The Beacon Hill Women’s Forum is celebrating our 5th anniversary! We built this “BHWF History” page with links to past newsletters and details of prior speakers to help you relive the memories of the last five wonderful years of the BHWF! Here’s to another five!


2016-2017 Season

  • May 5, 2017 — Splish Splash it’s a Fashion Show Bash! Never let a few raindrops get in the way of a good time.
  • December 20, 2016 — Wassail Sing-A-Long. The BH Psychic will read YOUR fortune!
  • September 30, 2016 — Cooking & Culture: FIRE IN THE SOUL!
  • September 11, 2016 — The 2016-2017 Season Opening Forum at the UMass Club

2015-2016 Season

2014-2015 Season

  • May 1, 2015 — Charles Street Couture Fashion Show and Afterglow!
  • September 5, 2014 — Take a Walk on the Harborside! Join us for our fall launch.
  • December 22, 2014 —  Happy Holidays from the Beacon Hill Women’s Forum!
  • March 6, 2015 — Hidden Gems of Beacon Hill and delights you have yet to discover.

2013-2014 Season

  • March 26, 2014 — Celebrate Style & women in fashion with the inaugural BHWF at Charles Street Couture fashion show
  • December 1, 2013 — Who’s the boss behind the books? Boston Public Library’s first female president.
  • September 2, 2013 — Welcome! We are looking forward to meeting you.
  • August 21, 2013 — The Board of the BHWF is delighted to invite you to our inaugural season kick-off meeting.

Members of the first BHWF board of directors

Founder and first president, Lisa Macalaster


2019-2020 Season

March 2020

Jeanne Blasberg

Writers Forum: The Writers Within

Jeanne Blasberg is the author of Eden, winner of the Beverly Hills Book Awards for Women’s Fiction and finalist for both the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best New Voice in Fiction and the Sarton Women’s Book Award for Historical Fiction. Eden was released in May 2017 by She Writes Press.

After graduating from Smith College, Jeanne embarked on a career in finance. Even as she worked primarily with numbers, she always had an interest in writing. She made stops on Wall Street, Macy’s, and wrote case studies at Harvard Business School before turning seriously to fiction. She has kept a journal throughout her life, eventually taking inspiration from her childhood writings to pen Eden. Jeanne is the founder of the Westerly Memoir Project as well as a board member of the Boston Book Festival. She is a student and board member of Grub Street, one of the country’s pre-eminent creative writing centers where she wrote and revised her second novel, The Nine.

February 2020

Emily Synk

NextGen Aeronautics: Fly Me to the Moon

Emily Synk leads Preliminary Design Engineering for GE Aviation. Her team designs the next generation of engines for commercial airplanes, military fighter jets, rotorcraft, and business aircraft, which would start flying in the 2025-2035 timeframe. Prior to her current position, she held roles in control system design, engineering management, and systems engineering. She is originally from Detroit, Michigan and holds a Bachelors and Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and University of Cincinnati, respectively.

She currently serves on the board of “e” Inc, a non-profit organization that brings planet science education to Boston-area schools.

January 2020

Liz Walker

On Pointe: Ballerina Behind the Curtain

Liz Walker is a retired ballet dancer who currently works on Beacon Hill as a Legislative Aide at the State House. She enjoyed an extensive performing career with Los Angeles Ballet, which she joined as an inaugural company member in 2006. A graduate of Harvard College, Liz was the 2011 recipient of the Suzanne Farrell Dance Prize for Outstanding Artistry in the Field of Dance. Throughout her dance career, she has performed featured and leading roles in all the full-length classical ballets, as well as in works by George Balanchine, Martha Graham, José Limón, Aszure Barton, Alejandro Cerrudo and Itzik Galili, and originated roles in works by Menghan Lou, Trey McIntyre, and Claudia Schreier, among others.

November 2019

Tzurit Or

Baking Up a Business

Founder Tzurit Or started Tatte Bakery & Café in 2007, baking 20 hours a day in her home kitchen and selling her delicious creations to Boston farmers’ markets. After only one summer, Tatte expanded to its first brick-and-mortar bakery in Brookline, Massachusetts. When she opened her very first location she wanted it to feel welcoming, as if someone was hugging you, a home away from home. She has since opened 14 Tatte cafes but the aim has always remained the same; each Tatte has its own individual sense of identity, feel and style but they all stay true to the original spirit – to what Tatte is all about.

