The LWVN is governed by a board of director, which includes officers and directors elected or appointed. Members of the LWVN board serve one year terms and elections are held at the Annual Meeting.
The LWVN Board of Directors meets monthly in the evening, generally on the second Wednesday of the month. All members are welcome. Attending board meetings is a great way for new members to learn League process and for more seasoned members to stay connected. If you want to join us, email email@example.com for meeting information. We hope to see you there.
Meet the Board
Jen Abbott has been an active volunteer in Newton since 2007 when she and her husband chose to settle in Newton to raise their 3 children. She served as co-president of the Cabot PTO and helped advocate for the passage of the 2013 tax overrides that provided funding for much needed capital improvements in the city. She also served as co-president and Equity Representative for the Newton PTO Council and served on the NPS Equity Committee. Jen joined the LWVN in 2017 at which time she was a co-chair of the campaign to amend the city charter. Jen joined the LWVN board this spring (2019). Jen has a BA from the University of Virginia and an MAT from Lewis and Clark College.
Bonnie Carter’s mother was a member of the League of Women Voters in Montpelier, Vermont. When Bonnie moved to Geneva, New York to pursue a career as a faculty wife, a friend (who was local LWV president) said: “You’re going to join the League, aren’t you?” and soon appointed her to the Board. She moved to Newton in 1971, and her second child was born a few weeks later. She immediately joined the League, transferring her membership from Geneva. She was soon appointed to the Newton Board and has been on the Board ever since. The League gave her contact with other adults when she was home with young children and gave her an opportunity to learn so much. When the kids were older, she worked in a furniture repair shop, then worked for 17 years at NewTV as administrative assistant under several directors and retired in 2008. Bonnie has been President and Co-President of the LWVN, as well as Vice-President, Clerk (and wrote minutes for the NewTV Board), Membership chair, Topic Meetings, and Voter Service Committee.
Frieda Dweck, a resident of Newton for almost 20 years, has been a member of the LWVN since 2016 and joined the Board in 2017. Frieda helped collect signatures for the LWVN to put a question on the local ballot about charter reform and then co-chaired the campaign to amend the city charter. She is a former Mason-Rice PTO co-president, and former PTO Council co-president. Frieda currently also serves on the Board of the Newton Schools Foundation. She has a BS and a JD from New York University.
Theresa Fitzpatrick wears a few hats in her professional life, that of an event manager and rowing coach. Theresa brings her background as a Senior Financial Analyst for IBM to bear as she assists clients to realize their vision for their event in a financially optimal way ~ whatever the occasion. Theresa is also a life-long volunteer. If there is a cause that involves her community or her family, you can be sure to find her getting involved to lend a hand. Introduced to the sport of rowing as an adult and rowing at CRI since 2009, Theresa can be found putting an oar in the water with her CRI peeps before the sun rises three times a week. When not rowing, Theresa enjoys spending time with her three sons and husband Wayne.
Ellen Grody has lived in Newton for over 20 years, has been involved with the League of Women Voters Newton since 2009, and on the Board for the last 5+ years. In addition to the League, Ellen also sits on the Boards of the West Suburban YMCA, the Innovative Development Council of The Greater Boston Food Bank, and Family Friends Boston, companion care for elders. Ellen is a dog lover and volunteers with Last Hope K9 to rescue dogs from high-kill shelters in Arkansas, foster them in New England, and facilitate their adoption locally.
Judy Jaffe settled with her family in Newton in 1980 and joined the LWVN Board of Directors a year later. She has served on the Board in many positions, including the first co-presidency with Bonnie Carter. She also has served as Public Relations Director at the LWVMA. Judy is an information management professional who has worked across the academic, medical, and retail digital technology areas, with a knowledge management focus on improving quality, productivity, and process improvement. She holds a MSLIS degree from Simmons College.
Marcia Johnson, a resident of Newton for over 30 years, has been a member of the LWVN since 2000 and joined the Board in 2016. She was a member of the Board of Alderman from 2000-2015 in a leadership position for 14 of those years. She took a special interest in zoning and affordable housing by taking the lead to begin zoning reform (redesign) effort. She is a human resources professional working in the bio-pharmaceutical industry focusing on organizational & leadership development. She has a BS in elementary education and an M.Ed in special education.
