Board of Directors
President & co-founder
Ann is the Board President for Women Thriving, Inc., and Co-Founder of Women and Girls Thriving in Brookline, formerly a project of the Brookline Center for Community Mental Health. Ann brings to this work over 40 years of experience facilitating cross-constituency groups, conducting intensive program evaluation, and developing materials and curricula. She is committed to collaborating across organizations and engaging with others to co-create learning and leadership opportunities among women of all incomes and backgrounds, especially encouraging women to grow in confidence, skill, and the ability to use their voices for good. She holds a BA in French literature from Mary Washington University and a Master of Education in Educational Research from Northeastern University.
Tracy is a realtor and part of her mother’s team, The Chobee Hoy Group at Compass in Chestnut Hill. As a mostly lifelong Brookline resident, Tracy likes to be involved in her community and sits on two boards, including the Brookline Arts Center and the City Ballet of Boston. Tracy, along with her band, The Clark Page Project, gives back by donating their time to local fundraising endeavors. She is an active member of the Women Thriving Fundraising Group.
Originally from Iran, Sara has been living in Brookline for about eight years with her daughter and husband. Graduating from Iranian University with a BA degree in English literature, she owned and operated a daycare center for five years in her home country while producing her husband’s weekly TV program part-time. She is currently working part-time as a translator for Multi-Lingual Solutions Company and also volunteers at the CCS library once a week.
Carline Fisher, born in Jamaica, is a CNA/Caregiver and has been involved in Thriving for two of the four years she has lived in Brookline. She has taken several workshops, including Tech Goes Home Basic Computer Skills, Toastmasters, and Eating and Cooking Healthy. Carline uses her public speaking ability to emcee Listening and Learning Dinners, tell her story at fundraisers, and participate in a BIG TV panel show about Thriving that appeared on Brookline cable television. Currently, she does outreach and recruiting for Thriving at 22 High Street. Carline is interested in food and cooking and plans on opening her own restaurant in the future. She is the mother of five children.
Chobee is a broker for the Chobee Hoy Group of Compass Real Estate and an active community member for many years. She serves on several Brookline non-profit boards, including the Coolidge Corner Theater, the Brookline Teen Center, and the Brookline Center for Community Mental Health. She currently serves on the Women Thriving Access and Information Sharing and the Healthy Food and Lifestyle Working Groups, as well as the Fundraising Group, and has been an active voice and participant since Thriving’s 2014 beginning. Chobee has eight grandchildren who are scattered all over the country.
Sarah joined the Access and Information Sharing Working Group within the first few weeks of her tenure as the Town of Brookline’s Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator and Community Relations Specialist in the spring of 2018. She serves as a voice for access and inclusion of all people, but especially those with disabilities. She has a decade of experience working for local non-profits and has extensive experience building effective community partnerships, developing and managing programs, and evaluating their progress. She is excited to serve on the Board of Thriving. She holds a Master of Arts (Research) in Ethics & Political Theory from the University of Reading in Reading, England as well as a Masters of Education in School Counseling (grades 5 - 12).
Maureen, a lifelong resident of Brookline, is a tax attorney with the firm of Vacovec, Mayotte & Singer LLP. She practices primarily in the areas of estate and business planning, corporate representation, individual tax and retirement planning, and real estate exchanges. She is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School (JD, cum laude) and the Boston University School of Law (LLM in Taxation). Maureen and her husband Ed have lived in Washington Square for many years and have a son, daughter and two grandsons, all of whom are Driscoll School and Brookline High School graduates.
Tiara is a Certified Nurse Assistant/Home Health Aide who has lived in Brookline for six years. She has been involved in Thriving for the past two years, attending Listening and Learning Dinners and taking various workshops, including Toastmasters, Telling Your Story, and Manage Your Money. She says that participating in these workshops and attending activities has allowed her to be part of a community with other women she can relate to. Tiara is the mother of two children.