October 2019

Christina Fagan

Good Sh*t: Do What You Love…Love What You Do

Chief Knitting Officer and Founder of Sh*t That I Knit, Christina Fagan Pardy learned how to knit as a 10-year-old (from her mom Katie Fagan) and kept up the habit. While at Skidmore College, Christina launched the blog as a way to share the photos of her knits with her friends and family. Her hats have been seen in Real Simple and InStyle, and celebrities like Katie Couric, Sarah Jessica Parker, Hilaria Baldwin, and Kristin Cavallari are champions of the brand.

September 2019

Marita Rivero

Made Possible By…Viewers Like You!

Marita Rivero is the President & CEO of the Museum of African American History in Boston and Nantucket. She began her tenure in January of 2016, having been a long-time involved supporter of the Museum, including as Board Chair from 1999-2009. Rivero brings her experience as a prolific public broadcasting executive and her service on several local and national non-profit boards in the areas of social service, arts, education, and historic preservation. In her first months at the Museum, she oversaw the creation and opening of a groundbreaking exhibit, Picturing Frederick Douglass: Most Photographed American of the Nineteenth Century.

Rivero has been honored with numerous awards, among them a Pinnacle Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce for Achievement in Arts and Education; induction into the Boston YWCA’s Women Achievers; and the Abigail Adams Award from the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. She currently serves on the board of Bunker Hill Community College Foundation and chairs the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s board.

2018-2019 Season

APRIL 2019

Helen Riess, M.D.

Art of Empathy – Pursuit of Empathy to Enrich Connections

Helen Ries, M.D.  is a psychiatrist and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital.   Dr. Riess has devoted her career to teaching and research in the neuroscience and art of the patient-doctor relationship.  Her research team at MGH conducts translational empathy research utilizing the neuroscience of emotions.

MARCH 2019

Diane Jensen

Indulging our Eclectic Tastes: Members Art Show

Diane McManus Jensen, director of Jensen Fine Arts advises individual and corporate collectors, foundations, and museums. She has produced outstanding scholarly exhibitions and catalogs in conjunction with various museums and private estates, and has lectured across the country on art collecting.


Justine Laugharn

Yes, You Can Have It All

Justine Laugharn is one of the Principals of Covaris, Inc.  Covaris is a bio-tech company that provides scientific tools for life science applications, such as improving pre-analytical sample preparation, enabling drug formulation, and isolating biomolecules for the drug discovery process. At Covaris, Justine leads the Finance, IT, and Administration teams worldwide.  She has over 35 years’ experience in the Life Sciences Industry starting as a Research Associate in Pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital.


Joanne Chang

Bake the World a Better Place

An honors graduate of Harvard College with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics, Joanne left a career as a management consultant to enter the world of professional cooking. In 2000, she opened Flour, a bakery and café, in Boston’s South End. Flour features breakfast pastries, breads, cakes, cookies, and tarts as well as sandwiches, soups, and salads. Flour has been featured in Gourmet, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Lucky Magazine, Inc. Magazine, and Boston Magazine and has received numerous Best of Boston awards.


Eve Bridburg

Grubstreet: A National Literary Powerhouse and Connected Writing Community

Eve Bridburg is the Founder and Executive Director of GrubStreet. Under her leadership, the organization has grown into a national literary powerhouse by expanding offerings to better educate and equip writers in the digital age, launching new, innovative programming for advanced students, and significantly expanding scholarship opportunities to ensure access. Eve’s work has been recognized by Boston Magazine, who named her one of Boston’s 50 most powerful women in 2010, and by ​BostInno Magazine who gave her their 2014 Arts and Entertainment Award for driving innovation in Boston.


Susan Symonds

Image & Perception: Life, Love & Photography with Susan Symonds

Susan Symonds, Photographer and Owner of Infinity Portrait Design a full-service boutique portrait studio dedicated to photographing the moments that matter. As a Portrait Artist specializing in B&W relationship work, the constant that has remained through all of these layers of my development is that Susan is really passionate about making beautiful photographs of families that will live on the walls of my client’s homes for decades! For Susan, Infinity Portrait Design is synonymous with creating timeless portraiture that you will treasure always.


