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WELCOME TO OUR TTN BOSTON MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Welcome to our Member Spotlight page that helps you learn a little bit more about our members. We'll be sharing profiles of other members in the coming weeks.

Members will be listed alphabetically.  Please scroll to learn about members.

 
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JOYCE BLUMENTHAL
Leadership Team - Coordinator of SIGS
Co-Coordinator - Mah Jongg, Theater Buffs 

Joyce Blumenthal joined TTN Boston in March 2015 and has served on the leadership team since February 2018.  She co-coordinates the creation of new Special Interest Groups.  She also co-coordinates the volunteer and theater special interest groups and runs the chapter's mahjong group. She lives in Revere. 


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

I have met so many wonderful people, and I’ve enjoyed the opera sig, my 70s Forward and Metro North peer groups, brunches and lunches, social activities, and even a little culture. How could I not give back? I love TTN.

Tell us about your career.

My whole working career was doing hospital medical transcription. When voice recognition came in, all transcription work was outsourced. That’s when I retired.


What do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy the theater, movies, mahjong, and especially going out to eat with friends. I most enjoy being with my husband, three children, two grandchildren, and their significant others.


What is something unexpected about you

Since I get lost wherever I go, the most unexpected thing is that I now drive to places I’ve never been. 



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DAWNA DAVIS
Leadership Team - Member
Coordinator - AWARE 

Dawna Davis joined the TTN Boston leadership team in 2023 and has been a member of TTN since February 2020. She lives in the historic Fort Point artists district of Boston.


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

Several months after joining, I participated in one of TTN’s first Unpacking Whiteness workshops. After that, I started co-facilitating these workshops. I also lead AWARE, the chapter’s racial justice group.  I am a member of the chapter’s allyship group, its social justice book club, and a peer group.

Participating in these groups gives me much more than I could ever give back, and I have made some wonderful friends. I feel that TTN Zooms saved me during the COVID-19 lockdown.


Tell us about your career.
I’ve had several long-term careers: special education teacher, corporate developer and trainer, and professional artist.

What do you enjoy doing?
I have wanderlust. I lived in Southern California for 25 years and in Perth, Australia, for four years. I love my 18-year-old cat, Nicky!  I love to travel, meet new people, spend time with friends and family, read, and create art.

What is something unexpected about you?
When I moved back to Boston, I was primarily making jewelry. Through some twists and turns, I am now making wire clothing and accessories and producing runway shows! Also, recently, I realized I enjoy making people laugh!

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JENNESSA DURRANI

Jannessa Durrani has been a Boston TTN member since June 2022 and belongs to a TTN peer group. She lives in Andover.  


Why are you in TTN?

I was introduced to TTN by a friend and work colleague because she knew that I was working with women in midlife for my business. While I came to the chapter as a way to network, I have stayed for the friendships. I’ve had the pleasure of presenting workshops to TTN members, but my favorite part of TTN has been the friendships I’ve created in my peer group.

Tell us about your career.

I am a career coach who helps women find a meaningful role for their next chapter that allows them to make an impact, provides them the flexibility they are seeking, AND pays them what they’re worth. I do this through one-to-one coaching, my signature ignitHER program, an online community for women, and my weekly podcast, Surviving to Thriving.

I have been a solopreneur for 22 years. While I’m a coach now, I started my career as a corporate interior designer and created a successful event design and marketing firm that was ranked on Boston Business Journal’s “Top 25 List” for more than 15 years.


What do you enjoy doing?
I’m a mom of two teen boys, and, as a family, we are serial road trippers. We have put nearly half a million miles on our trucks traveling the country, which is the same as traveling around the equator 20 times! Our longest trip was during the summer of 2021, when we drove to San Francisco and back, visiting 25 states and 10 national parks over six weeks. I’m an avid art journaler and mixed media artist and painter. And I spend at least one day on the golf course with my youngest.


