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Our Team

Abbie Rosenberg

Founder, Executive Director

Abbie has over 30 years of experience as an advanced psychiatric nurse practitioner, including outpatient private practice, inpatient psychiatric care and on college campuses. She also has experience in the non-profit sector as the founder and executive director of an event raising money for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) for 16 years

Abbie lives in Hopkinton, MA with her husband and two sons. She enjoys hiking with her dog, volunteering in her community and spending time with family and friends.

Marissa Carty

Program Development & Marketing Manager

Marissa is a former MHC intern, the founder of MHC’s Young Adult Advisory Board, and an alumni from Boston University’s Class of 2022. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in psychology and was a Kilachand Honors College scholar. She has experience in social-emotional education, behavioral healthcare, graphic design, event management, and research. She is excited to use her skills to support MHC in bringing mental health literacy to all. 

In her free time, Marissa teaches dance, spends time outdoors, and loves to bake for her family and friends.

Denise E. Hildreth, PhD, LICSW

Curriculum Development & Training Manager

Denise has been a licensed clinical social worker for over 25 years. She earned her Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) at Boston University where her education and training focused on clinical work with individuals and families, with a concentration on work with children and youth. She later completed her PhD in Social Work at Simmons University which provided her with additional training in clinical work, teaching, and social science research. She has spent her career working in a variety of settings, providing clinical services to children and families and teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels as a faculty member in schools of social work around the state of Massachusetts. In addition to her work at MHC, Denise maintains a private clinical practice that focuses on providing therapeutic services to individuals and families facing a host of challenges. She has expertise in helping families navigate typical life transitions and to recover from painful life events, significant losses, and mental health challenges. Denise’s work training parents, community members, and educational professionals at MHC integrates her clinical expertise and extensive teaching experience. She has a strong professional commitment to helping people create lives well-lived and believes that mental health literacy is at the heart of this work. 

Denise lives in Hopkinton with her husband and is the mother of 2 grown children. She is passionate about fitness and healthy eating and spends much of her free time cooking, traveling, and exploring new restaurants.

Ellie Winthrop

Board Chair

Ellie has worked in the nonprofit world for the past 18 years serving on various boards as secretary and treasurer. She has experience in fundraising as well. She currently volunteers as an ESL tutor at Literacy Unlimited in Framingham MA and as a mentor for Mazie Mentoring of Big Brother Big Sister in Framingham MA as well.

Ellie lives in Hopkinton with her husband and 3 children. In her free time she enjoys playing tennis, bike riding and plant based cooking.

Ali Balster

Vice Chair

Ali has over 20 years experience as a diverse business leader with expertise in supply chain management, financial analysis, engineering and operations. She is a trained industrial engineer having spent fifteen years in aerospace manufacturing worldwide. More recently, Ali founded a gourmet catering business and currently serves as an account analyst for a wealth management firm. 

Ali volunteers for various Hopkinton organizations including MOMs Group, the HPTA, the Sharon Timlin Memorial 5K and Mental Health Collaborative.

Josh Levitt

Treasurer

Josh has over a decade of volunteer experience across a breadth of focus areas, including education, homelessness, hunger, and support for youth on the autism spectrum. He has served in both regional and national leadership roles focused on promoting corporate social responsibility. He is currently the Chief of Staff to the CEO at Blink Health, a health technology company that makes it cheaper and easier for patients to access prescription medication.

Josh lives in Denver with his wife Jamie and their 2 cats, where he spends much of his free time frequenting new restaurants.

Brian Gross

Secretary

Brian Gross is a partner in the Boston office of the law firm Manning Gross + Massenburg, and has more than twenty years of experience finding client-oriented solutions to complex business and litigation issues.  His practice involves a broad spectrum of litigation, but is primarily concentrated in corporate litigation.

Brian lives in Hopkinton with his wife and two children, and has been active in Hopkinton youth sports for many years.  He enjoys travel, sports, and spending time with family.

Denise E. Hildreth, Phd, LICSW

Curriculum Development & Training Manager

Denise has been a licensed clinical social worker for over 25 years. She earned her Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) at Boston University where her education and training focused on clinical work with individuals and families, with a concentration on work with children and youth. She later completed her PhD in Social Work at Simmons University which provided her with additional training in clinical work, teaching, and social science research. She has spent her career working in a variety of settings, providing clinical services to children and families and teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels as a faculty member in schools of social work around the state of Massachusetts. In addition to her work at MHC, Denise maintains a private clinical practice that focuses on providing therapeutic services to individuals and families facing a host of challenges. She has expertise in helping families navigate typical life transitions and to recover from painful life events, significant losses, and mental health challenges. Denise’s work training parents, community members, and educational professionals at MHC integrates her clinical expertise and extensive teaching experience. She has a strong professional commitment to helping people create lives well-lived and believes that mental health literacy is at the heart of this work. 