Rosanne Thomas

You’re Stronger Than You Think: Tapping into Strengths to Push Past Shyness

Rosanne Thomas, Founder and President of Protocol Advisors, Inc. Business Etiquette and International Protocol Training, believes that “Professional Presence” is attainable by everyone. From the newly hired to executives with decades of experience, it is never too late, or too soon, to reap the very real benefits enhanced “Professional Presence” provides.  Whether one is looking to land a new job or a new client, or to solidify a key relationship or get a key promotion, Rosanne empowers people to get where they want to go, in the quickest and surest fashion.  Her training instills confidence, enabling professionals to sell themselves and the organizations they represent in ways that ensure the greatest level of personal, professional and financial success.

2017-2018 Season

APRIL 2018

Laurence G. Rahme & Dr. Amy Tsurumi

Tackling the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis with Laurence Rahme and Amy Tsurumi

Laurence G. Rahme is a Professor in the Departments of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and Microbiology/Immunology at Harvard Medical School.  At Massachusetts General Hospital, she is also Director of the Molecular Surgical Laboratory and furthermore, Scientific Staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children.  In the industry setting, she is the Scientific Founder of Spero Therapeutics that focuses on therapeutic alternatives to antibiotics.

Amy Tsurumi is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Shriners Hospitals for Children.  Her research in the Rahme Lab focuses on host susceptibility and response to bacterial infections using a combination of model systems and human population data.  She has published numerous scientific articles and has presented her work at various international conferences.  In addition to her role in research, she designs and teaches courses in epigenetics, genetics and epidemiology at Harvard and Beacon Hill Seminars.


Brittany Seymour

Global Dental Crusade with Brittany Seymour

Brittany Seymour is an Assistant Professor at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, where she teaches about global and oral health to students across the university. After graduating from dental school in Colorado in 2005, she started a private practice in downtown Denver. Five years later, she found herself ready to grow in her career and returned to school at the Harvard School of Public Health for her Masters in Public Health. She sold her practice and accepted a full-time teaching position at Harvard.

Today, she is working toward the eradication of oral diseases globally, particularly in resource-poor communities. Her projects include the launch of the first dental school in Rwanda, the addition of a dental clinic in a major hospital in Haiti after the earthquake, disease prevention programs in arctic Alaska, and new ways of teaching dentistry in Vietnam. She adores coffee, wine, traveling (good thing because she does it a lot!), and especially her husband of 13 years and her 4 year old daughter.


Namrita Kapur-Dewinter

Social Entrepreneurship with Namrita Kapur-Dewinter

As Managing Director of EDF’s EDF+Business, Namrita and her team develop strategies to accelerate innovation in the corporate sector.  Drawing from her background in strategy, finance, and international development, she has designed and executed initiatives for leveraging capital markets in the United States and abroad. She is currently leading EDF’s efforts on sustainable finance, ranging from evaluating financial institution commitments in this area to clearing barriers so as  attract private capital to support sustainable managed fisheries, endangered species habitat, ecosystem resiliency, zero deforestation and energy efficiency.


Ann Beha

Restoring History with Ann Beha

Ann Beha is founder and Principal of Ann Beha Architects, a Boston firm known for its exploration of heritage in dialogue with contemporary design. In Boston, they have designed projects for Mass Historical Society, the BSO, the Mary Baker Eddy Library, the Liberty Hotel, and most recently, the New Student Life and Performance Center at the New England Conservatory of Music, where the firm also designed the renovation of Jordan Hall.


Margo Newman

Charles River Esplanade with Margo Newman

Margo served as Board Chair of the Esplanade Association, friends’ group for Boston’s iconic Charles River Esplanade, from 2010-2016. She joined the board of the organization in 2009 and is now a Director Emeritus. She is also currently a member of the board of the Associates of the Boston Public Library, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving the Boston Public Library’s special collections of rare books, manuscripts, and other items of significant historic interest. Her prior non-profit experience includes serving as President of the Kingsley Montessori School Parents’ Association, President of The Winsor School Parents’ Association and as a Board Member of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay.


Julia S. Powell

Artist on the Rise with Julia S. Powell

Julia S. Powell is a Cambridge-based painter represented by Abigail Ogilvy Gallery in Boston, MA. Her work has been featured in exhibitions throughout New England, and was included in the Museum of Fine Arts Summer Auction in 2016, where her piece broke auction records. In 2017, the Museum of Fine Arts chose her as the VIP Benefit Print Artist for the Summer Auction. Her work was also featured in the television show, The Mindy Project. In October, Powell is headed down to Houston for the Texas Contemporary Art Fair where her work was recently accepted.