Originally from Japan, Yumiko moved to Boston to pursue a master's degree in Humanitarian Aid and International Development at Tufts University. After graduating in 2006, Yumiko stayed in the Boston area and has worked at the Highrock Church of Brookline called Highrock Brookline since 2008. Yumiko and the Highrock Church have always been a fan and a student of Thriving. She says they are privileged to work with Thriving and continue to learn from the work of Thriving and amazing Thrivers!
Jen’s career with the Brookline Police Department spans nineteen years. She has served in various capacities, from the Community Service Division assisting in the development of programs to help first responders have a deeper understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders, to Intelligence Officer and Point of Contact to the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, New England State Police Information Network, DHS/ICE, FBI, and the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program. She holds an MS in Criminal Justice Administration and a BA in Sociology/Psychology and teaches courses in Police Interactions with People with Mental Illness and Emotional Distress, among others, and is co-coordinator of Brookline Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team. She is an active member of Greater Boston’s Critical Incident Stress Management Team and holds a seat on the Team’s governing board. Lt. Paster lives in Brookline with her husband and four children, ages 7, 5 (twins), and 3. She has been active in Women and Girls Thriving since its inception and continues to contribute to the Access and Information Sharing Working Group.
Susan is a retired property manager for affordable housing for the elderly. Before her position managing affordable housing, Susan held a variety of administrative and clinical positions in healthcare working with populations from children to seniors. Susan is a past president of Brookline Rotary and remains very involved with Rotary at the local and district levels. She began her relationship with Women and Girls through a grant to the organization from Rotary in 2016 that contributed to the garden and led to the continuing Healthy Cooking class as well as other programs including fitness, art therapy, and a domestic violence prevention program. A resident of Brookline for over 40 years, she is delighted to be involved with Women Thriving.
Ann is the Public Library of Brookline Assistant Library Director for Administration and began her involvement with Thriving after attending the May 4, 2014 Thriving Summit, “Building Community Leadership and Voice.” Anne joined the Expressive and Healing Arts Working Group and for the past several years has been a member of the Thriving Leadership Team, the Healthy Food and Lifestyle Working Group and helps plan programs and meals for the “Listening and Learning Dinners.” In 2017, she joined with several members of Brookline Women and Girls to attend the Collective Impact Forum Convening Conference held in Boston. She contributes her artistic creations to the annual fundraising initiative held each June and regularly shares information about learning opportunities such as book groups and special programs provided by the Brookline Public Library and encourages women of all ages to join the library and benefit from what it has to offer to the community.
Chiquita is an Edward Jones Financial Advisor in Brookline, MA. She has worked in the financial services industry for more than ten years. Before joining Edward Jones, she worked as an auditor for both an insurance and asset management holding company. She attended Auburn University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in international studies with a concentration in Spanish. She is currently working toward earning a certificate in financial planning from Boston University where she was the recipient of the Robert J. Glovsky Scholarship, which is awarded to students who intend to assist or serve traditionally underserved populations. Chiquita is also highly focused on serving the community in which she works and lives.
Lauren is the Executive Director of the Brookline Arts Center (BAC). She has been an active member of Women Thriving since 2015 as a participant in the Healing Arts Working Group and on the Leadership Team. Lauren’s passion for the visual and performing arts has driven her career focus, providing her with a strong background in arts administration and program development. In three nonprofit arts organizations, Lauren has worked to make art education and programs accessible for individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. As the ED of BAC, she has worked to extend the center's reach in the community, expand financial aid and outreach programs, elevate gallery offerings, create opportunities for public art and further develop classes. Lauren earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from West Virginia University and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from The Institute for Nonprofit Practice at Tufts University. In 2018, Lauren was recognized as a finalist for the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network's Excellence Award in the Young Professional category, and in 2019 was recognized as a nominee for Brookline Commission for Women’s Brookline Woman of the Year Award. Along with serving as a Board Member of Women Thriving, she participates on the Steering Committee for Brookline Open Studios.