While I have lived in Massachusetts since two weeks after graduating from college, I will forever identify as a Midwesterner. I grew up in a town of 1,700 in the far northwest corner of Iowa and graduated from a class of 44. My entire town is nine blocks square.


What is something unexpected about you?

I am currently working through an NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) certification and, as of June 2024, will be a certified NLP practitioner, clinical hypnotherapist, EFT practitioner, TIME Techniques Practitioner, and success coach.


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JULIA FISHER
Treasurer
Coordinator - Social Justice Book Club

Julia Fisher has been the Boston chapter’s treasurer since 2022, coordinates its social justice book club, and is a member of both the Boston and Philadelphia chapters. She joined the Boston chapter in 2019 after meeting other members while volunteering at Cradles to Crayons. She lives part-time in Boston because her husband has an office—and her daughter formerly lived—in Cambridge. 


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

I joined the Boston chapter to meet other women because, coming from Philadelphia, I knew few people here. I am an avid book reader, so I joined the Boston chapter’s Thursday book club when it went virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Because it’s so important, I have become involved in various racial justice activities in TTN and currently coordinate the Social Justice Book Club. I also have been involved in other TTN special interest groups and enjoy the Dining Around the World lunches.  When Ginny reached out to the members for someone to help with the budget, I raised my hand. As a retired CPA, I have been the treasurer of various nonprofit organizations over the years and figured, why not once again?

Tell us about your career.
I was a CPA and worked for about 10 years at Coopers & Lybrand in audit and then litigation services.  After my twins were born, I retired from accounting. 

Over the years, and after watching hours and hours of HGTV, I became interested in staging homes.  In 2014, I started my own home-staging business and found a business partner.  Together, we enjoyed helping people get their homes ready for sale for four years until we both retired again in 2018.

What do you enjoy doing?
I love reading and listening to books and am always asking people what they are reading to get more recommendations. 

Travel is one of my passions.  My daughter is currently living in the U.K., which gives me a great excuse to visit her often before she moves back to the U.S.  I very much enjoy hiking with friends, especially in Acadia National Park.

What do you love about Boston?
The walkability.  Our home outside Philadelphia is in the suburbs, and I need a car to go everywhere.  I love being able to walk or take public transportation to museums, gardens, shops, restaurants, visit friends, historical sites, etc.  I love bringing friends from Pennsylvania up to Boston and showing off the city. 

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SUSAN GALER
Coordinator - Theater Buffs

Susan Galer, a member since 2016,  co-founded and has co-led the TTN Theatre Buffs SIG since 2016. She lives in Melrose.


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

I’ve always had a love of live theatre, and co-creating the Theater Buffs SIG has been an incredibly rewarding experience. By selecting a wide range of performances – from dramatic slice of life to comedy, mystery, history, and more – we consistently bring members together for memorable matinees and convivial post-event dinners. Special shout out to my partner in showbiz, Joyce Blumenthal!


Tell us about your career.
Foundationally I’m a storyteller. My marketing and communications expertise is broad and deep spanning speechwriting, video reporting, event coverage, promotional content, public relations, and industry analyst relations. As a communications director at SAP, I research IT and industry trends and exchange ideas with people worldwide, writing business analyses, blogs, and articles.

What do you enjoy doing?
Traveling is a passion along with art, music, and history. At home, I enjoy watching the hummingbirds sip nectar from the red cardinal flowers that I planted on my side yard, walking three miles daily, and binge-watching British mysteries.

What do you love about Boston?
Although happiest when I’m writing, having made a commitment to lifelong learning and growth, I make it a point to continuously step out of my comfort zone with activities like golf (my nickname is Pinky) and belly dancing. On a more serious note, I’m doing my part to help build a more sustainable world.

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GINNY KIEFER
Chairman

Ginny Kiefer has been TTN Boston’s chapter chair since February 2018 and a member since April 2015. She lives in Manchester-By-The-Sea.