Rhanna Kidwell has lived in Newton since 1994. In 2009 she co-chaired the LWVN study of Newton’s city charter. In 2012 she led the League’s signature drive that resulted in Newton electing a charter commission, and in 2015 she was elected to serve on the charter commission. In other community work, Rhanna was a PTO Co-President at Mason-Rice and Co-President of the Newton PTO Council and was a Girl Scout troop leader for eight years. She served on the board of the West Suburban YMCA from 2012 to 2019 and currently serves on the board of the Newton Schools Foundation. Since 2008 she has been self-employed developing residential real estate and before that she spent 19 years in the banking industry, working in financial and risk analysis, strategic planning, and marketing.
Andrea Kozinetz has served as the League of Women Voters of MA and Lotte E. Scharfman treasurer. She is a long-time Board member of the League of Women Voters of Newton and is currently LWVN’s treasurer. Andrea has been a member of the state League’s budget, development, finance, governance, and nominating committees. Andrea chairs the LWVMA’s Human Resources Committee. Andrea is Director of Human Resources at The Hamilton Company, a large real estate property management company in Boston. She is also a board member for The Hamilton Company Charitable Foundation and The Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation in Brookline, MA. Andrea says, “I think we should contribute to our communities and continue to learn. The League, in Newton and at the state level, works on important issues – voting and civic engagement, and I have appreciated my experience working with the Board and community.”
Karen Manning has lived in Newton for 15 years and has two daughters who have gone through the Newton Public Schools. She has worked for several small companies and in banking product management professionally but is most passionate about community service. She served on the Newton Charter Commission (2015-17) and is also a board member of Newton’s Foundation for Racial, Ethnic and Religious Harmony (Harmony Foundation) and the Newton PTO Council.
Josephine McNeil was the Executive Director of Citizens for Affordable Housing in Newton Development Organization (CAN-DO). CAN-DO is a community-based nonprofit housing development organization with a mission to create and manage affordable housing in the City of Newton. She was one of the organizing members in 1994 and served as its president until 1999 when took on the role as executive director until her retirement in 2017. She recently resumed her role as President of the organization and Interim Executive Director. Her community activities include serving as a member of the Community Benefits Committee and the Board of Advisors of Newton Wellesley Hospital. Josephine also serves on both the Newton Fair Housing Committee and the Newton Housing Partnership. She serves as one of the co-chairs of U-CHAN and is on the Mission and Social Commission of the Eliot Church of Newton. Josephine is a lawyer and serves as Vice-President of the Lawyers Committee and as co-treasurer of the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association as well as the co-chairperson of the Massachusetts Bar Association Civil Rights and Social Justice Council. She also is a Special Advisor to the American Bar Association Commission on Housing and Poverty.
Lisa Mirabile has lived in Newton for over 25 years. She became involved in the League through her involvement in Newton PTOs — she served twice as the Burr School PTO co-president and also as PTO Council co-president. Her work with the schools taught her that no topic or issue stands alone, and she has welcomed the opportunity to engage at a broader level through the League. When not consumed by a particular topic or issue, she enjoys using her professional skills to help LWVN leverage digital technologies.
Linda Morrison grew up in Newton, attending Angier, Weeks, and Warren Schools. She now lives in Newton Highlands and has been involved with LWV Newton since the early 1980s. She earned an MA in history and archives at UMass/Boston. For the past several years she has been editing our quarterly Newsletter.
Sharyn Roberts has lived in Newton for over 50 years, and has been active in the League of Women Voters Newton for over 25 years. Currently, she leads the Voter Service team and helps people register to vote in a number of venues, including Cold Spring Farmers’ Markets, West Newton Farmers’ Markets, Newton’s July 4th and Harvest Festivals, most Village Days, and at both Newton North and South High Schools. She also is very active with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, was a troop leader for years and now volunteers citywide and district-wide for the Scout Councils. She also worked with the Understanding Our Differences (formerly Understanding Handicaps) Program for 40 years, serving on their Board for over 30 years. On a personal note, Sharyn has three children, with her family owns Newtonville Camera, which recently moved to Waltham, and is a violist.