Category Archives: People

Pamela Bates, Matthew Parillo, and Kirsten Poler join MFi board

Medfield Foundation names 3 to its board of directors

The Medfield Foundation has announced that Kirsten Poler, Matthew Parillo and Pamela Bates have been appointed to its Board of Directors. These appointments reflect the growth of MFi and its initiatives and contributions to the town. The MFi Board of Directors governs all Medfield Foundation events and campaigns, administers associated funds and works with local nonprofit groups.

“The work of MFi and our organizations is more important than ever in these times and our Board composition must evolve to support outreach to new residents and families in Medfield. With these changes, MFi has further increased the makeup of our board in terms of gender and career experience,” said Evan Weisenfeld, president of Medfield Foundation.

Poler is a trusts and estates lawyer who practiced at Palmer and Dodge and Wellesley College until relocating to London 20 years ago.  While in London, Kirsten worked to raise money for various nonprofits which included trekking to Mt Everest base camp for Women for Women and running several London Marathons for the NSPCC.

Having moved back recently, Kirsten has worked on behalf of the Annual Fund for Civic Leadership at the Boston Foundation, The Charles River School, and her alma mater, Amherst College. Kirsten is enjoying getting to know all things Medfield and has also joined the Conservation Commission and the board of the Cultural Alliance of Medfield.  Kirsten lives with her husband and youngest daughter and many assorted animals on their farm.

Parillo is a Massachusetts native who lives in Medfield with his wife and two children. He is the assistant vice president of communications at Brandeis University’s Institutional Advancement division. He is responsible for directing an integrated and strategic communications effort to support fundraising and constituent engagement initiatives. He has coached soccer for Medfield youth and has taught sailing at a public sailing center. He also serves as an advisor to Footnote, a MassChallenge online media company that brings academic research and expertise to a broader audience.Get the Inside Massachusetts Politics newsletter in your inbox.

Bates resides in Medfield with her husband and two children in the Wheelock School and Medfield Children’s Center. She is the chief operating officer at Shorelight, a Boston-based global education company partnering with top-ranked, nonprofit North American universities to build innovative programs and services that help talented students thrive and become global citizens. She serves on the Parent Board of the Medfield Children’s Center, volunteers for her alma mater Wheaton College (Norton) and as a mentor for Lead5050 focused on increasing opportunity for women in international education.

For information about the foundation, visit

Lueders are Civic Founders of MFi Legacy Fund

Photo by Colleen Sullivan

Mike & Connie Lueders and Lueders Companies are Civic Founders of the Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund

The Medfield Foundation (MFi) is pleased to announce Mike & Connie Lueders and Lueders Companies as Civic Founders of the Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund.

Mike and Connie Lueders believe in and support the Medfield community and the mission of the Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund. Mike and Connie said, “Having been residents of this community for 36 years, we have experienced the unity, support, and common goals shared by MFi. We are honored to be part of the Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund and Civic Founders.”

The Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund is an endowed fund of the Medfield Foundation, and is working to raise an initial endowment of $1 million to support non-profit and community initiatives in town. By supporting these initiatives now and in the future, the Legacy Fund seeks to assure that Medfield will have the continued support for its current and future families and provide financial resiliency to meet community needs. The endowment is being raised through “Founders” like Mike and Connie Lueders and Lueders Companies.

For almost 40 years, Lueders Environmental, Inc. and Lueders Tree & Landscape, Inc. have provided personalized landscape care services with a more thoughtful approach to the environment. Lueders Environmental provides Lawn and Plant Health Care Diagnostics and Services. Lueders Tree & Landscape, Inc., focuses on expert pruning of Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. To learn more, visit

If you too appreciate your Medfield community and would like to leave your mark on Medfield’s future, please consider becoming a Founder of the Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund. Learn more about the Legacy Fund at

Holistic Wellness Center becomes First “Civic Founder” of Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund

Photo credit – Jenny Moloney Photography

Holistic Wellness Center becomes First “Civic Founder” of Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund

The Medfield Foundation (MFi) is pleased to announce that Holistic Wellness Center, LLC (HWC) of Medfield has become the MFi’s first Civic Founder of the Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund. Holistic Wellness Center is owned and operated by Darrah March O’Connor and Sarah Schochet Henken. HWC is an independent wellness center that offers the best in holistic healing treatments that include (but not limited to) Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Reflexology & Energy Work. HWC has been operating since 2010! In addition, HWC offers the best in Holistic, Metaphysical and Fair Trade goods hand selected from around the world. Historically, HWC has offered many related workshops which they plan to resume when it is appropriate and safe to do so again. Holistic Wellness Center is located in the Medfield Crossing Shopping Plaza on route 27 – right here in Medfield!

The Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund is an endowed fund of the Medfield Foundation, that seeks to raise an initial endowment of $1 million to support non-profit and community initiatives in town. By supporting these initiatives now and in the future, the Legacy Fund seeks to assure that Medfield will be able to do more of the special things in the future that make Medfield the great community that it has been for so many people and their families, and provide financial resiliency to meet future community needs. The endowment is being raised through “Founders,” who commit to contributing at least $5,000 over five years.

Sarah Henken said “We are delighted to join with the Medfield Foundation to help Medfield by means of the Legacy Fund, and we hope other businesses will consider participating as well. HWC is honored to be the first Civic Founder.” The Civic Founders are businesses who contribute at the Founder level.

If you too appreciate your Medfield community and would like to leave more of your mark on Medfield’s future, please consider becoming a Founder of the Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund. See more about the Legacy Fund at

Lou Fellini

Louis Fellini (Lou) passed away this week, and the town is poorer for it. Lou served the Town of Medfield on many boards and in many forms, but most of all for the Council on Aging. Lou chaired the Council on Aging for many years during the planning for The Center, getting the town financing of The Center approved by the annual town meeting (ATM), and then helping to oversee the actual construction of The Center. The function hall at The Center is properly named in Lou’s honor.

Lou was also a long time member of the town’s Permanent Planning and Building Committee, which vets new town buildings.

Four years ago Lou was honored at the 1/3/2017 Select Board meeting, and my material on that honoring can be found here.

The Medfield TV video of Lou being honored at that 1/3/2017 Select Board meeting can be found here.

Lou was a consummate wood carver, and taught classes at The Center to share the pleasure he derived from his wood carving. See a great photo of Lou wood carving at my blog article.

More recently I frequently saw Lou and Joan at The Center when I was there for my first Friday of the month office hours, and Lou often engaged me during those office hours on many Medfield town government topics.

Al Manganello, Jr.

Al’s daughter, Lorrie Guindon, reported Friday that “Last night, at 6:25pm, Al was called up by the Commander in Heaven to join him.”

In 2013 Al was recognized by the Medfield Foundation with its Lifetime Achievement Award:


	The Medfield Foundation proudly recognizes Albert Manganello, Jr. with one of its two 2013 Lifetime Achievement Awards for his four decade long life work to benefit all things for all Medfield veterans.  

	Medfield Veteran Service Officer Ron Griffin put it perfectly when he said, “from breaking ground at Baxter Park to coordinating the Senior Christmas party, Al's fingerprints are on every veteran related town project.  His foot turned over the first shovel of dirt when the American Legion Post was relocated from the old GAR building on Pleasant Street to its present location at Peter Kristof Way.  Again it was his shovel, when ground breaking began on Baxter Park.  Though this Veterans Park was the dream and effort of many citizens, Al was there from conception to dedication.”

	Al entered the service right out of MHS during the Vietnam War, and he returned to become the manager of the American Legion, where he has worked ever since.  However, Al’s volunteer work for veterans goes far beyond running the Legion.  Within the Legion, Al volunteers his service on fourteen committees, and he has served as the commander five times.  He volunteers for the Legion’s Executive Board, the Board of Trustees, the Sons of the Legion, Finance, Scholarship, Life Membership, Distinguished Service Memorial, Public Relations, Chairman of Athletics, Entertainment, Sick Call, Memorial Day, and Community Services.  Al initiated creation of Medfield’s Vietnam Memorial Stone in front of the Legion, and he was responsible for getting Grove Street Extension, where the Legion is sited, renamed in honor of Peter Kristof, a Medfield resident killed in Vietnam.  Al started and grew the Sons of the Legion, for those whose parents or grandparents were in the service.  He volunteers as their advisor and oversees their fund raising.  Yet between all, he finds time to visit sick veterans.  
	Al helps to organize and coordinate Medfield's annual Memorial Day parade. He is also one of three Cemetery Commissioners overseeing the Vine Lake Cemetery.  On Veteran's Day at Baxter Park he reads the names of all the veterans who have died in the past year.  