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

After three years of enjoying activities with TTN women, I was offered the chapter chair position. I was intrigued but hesitant about the time and energy it might take. Still, I felt that I should give back. Happily, I’ve found my experience as chapter chair very rewarding.  I’ve enjoyed leveraging my organizational and leadership skills to contribute to the growth and excitement of our chapter.

I participate in many TTN Boston special interest groups, a few peer groups, and numerous social events, but I have a particular passion for the topic of racial justice. I feel grateful for the opportunity to introduce, develop, and manage the rollout of two powerfully impactful workshops (Unpacking Whiteness and Allyship) to the TTN organization at large. Nearly 400 TTN women have participated to date!


Tell us about your career.
I had a 22-year professional career as an executive director at BankBoston (which became Fleet, then Bank of America). I held a variety of positions but primarily was the director of commercial lending services and technology, enjoying the leadership, project management, and mentoring aspects of that position.  

Since retirement, I have enjoyed interesting and fun part-time roles, including YMCA fitness instructor, chairman of Boy Scout Troop 3, private caregiver, high school special education teacher, and volunteer for organizations such as Pathways for Children (Head Start) and Beverly Bootstraps. I love to try to make a difference.

What do you enjoy doing?
I recently became a grandmother, and, although my grandson lives on a boat far away in New Zealand, I love this new role! I also enjoy traveling, kayaking, hiking, sailing, motorcycling, and—oh ya—eating.

What is something unexpected about you?
I have found that I very much enjoy combining travel with adventurous activities—especially when my three sons participate. These adventures have included a motorcycle trip to Acadia, bareboat chartering in St Lucia and the Grenadines, white-water rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon or, recently, the Zimbabwe River in Africa, bungee jumping in New Zealand, scuba diving with sharks in French Polynesia, sky diving in Turner Falls (MA), or sitting on the edge of a waterfall at Victoria Falls in Zambia.
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ELAINE MCGOVERN
Leadership Team - Caring Collaborative

Elaine McGovern, a TTN Boston leadership member, has been a TTN member since 2017. She lives in Newton.


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

I found TTN when I did research to learn what would help me stay active and involved after I retired. Happily, in TTN, I have found opportunities to learn, meet new friends, and be part of an important resource for women. Seeing exciting programs in other chapters, I wanted to try activating one or two here, so I became a board member. I enjoy being part of the workings of the chapter as well as a member.

Tell us about your career.

I began in the retail sector as an assistant buyer for a department store. Seeking a more meaningful way, I transitioned to the nonprofit sector and eventually became a chapter director. Later, I explored the recruitment industry, specifically within temporary employment recruitment for client companies. 

Most recently, I was involved in private school administration, a role that combined my affinity for education with my interest in management. Throughout these transitions, I’ve realized that my personality is best suited to the nonprofit world and making a difference.


What do you enjoy doing?

I spend time painting landscapes. I also enjoy photography, especially macro photography; taking courses through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute; and training my dog. I also like researching things.


What is something unexpected about you?
Years and pounds ago, I rode horseback.
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CAROL MCKEE
Leadership Team - Coordinator of SIGS

Carol McKee joined Boston TTN in 2014 and has been on the leadership team most of the time since then. In addition, she oversees the chapter' special interest groups (SIGS) and coordinates the Sunday brunch SIG.  She lives in Methuen.


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

I learned of TTN from New York chapter members while on vacation in Ireland. I watched a few years for Boston to start a chapter. Jumping right into many SIGs, a peer group, and leadership proved to be a great choice. It’s the best way to meet women and feel involved. Now, I coordinate the SIGs, and I am always looking for your ideas for new groups! 


Tell us about your career.

How lucky I’ve been to have moved around our country with my husband’s job transfers—Ohio to California, Kansas City to Pennsylvania, and ending up in Massachusetts. My work life (Hewlett-Packard followed by a commercial real estate company) began at age 50, and I retired just before I found TTN—good timing. My son lives in Baltimore, and my daughter is in Jersey City. 