Denise lives in Hopkinton with her husband and is the mother of 2 grown children. She is passionate about fitness and healthy eating and spends much of her free time cooking, traveling, and exploring new restaurants.

Natalie Boechel, LICSW

Natalie Boechel is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. She has experience working with youth and families in a variety of different clinical settings. Most recently she worked as an emergency psychiatry social worker. She also has experience working in outpatient therapy, group homes, and mobile crisis. 

Natalie is extremely passionate about mental health and educating others to build awareness and compassion. Natalie is excited to have the opportunity to educate on a larger scale, and be part of a team that shares the same passions about mental health education.  

In her free time, Natalie loves being in nature, practicing yoga, ice skating, and reading.

Gabrielle Giordano BS, EdM

Gabrielle was a teacher at Fay School in Southborough MA for many years.  She was previously a stay at home mom, who balanced volunteer opportunities with part-time businesses, and also a Financial Aid Director at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She has three adult children who are now all out of the house. She is working with Mental Health Collaborative as an educator consultant and co-taught the mental health curriculum remotely and is now enjoying training other educators.

Ali Gutermann, LICSW

Ali is a licensed clinical social worker with nearly a decade of experience working with children adolescents and families in both school and outpatient therapy settings, as well as inpatient mental health. She has experience supporting students with a variety of mental health challenges, including anxiety, ADHD, executive functioning skills, trauma, depression and other learning differences. In addition to her clinical work, Ali has helped to design, implement and deliver numerous Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curricula in schools working alongside teachers, school administrators and students in grades K-8. Ali is passionate about helping children and adolescents grow, flourish and succeed and is excited to bring her enthusiasm and energy to Mental Health Collaborative.

Nicole Manni, BA

Nicole is an art teacher at the Academy for Science and Design in Nashua, New Hampshire. As an educator, she is committed to the positive impact of art on students’ overall wellbeing. Seeing an increase in anxiety in the school community, Nicole introduced an expressive art program – “RestART ” where students improve their ability to self-regulate and develop effective artistic coping skills for their anxiety.  Prior to her work in education, Nicole worked at the Museum of Science in Boston, as the Museum’s Community Liaison. She was able to broker relationships with community organizations prioritizing cultural diversity, accessibility and opportunities for youth. In keeping with her desire to educate on wellbeing, she is excited about working with the Mental Health Collaborative to increase mental health education and awareness. She lives in Bedford, NH with her husband and has three children.

Carrie Prisco MA, EdM

Carrie was a teacher and team leader in Westborough, MA for years.  She has two girls of her own and loves being active and volunteering in her community.  Carrie co-taught the mental health curriculum to remote 8th graders in MA, and enjoyed using interactive and creative ways to engage the students.  She is passionate about teaching and learning, and believes this curriculum will make a difference in students and schools. 

Karen Renaud, M.Ed., CiWPP, CiHS

Karen has been teaching in the field of wellness education for 23 years.  She proudly served as the K-12 Wellness Subject Matter Leader for the Hopkinton Public School district and has presented at the MAHPERD, SHAPE America Eastern District Association and National conventions.  Several years ago, she was introduced to Positive Psychology while developing a high school stress management course.  She was so fascinated by this field of study that she enrolled in a certification program in Wholebeing Positive Psychology.  In the years since, she has also completed certifications in Positive Psychology Coaching, Happiness Studies with Dr. Tal Ben Shahar and is completing a mindfulness and meditation certification program. Currently, she works as a Positive Psychology coach for teens and young adults, is an online course creator and professional education provider. She is passionate about bringing Mental Health education to all schools in the U.S. because it is an often ignored, stigmatized and misunderstood part of our health and wellbeing. Karen is thrilled to be part of the Mental Health Collaborative team.

Elizabeth Schuster,  M.A. in Counseling Psychology

Elizabeth is a licensed secondary school adjustment counselor with over 18 years of experience working with students in grades 6-12, as well as, college students. Her work has focused on helping students with mental health challenges, social/emotional challenges, and helping students and families navigate the accessibility process involved with physical, learning, and medical disabilities.  Elizabeth is also an adjunct instructor in undergraduate psychology programs and an executive function coach working with college students.

Gail Martinez Waters, Ph.D., LCPC, NCC

Gail has a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision with Spiritual and Pastoral Integration, as well as a M.Ed. in School Counseling. She has 17 years of experience working with children and adolescents as a K-12 school counselor and licensed clinical professional counselor in Maryland. In addition to her school and clinical experience, she is an adjunct professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program at Wilmington University in Delaware. Gail’s doctoral research study was on the impact of mental health literacy training on mental health knowledge, attitudes, relationships, and spirituality at work of secondary teachers. Mental health literacy advocacy, research, and training in schools and communities is her passion.

Evan Bishop

Evan is the principal at Hopkinton High School. He has worked at HHS for the past 15 years. He started his career as a school counselor and coach and has spent the last 10 years as an administrator. He loves to spend time with his family & friends, coaching his daughter’s sports teams, traveling and exercising.