	Al has also volunteered time on Medfield Day, Memorial Day, and for the Little League, Council on Aging, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and with the Medfield Police and Fire Departments with events.  At Christmas, Al helps coordinate the Lions senior citizens Christmas party, purchases over a hundred toys with funds he raises during the year for the annual Legion Children’s Christmas party, and coordinates a visit from Santa.  At Medfield Day, he sells sausages to raise money for MHS scholarships.  Al coached little league for twelve years, yearly oversees the Sons of the Legion fishing derby, and is both advisor and finance manager for the Medfield Legion Baseball Team. 

	Many know to turn to Al when they need assistance, but you'll not find him being "Front and Center" when the spotlight is turned on.  But do look for him when its time to fold the chairs and sweep the floors.

Condolences to Al’s family and friends.

Long time and highly talented Town of Medfield Veterans Service Officer Ron Griffin submitted these remarks at the time of Al’s nomination for the Medfield Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award:

Al Manganello

I have been contacted as a Nominee reference for Al Manganello Jr. I have known Al for many years and am familiar with many of his volunteer contributions to the Town of Medfield Veteran population.

Within the Veteran community Al is widely recognized for his
participation and support of just about every veteran related project in
Medfield.It was with this knowledge that I asked Al Manganello to
perform the honorary privilege of unveiling the Vietnam Memorial Plaque
at the Blake Middle School this past year.

Most of Al’s volunteer effort has been through the American Legion, a
volunteer organization.Al has in capacity as Post Commander or as
Committee Chairman has lead Post volunteers in many community efforts
throughout Medfield.Not all of those efforts have been specifically
veteran related but all have been involved in our small community.He is
a long standing member of the Cemetery Commission and served on a number
of town committees.

Perhaps most notably has been the Memorial Day Committee.Here along with
Past Police Chief Bill Mann, Al has been a constant fixture in the
successful implementation of our Memorial Day celebration.Those efforts
do not stop following the Memorial Day program and ceremonies at Vine
Lake.They end only after cleanup is performed after all parade members
have been served a luncheon.

His foot turned over the first shovel of dirt when the American Legion
Post was relocated from the old GAR building on pleasant Street to its
present location at Peter Kristof Way.So named in honor of Medfield’s
second resident who was killed in service in Vietnam.Again it was his
shovel, when ground breaking began on Baxter Park.Though this Veterans
Park was the dream and effort of many citizens, Al was there from
conception to dedication.

Often his efforts are without recognition through providing leadership
and direction. One example is through his efforts as the advisor to the
Son’s of the American Legion organization (SAL).This volunteer
organization is comprised of male descendants of American Legion
eligible veterans. Perhaps this is most significant because the Veteran
population is aging and volunteer efforts often require younger
strengths and stamina. That organization is now more active in providing
volunteer services where needed throughout our community. Recently with
Al’s support and guidance they have teamed with the “Angel Tree”
organization in an attempt to bring a bit more Christmas Joy for those
who less fortunate children in town. The SAL members now prepare the
Memorial Day luncheon provided to all those who participated in our
Memorial Day parade.

There is also little recognition when you are visiting a sick Veteran or
comforting a veteran’s family during the loss of a loved one.But Al is
there, he is always there when you need him.

Many of Al’s Volunteer efforts continue day to day, year to year with
2012 being no exception. He is still active in all the various
committees that he sits on and remains the backbone of the American
Legion and SAL organizations. Many know to turn to Al when they need
assistance but you’ll not find him being “Front and Center” when the
spotlight is turned on. But do look for him when its time to fold the
chairs and sweep the floors.