What do you enjoy doing?

I have loved all the great travel I’ve done. And, of course, books, mahjong, movies, watercolor, needlework—and anything creative relating to my home. And, of course, seeing on the calendar that I’ll see TTN friends that week!


What is something unexpected about you
I am such an open book that everyone knows everything! Perhaps people in this area don’t know that I used to do a lot of needlework, woodworking, painting, etc., and a friend and I used to have a big boutique once a year to sell our wares.  I did very fine and time-intensive work, so I couldn’t make my fortune there. 

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ELIZABETH MEEK
Coordinator - Ted Talkers

Elizabeth Meek has been a TTN member since September 2013. Elizabeth has been the coordinator of the Ted Talkers special interest group since 2019.  She lives in Somerville .


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

TTN—especially my peer group—really helped with my transition away from full-time work. So volunteering as the TED Talkers SIG coordinator is the least I can do for an organization that has been so supportive at a critical time in my life. Also, I love the variety of TED topics that the group selects for us to watch and the discussions that ensue. It’s a fun way to see friends and engage my brain in ways I wouldn’t otherwise.

Tell us about your career.

In college, I studied art history; later, I earned an MBA. So my career was at the intersection of art/design and business. Early on, I worked for a Massachusetts Institute of Technology art historian who bought art for corporations. The last decades of my career were as a partner in a design firm, where I led teams that designed corporate office space.


What do you enjoy doing?

I love walking in nature, reading, sewing, and being with friends and family. I’m happy to be traveling again post-pandemic. 


What is something unexpected about you?

One of my favorite things is to turn on R&B music and dance around the kitchen.



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LAURA MILLS-SMITH

Laura Mills-Smith has been a TTN Boston member since July 2023. She lives in Medfield.


What do you enjoy about TTN? 

I have really enjoyed meeting the TTN ladies at the delicious Dining Around the World lunches, museum outings, and the opera.  It is a gift to be able to attend such fun-filled activities and enjoy the camaraderie with the members. It is also interesting to attend these events in different towns. 


Tell us about your career.

My career started in the computer/technology Industry in 1983, selling/brokering Digital Equipment Corp. computer hardware, systems, and peripherals. In March 1989, my co-worker and I opened up our own small business, Circle Computer, which specialized in selling out-of-warranty and end-of-life computer replacement spare parts to schools, hospitals, and Fortune 500 companies. 


I retired from my business in 2019 and got a part-time job at Nordstrom. I wanted a job that would keep me on my feet and learning new things.
 


What do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy seeing the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall and Broadway shows in New York City. I love listening to classical music, reading, walking, going to museums, traveling (including guided tours), going to restaurants, and having dinner parties and visitors to my home. I especially enjoy being with my extended family, good friends (older and newer), and immediate family. 


I love the Berkshires and going to Tanglewood with my children, Lindsey and Alex; son-in-law, Rich; and husband, Mark. The Norman Rockwell Museum is a family favorite. 

What is something unexpected about you?

In April 2004, I flew to Malaysia to attend Lillian Too's Institute of Feng Shui. I received certification and successfully completed Lillian Too's Master Practitioners Course in Feng Shui.


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JANET PAGLIUCA
Coordinator - Movie Goers

Janet Pagliuca has been a TTN member since March 2019. Janet is the coordinator of the Movie Goers special interest group.  She lives in Arlington.


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

I am the point person for the movie SIG because Carol McKee asked me!  I joined the movie group to expand my world of movie-going and for the social connection.  I like the connection a SIG organizer has with its members.  There is a deeper link to the ladies who attend the viewings.

Tell us about your career.

My 32 year career was in the airline industry.  I spent 28 years with Northwest Airlines - the last four of those years were with Delta Airlines after the two airlines merged.  In 2011, I left the crazy travel industry looking for a Chapter 2.


