I am proud to be a Wakefield Town Councilor, elected in April 2018. I moved to Wakefield in 2000 with my husband, Tom. We chose Wakefield because it was affordable, had good schools, and was close to my new job as a project planner with an international energy company located in Edgewater Business Park.
I was six months pregnant with Thomas when we moved here. He is now 20 and a sophomore at UMass Amherst. Amelia soon followed and is now a senior at Wakefield High School. Our family has been shaped by our tight-knit Greenwood neighborhood, Wakefield public schools, our church, youth sports, and a network of dear friends.
Since joining the Town Council in the spring of 2018, I have strived to fulfill my campaign commitments to make Wakefield a more liveable, sustainable, and inclusive place to live. I am proud to have worked with my colleagues to expand tax relief for lower-income seniors, establish a Youth Council, and maintain Wakefield's AAA bond rating. Sustainability continues to be a central focus of my Council goals. Thanks to work done collaboratively with the newly created Environmental Sustainability Committee, Wakefield now has its first municipal solar project (saving the town $4,000 year in electricity costs), multiple public electric vehicle charging stations, and is working toward a Green Community designation.
Town employees who do the day to day work are at the center of Wakefield's success, and I am proud to have been a strong voice for open and transparent municipal hiring. In addition to running competitive hiring processes, I strongly advocated for the creation of two new positions - a Communications Director and a Community and Economic Development Director. These positions have already made Wakefield stronger and will continue to do so well into the future.
Juggling a family and career is challenging, but I have always tried to stay involved in issues I consider important. I think the perspective of working parents is critical, so I applied and served on the inaugural Board of the after-school program, Wakefield Academy, when it was formed in 2008. In an attempt to impart my love of reading, I worked for many years on Greenwood Elementary’s annual AuthorFest program. I believe in youth sports as a way to build teamwork and confidence, so I have spent time coaching basketball and softball and as a Booster parent.
In 2017, I helped establish Sustainable Wakefield and am very proud of the role it played in getting the initial bag reduction bylaw passed at Town Meeting. I’ve gotten to know the amazing work of the Boys and Girls Club and have been able to support their efforts to start an environmental education initiative. I work on Most Blessed Sacrament’s Community Dinner ministry and just completed a three-year team on the board of Wakefield Community Access TV (WCAT).
Education and Professional Experience
After completing my BA in International Studies and Communication at American University in Washington, DC, I served in the U.S. Peace Corps as a volunteer assigned to a small, rural village in the Dominican Republic, just miles from the Haitian border. It was an area where no one had electricity, running water, or easy access to education. My time there was a life-defining experience that instilled in me the lesson that those with privilege are obligated to give back. As a direct result of my time living with no electricity, I entered a career in power. I moved to Massachusetts to work for an organization pioneering solar-based rural electrification then completed my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at Boston University. After graduating, I entered the corporate world, working for nearly 20 years for two of the world’s largest renewable power companies, rising to the level of Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications. In 2016, I started my own business, JSG Communications, a strategic communications firm based at Greentown Labs to serve start-up companies working in energy and the environment. My clients include companies working in utility-scale solar, offshore wind, hydropower, wastewater treatment, microgrids and net-zero commercial cooling.