Caitlin is the Assistant Director in the Brookline Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations. Caitlin joined the Department in 2016 as the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator and Community Relations Specialist and began her current role in 2017. Before being a Brookline employee, Caitlin worked in Boston at the Boston Center for Independent Living work with grants to assist in transitioning people living in facilities back into the community and spent six years at Perkins School for the Blind as a Coordinator of Residential Living. Caitlin has a Master’s in Public Health from Northeastern University and has been passionate about health and disability advocacy since her time as an undergraduate at Boston University. Caitlin is a leader of the Women Thriving Access and Information Sharing Working Group.
Britt is Treasurer of the Women Thriving, Inc. Board. She has taken a leadership role in Thriving after years of working as a teacher and group facilitator. She began her involvement as a facilitator of the “Manage Your Money” workshop series, teaching financial literacy skills to groups of both girls and women. Britt is also a longstanding member of the Brookline community through her work in the Public Schools of Brookline. She began her career at Brookline High School in 2009 in the Career and Technology Education Department. After spending ten years teaching entrepreneurship, marketing, and financial literacy, Britt recently stepped into the role of Interim Coordinator of Career and Technology Education. Britt brings the perspective of the classroom teacher and a commitment to empowering low-income women with financial literacy education.
Originally from Portugal, Paula has lived in Brookline for twenty years and is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. She has been involved in Thriving for the past four years taking workshops, emceeing dinners, and offering her translating skills whenever she can. Paula balances her career as a business development specialist in Brookline with caring for her husband and sons Herbie, 18 and Derek, 16.
Grace Yung Watson
Grace has been a member of Women Thriving since its inception, serving on the leadership team, as co-chair of the employment/training/education working group, and co-creating and co-facilitating our annual "Preparing for Employment Together" workshop series. Grace has been the Program Director of Next Steps since 2013, and she has served on the Brookline Commission for Women since 2014. She was born and raised in Brookline by immigrants whose families lost everything upon fleeing the Communist takeover of China. Grace was the first in her family to attend college and graduated from Brandeis University with a BA in psychology in 1994. She subsequently completed her MA in Counseling while raising three small children. Grace has invested in diverse faith communities for decades, including African American, Chinese, and Korean churches. She is currently a lay leader at Reservoir Church, a multiethnic and LGBTQIA-inclusive community where her husband Steve, a former high school principal, is the Senior Pastor. There she facilitates groups and workshops on topics such as healthy relationships, women's issues, and parenting multiracial children.
Julie is the Outreach and Program Coordinator at Journey to Safety, the domestic abuse program of Jewish Family & Children’s Service. She is chair of the Jewish Domestic Violence Coalition (JDVC) and a board member of the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable. Before moving to Massachusetts, Julie spent ten years working at SafeHouse Center, a domestic violence program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has also held positions at the Union for Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center, the American Jewish Committee’s Washington office, and the American Arts Alliance, a nonprofit arts advocacy organization. She has provided critical advice to our work through the Thriving Safety and Healthy Relationships Working Group.
Beverly is President and CEO of The Word Doc, a Brookline-based writing and editing company. She has worked on projects in the software, advertising, financial, educational, and retail sectors. Beverly worked in the computer software industry for over 25 years, first as a technical writer, then as a documentation manager and director. She holds a BA in English from the University of Rochester and an MA in Linguistics from New York University. After graduate school, Bev taught English as a Second Language for five years at a program housed at Babson College. She also taught French to Babson students. In addition to Thriving, Bev’s other local activities include membership in the Brookline Chamber of Commerce, and the Brookline Women’s Lunch Group. She successfully hiked the Grand Canyon in 2000 with her family and has run the Tufts 10K Road Race twice. She has four grandchildren that live in Sharon, MA and Laramie, WY.
“Of Counsel,” Susan K. Howards, JD, PhD.
Susan is a former college professor, has a PhD from Boston College and has a law degree from Suffolk Law School. She is a criminal defense attorney with a focus on domestic violence and women in conflict with the law. Her office is in Brookline where she is active on many town commissions and boards. A Fulbright Hays scholar, she is a former Woman of the Year recipient. She has served as an influential member of several Thriving Working Groups—Healthy Food and Lifestyle, and Safety and Healthy Relationships—as well as the Fundraising Group.