Life-Skills, Inc. welcomes new board members!

Life-Skills, Inc. is pleased to announce three new additions to our organization’s Board of Directors.  We welcome new members:

* Marc Martin – Treasurer
* Kara Westerman
* Sandi Durand

Life-Skills, Inc. is fortunate to have a diverse group of board members and we look forward to working with you and the value your leadership will bring to our organization.

Marc Martin got his undergraduate degree from Southeastern Massachusetts University (SMU) in 1979, and worked for Hewlett Packard in Palo Alto during the early boom times in Silicon Valley.  He moved back east to Rhode Island, got his graduate degree in Ocean Engineering/Acoustics at URI and spent 2 years doing research projects for the navy (mapping the north wall of the Gulf Stream and tracking submarines and torpedoes in the arctic).

Marc then moved to Massachusetts where he worked for two different start-up companies (1 successful) in the semiconductor equipment field (non-contact measurements and x-ray lithography), and ran his own consulting business.  In the early 90’s, Marc began a 20+ year career at Bose Corporation, managing the test group, and retired from there in 2015.

Throughout his career, Marc has been involved in many aspects of running successful businesses (and in some cases, not so successful businesses), and has traveled extensively in his work.  He is presently retired and living in New Hampshire with his wife Janice.  Hobbies include skiing, hiking, chopping down trees for the wood stove, and baking bread and treats for both Janice and his favorite stepson Sean, who is a resident at one of the Life-Skills, Inc. group homes.  Marc joined the board in December 2019.

 

Kara Westerman has over ten years’ experience working in public education, specifically in the area of Special Education.

Currently, Kara is the Director of Student Services for the Spencer East-Brookfield Regional School District.  She directs and supervises all of the special education programs, services, and personnel in the district.  Before the Director role, she has worked in several different educational capacities, such as; instructional assistant in the area of applied behavioral analysis (ABA), preschool teacher, speech-language-pathologist, and evaluation team chairperson.  The previous school district she worked at was Auburn Public Schools and Worcester Public Schools.

Kara holds two master’s degrees from Worcester State University in Speech-Language Pathology (2012) and Educational Leadership (2016).  Additionally, Kara is completing her Doctorate in Education with a concentration in curriculum and instruction at Capella University.  Kara is also a graduate adjunct professor for American International College in the School of Education.

Kara has lived in Auburn her entire life.  She has twin thirteen-year-old girls.  She has participated on several boards and committees in her home town such as; Parks and Recreation, School Buildings Committee for the new Middle School Project, Keeping Auburn Warm, and a volunteer at the Auburn Senior Center.

 

Sandi Durand is currently the Director of Operations for the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center.  She has worked with the Health Center for over 16 years, serving a diverse patient population.  She is responsible for organization-wide operational support services.  Sandi is committed to the Health Center mission, which believes that everyone has a right to accessible, high quality, comprehensive, integrated and compassionate health care.  As a community health center, Kennedy CHC serves a patient population that is inclusive and is ethnically, culturally, linguistically diverse and populations with special needs.

Sandi is a member of the Greater Worcester Employment Resource Collaborative, which assists individuals with disabilities re-enter the work force.  She also works with Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission to host student interns to introduce them to a collaborative work environment that is supportive and inviting, teaching basic work ethics, and skills.  She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree from Nichols College, double majoring in Psychology and Social Services.  She completed graduate level certificate in Community Health Center Management from Suffolk University and Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers.

Sandi has dedicated her 30-year career to working in the non-profit sector.  She was the Director of Finance and Administration for the Grafton Job Corps, a residential trade school.  She was responsible for all financial and operational performance of the center.   Prior to that, she was the Regional Director for Fellowship Health Resources, providing residential programs for adults with behavioral health challenges.

 

It is the mission of Life-Skills, Inc. to provide person-centered supports, services, and advocacy for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and to actively assist them in the pursuit and achievement of their goals and interests while encouraging independence, personal growth, and self-determination to enhance their overall quality of life.