Our Staff

We currently operate with only two full-time paid staff and two unpaid staff. Our volunteers are most important. We rely on over 200 volunteers each year, that contribute to staffing the Center, facilitating groups, and providing critical support to our space.

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Judy Norris

Chair of the Board of Trustees & Full-Time Volunteer

Judy Norris has volunteered since the founding in 1971. She has been instrumental in the survival of the Women’s Center. In her 48+ years of involvement, she has assisted with finances, programming, volunteer coordination, fundraising, management and more. We are all incredibly grateful to her service.

Currently, she is on the Finance Committee on the Board, assists with fundraising and manages the programs calendar and many other tasks. She is especially handy with house management projects and has extensive institutional knowledge about the Center.

Email: judy@cambridgewomenscenter.org

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JESSYE KASS

Director of the Center

Jessye manages and coordinates schedules of over 70 volunteers on a weekly basis and oversees all daily Center operations. She creates and leads a variety of trainings for volunteers, oversees and makes house purchases, leads appreciation events and contributes to fundraising and outreach efforts.

Jessye has more than eight years of direct service experience working with marginalized and underserved communities. She has five years of supervisory experience in the non-profit field. An experienced leader, she has direct service experience in Ghana, Kenya, and Thailand - as well as in Massachusetts. Previous work has included co-founding an arts-based NGO in Ghana, a Fulbright teaching grant to Thailand and supervising an affordable housing program in Cambridge. She graduated from Brandeis University, with a double major and double minor. She is deeply passionate about travel and working toward ameliorating society’s inequalities.

Email: jessye@cambridgewomenscenter.org

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ANNA PLOTKIN-SWING

Volunteer Manager

Anna interviews and hires new volunteers, co-leads orientation trainings, provides ongoing supervisory support to direct service volunteers, and assists with strategic plans and staffing the Center. She has helped to create, and continues to be involved with, developing our curriculum for continued volunteer education.

She has over 9 years of experience in the service industry and is passionate about human services and mental health. She has a degree in Neuroscience from Earlham College.

Email: anna@cambridgewomenscenter.org

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Manager of Grants & Development

Are you a great storyteller? Do you enjoy meeting new people and sharing your passion? Are you dedicated to social justice?

We are currently hiring for the Development position. Click here for more info: Manager of Grants & Development

 

Our Board of Trustees

If you’re interested in learning more about joining the Board of Trustees, follow this link here to learn more about how to get involved

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RUTH ERICKSON

Ruth Erickson retired in January 2016 as a Managing Director of Marsh LLC, after 38 years.

Since retiring Ruth has focused her attention on volunteer activities at Mt. Auburn Hospital, The Home for Little Wanderers, Cambridge Public Schools, GiGi's Playhouse NYC, and the Cambridge Women's Center.  She is also a member of the Boards of GiGi's Playhouse NYC and the Cambridge Women's Center.

She received her BA in Economics from Boston College in 1972 and her MBA from the Loyola University Graduate School of Business. She lives in Cambridge with her husband, Paul, and their rescue dog, Kate.    

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CARRIE NELSON

Carrie has 23 years of experience in Human Resources, Organizational Development, and Compensation Management. She has a B.S. in Business, an M.S. in Organizational Leadership, and a Ph.D. in Industrial Organizational Psychology. She joined the Board in June of 2019.

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KATIE JOHNSON

Katie Johnson is a social worker who manages PACT, a Community Health Worker program that assists people living with HIV/AIDS in the greater Boston area. Katie is a graduate of Williams College and Boston University School of Social Work and she lives in Cambridge.

She joined the Board in early 2019 and currently serves on the HR Committee and assists with fundraising.  