What do you enjoy doing?

My interests vary from traveling to gardening.  I like taking walks but not hiking.  Aside from flying in a plane, I like my feet to be on the ground.  I still want some adventures - but nothing death-defying.  


What is something unexpected about you?

I am not spontaneous.



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ANN PECK
Leadership Team
Coordinator - Peer Groups

Ann Peck has been a member of TTN Boston since May 2013. She joined the leadership team and began coordinating chapter peer groups in 2023.  She lives in Jamaica Plain.


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

TTN offers opportunities to meet dynamic women whom I would never meet any other way. In my peer groups and in co-facilitating TTN’s Unpacking Whiteness workshops, I’ve been delighted by the generosity, candor, and thoughtfulness of newfound acquaintances, many of whom have become good friends. I’m also a member of the AWARE group, with which I’ve enjoyed biweekly discussions as we work to figure out how to share the lessons of racism and bigotry. 


Tell us about your career.

I spent 50 years as a journalist and filmmaker, working as producer, director, and writer of documentaries and educational film and video in New York, Boston, and Tel Aviv. Topics were diverse, including a portrait of Margaret Mead, a reality check for the original Jurassic Park, a series about baby boomers, and a felon’s lessons in entrepreneurship.

 

What do you enjoy doing?

I love to walk around new neighborhoods, practice piano, travel near and far, spend days at the ocean, and hang out with my husband.


What is something unexpected about you

After years as a single and in less-than-optimal relationships, I found my true love and soulmate when I was 50.


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BARBARA SALTZSTEIN

Barbara Saltzstein has been a TTN Boston member since October 2022. She is a member of the Wise Outstanding Women (WOW) peer group and has participated in TTN social events.  She lives in Newton.


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

As a very new TTN member, I am eager to meet other women who are not from my past. I am interested in sharing experiences, humor, and challenges as I age.

I have just begun to be a little more involved in the many activities that TTN offers. 


Tell us about your career.

I am an almost retired clinical social worker, having been in private practice for 40 years! I spent 20 years as a lecturer on psychiatry at Harvard Medical School at the Cambridge Health Alliance, where I taught interns how to do psychotherapy.

 

What do you enjoy doing?

I used to enjoy all forms of sports and am still an avid spectator. I enjoy art, films, cultural events, and just relaxing with friends. I have spent most of my life perfecting the word “Play,” which means having fun through sports and just relaxing with friends, board games, and social activities.


What is something unexpected about you

What most people don’t know about me is that I traveled to 19 Caribbean islands, helped to lead 10-day canoe trips in the Boundary Waters in northeast Minnesota in my teens, and for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade went to one of three “lab schools”—schools run with a college or university —in the U.S. that were pioneers in self-directed learning, team teaching, mixed classrooms, and more. Also, I was fortunate to live in a park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.



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SUSAN SHELBY
Leadership Team - Social Media & New Member Engagement

Susan has been a TTN Boston board member and a TTN member since 2021. She lives in Hamilton on the North Shore.


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

I joined TTN to meet new people and joined the steering committee to get more involved. I reach out to new members to tell them about our events, Special Interest Groups, and peer groups and to answer any questions they may have about TTN.


Tell us about your career.
 I have been in public relations for 30 years and have run my own business for the past 20 years.

What do you enjoy doing?

I love to travel and have numerous trips planned for 2024. I started knitting in 2022 and am lucky enough to have a great yarn shop nearby where I can get help or advice. During the summer, you will find me at Cranes Beach in Ipswich with my husband and friends.


What is something unexpected about you?
I got to scuba dive in the Great Tank at the New England Aquarium and hang out with Myrtle the Turtle. At one point, she snuggled up on my lap like a puppy.

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CHERYL SHNIDER
Coordinator - Travel Enthusiasts

Cheryl Shnider, a member of TTN Boston since 2019, coordinates the Travel Enthusiasts SIG.  She lives in Manchester-by-the-Sea.  


