2014 Annual Award Winners


2014 Annual Achievement Awards

These awards publicly acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions of those who exemplify and advance the missions of LeadingAge Massachusetts’s member organizations. They reveal examples of the commitment, innovation, leadership and excellence within LeadingAge Massachusetts member organizations.Awards were presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Membership on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at The Verve/Crowne Plaza, Natick, MA

And the winners are...

Emerging Leader Award: Kristine Donnelly,  The Shaw Home

Excellence in Governance Award: Elizabeth Holmes Viesca, Mount Pleasant Home

Heart and Hands Award: Timothy V. Cotz, Glenmeadow

Outstanding Mentor Award: Marie Curcio, Goddard House

Social Accountability Award: Patricia Paulin, North Hill 

Volunteer Service Award: Nancy Hubert, Brookhaven at Lexington

Program Innovation of the Year Award: JCHE Memory Support Initiaitve


Kristine Donnelly, Shaw Home

2014 Emerging Leader Award


Kristine Donnelly
(photo courtesy Aram O. Photography)


Kristine Donnelly started at the Shaw Home 24 years ago as a bookkeeper. She gradually took on more responsibilities as the Home grew and became Controller and then Assistant Administrator. 2 years ago, while she remained the Controller, she also became the interim administrator while the Home was in the middle of historic expansion and re-organization. Rob Desrosiers stated about Kris "To Kris’ credit, she has taken on the construction challenges, the daily management of the Home, the hiring of new staff, and maintained her close connection to the residents, their families, and the staff of the Home. She has committed tremendous time and energy to making this historic period in the Shaw Home’s life successful. Her efforts have gone well beyond what any ordinary employee could reasonably be expected to do." We are proud to have this caliber of leader within the LeadingAge membership and are thrilled to recognize her efforts and dedication with the 2014 Emerging Leader Award.



Elizabeth Holmes Viesca,
Mount Pleasant Home

2014 Excellence in Governance Award

Elizabeth Holmes Viesca
(photo courtesy Aram O. Photography)


Elizabeth Holmes Viesca has helped to shape the direction of Mount Pleasant Home for many decades. During her tenure, she helped guide the organization through three critical moments of change that resulted in securing and expanding its original mission: (1) The founding and development of Springhouse in 1995; (2) the expansion and renovation of Mount Pleasant Home in 2012; and (3) the corporate reorganization in 2013 of Mount Pleasant Home and Springhouse under a parent entity, Pleasant Spring Communities, to establish a system of related programs and services with the shared missions, of serving Boston elders across a wide range of needs, choices, and economic status. Elizabeth is a strong presence in the board room, pressing the board to articulate its reasons for continuing when it was not always certain that it could, insisting that words spoken in the board room be turned into deeds and with the mission always in mind, making sure that plans became programs. It is with this dedication and giving of her time and energy that we honor her with the 2014 Excellence in Governance Award.



Timothy V. Cotz,

2014 Heart and Hands Award


Timothy V. Cotz
(photo courtesy Aram O. Photography)

The Heart and Hands award is given to an individual who demonstrates exceptional relationships with residents; providing residents with special enrichment and increased quality of life through efforts beyond those normally considered within the position’s job description. The residents of Glenmeadow believe so strongly that Tim Cotz goes above and beyond his role as President and CEO that a few years ago, the resident council wanted to honor Tim, not when he retires, but now, while he is still here and for no particular reason other than to let him know how much they appreciate him. Some statements from the residents include “There is not one time, but many times that I went to Tim with a heavy heart. Tim gave me time and understanding. He was always helpful and kind.” ~ Ruth; “ I recently read a poem where several lines reminded me of you Tim: ‘You have been given a heart to do a favor, to speak a kindness, to soothe a hurt, to celebrate a joy, share a sorrow or in some small way give yourself in love to all.’ That’s our Tim! – We love you.” ~ Betty; “Tim is Glenmeadow’s most important asset. As the person in charge he is the one responsible to establish the tone for the entire staff. This he has accomplished in a very remarkable way. Friendly and courteous, but firm; personally executing any task when required but always in charge; fair but drawing the line when necessary to maintain discipline. He operates both with style and savoir faire and Glenmeadow is most fortunate to have him as the Executive in Charge.” ~ Bob


Marie Curcio,
Goddard House

2014 Outstanding Mentor Award


Marie Curcio
(photo courtesy Aram O. Photography)


