Founded in 1978 as the Immigrant City Archives, the mission of the Lawrence History Center is to collect, preserve, share, and interpret the history and heritage of Lawrence and its people.

Meet the Board of Directors, 2015 - 2016

The Lawrence History Center Board of Directors represent the Lawrence community as residents (current and former), employees, business owners, educators, artists, scholars, and local historians. Their collective efforts to enrich art, culture, education and overall sense of place and identity in Lawrence are unparalleled. Please take a moment to learn more about this talented group!
(Slate approved on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at the LHC Annual Meeting.)

pamela.jpg Pamela Yameen, President

“Growing up in a strong neighborhood, Tower Hill, gave me a great sense of family and community. This has influenced my educational pursuits in Urban Studies, my work in my family’s business (Butcher Boy Markets), and my efforts on behalf of the organizations I represent in the Merrimack Valley. My commitment to work and service comes from the potential I see all around me and a desire to help it be realized.”

Pamela was raised in Lawrence, Massachusetts and has never stopped giving back to her community. As President of the Lawrence History Center Board of Directors, Pamela has furthered the mission of our organization through her strong leadership ability and desire to do good things for the citizens of Lawrence. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Essex Art Center, an Essex National Heritage Area Commissioner, a member of the ECCF-Betty Beland Greater Lawrence Summer Fund, the Bread and Roses Heritage Committee, and the American Lebanese Awareness Association.

kathleencurry_0.jpg Kathleen Curry, Vice President

Kathleen joined the LHC board in 2011 and recently received her Masters in Organizational Leadership. As co-founder of Imajine That, an interactive children’s museum located at the Riverwalk in Lawrence, and her years of work with Little Sprouts Child Enrichment Centers, she has expertise in early childhood education.

Kathleen has family ties to Lawrence and first learned about LHC when doing genealogical research. She lives in Haverhill with her husband and four children.

KarenVWHerman.jpg Karen Van Welden-Herman, Secretary

"Vitally interested in history, community, architecture and material culture, I look for ways to blend those interests into my volunteer activities and my art practice. I believe that preservation of community character helps people discover a pride of place and develop a new sense of awareness about where they live and/or work. My hope is that everyone will take time to be engaged in making our communities stronger.

I hold a deep admiration for Eartha Dengler's vision and determination to build LHC as an important cultural resource for the people of Lawrence."

Karen is an artist who earned her B.A. in History from the University of Colorado and her Masters in Bilingual/ESL Studies from UMass Boston. She is active with the following local organizations:

  • Chair, Andover Preservation Commission, Andover, MA
  • Member, Essex Art Center Board of Directors, Lawrence MA
  • Secretary, Lawrence History Center Board of Directors, Lawrence, MA
  • President, Memorial Hall Library Board of Library Trustees, Andover, MA

Karen received the 2015 Virginia Cole Community Service Award at the Andover Town Meeting in May.

ellen.jpg Ellen Minzner, Treasurer

Ellen is Director of Outreach, Community Rowing, Inc., Boston and has her Master's Degree in Urban Planning from Tufts University. There she wrote a thesis on the role of youth sports in community development. Previously she worked for two years as the manager of the Community Development Department for the City of Lawrence, MA. She then took over as Executive Director of Greater Lawrence Community Boating in 2009, where she led the expansion of programming from summer-only to year-round operations. She also created a successful program under which Lawrence youth became rowing coaches and now lead middle-school youth participating in rowing-fitness programs. Ellen continues to play an advisory role in the rowing programs in Lawrence.

Ellen will receive US Rowing's 2015 Isabel Bohn Award at this year's Golden Oars Awards Dinner. This incredible distinction is awarded to an individual or organization achieving measurable success in expanding rowing opportunities for those with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Ellen coached the USA ParaRowing Team (LTA mixed four with coxswain) to a silver medal at both the 2014 and 2015 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam and London!

whimpper_2_0.jpg Whimpper Barahona

Whimpper is a teacher at Lawrence International High School. During the summer of 2012, he co-taught along with Professor Robert Forrant a summer enrichment program using a new curriculum piece, The Great Strike, Lawrence, Massachusetts 1912, developed by Small Planet Communications of Lawrence. Since then he has been instrumental in making sure the curriculum is taught at the high school.

