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Meet the New AARP Massachusetts Executive Council

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The AARP Massachusetts Executive Council provides strategic direction for AARP at the state level. The 10-member board includes 9 volunteers, led by the State President, Linda F. Fitzgerald. Each member brings uniquely valuable skills and experience to AARP.






Linda F. Fitzgerald is currently serving her third term as AARP State President.  A lifelong Springfield resident, Linda retired after a 30-year career focused on advancing aging issues at the community level, in state government, and in business environments. Most recently, she worked at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, managing education and outreach for senior markets, and as a program and training coordinator with the Long Term Ombudsman Program at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs. Linda has also worked in the faith community and private sector, long-term nursing care.


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Jane Ahern-DeFillippi
is one of four new members of the Executive Council, joining the team in 2012.  A dedicated advocacy volunteer, Jane was instrumental in helping Massachusetts residents add their voice to the national conversation about the future of Social Security and Medicare, by facilitating numerous community discussions and events across the state.  A  nurse since 1970,  Jane has always focused on the elderly, establishing a program for depressed seniors, and has taught classes including Alzheimer's care.  A Melrose resident, Jane currently serves on her city's Council on Aging. See Jane's video interview at bottom of page. 


Charles Desmond

Charles Desmond of Danvers served as the AARP State President from January 2006 to early 2009.  Charles is the Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. A Vietnam veteran, he had a lengthy and distinguished career at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, holding a broad range of administrative and executive level positions, including Associate Chancellor for School/Community Collaboration and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.



Joseph Feaster
Joseph Feaster
is a practicing attorney who has held a variety of appointed municipal and state positions for the City of Boston and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as well as serving as the former president of the NAACP Boston Branch and former board member of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. Most recently, Joe served in 2012 as interim Town Manager for Stoughton.



Madhav Kacker

Madhav Kacker of Sharon is a retired marketing professor and serves on the board of his town's Council on Aging.  Madhav also served as an advisory council member for Hessco Elder Services, the Area Agency on Aging for South Norfolk County.




Louise Myers
Louise Myers
is a longtime AARP volunteer and AARP Andrus Award for Community Service winner.  She represented AARP Massachusetts on the Multicultural Coalition on Aging, and her commitment to serving her community also led to numerous positions on the boards of Minuteman Home Care, Chelmsford Council on Aging, and National Caucus on Black Aging.  Louise, a Chelmsford resident, retired from the Social Security Administration after 32 years of service.


Claire Redmond
Claire Redmond
of Holliston is a longtime AARP who represented AARP on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Service Alliance.  Claire is the current chair of her town's Council on Aging.  Claire has a doctorate in English, and taught at the college level and at the GAO before her retirement.




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Gordon Mathieson has volunteered with Reading for the Blind, the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), and has tutored in Hartford, CT schools. He served as IT director at Yale University before retiring to Falmouth, Cape Cod. A North Quincy native, Gordon invented “The Cape Cod Challenge,” a popular family board game, and has written eight mystery novels. His books also include the “ Becky Bing Mystery” series for young adults. At AARP, Gordon looks forward to working with those 50+ and advocating for programs to meet this constituency’s needs.  See Gordon's video interview at bottom of page. 


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Deborah Washington
, PhD, RN, has been director of diversity for Patient Care Services at Massachusetts General Hospital since 1995. Deb was a national finalist in the 2007 Nursing Spectrum Excellence award category of Advancing and Leading the Profession; she has twice received the Rosoff Award, sponsored by the Ad Club; a Champion in Health Care award from the Boston Business Journal; and was featured as a Leader to Watch by the American Organization of Nurse Executives. While serving on several boards, Deb also does antiracism work with the YWCA and the Union of Minority Neighborhoods. A member of Old South Church in Boston, Deb pursues her passion for social justice work as part of a vibrant faith community.  See Deborah's video interview at bottom of page. 


Barrie Atkin_2

Barrie Atkin is a management consultant based in Waltham who focuses on marketing, business planning and fundraising for mission-driven organizations. From 2009 to 2011, Barrie was executive producer of “Gen Silent,” an award-winning documentary film about the special medical and care challenges faced by many LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) older adults. In May 2011, she was recognized by the GALE Fund of the Cape Cod Foundation for her activism on the part of LGBT elders. Barrie serves on the Advisory Committee of the LGBT Aging Project, and is active in many professional and volunteer organizations. Barrie is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and has a Certificate of Professional Fundraising. Read Barrie's responses to our interview questions.


Sandy Albright, LICSW (licensed independent clinical social worker), served as Massachusetts Undersecretary of Elder Affairs from 2007 to 2013. Prior to that she was the CEO of Federated Dorchester Neighborhood Houses, Inc., from 2002-2004, and Executive Director of Kit Clark Senior Services, Inc., from 1989-2007. From 1985-1989, Sandy served as Division Executive Director for Medical East Community Health Plan (Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts), in Peabody, MA. Sandy began her career as a psychiatric social worker. She holds a Certificate of Advanced Study from the Radcliffe Management Program; an M.S.W. from the University Of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; and a B.A. from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN.


Robert Haynes
enjoyed a distinguished career as president of the 400,000 member Massachusetts AFL-CIO as well as numerous successful leadership roles providing strategic guidance and fomenting key relationships for private organizations, legislative initiatives, charitable foundations and community based action groups. Throughout his notable career Robert gained a depth of expert, specialized knowledge as well as the vital relationships which accompanied holding senior roles in the following bodies: Board of Directors of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board; Boston Private Industry Council; and Gov. Deval Patrick’s transition team on the Economic Development Working Group and the Secretary of Labor search committee. Based on these and other endeavors Robert developed and has maintained relationships directly with current, rather than former, decision makers of the highest levels of municipal and state governments.  This same breadth of relationship is also enjoyed with current decision makers in higher education, healthcare, construction and many of Massachusetts's largest private enterprises and non-profit organizations.


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The AARP Massachusetts 2013 Executive Council (note: Executive Council member Joseph Feaster was unavailable for the group photograph)


Watch our video interviews (below) with new members Gordon, Jane, and Deborah, and read our interview with  Barrie Atkin, who was unavailable the day of videotaping. 

For more information about the AARP Massachusetts Executive Council, email




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