Ron Griffin

Medfield Veteran Service Officer
American Legion Post 110 Service Officer

The MMA’s The Beacon

Hello Members!   Here’s the November 2020 issue of The Beacon – packed with the latest budget and COVID-related news, updates about the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show, information about local and state COVID response programs, and details about our robust member group webinar offerings this fall.   Link to the November 2020 issue of The Beacon (no login required)   By publishing The Beacon as a PDF, we can ensure that we get you the very latest information that you need ASAP. (If you did not receive this email directly, please share your email address with us – along with name, title and city/town – at   Best wishes to all of you during this challenging time.   John Ouellette MMA Manager of Publications and Digital Communications   Jennifer Kavanaugh Associate Editor   Meredith Gabrilska Digital Communications Coordinator

See the article which I think contains a photo of Medfield’s Jeremy Marsette, DPW Director in Natick –

Jay Hajj helping Beruit

See the long article in today’s Globe about Medfield resident Jay Hajj going back to his hometown to help after the explosion –



‘People say: You came from Boston for what? I came for this.’

After the explosion in Beirut, chef Jay Hajj returns to his hometown to volunteer with World Central Kitchen

By Devra First Globe Staff,Updated August 18, 2020, 4:08 p.m.4Jay Hajj returns to his hometown to volunteer with World Central Kitchen

0:50After the explosion in Beirut, chef Jay Hajj returns to his hometown to volunteer with World Central Kitchen

On Aug. 4, a massive explosion in Beirut killed more than 150 people, injuring and displacing many others and devastating the city. Lebanon was already in crisis, its economy and currency in collapse, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the United Nations World Food Programme, since October 2019, as the Lebanese lira lost about 80 percent of its value, food prices increased 109 percent. Hunger was a serious problem even before the blast.

Jay Hajj on the ground in Beirut.
Jay Hajj on the ground in Beirut.COURTESY OF JAY HAJJ

Read the full article here –

Town House office hours

Town Administrator Kristine Trierweiler and other town employees are moving their office functions outside, to encourage resident interaction and use of the town services.  This afternoon Kris (left) and Kathy VandenBoom, Director of Human Resources, were holding court in front of the Town House front entrance.

20200812_Kristine Trierweiler office hours

During my visit, I waited in line behind Matt McCormack and his son, and then this user dropped off his vote by mail request in the USPS mail box on the table, went inside to sign the Town Clerk’s warrant for the upcoming primary election, to sign the weekly town spending warrants, and to pick up the Medfield Foundation’s mail.

Kris posts on Twitter when the outside office is available – it has recently been several times a week.  Look for them out front.

Carol Steinberg, attorney & disability rights advocate

My friend and attorney colleague, Carol Steinberg, got a great write up in today’s Boston Globe from Joan Vennochi, for what Carol does advocating for disability rights. I liked the photograph in the Globe’s print edition better, as it shows Carol in front of the door to the Governor’s office, which is being blocked by two of his staff, when Carol and friends refused to leave until they got to speak with him.

In addition to practicing law as a plaintiffs’ personal injury attorney, Carol writes, served on the state’s Architectural Access Board, serves on the ABA Committee on Disability, and is a strong advocate for disability rights. I have learned a lot from our doing cases together and tagging around with her.


Wanted: allies in the fight for disability rights

‘We don’t have allies. It’s just people in wheelchairs,’ said Carol Steinberg.

By Joan Vennochi Globe Columnist,Updated August 5, 2020, 10:13 a.m.6

Attorney Carol Steinberg, an advocate for people with disabilities, spoke in front of the State House at a 2015 rally.
Attorney Carol Steinberg, an advocate for people with disabilities, spoke in front of the State House at a 2015 rally.PAT GREENHOUSE/GLOBE STAFF

When the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act turned 30 last month, Carol Steinberg was doing what she always does: pushing hard for more accessibility for people with disabilities.