Whimpper is an immigrant from Ecuador and became U.S Citizen in 2011. He lives in Lawrence.

adele_carter.jpg Adele Carter

After a short career in the classroom in RI, since 1980 Adele served as a public librarian and professional organization board member in several communities in Massachusetts. In 2010 she retired from an 11-year position as Library Director of the Flint Public Library in Middleton. During her tenure, she, her staff, and library trustees designed, built, and purposed a renovation of and addition to the original 1890 building.

Since retirement, Adele held a part-time job for more than three years and now serves as Owners’ Project Manager for the addition/renovation residential project that will become her home in retirement with her husband, Stephen. The couple has two adult children and one Gordon Setter.

mculter.jpg Mark Cutler
Faculty at Phillips Academy, Spanish Instructor | Outdoor Pursuits Co-Director | Tang Institute Fellow 2015-16 | House Counselor

Mark joined the Phillips Academy faculty in the fall of 2003, returning to his native town of Andover and intent on connecting his students with diverse and divergent communities “beyond the bubble” of the campus. His engagement in Lawrence began with service-learning opportunities in Lawrence’s elementary schools and has evolved into a rich and robust, ongoing oral histories project called Nosotros, el pueblo: Voces de la Ciudad de Inmigrantes (We, the People: Voices of the Immigrant City) in collaboration with Lawrence High School, Lawrence CommunityWorks, and Lawrence History Center. Mark also is co-director of the Academy’s Outdoor Pursuits program; a Tang Institute Fellow designing place- and community-based educational opportunities with a local coalition of educators and students; a house counselor in a 36-student dorm on campus; and a founding and current board member of the Independent Schools Experiential Education Network (ISEEN). Mark is married to his hometown friend, Melanie, a successful environmental science teacher at Andover High School, and the couple has two daughters and a dog.

Forrantimage.jpg Professor Robert Forrant

Robert is a UMass Lowell Professor of History. Before that he worked as a machinist and as Business Agent for International Union of Electrical Workers Local 206 and ran a community economic development project in Springfield, MA.

He is a member of the Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School Board of Directors in Lawrence, on the editorial board of Mass Benchmarks, a joint publication of the UMass President’s Office and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, co-editor with Jurg Siegenthaler of The Great Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912: New Scholarship on the Bread & Roses Strike (2014), and co-author with the Lawrence History Center’s Susan Grabski of Lawrence, Massachusetts and the 1912 Bread & Roses Strike.

Robert received the 2015 Mass History Commendation at the Mass Humanities History conference at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester in June.

guerrero.jpg Mary O’Brien Guerrero

Mary, a resident of Lawrence, is a retired public school teacher. She, along with her family, has two businesses in Lawrence -- Cafe Azteca, featured on Neighborhood Kitchens on WGBH, has been serving Mexican food since 1994. El Taller a bookstore cafe opened in 2012 and is dedicated to supporting literacy and fueling the pulse of human creativity in downtown Lawrence and beyond.

Mary co-directed our new summer program, Lawrence Student Writers Workshop: Andover Bread Loaf at the Lawrence History Center. Her passion for teaching and place-based learning had a tremendous impact on the 25 middle school participants!

mhearn.JPG Mike Hearn

Mike is the Director of Libraries for Northern Essex Community College (NECC), he wrote the finding aid for the LHC Essex Company Collection, and he also wrote the book, The History of the Essex Company, released in late 2014.

padova_0.jpg Richard Padova

Richard, M.Ed, M.A., was born and raised in Lawrence. His parents, Sam and Connie Pauta, are lifelong Lawrencians. He is currently an instructor of history, government and geography in the Global Studies Dept. at Northern Essex Community College, where he also serves on the Alumni Advisory Board. During the summer, Richard is also a historical tour interpreter at Lawrence Heritage State Park. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, gardening, traveling to Europe and collecting presidential campaign memorabilia.