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JEANNE KADOUNO

Jeanne Kadouno is a Program Officer at John Snow Inc., an international health consulting firm. She earned a Master's Degree in Public Health from Tulane University. She is very passionate about community health and equality for women and people of color. She loves to be surrounded by cultural diversity and to travel. She moved to the United States 10 years ago. She grew up in a patriarchal society in which many of her cousins, aunts, and grandmothers were not able to read and write as they had never set foot in a classroom. She grew up in poverty and domestic violence, thinking that there was nothing that could be done to change the cycle. Her work at CWC allows her to share space with many strong women, to empower and to be empowered. She has had the opportunity to be different from many women of her family, but is reminded daily of the struggle and suffering that women go through every day. In addition to being on the CWC Board, Jeanne volunteers with Big Sisters of Boston and runs her own childcare business.

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LOANA CHEBUTIU

12 years ago Loana moved to USA from Romania, where organizations like CWC were non-existent. She works in the construction industry for almost 10 years, a field that lacks women representation and she is happy to be one of the women that paves the way for future generations.

She is a strong believer that women can overcome anything that life puts ahead of us. She joined the CWC with the hope that she will be able to help and empower women from all walks of life .

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CARA OKOPNY

Cara Okopny is a Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies professor at American University in Washington, DC. She has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2018 when she re-located to Boston and sought out ways to support her new community. Cara is enthusiastic about the important work done at the Center and thankful for the support of countless volunteers, two full-time staff, and an eight-person Board.  

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JENNINE SAWWAN

Jennine is a new board member (summer 2019) and excited to be more involved with the Center. She is the Program Officer at RefugePoint, an agency that provides lasting solutions for the most at-risk refugees.

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JUSTINE AGUILOS

Justine works at an early literacy nonprofit in Boston. She joined the board in early 2019 and is excited to help out. Currently, she serves on the HR Committee. She is also a trained drop-in and helpline volunteer and supports the space as her schedule allows. Outside of the Center and her work, she enjoys writing, puzzling, and being with friends and family.

 

SHIVANI SHIKHA

Shivani's passion for women empowerment inspired her to be part of CWC. She joined the Board in June 2019, and is very enthusiastic about getting involved with the Center.

She holds a B.S. in Finance and Statistics from New York University, where she was involved in various non-profit initiatives, and currently works as a private equity analyst at Siemens Financial Services in Boston

 

Long Term Volunteers

In any given year, we depend on over 200 volunteers to help us run the Center. We appreciate all of our volunteers. We have a few volunteers who have been volunteering for over 3+ years that we’d like to formally recognize for their critical contributions to the Center.

We are so grateful for all of these women who’ve supported our space

Thank you to all of you who have continued your commitment to the Center

  • Laura McMurry - Laura is our Maintenance Volunteer. She began helping around 2008 and has assisted in a variety of capacities related to the house and garden. Her jobs have included fixing vacuum cleaners and toilets, changing locks, painting, assembling IKEAs, hanging curtains, dabbling in internet and computer issues, gardening, shoveling snow, nursing the wheelchair lift, and chasing wasps. She can often be found doing this in conjunction with Judy. Laura contributes to many critical projects to help keep the building operations running at the Center.

  • Neile Dedmon - Group Leader Women’s Narcotics Anonymous. Neile has been running “Ladies, Let’s Talk About It” since 2010, a powerful 12-step group for women in recovery. She has not only run the group but supported and mentored women in the Cambridge area in recovery.

  • Anna Churchill - Anna has been facilitating a Fertility Awareness Meet Up Group since 2015

  • Isabella Jancourtz - Isabella, an attorney, has been leading various legal clinics since November of 2016

  • Laura van den Berg - Laura, a novelist, has been leading our “Write Your Story” group since 2016

  • Christine Radice - Christine has been running various meditation groups and attending WC events since 2016

  • Kindra Lansburg - Kindra has been helping out in the drop-in and helpline since 2016. She currently takes substitute shifts on Saturdays.

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Casey Fox & Morgan Bolling - Trauma Support Group Co-Leaders

Casey and Morgan have been volunteering since 2013 and 2015 respectively. Both women began in the drop-in and helpline, Casey works for a small non-profit and Morgan works in food service.

