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Nashoba Neighbors Board of Directors

 

Meet Our Board of Directors

(from left to right)

Ray Pfau, Bolton

Mary Ciummo, Bolton

Mary Anne Cleary, Lancaster

Bob Blair, Berlin

Al Ferry, Bolton

Susan Henry, Board Clerk, Berlin

Catherine Pfau, Board President, Bolton

Alix Turner, Lancaster (not pictured)

 

 

Catherine Pfau, Board President, lives in Bolton with her husband Ray Pfau. Her interest in working in the field of aging came while working on her master’s degree at the Brandeis University Heller School for Social Policy and Management where she did an internship at an elderly housing facility. She began to wonder why there weren’t more options for older adults to age successfully in a place where they were comfortable and wanted to be. She stayed in the aging field and worked for many years at the Boston University Medical Center’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center where she continued to learn about the concerns facing older adults. After retiring, she started her own photography business where she specialized in portraits of newborns and families. She especially enjoyed photographing older adults and intergenerational families.

After reading an article in the Boston Globe in 2018 about Villages, she was inspired to start one in Bolton. The idea of neighbors helping neighbors seemed like the perfect solution to aging in one's own home. She sees a Village as providing two important things: a safety net and a place to call when you need a helping hand or friend. She wishes that her parents had a Village to help them out as they aged in their home.

Catherine’s current interests are hiking, kayaking, photography, genealogy, traveling, and hanging out with her grandchildren.

Susan Henry, Board Clerk, and Robert Blair have lived in Berlin for 35 years. Susan is a life-long educator. She has taught elementary and graduate students, supported education leaders at all levels, and helped to design and launch two new schools. Recently retired, she currently serves on the Berlin-Boylston Regional School Committee. Susan loves the fiber arts, reading, and taking walks in the woods. She is often found weaving at the loom her mother passed on to her.

Bob serves on the Berlin Council on Aging, Friends of Berlin Senior Citizens Association, and the board of Northbrook I, a local senior housing group. Before he retired, he set up over 10,000 events and concerts during his 40 years as Building Manager at Mechanics Hall, an historic concert hall in Worcester, MA. Bob loves to garden and work in the yard and has developed beautiful flower gardens around their property.

Both Susan’s and Bob’s commitment to Nashoba Neighbors grew out of their efforts to support their own parents, who wished to remain in the comfort of their home as they aged. Susan and Bob saw the various challenges and rewards of this choice and their observations and learning now inform their work on Nashoba Neighbors. Susan and Bob share a deep New England heritage, placing value on personal independence alongside a quick willingness to help others.

Mary Anne Cleary has lived in the central Massachusetts area for over 25 years, in Sterling, Clinton, and now Lancaster. She helped care for her parents as they aged, especially once they moved back to Massachusetts to live with her. While her working experience is with technology and finance companies in marketing and publication editing, she devotes most of her time toward the vision of a sustainable future. Through her work as a facilitator for programs by the Pachamama Alliance, she helps groups envision a just, sustainable, and fulfilling world. She expects to bring these sensibilities to her contributions to Nashoba Neighbors.

Mary Ciummo’s past job experiences have ranged from coordinating a proofreading department at a large accounting firm in Boston to public school librarian. For the past 20 years, Mary has called Bolton home; and whether it’s expending her creative energies designing exhibits and programs for the Bolton Historical Society, learning about road surface management systems as a chair of the Public Ways Safety Committee, or serving on the Master Plan Steering Committee, she always finds ways to give back to her community. As president of Friends of the Bolton Seniors, Inc., a nonprofit organization that develops and supports services for residents age 60 and older, Mary recognizes that the needs of older adults are greater than what one organization can do, which is why she is excited to be part of a larger network of services for older adults at Nashoba Neighbors.

Al Ferry has been active in community organizations since shortly after he and Joan Finger moved to Bolton in the late eighties.  As a director and past president of the Bolton Conservation Trust (BCT), he was active in the effort to save the Nashoba Valley Winery from development and other efforts to preserve farmland and open space using agricultural and conservation restrictions. Al was part of the committee that envisioned purchasing the Smith gas station in Bolton that now has become the Bolton Common.

Al and Joan have provided tutoring and academic support for students from the Nashoba District, Harvard, and neighboring communities. Through that practice and Joan’s involvement in Women’s Business Network, they met many people in Bolton and the surrounding area. They enjoy the outdoors, and through leading local nature walks have widened their circle of contacts and gained experience setting up events. 

Ray Pfau has been helping people for most of his life. He joined the Peace Corps after graduating from college and spent two years helping teachers in the Philippines. After he came home, he got a Master’s Degree in Education and then taught middle school math in Concord for 10 years. Moving into high tech, he first taught and then programmed computers at Honeywell, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Oracle Corporation. He retired in 2016.

Ray likes to be active and to work with his hands and fix things. As a longtime resident of Bolton, he helped start a Repair Café there in 2013. People bring things they have which are broken to a Repair Café and volunteers help them fix the items for free. With his help, a number of other towns started Repair Cafés and other repair events. But right now, repair events are mostly on hold due to COVID. 

Ray has also worked on sustainability issues in Bolton Local, Bolton’s sustainability group, and service projects with the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley. His wife Catherine started working on Nashoba Neighbors and he signed on to help out. Ray’s goal is to help others as long as he can, and to get some help when he needs it.

Alexandra Turner (Alix) is a long-time resident and community leader in Central Massachusetts. She was raised in Bolton, attended Nashoba Regional High School, and attended church in Lancaster. As a child, she listened to stories of her family and their influence on the area history through their civic service. Alix was imbued with an understanding that community service is both a vocation and a duty. 

Alix now works as Director of the Lancaster Council on Aging and Community Center providing essential services and recreational programming for the substantial senior population in town. She serves on several committees and boards, including the Montachusett Area Regional Transportation (MART) Board and the federally-designated Nashua-Squannocook-Nississist Wild and Scenic Rivers Council. She is a board member of the Lancaster Land Trust, president of the Lancaster Garden Club, and an active member of other local organizations. Prior to her current roles, her service to the community included membership on the Conservation Commission and nine years on the Lancaster Board of Selectmen, including several as chairman. 

After beginning her career in Boston, Alix and her husband, John Bowman, returned to the area to help care for Alix’s aging parents who lived in Bolton. Helping them navigate the challenges of aging in a rural setting gave her a first-hand perspective of the challenges facing seniors in the Nashoba Valley. 

Alix is committed to maintaining diverse communities that include older members who are able to age in place. Alix and her husband live in the historic Center Village of Lancaster with their two dogs and two cats. 

 

 

 

Full Board of Directors

Photo Credit: Ann DeCristofaro, Stow

 

 

Catherine Pfau, Board President

Photo Credit: Ann DeCristofaro, Stow 

 

 

Susan Henry, Board Clerk

Photo Credit: Ann DeCristofaro, Stow

 

 

Robert Blair

Photo Credit: Ann DeCristofaro, Stow

 

Mary Anne Cleary

Photo Credit: Ann DeCristofaro, Stow

 

Mary Ciummo

 

 

Al Ferry

 

 

Ray Pfau

Photo Credit: Ann DeCristofaro, Stow

 

Alexandra Turner