Marie Curcio has not been in her role for very long but the impression she has made has been lasting. Her experience and passion with working with older adults carries through in inspiring and educating those around her at Goddard House. A co-worker stated “The fact that she is so genuine, compassionate and caring motivates and inspires us so that we’re not intimidated by the high standards that she sets. She presents her learning seminars so that putting what she teaches into practice is within reach for us all. It is a wonderful example of culture change that is happening at Goddard House.” Some of the employees at Goddard House have even copied down her personal philosophies such as “While I’ve had many different titles in eldercare, I’ve always been a social worker and my work is always about building connections to make for effective relationships. That’s what our field is about. Everything else follows from that.” It is with this caring, dignity and respect she has for the people she works with and serves that LeadingAge Massachusetts honors her with the 2014 Outstanding Mentor Award.



Patricia Paulin,
Needham Community Council

2014 Social Accountability Award

Patricia Paulin
(photo courtesy Aram O. Photography)


This award is given to a group or individual for participation in voluntary outreach to the greater community beyond the organization’s own walls or core mission of service to residents and/or clients. For the past 17 years Pat Paulin has spearheaded a campaign to collect money, toys and gifts for the Needham Community Council, helping those less fortunate. For a few weeks each fall, the offices at North Hill are packed with toys and gifts. Not only does this campaign help our local neighbors but also the Walker School, Charles River Arc and local shelters with gifts so that the children and elderly are not forgotten. Both Pat and North Hill have received countless thank-you notes declaring gratitude for the amazing generosity in a time of need. Last year the campaign collected over $6500 to make many holiday wishes come true. Lisa Avakian from North Hill states “Pat has been carrying the tradition for years since her parents have passed away but she helped her parents when they did it. Pat is so giving and selfless, it’s amazing all the work she puts into this every year. I have never seen such a caring and helpful person, this fundraiser is her heart and soul and we at North Hill are very lucky to be a part of it.”



Nancy Hubert,
Brookhaven at Lexington

2014 Volunteer Service Award


Nancy Hubert
(photo courtesy Aram O. Photography)


Nancy Hubert was nominated for this award because of the countless hours and dedication she has shown to guiding, editing and readying Brookaven at Lexington’s first book entiled ‘A Common Purpose: The Residents of Brookhaven at Lexington Remember WWII and the Decades that Followed’. When this idea came about and the stories started coming in, the work ahead to actually publish the book seemed too daunting for staff and residents to take on until Nancy stepped in. Nancy’s professional career was in publishing and she felt passionate about these stories. She was able to organize the work, draw in other talented residents to help and produce a 420 page book with over 130 photographs. Proceeds from the sale of the book are donated to Honor Flights of New England. This was not just a book, it was a cause that brought the entire community of Brookhaven together and it would not have happened if it were not for the efforts and persistence of Nancy Hubert.


JCHE Memory Support Initiative

2014 Program Innovation of the Year Award


JCHE Memory Support Initiative
(photo courtesy Aram O. Photography)


The percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to double over the next 20 years. JCHE staff recognized a gap between typical staff interaction with residents, and the special needs of residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and expressed the need for staff skill building for dementia awareness and care. The Memory Support Initiative was born out of this realization. The goal of the program was to enable residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia to remain in (low income subsidized and market rate) independent senior housing (even if only a few months) happier and better understood through staff training, and a specialized memory support team. JCHE received an inaugural LeadingAge Innovation Award to fund the program. A guide entitled Tips and Techniques for Supporting Residents with Alzheimer’s Disease Using the Habilitation Model: A Guide for Staff in Independent Senior Housing is a result of that process. The guide is available on the website free of charge (www.jche.org/guide). The best thing about the Memory Support Initiative is that other senior housing companies will be able to use the guide themselves, train other staff to work with memory impaired residents, and not have to replicate JCHE’s process. The pairing of a training program and the guide has given JCHE the tools to assist similar organizations support their memory impaired residents. The guide also outlines the creation of the memory support team and its role in the company, and uses real examples that come from independent senior housing.


Annual Meeting Planning Task Force

LeadingAge Massachusetts is most appreciative of the assistance of the following members and Business Affiliates who provided guidance and hands-on support for the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Membership: 

  • Beth Vettori,, Chair, Rockridge Retirement Community 
  • Adam Berman, Chelsea Jewish Foundation
  • Barbara A. Doyle, Carleton-Willard Village
  • Kathy Lemay, Notre Dame du Lac
  • Eric Moore, North Hill
  • Dana Ramish, Lutheran Social Services of New England


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