Currently, they run the Trauma Support/Discussion Group. For more info on their group, click here

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Judy Norris, Board Chair, takes a selfie with Edie and Cynthia

Judy Norris, Board Chair, takes a selfie with Edie and Cynthia

Edie Watson & Cynthia Coleman - Edie began running the Beading Group in 2012, and Cynthia joined her as assistant leader in 2014. In addition, to leading the group, they purchase and organize supplies and have participated in beading shows, selling their beautiful art!

Their tagline is: To Bead or Not to Bead: That is the Beading Question

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Theresa Tobin - Librarian & Drop-In Volunteer

Theresa has been volunteering since 2014. During her time here, Theresa has organized and cataloged over 3,000 books in our library. She keeps them alphabetized and our catalog is available online. Log in as “CambridgeCenter’, PW: sophie01.

If you have books to donate, or questions about our library, please email Theresa at tatobin@mac.com

Bea Boisvert - Former Intern, Long-term Drop-In & Helpline Volunteer

Bea joined the Center in 2015 as an intern, and has continued to support our team as a Drop-In and Helpline volunteer. Outside the Center she is studying to be a therapist and working at a local high school and enjoys art, vinyls, and nature.

Karlotta Fitch - Sewing Group Instructor

Karlotta has been leading the Thursday morning sewing groups since December of 2013. Women create their own projects, learn new skills and have access to all sorts of fabrics.


Additional Gratitude

The past year has seen incredible growth and development. We would like to additionally thank many of our volunteers and partnership organizations for their dedication to supporting us. None of this is possible without our volunteers.

  • This website was made possible by the dedication of many of our volunteers. Thank you to Kristen Giuliano for helping us get it started. Michelle Long has developed all of the infographics, input copy, made stylistic changes and more. Michelle has additionally helped with house maintenance projects and other creative endeavors.

  • In August 2018, we onboarded Savannah Weinstock who has served as our Food Coordinator this year. Savannah has been instrumental in getting us more food deliveries from Food for Free and Rescuing Leftover Cuisine. She has instituted composting in our kitchen, organized our gardening efforts and schedule, edited our kitchen guidelines, worked toward greater nutritional options for different dietary needs and other critical projects.

  • In the Fall 2018-Winter 2019, Vera Grbic oversaw the overhaul of our Resource Binder, allowing us to share online our collected resources for the first time in CWC history. Thank you to: Amanda Nahodil, Slandie Prinston, Marissa Cusick, Keara Bohannon, Sara Dakin, Yosita Thanjai, Dahye Kim, and Alex Glowacky for all your help in making this project possible (and everyone else who assisted in previous years!).

  • In the Spring of 2019, a group of drop-in and helpline volunteers met several times to develop de-escalation trainings created specially for our Center, to run throughout the year. Thank you to Amanda Paskavitz, Anna Plotkin-Swing, Ann Doherty, Paige Sweet, Hannah Hilligoss, Savannah Weinstock, Hayley Friel, Slandie Prinston, Elly Kalfus, Leigh-Ana Rossitto, Maya Khatri, Ariana Vaisey, and Dominique Thompson for your continued dedication to the improvement of our space. Thank you for your investment in the Center.

  • There are so many more amazing humans who have helped us this year and we are so grateful for their support.

Our Partners

Thank you to all our partner organizations who have helped us!

  • Lovin’ Spoonfuls delivers to us every Monday & Wednesday. Food for Free, delivers to us every Friday. Community Cooks delivers two monthly luncheons. Rescuing Leftover Cuisine provides us with additional food, filling in the gaps from our regular food deliveries.

  • On the Rise staff members have provided us with resource ideas and support as we grow.

  • Opus Builders rebuilt our front steps free of charge and works with several anonymous donors who are assisting us with future projects.

  • Additionally, we are grateful for our work with: Lesley University, Harvard College, Boston College, Boston University, Tufts University, Emmanuel College, and more for partnering with us for internships and service projects.