RELATED: James T. Brett: Let’s celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act by reforming it

As Beacon Hill lawmakers took up a major economic development package — which includes money for affordable housing — Steinberg was lobbying to add language that would require that buildings constructed before 1991 that are being converted into apartments must include units that can be adapted to the needs of senior citizens or people with disabilities. The amendment, sponsored by state Senator Michael Moore of Millbury, was not adopted. Given the crush of last-minute amendments, Steinberg knew it was a long shot. But the outcome was still a disappointment — especially as it came a few days after the headlines and hoopla over the 30th anniversary of the ADA. But Steinberg, who has been fighting for this measure for at least 10 years, isn’t giving up. She said she owes it to previous generations of disability activists.Get Today in Opinion in your inboxGlobe Opinion’s must-reads, delivered to you every Sunday-Friday.Sign Up

“They fought so hard,” said Steinberg, a lawyer who uses a wheelchair due to multiple sclerosis. “Their fight is not over. We have to carry on their legacy.” She is also motivated by the coronavirus pandemic, which has been devastating to people in nursing homes. More than 60 percent of the people who have died of COVID-19 in Massachusetts resided in such facilities. If there were more accessible housing, more people could live independently and more safely, said Steinberg.

In the response to the other pandemic that has been sweeping the nation — systemic racism — Steinberg sees a model for disability activists. Since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, doing nothing in pursuit of racial justice — while claiming not to be racist — is no longer acceptable, assuming it ever was. Allies are needed. The same is true in the fight for disability rights. “We don’t have allies. It’s just people in wheelchairs,” said Steinberg.

People like Steinberg are forces of nature, and you know it the minute you meet them. I first encountered her in October 2019, when she and a band of fellow activists gathered at the entrance to Governor Charlie Baker’s State House office suite, trying to get him to pay attention to a variety of accessibility issues. During the several hours they hung out in hopes of meeting with the governor, I spoke to them about the help they said they needed to make housing more accessible. In December, Baker did meet with them but didn’t commit to any specific housing policy.

RELATED: Joan Vennochi: Governor’s office gives ‘the runaround to people who can’t run’

“Please don’t say anything bad about Governor Baker,” said Steinberg, who remains hopeful he will embrace her mission. So, in the interest of her protecting her optimism, I won’t. What I will say is that there are some champions, like Moore and state Representative Christine Barber of Somerville, who are seeking compromise with opponents who believe accessibility costs too much money. More champions are needed.

The biggest obstacle to progress may be those who do nothing. Nothing great happens without a groundswell of support. That was certainly true of the ADA, which was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush on the South Lawn of the White House. “More than 2,000 people, many in wheelchairs, cheered from the lawn. Activists had waited years for this moment,” wrote The New York Times in a special section on the recent ADA anniversary. Considered one of the country’s most comprehensive civil rights laws, it prohibits discrimination and is supposed to guarantee that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else.

Yet, 30 years later, the gap between that sweeping promise and the experience of living with a disability is huge. That’s why Steinberg is on the front lines, pushing for the kind of change that will make buildings accessible to all. It’s a simple goal that has proved difficult to achieve. More allies would definitely help the cause.

Joan Vennochi can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @joan_vennochi.

Barbara Leighton, and her legacy

From the Medfield Patch –

A 100 Year Life Well-Lived, Extraordinary Woman, Barbara Leighton

Leighton left a legacy of service to Medfield over her 100-year life, but also ensured her legacy will live on through her planned gift…

By Colleen M. Sullivan, Patch MayorVerified User Badge
Jul 22, 2020 11:00 pm ET|Updated Jul 22, 2020 11:02 pm ET
  • Barbara Leighton (2016)Barbara Leighton (2016) (Courtesty Photo)

The following provided by the Kingsbury Pond Gristmill Committee and MFi.