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

One of the big reasons I joined TTN was for the travel sig.  I love to travel myself as well as vicariously through others.  Seeing photos and hearing about other women's adventures inspires me and fills me with wanderlust.  Covid hit shortly after I began coordinating the travel sig.  Boy, I didn't bargain for that!  We managed to keep the group going even though no one was traveling.   But I'm very glad we are now back to seeing the world together!

Tell us about your career.
I am a registered nurse and former nurse practitioner.  The focus and passion of my career was women's health:  obstetrics, infertility, menopause, reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, high-risk obstetrics, and routine gyn care.  I especially loved working at high-powered, cutting-edge hospitals like Beth Israel and Brigham and Women's. 

When I had children, I was fortunate to be able to work part-time on the North Shore.  In 2007, I transitioned to nursing education, teaching at North Shore Community College.  I officially retired in 2021 but still teach a class here and there at Endicott College. 


What do you enjoy doing?
I love to travel, especially when the focus is on nature.  I'm expecting to win the lottery soon so I can travel to my heart's delight!   I really enjoy international travel where I can learn about other cultures.  For me, planning the details of a trip is a huge part of the fun.  

Since retirement, I have practiced tai chi and played mahjongg weekly.  I attend as many of the social functions and online events that TTN offers as I can.  I'm always learning something or meeting someone new through TTN. 


What is something unexpected about you?
My dad was in the Air Force, so we moved around a lot when I was growing up.  When we were living in Naples, Italy, my orthodontist was in Athens.  There weren't enough kids with braces in Naples to justify an orthodontist, so I flew on military transport planes to Athens whenever I needed an appointment.  

I have 5 kids and 7 grandkids under the age of 8.  Family gatherings are busy!  

We have a family home on Moose Pond in Bridgton, Maine.



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SUSAN SPECTOR
Coordinator - Community Volunteering.

Susan Spector has been a Boston TTN member since May 2013.  She is the co-coordinator of the Boston Volunteer Special Interest Group. Susan lives in Medford. 


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 
I’ve had numerous volunteer positions which led to a realization that working with a group is a lot more fun!  Aside from the Cradles to Crayons site  Covid  has  interrupted going forward with various in person volunteer opportunities.  Our team meets periodically to brainstorm and decide what we would like to do together.


Tell us about your career.
I worked at the MA Department of Developmental Services for 30 years as a clinical social worker coordinating services for children and overseeing various family support contracts.  I served a diverse population with families from all over including Pakistan, India, China, Russia, Haiti and El Salvador.  It seemed like I was traveling around the world with them.

What do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy traveling, reading and  the quiet and peace at our second home in Wellfleet.  I recently scrolled through my photos and was struck that the majority of my videos and photos taken were of wildlife.  Shots of Capuchin monkeys in CostaRica, egrets, heron and alligators in Florida and fox, seals,  coyotes and a variety of birds at the cape  were all taken this year.  Since the pandemic began, I have enjoyed researching my genealogy.


What is something unexpected about you?
I have an excellent memory for the minutia of other peoples lives.   After my senior year abroad I travelled with a Danish youth group to work on a kibbutz in Israel.  Enroute  I recognized a women whom I had never met from a friend’s old camp photo.  I approached her on our second bus in Israel and she was horrified!  As I tell my friends I will be the keeper of their memories if they will retrieve my words! 

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LINDA TATTEN
Leadership Team - Social Events

Linda Tatten has been a TTN Boston member since January 2015 and a leadership team member since February 2019. She lives in Northborough.


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

I enjoyed being a member of TTN and spending time with fun, interesting women. I enjoyed the programs and workshops but felt it would be nice to have more social activities to bring us together in a fun way. So when I was asked to join the board, I thought this would be an opportunity to expand our social events, using my background and work experience.   

Tell us about your career.

