Skip to header Skip to main content Skip to footer
Helpful Village logo
Donate Now
Add me to your mailing list

Nashoba Neighbors Board of Directors


Meet Our Board of Directors, 2024


Mary Anne Cleary, Board Treasurer, Lancaster

Susan Henry, Director, Berlin

John Petrin, Board President, Bolton

Catherine Pfau, Board Clerk, Bolton

Alexandra Turner, Director, Lancaster


Mary Anne Cleary, Board Treasurer, 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. 




Susan Henry, Director, has lived in Berlin for 38 years with her husband Robert Blair. Susan is a life-long educator. She taught elementary and graduate students for many years, led quality reviews of schools and districts in a number of states, provided professional development for school and district leaders, and provided technical assistance for state education departments. She also helped to design and launch two new innovative public schools, as well as an online teacher leadership program. Susan has served on the Berlin-Boylston Regional School Committee and Berlin Library Trustees. Susan earned her Ed.M. and Ed.D. degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Susan's commitment to Nashoba Neighbors grew out of her efforts to support her own parents, who wished to remain in the comfort of their home as they aged. Susan saw the various challenges and rewards of this choice and her observations and learning now inform her work with Nashoba Neighbors. 

Susan loves stories and books, the fiber arts, and taking walks with their dog Rosie. She is often found knitting, quilting, or weaving at the 48" floor loom her mother passed on to her.


John Petrin, Board President, has lived in Bolton for the past eleven years with his wife, Kim. In retirement he is a consultant in municipal management and serves as a Senior Fellow, Instructor, and Certificate Liaison for Suffolk University. He retired from Massachusetts municipal government after forty years of service. He served as the very first Town Administrator in the town of Harvard many years ago and most recently served as the Burlington Town Administrator for seven years prior to retirement. 

John has served on the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metrowest serving Hudson, Marlborough, and Framingham for over 25 years. One of the largest Boys & Girls Clubs in Massachusetts, John's work is dedicated to the organization's mission to "inspire all youth, especially those who need us the most, to become productive caring and responsible citizens."

John recognized an opportunity to integrate his deep experience working with the elder population as a town administrator with the knowledge he has gained from serving as a board member for a large non-profit to address the growing needs of seniors in our area through Nashoba Neighbors.


Catherine Pfau, Board Clerk, has lived in Bolton for over 20 years. 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.


Alexandra Turner, Director, or 'Alix' is a longtime resident of Lancaser, where she has dedicated her life to community activism and public service. She and her husband, John, moved to Lancaster after falling in love with the area's history, natural environment and the people. She has served as a Conservation Commissioner, Land Trust Founder, and continues to marvel at the natural world of the Nashua Valley and the rich history of our region.   

Alexandra became a Lancaster Selectman, serving for nine years, during which time she advanced policies to help seniors age in place, including developing what is now known as the Senior Tax Abatement. She served for 10 years as Director of the Lancaster Community Center and Council on Aging where she built a vibrant support center for older residents. Alix is now completing an additional term as Lancaster Selectman. 

Alix first returned to the area, after growing up in Bolton, to help her parents age in place. Realizing there were very few options for elders to stay in our community, she focused her polictical career on care for elders and her other passion, the environment. Now, she is focusing her attention on Nashoba Neighbors, as well as other civic organizations, including the Montachusett Area Regional Transportation Authority, in hopes that older residents will remain in our community. Alix hopes to build a network of supports to best serve elders everywhere that would make it possible for those that wish to age in place to do so. 








Mary Anne Cleary

Photo Credit: Ann DeCristofaro, Stow




Susan Henry








John Petrin










Catherine Pfau

Photo Credit: Ann DeCristofaro, Stow











Alexandra Turner