STAFF

 

Executive Director: Maura Ramsey

Maura has been with GWSC since March 2017. She is extremely passionate about furthering social, economic, racial, and environmental justice in our society through community focused leadership development. Prior to accepting the Executive Director position with GWSC, Maura worked at Mother's Out Front as the Massachusetts Lead Organizer, a non-profit that works to mobilize mothers, grandmothers and caregivers to have their voices heard as they advocate for a healthy climate for their children. She was also the Director of the South Street Youth Center, a non-profit located on the premises of a Boston Housing Authority development where she developed all programming and outreach to expand the youth center from one small drop-in program to a multi-service space that engaged, residents, neighbors, non-profits, city programs and state based stakeholder to respond to create the changes the community wanted. 

 

 

 

 

Programs Manager: Eric Andrade

Eric Andrade was born and raised in the Flint neighborhood of Fall River. Before coming on as Programs Manager for GWSC, he served as the Board President, as well as being involved in the Feasibility Study and launch process for the organization. From 2014-2018 he was a Health Promotion Coordinator for Mass in Motion Fall River and Stanley Street Treatment and Resources (SSTAR) on a Center for Disease Control Diabetes Prevention grant. Eric is also responsible for running the Walk Fall River and Cook Fall River brands, with the aim of improving both the built environment and food access so residents can live healthier lives. He graduated from Bristol Community College in 2012, and earned a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2014.


BOARD

President: Josue Rodriguez

 

Josue was born and raised in the great city of New Bedford. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a Bachelors Degree in Crime and  Justice Studies. Josue worked in human services from 1996-2016 mainly with at risk youth placed in residential services and community programs. He has been a licensed Realtor in the state of Massachusetts since 2013 and Full time Realtor since 2016. Josue is passionate about family, community, real estate, and quite times alone with God.

 

 

 

Andrea Klimt

Andrea Klimt is an anthropologist at UMass Dartmouth.  She has been teaching for over 20 years and directs the university's Urban Studies as well as the Health and Society programs.  She is actively involved in numerous collaborative partnerships and research projects in Fall River.  Her areas of expertise are migration and immigrant communities, documentary photography and Photo Voice projects, class and ethnic identity formation, and the use of urban spaces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Coughlin

Michael Coughlin, MS, has been a public health professional at the state and local level since 1992.  He is the Outreach and Education Coordinator for Greater Fall River Partners for a Healthier Community and an Adjunct Instructor in Human Services and Psychology at Bristol Community College.  He also serves as a Site Visitor for the national Public Health Accreditation Board. Michael retired as the Accreditation Manager in the Office of the Commissioner in the MA Department of Public Health (MDPH) in June 2015.   He previously served as the Local Public Health Manager in the Emergency Preparedness Bureau at MDPH.  He served as the Director of Health and Human Services for the City of Fall River, MA from 2004-2008.

 

Ray Holberger

Ray Holberger is the Environmental Planner for the City of New Bedford. He has been managing  environmental projects to help clean up and redevelop New Bedford’s contaminated sites since 2013. He also coordinated the 2015-2017 Brownfields Area Wide Planning Process focused on the community-guided redevelopment of key Brownfield Properties in the Acushnet Avenue Neighborhood. As a founding board member of Growndwork Southcoast, he believes that the trust will make a tangible contribution towards the sustainable renewal of the region’s urban environments.

 

 

Kerry Mello

Kerry Mello brings decades of experience in community outreach and community health improvement. As Community Benefits Manager at Southcoast Health, a large, regional health system, she helped organize and lead coalitions and initiatives to address pressing health and social issues on the South Coast, including healthy youth development, food injustice and housing and homelessness. She has expertise in grant writing and management, including management of a number of federal and state grants. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the regional health and human services coalition, Partners for a Healthier Community and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers. A Wareham resident, she has also been active in civic engagement and for the past 15 years has helped lead fundraising efforts for the Wareham Library Foundation in support of the public library system in the town of Wareham.

Bob French

Since 1980, Bob have worked at New Bedford-based NorthStar Learning Centers, a people of color-founded and -led nonprofit, where he has combined service and advocacy for public policies that value and support children and families. He has lived in New Bedford for the past forty years. Parenting his son, Conor, now 37 years old, and being married to a first-grade teacher has educated him a lot and reinforced his commitment to creating opportunities for all children to learn, heal, and thrive. (Working on behalf of children forces him to be hopeful in this profoundly troubled world.) He finds peace in nature; for several years, He has spent much of his free time rebuilding the old stonewalls at Allens Pond Audubon wildlife sanctuary, which has served as a sanctuary and refuge for him.

 

 

Maria Fortes

Maria Fortes was born in Brava Cape Verde Island. She and her family move to New Bedford 1977. She is a triliqual Cape Veadean immgrant who has taken on responsibilities when worked for NorthStar Learning Centers for 18 years as a preschool teacher and program coordinator. She currently works for Coalition for Social Justice as an organizer she was a long-term volunteer who was hired on as an Apprentice Organizer, in May 2014, to help lead the signature drive for the minimum wage and earned sick time ballot questions, and coordinated canvassing during the public outreach phase of the campaign for Earned Sick Time in the Fall 2014, She also lead a group to canvass on ballot No on question 2 that help keep money in our public schools. She is also taken on responsibilities in leading CSJ new Chapter of indivisible Southeast Ma., coordinating public
Housing outreach, supervising interns and work study students. Also coordinating phone banks, for campaign candidates, and campaign issues. Also organizing Speaking groups. She has a B.A. with a back ground in Human Services field. She also have received a few awards, the most recent she received a national award the Game Changer 2015 award. She is also a board member of Womens's Fund of Southeastern Ma/Social Change Investment