Champions of Education

Since Massasoit was founded in 1966, many people and organizations in the community have supported the College’s mission to make quality higher education accessible across Southeastern Massachusetts. Our Evening of Champions honors these “Champions” of the community and of education.


The Brockton Area Branch NAACP and long-time President Phyllis Ellis are being recognized as this year’s “Community Champion” for their service to the community and Massasoit. With roots dating back to the 1920s, the Brockton Area Branch has long been an advocate for the protection of civil rights in our community.  Formally established in the 1950s, the branch has played an active role in making public housing available to low-income people in Brockton, fostering youth development, and encourages students to stay in school, promotes equal access to jobs and business opportunities, registers and encourages people to vote. Ellis is now serving her fourth term as president of the Brockton Area Branch. She is chair of the ACT-SO Committee.  She is also active outside of her work for the Brockton NAACP, serving as chair of the Mayor’s Community Justice Task Force and Commissioner for the Plymouth County Status of Women.
Phyllis Ellis

NAACP Brockton logo


Peter Forman, President and CEO of the South Shore Chamber, and Chris Cooney, President and CEO of the Metro South Chamber, are being recognized as this year’s “Champions of Education” for their support of the College and its mission.   The mission of chambers are, to convene, engage and take thoughtful action, often benefits many more than those who are counted among their members.  Leading Chambers of Commerce are catalysts in creating stronger opportunities for students and all residents in the regions we collectively serve.  Massasoit Community College is fortunate to have particularly close relations with two of the leading Chambers of Commerce in Massachusetts.  The Metro South and the South Shore Chambers have been long-time leaders in promoting stronger communities and greater economic opportunities all along the Route 24 and Route 3 corridors.  They have been important partners helping to amplify the college’s impact beyond campus and into the broader community.


Christopher Cooney, MPA, CCE, IOM has served in several elected and appointed education leadership roles including the Board of Trustees at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Bridgewater State University Foundation, Brockton Education Foundation, and the Westport School Committee where he was elected chair at the age of 25. Cooney is president and CEO of the Metro South Chamber of Commerce, a position he has held since his selection in 1998 and coming after holding leadership roles at several chambers in Massachusetts. In his more than 33 years of Chamber work, he has recruited, trained, and provided experience for countless numbers of students and young people in the field of association and non-profit management. His impact on their lives, trajectory, and the communities they now serve is extraordinary. Beyond the people he has impacted so positively, he has helped build one of the strongest Chambers of Commerce in the Commonwealth, and currently serves on the United States Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100, a business and education leadership group of the organization.

Chris Cooney
Peter Forman
Peter Forman

Peter Forman has led the South Shore Chamber since 2005. He led a successful career in public service before joining the Chamber, having served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Sheriff of Plymouth County, and in two gubernatorial administrations. Forman has helped define a regional agenda for long-term economic competitiveness and responsible growth for South Shore communities. The chamber has been a champion for housing diversity and development of multi-family housing. It is now exploring the critical issues of water resources in the region to promote future economic opportunity and sustainably water resource management.