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About Us

History of MCOA

The spark of the Massachusetts Councils on Aging ignited in 1974 when a group of senior center staff and board members gathered in Northampton, MA.  Three year later, Massachusetts general law Title VII, Chapter 40, Section 8B established Councils on Aging across the commonwealth, and two years later, the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging and Senior Center Directors incorporated as a 501c3 to be the trade association for the Councils on Aging.

While Councils on Aging and Senior Centers provide support services to older adults and their families and caregivers, the Massachusetts Councils on Aging provides support and training to, and advocacy for, the Councils on Aging statewide.

MCOA has had a rich history throughout the years, and has recently seen rapid growth.  Advocating for Councils on Aging, MCOA has influenced increased Formula Grant local aid to the Councils on Aging, provided capacity building and technical assistance to the Councils, and holds an annual Fall Conference, which has grown to be the largest of its kind in New England.

Today, there are 350 established Councils on Aging in Massachusetts, and MCOA has rapidly grown to accommodate their needs.  Staff has grown to include social workers, former COA Directors, and a Registered Dietician.

MCOA Mission Statement

Building strategic partnerships to educate, empower, and advocate for professionals who work with older adults.

MCOA Values

Educate. Advocate. Collaborate.

MCOA Positioning Statement

MCOA will be the principal statewide organization to support municipalities, membership, and other organizations that serve older adults through advocacy, networking, professional development, consumer education, and resource opportunities.

MCOA Leadership

Elected on June 15, 2023 at the Annual Meeting held at Wight Farm in Sturbridge

Title Candidate District
Chair Emily Shea METRO
Vice Chair Susan Pacheco METRO
Past Chair Marge Yetman NORTHEAST
Secretary Mignonne Murray METRO
Asst. Secretary Janice Long METRO
Treasurer Brian O’Grady WEST
Asst. Treasurer Josie Dutil CENTRAL
Conference Co-Chair Jodi Zepke WEST
Conference Co-Chair Becky Moriarty WEST
Legislative Terri Marciello NORTHEAST
Certification Joanne Moore SOUTHEAST
At Large Amy Waters WEST
At Large Pam Hunt SOUTHEAST
At Large Nancy Hill SOUTHEAST
At Large Stacey Minchello NORTHEAST
At Large Sharmila Biswas SOUTHEAST
At Large Michelle Bratti SOUTHEAST


Regional Representatives

Northeast District: Yetman, Marciello, Minchello
Region Municipalities Regional Representatives
Minuteman Acton, Arlington, Bedford, Boxborough, Burlington, Carlisle, Concord, Harvard, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Stow, Wilmington, Winchester, Woburn Sharon Mercurio, Acton COA, (978) 929-6652
Kristine Shah, Arlington COA, (781) 316-3400
Mystic Valley Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Revere, Stoneham, Wakefield, Winthrop Kristen Spence, Stoneham COA, (781) 438-1157
Greater Lynn Senior Services, and SeniorCare Beverly, Essex, Gloucester, Hamilton, Ipswich, Lynn, Lynnfield, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Nahant, Rockport, Saugus, Swampscott, Topsfield, Wenham Theresa Woodbury, Hamilton COA, (978) 468-5595
AgeSpan Amesbury, Andover, Billerica, Boxford, Chelmsford, Danvers, Dracut, Dunstable, Georgetown, Groveland, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, Marblehead, Merrimac, Middleton, Methuen, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, Peabody, Rowley, Salem, Salisbury, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, West Newbury, Westford Pam Blaquiere, Boxford COA, (978) 887-3591
Colleen Ranshaw-Fiorello, Georgetown, (978) 352-5726

Brienne Walsh, Merrimac COA, (978) 948-7637 

Jean Bushnell, Billerica COA, (978) 671-0916 

Southeast District: Moore, Hunt, Biswas, Hill
Region Municipalities Regional Representatives
Coastline Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Gosnold, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Rochester Jackie Seney, Mattapoisett COA, (508) 758-4110
Cynthia Wallquist, New Bedford COA, (508) 991-6251
Amy DiPietro, Dartmouth COA, (508) 999-4717
South Shore Braintree, Cohasset, Hingham, Holbrook, Hull, Milton, Norwell, Quincy, Randolph, Scituate, Weymouth Linda Hayes, Scituate COA, (781) 545-8722
Susan Curtin, Norwell COA, (781) 659-7878
Old Colony Abington, Avon, Bridgewater, Brockton, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Easton, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Kingston, Lakeville, Marshfield, Middleborough, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rockland, Stoughton, Wareham, West Bridgewater, Whitman Gretchen Emmetts, Pembroke COA, (781) 294-8220
Emily Williams, Bridgewater COA, (508) 697-0929
Cape & Islands Aquinnah, Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Buzzards Bay, Chatham, Chilmark, Dennis, Eastham, Edgartown, Falmouth, Gay Head, Harwich, Hyannis, Mashpee, Nantucket, Oak Bluffs, Orleans, Provincetown, Sandwich, Tisbury, Truro, Wellfleet, West Tisbury, Yarmouth