Before getting into the travel industry (I currently run Travel by Tatten and escort my own tours, The Tatten Travelers groups), I worked at Perkins School for the Blind, where my main responsibility was caring for deaf-blind children. 

The road that led me to the travel industry was through Hawaii.  I went on a Hawaiian vacation.   I thought, “Hawaii is nice, but who would want to live here?”   Then, in the second week, I stopped being a tourist and felt the spirit of Hawaii.   I fell in love with both Hawaii and the opportunity to meet people from all over the world.   After two weeks back at work, I thought there must be more in life.   I gave my notice, left my job on my 21st birthday, and moved to Hawaii.   After a year, I returned home but felt the pull to travel.   When I saw an ad to become a travel agent, I thought, I could get back to Hawaii and maybe even go to Europe. Years later, I have been to over 80 countries and all seven continents.   I have had an amazing full life, with great experiences connecting with interesting people around the world.

What do you enjoy doing?
Travel, reading, and time with friends.


What is something unexpected about you?

I was hired to work at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel—the famous Pink Palace—because I wore shoes to the interview.  Being the proper New Englander, I was dressed for an interview, and this is a high-end hotel. Keep in mind this was a time of hippies and protests, with people coming off the beach looking for a job.

The fun part is, many years later, I stayed at the hotel, and when the bellman found out I had worked there, he wouldn’t take a tip.  He said I was family and welcomed me home!   How can you not love Hawaii?



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ROBERTA TAYLOR (Founder)

Roberta Taylor, the original founder of Boston TTN Chapter, has been a member since July 2012. Roberta lives in Waltham.


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

Several years ago I attended a conference on Positive Aging where I met one of the founding members of The Transition Network. I knew nothing about the organization, but became excited when I learned about TTN’s mission and vision. But why wasn’t there a Boston Chapter? That’s when the passion caught on, and with the support and mentorship of other Chapter leaders, the Boston Chapter was born. 

As they say, the rest is history!

 Tell us about your career.

For over 50 years I’ve been a practicing psychotherapist and life transition coach. Helping people, particularly women, overcome obstacles and move forward in their lives, has always inspired me.  


When Covid hit, I lost my office but continued working with clients on line. I’ve been fortunate to have had a career that gave me a sense of purpose. In 2011, I co-authored The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle: 10- Must-Have Conversations for Creating an Amazing New Life Together.

 

Now, that I’m 80, transitioning into a different life stage, I’ve been spending more time with family, contemplating my life and my legacy, and discovering how I want to spend my precious time.

 

What do you enjoy doing?

What I most enjoy is spending time with my adult grandchildren and my long-term friends, as well as the wonderful women I’ve met in TTN; playing mahJongg; book group; and my 70 and Forward Group (we’re now all in our 80’s).

I’m now taking exercise and dance classes at the local senior center, including country line dancing, which is fun and good for the body and the spirit.


What is something unexpected about you?

My touchstone for the past 27 years has been a women’s spirituality group.   Where does the time go?


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AUDREY TEDEMAN
Coordinator - Arias Are Us

Audrey Tedeman, a member of TTN Boston since 2016, has coordinated the Arias Are Us SIG since 2018.  She lives in Boston.  


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

My husband passed in 2014 and I retired in 2015.   I found myself trying to cope and figure out what to do with the rest of my life.  I was in transition when I met Joyce Blumenthal at a Boston College event.  She introduced me to TTN and it was love at first sight!!  I have met many talented and accomplished women over the years and they continue to inspire me.


Tell us about your career.

I moved to Boston in 1998 after a career as the director of admissions at a community hospital.  After that, In worked at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) for various physicians in administrative roles. 


What do you enjoy doing?

I am currently retired and enjoying my family, friends, many activities, travel, and adventures.

My passions are art, mahjongg, and my book club.  I now teach mahjongg at my local library and have made so many new friends from our neighborhood.


What is something unexpected about you?

