in response to community needs. Over the past 25 years, FIT has not only served thousands of people directly, but has also broadened public awareness about homelessness in our community and state. In 2002, FIT opened its first OutFITters Thrift Store, which provides a revenue stream for the organization, volunteer opportunities and offers public awareness for the organization. In 2018, FIT merged with New Horizons as Families in Transition – New Horizons, to further expand services to underserved individuals and families and eliminate gaps in critical services to the community.
“Maureen embodies the characteristics of the Citizen of the Year award in her approach to engaging the greater Manchester community in her life’s work, to providing housing and hope for our citizens,” said Michael Skelton, GMCC President & CEO. “Maureen moves mountains for people and our community and builds partnerships to maximize resources and deliver improved services, which is a testament to both her leadership skills and generosity. The Chamber is honored and thrilled to select Maureen as the next Citizen of the Year.
Beauregard has served on the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Governing Council of Housing Action New Hampshire, and is the Chairperson of the New Hampshire Interagency Council on Homelessness. She has also served as an Advisory Board Member for the NH Charitable Foundation’s Manchester Region.
Kathleen Reardon, CEO for the NH Center for Nonprofits, among those who nominate Beauregard, called her a visionary leader whom she admires.
“Perhaps what I admire the most about Maureen is her optimistic tenacity. She is not afraid to move forward, despite the obstacles that are inherent in her work. She is an inspiration and a role model for me, and to many others whose life she has touched,” Reardon said.
Beauregard has in the past been honored with the 2008 Women’s Recognition Award from the NH Commission on the Status of Women, 2006 Good Samaritan Award for Public Service by Pastoral Counseling Services of NH, 2005 Key to the City of Manchester by Former Mayor Baines, 2005 National Association of Social Workers Citizen of the year, and the 2003 YWCA Susan B. Anthony Award. Under Maureen’s leadership, FIT has also received numerous awards including the Walter J. Dunfey Award for Excellence in Management, NH Business Review’s Business Excellence Award, and the 2016 Citizen’s Bank Champion in Action award.