After 24 years of dedicated service, The Pettengill House, Inc. Executive Director Deb Smith announces that she will retire at the end of July. Assistant Director Tiffany Nigro will step into the role of executive director upon Smith’s retirement.
“It has been an honor to serve as executive director of the Pettengill House and to be part of its development in becoming an award winning lead community social service model agency,” Smith stated. “Over the years I have had the opportunity of working with an incredible team of professionals along with a strong, supportive group of community partners. It has also been a privilege to work with the numerous individuals, children and families, who over the years have taught me a great deal about both courage, determination and persistence.”
Smith holds a Master of Education in Counseling and Psychology, and is a licensed social worker and substance addiction counselor. She also has numerous certifications in mental health, trauma informed care, education, and social services that reflect the diversity of her experience. Her extensive work has earned her many accolades at both the community and state level, including the 2014 Fox 25 News Hometown Hero Award, Massachusetts State Unsung Heroione Award, 2008 and the 2010 Northeast Counselors Association School Linked Service Program Award, among others. Under Smith’s expertise and leadership, The Pettengill House, Inc. has grown into the area’s lead social service agency, providing comprehensive case management and essential programs and services for 3,000 individuals, children, and families in nine local communities, and sustaining over 50 formal partnerships with local and state government, agencies and organizations, public safety, schools, charitable organizations, faith community, and community at large.
Assistant Director Tiffany Nigro has also played a key role in shaping the direction of The Pettengill House, Inc., most often working hands-on behind the scenes. A seasoned licensed social worker and instrumental member of Pettengill staff for 23 years, Nigro began as an intern, coordinating youth substance addiction prevention programing while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Salem State College. After graduation Nigro signed on full time, eventually assuming the assistant director role in 2004.
“I deeply value the time I have spent growing with the agency and being part of the positive impact Pettengill House has had on many individuals and families throughout the years,” stated Nigro. “I have learned a great deal, and I want to thank Deb for her guidance and leadership which has led me to where I am today. We have such a great team at Pettengill House, and I am excited for the future of the agency. As executive director I look forward to continuing to build on our valued partnerships and further strengthening our programs and services to provide continued support for our communities”
“Tiffany Nigro and I have worked together for more than 20 years, and share similar philosophies, goals, and commitment,” stated Smith. “I am very confident passing the torch to her, knowing that Pettengill House will continue to thrive and support our communities.”
Board President Yvette Bailey stated, “On Behalf of the Pettengill House Board of Directors and Advisory we feel this leadership transition is on solid ground. Deb and Tiffany have established excellent community programing and relationships that have served the PGH community soundly over their years together. The Pettengill team will continue the work of this ‘gentle giant’ of an agency. Many thanks to Deb for her years of service and best wishes to Tiffany as she continues the mission of The Pettengill House, Inc.”
The Pettengill House, Inc. will continue to benefit from Smith’s professional expertise, as she will be transitioning into a part-time role as an education consultant post-retirement. In honor of Smith’s lasting legacy and years of leadership, the board of directors will dedicate the conference room at The Pettengill House, Inc.’s flagship Amesbury site, to be named “The Deborah M. Smith Boardroom”.