Shining a Bright Light on an Unsung Hero: Julie Phippen

We are pleased to shine a well-deserved spotlight on our colleague Julie Phippen, Executive Assistant at our sister company Agawam Trust Company. Julie was recently recognized by the Women’s Federation for Peace USA with their “Her Story Award,” bestowed on her in recognition of her good works with Sewpportive Friends, the not-for-profit organization she founded in May 2016. Sewpportive Friends is dedicated to health, education and gender equality for young women in rural Zimbabwe who do not have access to feminine hygiene products. We invite you to watch the video on (click on “more” under Julie’s photo) to celebrate Julie’s well-deserved award and hear her extremely humbling and inspiring story. Julie clearly is an unsung hero amongst us!

While many of us spent our summer vacation recharging our batteries at the beach or lake, or sightseeing in Europe or the United States, Julie, along with a small group of dedicated volunteers, headed to Zimbabwe to continue to spread the good works of Sewpportive Friends. This was Julie’s seventeenth trip to Zimbabwe. (See QMP Winter 2021 for more of Julie’s story.)

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” These words from Pablo Picasso are so appropriately included on the Sewpportive Friends website. Clearly, Julie appears to have found her gift and she tirelessly channels her heart and energy in giving back.

Congratulations, Julie! We at Woodstock are extremely proud of Julie, and also of her volunteers. To learn more about Sewpportive Friends, visit

— Maureen J. Murphy, Vice President and Portfolio Manager