Ilene Silver

Ilene is a former longtime principal of the Elmwood School in Hopkinton, MA. She lives in Framingham with her husband and loves to spend time with her grandchildren and travel. She is also is an avid volunteer in her community.

Kirk Lum

Kirk is a psychiatrist who has been in practice in the Boston area for over 20 years.  He has enjoyed working in community mental health clinics and private practice.  He has a love and appreciation for teaching and schools as both his wife and daughter are teachers and he did a student teaching internship himself at Brookline High School many moons ago.

Lisa Stevenson

Lisa is an award winning Creative Director/Art Director with more than 25 years of experience. She is VP, Creative Director at Merge, Boston—a marketing agency specializing in the healthcare and financial services industries. She is mom to two amazing daughters and when she isn’t driving the dance carpool, she loves to travel and ski with her kids.

Sharon Burdulis

Sharon has been practicing pediatrics for over 20 years in the community setting. She and her husband are blessed with 5 children and 2 dogs. In addition to spending time with her family, she loves to run and volunteer her time.

Executive Board

Evan Sisitsky

“MHC is doing such important work in de-stigmatizing mental illness and it is truly an honor to be a part of it. There are too many people who are suffering silently, and being a part of the Young Adult Advisory Board has truly opened my eyes to the power of conversation, and how important it is to be educated on mental illness and mental health.”

Amanda Higgins

“YAAB has created such a safe space for like minded people who are advocating for standardized mental health education to get together. The mission of the group is so special and we strive to truly make a difference and push the mission of MHC forward! The bonding events and brainstorming sessions with MHC’s staff really empower us to make small changes in our own lives to make a big change in our communities. I am so honored to be a part of this organization.”

Nicole Winthrop

“I love being a part of YAAB because, throughout our monthly mental health hours, we’ve formed our own little community of young adults and students who are passionate about mental health literacy and ending the stigma, but also want to support each other on an individual basis. It’s a driven group that cares about MHC’s mission but has also created a safe space for its members.”

Srilakshmi Venkatesan

“YAAB is an incredible opportunity for peers to share perspectives on various topics that affect all of us personally. Being part of this wonderful community has allowed me to improve upon my own mental health and create new optimistic mindsets. I believe that it is incredibly important that we educate people and work with young adults to improve their mental wellbeing.”

YAAB Member List

NamePosition/TitleHometown
Ally GrayStudent – Worcester AcademyHopkinton, MA
Amanda HigginsCEO – Cognition ConsultingHalifax, NS
Anna NoroianStudent – Hopkinton High SchoolHopkinton, MA
Callie-Rose RonanStudent – Clark UniversityHopkinton, MA
Charlie SimulisStudent – Hopkinton High SchoolHopkinton, MA
Conner WilladsenStudent – Hopkinton High SchoolHopkinton, MA
Courtney FraserStudent – Hopkinton High SchoolHopkinton, MA
Ellie MerrildStudent – Libertyville High SchoolLibertyville, IL
Evanya MathurStudent – Hopkinton High SchoolHopkinton, MA
Gina BatesManchester, UK
Holly ThompsonStudent – Hopkinton High SchoolHopkinton, MA
Katie BalsterStudent – Hopkinton High SchoolHopkinton, MA
Katie CooperStudent – Hopkinton High SchoolHopkinton, MA
Matt GrossStudent – Tulane UniversityHopkinton, MA
Maya HolzmanStudent – The Rivers SchoolBrookline, MA
Marissa CartyProgram Development & Marketing Manager – MHCHopkinton, MA
Nicole WinthropStudent – University of MichiganHopkinton, MA
Samantha BraytonStudent – Boston UniversityQueensbury, NY
Sydney HolzmanStudent – Tulane UniversityBrookline, MA
Tara PucciStudent – Boston CollegeHopkinton, MA
Zadie BlishStudent – The Bush SchoolSeattle, WA

Mission Statement

Mental Health Collaborative’s Young Adult Advisory Board strives to 1) create a safe, connected community where members can have open discussions on, find support for, and learn about mental health, 2) advocate for mental health literacy and education from young adult voices, and 3) spread the mission of Mental Health Collaborative by increasing visibility and fundraising to bring mental health literacy to all. 

Goals

The Young Adult Advisory Board fulfills our mission with these goals:

  1. Create Community
    1. Attend at least 8 of our monthly Mental Health Hours
    2. Host at least one Mental Health Hour with support from the Board
    3. Attend bonding events
  2. Advocate from Young Adult Voices
    1. Share your perspective and stories in promotional content for MHC
    2. Collaborate with a small group of other YAAB members to create informational social media posts for MHC
  3. Spread Mental Health Literacy to All
    1. Follow MHC on social media to stay updated on what is happening at MHC
    2. Share information on MHC’s campaigns, events, and other things via social media and word of mouth