I have a Masters in Elementary Education.   I never thought I would be teaching again while working at MGH and now at the library.  It has been extremely fulfilling.



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SUSAN LAMANNA VERZULLI

Susan Lamanna Verzulli has been a Boston TTN member since April 2022.  She lives in Boston. 


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

I joined TTN Boston to meet people and make new friends. I had moved here from upstate New York after my son moved here with my two little granddaughters. Most of my friends and the rest of my family live there, so I knew I needed to make new connections. I belong to the PerSisters—one of the monthly peer groups—and I really enjoy the lunches when I’m able to go. I also like the museum visits.


Tell us about your career.

I have a doctorate in psychology, and I’m licensed in the state of New York. I specialized in forensic psychology for much of my professional career after obtaining my degree. I’ve worked with sex offenders, violent offenders, and also the mentally ill and developmentally disabled population. I was an administrator for most of that time, running the psychology departments in various districts of a New York state agency. I retired from my full-time job in 2016, but I continue to work part-time remotely for the same agency, supervising other psychologists and doing psychological assessments.


What do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy being with my grandkids, reading, museums, dining out, reading, watching movies, reading. And learning about the things I’m interested in!


What is something unexpected about you?

I also have written a number of books, including two adult novels and two children’s books. My latest is about dinosaurs. Paleontology has been a passion since I was six. Besides the book, I do programs on dinosaurs for the children in my granddaughter’s schools. I take online courses and keep up on the latest science.


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HARRIET YOFFEE
Coordinator - Cultural Bridge Builders 

Harriet Yoffee has been a TTN member since 2015 and has coordinated the Cultural Bridge Builders SIG since 2022.  She lives in Brookline.  


Why do you do what you do for TTN? 

When I joined TTN Boston, I especially liked the idea of peer groups in which there would be more in-depth discussions of particular topics. I did not find the connection I was seeking in my first peer group, partly due to my being the only single member. I suggested to the TTN Boston leadership that a peer group of single women would be a great idea. In 2017, the first solo peer group meeting was held in my dining room. This group remains active with many of the initial members. 

Participating in TTN’s Unpacking Whiteness workshops and subsequent diversity-related meetings made me think about how to explore diverse cultures through in-person visits to museums, walking tours, cultural events, and theater. That is how the Cultural Bridge Builders SIG was conceived. It has been rewarding to investigate, schedule, and enjoy events with other TTN members. 


Tell us about your career.

I spent my career of over 30 years teaching reading to students from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. I worked in traditional public schools and in two charter schools in Boston. Much of my career was within urban settings. I worked for 10 years at the Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Brighton. When I worked there, it was a residential setting for children who had learning and emotional needs that the Boston Public Schools were unable to meet. Since retiring, I have tutored students in reading.

I love to read, and my goal in teaching reading is to share the joy that reading gives me. When reading is not automatic and is hard for kids, it becomes more gratifying when they finally learn to read or find a book they love. Book banning upsets me because I am against censorship, especially knowing that reluctant readers search for books to read and that graphic books are often banned.  Graphic books are often the books that people with reading difficulties find the most satisfying.  The pictures help tell the story rather than relying on only the text. 


What do you enjoy doing?

I have always loved to read, and that is why my career as a reading teacher was a perfect choice for me. 


There is a Chinese proverb I like: “A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”  I am an art lover and enjoy visiting art museums wherever there is an exhibit that I want to see. I see a similarity between paintings and books. Both tell a story. 

 

What is something unexpected about you?

This past Thanksgiving, I went on a culinary adventure in Italy within a village 90 minutes southeast of Rome.  A TTN friend shared her experience there, and it sounded like fun. The thing is: I do not really enjoy cooking. I do cook, but I make sure the preparation time is short and that there is a manageable number of ingredients. I did enjoy learning how to make pork-stuffed ravioli from scratch as well as pizza.  I may make these recipes at home. 

 






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