Barbara Leighton: A 100 Year Life Well-Lived…One Extraordinary Woman

Medfield native Barbara Leighton was a woman before her time due to her interests and achievements over her long life. As reported last July when she celebrated her 100th birthday, Ms. Leighton grew up in Medfield doing the physical work of men such as chopping wood, tapping maple trees and clearing brush, plus she was an outdoors person who enjoyed fishing and hunting! In addition, Barbara’s love of Medfield and history collided to make her an unofficial historian for our town, holding archeological digs for middle school children at town historical sites for decades, donating 7.4 acres of conservation land in 1989, serving for years as both the curator of the Medfield Historical Society and caretaker of the Peak House

But Barbara really put her Medfield history interests and out-sized skills together at the Kingsbury Pond Gristmill where she worked for decades doing everything from scrambling up ladders to hammer roof shingles, to replacing and renovating windows and other elements, helping to make it another Medfield historical gem. Dick Judge, Chair of the Kingsbury Pond Gristmill Committee relayed, “As an original member of the Gristmill Committee, just one of the many projects Barbara undertook was about thirty or so years ago. She took apart a ruined fireplace brick by brick, cleaned the bricks, and then used them to build a brick floor in the Gristmill…that still exists today!”

Dick Judge further noted, “Without Barbara’s incredible decades of dedication to our circa 1718 grist mill, I fear not only would it literally have fallen to pieces, but she served as a constant reminder of how one person’s conviction and example can motivate so many of us to save and preserve such an important and beautiful Medfield historic site.”

Kingsbury Pond GristmillKingsbury Pond Gristmill (Courtesy Photo)

The Kingsbury Pond Gristmill Committee (KPGC), a Medfield Foundation Initiative, is a group of adult volunteers dedicated to preserving, maintaining and improving one of Medfield’s most visible historic buildings built around 1718 by Captain Joseph Clark. Located on Spring Street (Rt. 27S) at the serene Kingsbury Pond. The committee hopes to reopen the mill for people to see how milling has progressed through the years.

After Ms. Leighton passed away last August, she ensured her life’s work will continue because in her estate she left a significant planned gift to the Kingsbury Pond Gristmill Committee, through the Medfield Foundation, for the amazing work the team has done on the facility. Thus, Barbara Leighton’s unique legacy as an extraordinary woman whose influence and service-oriented life’s-work over an impressive 100 years in Medfield will extend for many years beyond what would have been her 101st year.

Medfield High School Class of 1936 in front of what is now the Pfaff Center. Barbara Leighton is the second from the left in the front row!Medfield High School Class of 1936 in front of what is now the Pfaff Center. Barbara Leighton is the second from the left in the front row! (Courtesy Photo)

Evan Weisenfeld, President of the Medfield Foundation, said, “This large planned gift from the estate of Barbara Leighton means generations of people in Medfield will continue to enjoy the Kingsbury Pond Gristmill, and volunteers now can continue its preservation.”

He continued, “Furthermore, the Medfield Foundation urges you to thoughtfully consider making gifts in your estate plans to support our town through the Medfield Foundation and its signature programs and community initiatives such as the Gristmill and other town landmark preservation efforts, the Legacy Fund, Public Need Fund, and many others, to ensure your unique legacy continues the work of ensuring Medfield is a great place to live now and in the future.”

In this time of change, when many people are revisiting their wills, please consider making provisions to better our town via planned giving to the Medfield Foundation, Inc. Residents considering planned donations in their estates to MFi can designate a specific initiative or sector of interest, or the Legacy Fund, an endowment fund that leaves a lasting legacy for our town’s future needs.

Barbara Leighton left a legacy of countless examples of service to Medfield over her 100-year life, but also ensured her legacy will live on through her planned gift to the Kingsbury Pond Gristmill through the Medfield Foundation.

Would you please consider leaving a lasting gift in your estate planning?

There are many ways to donate today, too! Just check out the website: You will find a complete list of current campaigns such as the COVID-19 Support Fund and Summer Camp Fund, plus information about MFi, signature programs, community initiatives, and much more.Ring  |  Featured AdvertiserMichael Wondered How a Tree Got in His Yard, Ring Video Had the ClueWhen a downpour took his neighborhood by surprise, Michael was happy to have the Ring Video Doorbell in the eye of the storm.Watch Now

For information about Medfield Foundation planned gifts and more please email, phone (774) 469-0260, or mail Medfield Foundation, c/o Medfield Townhouse, 459 Main Street, Medfield, MA 02052.

The Medfield Foundation (MFi) is a 100% volunteer run 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable corporation whose mission is to enrich the lives of Medfield residents, build a stronger community, and facilitate the raising and allocation of private funds for public needs in the town of Medfield.