Richard and his wife, Lori, live in Andover.

chet-sidell_0.jpg Chet Sidell

Chet is a long time supporter of the Lawrence History Center and of the city. Originally in the ladies' garment industry, he and his wife, Faye, opened the KGR clothing store in Lawrence in 1975, naming it for their children, Kara, Gary, and Randy. The store was known for selling quality clothes at affordable prices. Since that time, Chet has been credited with bringing new development to the city by purchasing, renovating, and preserving nearby mill buildings. Among his accomplishments are Bell Tower Square at 60 Island Street and 56 Island Street, which has been occupied by the Essex Art Center since 1993.

Chet remains active in numerous organizations in Lawrence as a mentor, friend, and supporter and continues to have an impact on the people of Lawrence.

James Sutton

Jim currently works part-time as a library consultant, associated with the Collins Center at UMass/Boston. He worked in public libraries for 35 years in Newton, Stoughton, Natick, and Andover. In addition to serving on the LHC Board, Jim is the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the Punchard Free School and the Membership Chairperson of the Friends of Memorial Hall Library.

He lives in Andover with his wife Vicky and is the grandfather of five healthy, intelligent grandchildren whom he loves to dote on. He is currently working on a mystery novel, golfs, and is learning Latin.

msvendsen Mark Svendsen

Mark grew up in North Andover, MA. He attended Merrimack College and received a BA in Mathematics in 2009. Upon graduating from Merrimack College, Mark stated working as a Mathematics teacher at Lawrence High School. It was here that his students told him about a trip to the Lawrence History Center and he went and visited LHC for the first time to look at their scouting collection. He has continued the work of a long-time volunteer at LHC, Al Koch, with respect to that collection.

In 2012 Mark moved to Central Catholic High School. In his spare time Mark serves on the board of Directors of the Yankee Clipper Council, Boy Scouts of America, volunteers with the North Andover high school robots club, and serves as a moderator for the Central Catholic Student Council.

claudia.jpg Claudia Dengler, Honorary Member

Claudia is the daughter of Eartha Dengler, LHC's founder. Like her mother she is committed to strengthening communities and the organizations that serve them. Her work at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, the Greater Boston YMCA, and Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc., has inspired her own consulting work focused on the civic sector, business planning, and a sub specialty in real estate. Claudia shares her expertise with the History Center as a longtime supporter and contributor.

Claudia lives in Minnesota where she serves on the boards & finance committees of the Citizens League & GTS, Inc. She also works as a sailing instructor and does yacht deliveries worldwide.

Outgoing Board Members
P1000668_0.JPG Jim Beauchesne

Jim has served as the Visitor Services Supervisor at Lawrence Heritage State Park, responsible for historical and other programming, since 1998. He has been a member of the Bread and Roses Heritage Committee which organizes the Labor Day festival, for the same period, serving as Chairman for several years.

Born and raised in Lawrence, he did his graduate study at Northeastern University, where he earned an M.A. in Public History, focusing on Lawrence's French-Canadian community. Although he now lives in Arlington, he is often seen biking the streets of Lawrence.

joebella3.jpg Joseph G. Bella

Joe retired from Commonwealth of Massachusetts ValleyWorks Career Center in 2002 after 31 years as Veterans Employment Representative/Jobs Counselor. He is currently active with the following local organizations:

  • President, Friends of Lawrence Heritage State Park
  • Secretary, Lawrence Civil War Memorial Guard
  • Chairman, Methuen Historical Commission
  • Vice President/Historian, Methuen Historical Society
  • Commissioner, Methuen Historic District Commission
  • Member, Methuen Democratic City Committee
  • Member, St. Alfio Society
  • Commissioner Designee, MASS150 Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission

Joe lived on Prospect Hill in Lawrence since his birth in 1946 until 1961 when he moved to Methuen where he lives today.

Please join us at our 37th Annual Meeting ~ Wednesday, September 30, 2015!

Note: Business meeting to start promptly at 6:00 pm, special guest presenters to follow.
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