Judi Wilson, Orleans COA, (508) 255-6333

Kelly Howley, Barnstable COA, (508) 862-4750


Bristol County Attleboro, Berkley, Dighton, Fall River, Freetown, Mansfield, North Attleboro, North Westport, Norton, Raynham, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, Swansea, Taunton, Westport Beverly Bisch, Westport COA, (508) 636-1026
Laurie Pimentel, Swansea COA, (508)676-1831
Metro District: Shea, Pacheco, Murray, Long
Region Municipalities Regional Representatives
BayPath Ashland, Dover, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Marlborough, Natick, Northborough, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, Wayland, Westborough Trish Pope, Marlborough COA, (978) 485-6492
Amy Beck, Hopkinton COA, (508) 497-9730
Randy Aylsworth, Framingham COA, (508) 532-5980
Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop Melissa Carlson, Boston AgeStrong Commission, (617) 635-4366
Springwell Belmont, Brookline, Chestnut Hill, Needham, Newton, Waltham, Watertown, Wellesley, Weston LaTanya Steele, Needham COA (781) 455-7555
HESSCO Canton, Dedham, Foxborough, Medfield, Millis, Norfolk, Norwood, Plainville, Sharon, Walpole, Westwood, Wrentham Lina Arena-DeRosa, Westwood COA, (781) 329-8799
Kerri McManama, Walpole COA, (508) 668-3330
Central District: Waters, Long, Dutil
Region Municipalities Regional Representatives
Aging Services of North Central Massachusetts Ashburnham, Ashby, Ayer, Berlin, Bolton, Clinton, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Leominster, Lunenburg, Pepperell, Princeton, Shirley, Sterling, Templeton, Townsend, Westminster, Winchendon

Debra Goodsell, Clinton COA, (978) 365-9416

Ashley Shaheen, Groton COA, (978) 448-1170



Elder Services of Worcester Area Auburn, Barre, Boylston, Grafton, Hardwick, Holden, Leicester, Millbury, New Braintree, Oakham, Paxton, Rutland, Shrewsbury, West Boylston, Worcester Eileen Clarkson, Barre COA,  (978) 355-5004
Tri-Valley Bellingham, Blackstone, Brookfield, Charlton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Franklin, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millville, North Brookfield, Northbridge, Oxford, Southbridge, Spencer, Sturbridge, Sutton, Upton, Uxbridge, Warren, Webster, West Brookfield Kelly Bol, Northbridge COA, (508) 234-2002
West District: O’Grady, Moriarty, Zepke
Region Municipalities Regional Representatives
Greater Springfield Agawam, Brimfield, East Longmeadow, Hampden, Holland, Longmeadow, Monson, Palmer, Springfield, Wales,
West Springfield, Wilbraham

Paula Dubord, Wilbraham COA, (413) 596-8379 

Erin Koebler, East Longmeadow COA, (413) 525-5436
WestMass ElderCare Belchertown, Chicopee, Granby, Holyoke, Ludlow, South Hadley, Ware Leslie Hennessey, South Hadley COA, (413) 538-5042
Sherry Manyak, Chicopee COA, (413) 534-3698
Highland Valley Amherst, Blandford, Chester, Chesterfield, Cummington, Easthampton, Goshen, Granville, Hadley, Hatfield, Huntington, Middlefield, Montgomery, Northampton, Pelham, Plainfield, Russell, Southampton, Southwick, Tolland, Westfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg, Worthington Tina Gorman, Westfield COA, (413) 562-6435
LifePath Ashfield, Athol, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Greenfield, Hawley, Heath, Leverett, Leyden, Monroe, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Petersham, Phillipston, Rowe, Royalston, Shelburne, Shutesbury, Sunderland, Warwick, Wendell, Whately

Jennifer Remillard, South County COA (Sunderland), (413)665-2141


Elder Services of Berkshire County Adams, Alford, Becket, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Dalton, Egremont, Florida, Great Barrington, Hancock, Hinsdale, Lanesborough, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Ashford, New Marlborough, North Adams, Otis, Peru, Pittsfield, Richmond, Sandisfield, Savoy, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham, Washington, West Stockbridge, Williamstown, Windsor Jim Clark, Pittsfield COA, (413) 499-9346





Betsy Connell, Executive Director

Strategic partnership building, leads and supports the agency’s goals and objectives, leadership  and oversight of Elder Mental Health Outreach Teams (EMHOTs); grant administration, development implementation and management of the agency’s budget and programs.

Kathy Bowler, Director of Member Services

Provides technical assistance to local COAs and new Directors by promoting regionalization, certification, and accreditation. Coordinates all of MCOA’s training and events (conference, workgroups, membership meeting, etc.). Oversees development and updating of training materials, as well as the Cultural Competency Initiative.

Kelly Burke, Director of Member Services

Provides technical assistance to local COAs and new Directors.  Coordinates transportation programs.

Susan Carp, Director of Member Services

Provides technical assistance to local COAs and new Directors.  Coordinates outreach programs.

Tara Hammes, Director of Member Services – Healthy Aging & Nutrition

Provides technical assistance on healthy aging, wellness and nutrition programs.

Patty Sullivan, Program Director, Dementia Friendly Massachusetts

Oversees the Dementia Friendly Massachusetts Initiativ.  Liaison with Supportive Day programs. Manages UCLA Memory Training and Age-Friendly Programs. Liaison with MA Gerontological Association

Shari Cox, Fiscal Manager

Provides management of grants, payroll, audit oversight, accounts payable and receivable.

Smiling grey haired Paula Hersey with a blurred harbor backgroundPaula Hersey, Digital Communications & Website Manager

Manages all communications and publications including Briefs and Newsletters, emails and mailings, and the MCOA website, including all contact lists. Provides support for registration and conference. 

Massachusetts Councils
on Aging

116 Pleasant Street, Suite 306
Easthampton, MA 01027
Telephone: 413-527-6425
Fax: 413-527-7138