2016-2017 Season

APRIL 2017

Vivian Spiro

The Treasures We Keep; Preserving and Sharing Our History

For the past sixteen years, Vivian has served as Chairman of the Board of the Associates of the Boston Public Library, transforming a small, independent 501c3 with a literary focus into a significant source of financial support for the cataloguing, conservation and digitization of the BPL’s Special Collections. Under her leadership, the Associates established the David McCullough Conservation Fund, William O. Taylor Art Preservation Fund, and an endowment for conservation.

MARCH 2017

Lucy Grogan

“Going Once, Going Twice” The 21st Century Auction House

Lucy P. Grogan is the Vice President and Gallery Director of Grogan & Company, Fine Art and Jewelry Auctioneers, a firm specializing in fine art and jewelry auctions and appraisals. The company is based in Boston, Massachusetts, and was established in June of 1987. Ms. Grogan holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art History from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut as well as numerous gemology certifications from the Gemological Institute of America.


Cathy Minehan

Money Matters

Cathy E. Minehan is the retired Dean of the School of Management at Simmons College having served from August 2011 to June 30, 2016. The Simmons MBA program has been rated #1 in opportunities for women by the Princeton Review, #5 “Green” MBA and ranked in the top 20 MBA programs internationally for integrating social responsibility and sustainability by the Aspen Institute, Business and Society Program. In 2016, the MBA program transitioned to a fully virtual format, (MBA@Simmons) the first AACSB accredited MBA program to do so.


Kathy Hull

Dancing with the Stars!

After ten years competing as an amateur on the pro-am ballroom circuit, Kathy Hull won the 2011 World Pro-Am International Standard Championship (Open Gold) in her age group (50 and above).  In 2012, she and her then partner, Thomas Papkala, went on to become finalists in Moscow and were interviewed on Russian TV.  Later that year, Hull retired from dancing and moved with her husband from NJ to the Bay Village Historic District of Boston, where they live today.


Azita Bina Seibel



Sara Campbell, Designer & Founder of Sara Campbell Ltd.

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

In 1985 Sara Campbell founded Sara Campbell LTD, where she designs, manufactures, and retails the brand of woman’s clothing, aptly called Sara Campbell.  The collection features dresses along with novelty and playful sportswear. In 2009 she completed the Harvard Business School Executive Education program, as a tool to help facilitate in the reinvention of the company. Today she delivers her unique, limited–production offerings through fourteen free-standing Sara Campbell retail boutiques.


Azita Bina Seibel

Cooking: The Recipe for Success

Azita Bina-Seibel, ‘born to run a restaurant’ and described as a ‘firebrand and a cook with a fire in her soul….’ is the Executive Chef and Co-Owner of  two Beacon Hill culinary mainstays:  LaLa Rokh, a Persian restaurant, which opened in 1995, and Bin 26 Enoteca, an Italian restaurant, which opened in 2006. Growing up in northwest Iran, Azerbaijani, Azita achieved her love of cooking by being around the kitchen table. Like most Persian families, meals prepared and served were at the core of family (Azita, her mother and grandmother, aunt and sister often competed to create the tastiest, most inventive dishes. It was in this environment that Azita cultivated her passion for exceptional homestyle cuisine.) Moving to the United States in the mid 1970’s, Azita’s first foray into the restaurant business came shortly after her graduation from Boston University with the opening of Ristorante Toscano -in 1983- Boston’s first authentic Northern Italian restaurant. There along- side her partner, an Italian of Florentine heritage, she was able to express her passion for food through Italian cooking-where she discovered the enormous similarities between Northern Italian and Azerbaijani cooking.  Followed by opening Toscano in Providence, Rhode Island, and Azita Ristorante in the South End, Azita and her brother, Babak Bina, opened LaLa Rokh which celebrated Persian cooking and drew on their family and cultural heritage.


Emily Rooney, Jadiann Thompson, and Margery Eagan


Emily Rooney was host and executive editor of Greater Boston with Emily Rooney, WGBH’s local issues and public affairs program, for 18 years before reducing her schedule to do the current Friday night “Beat the Press” program at 7pm. Under her stewardship, Greater Boston was honored with numerous New England Emmys, Associated Press and Edward R. Murrow Awards for Best Public Affairs Program, and excellence in writing and commentary.


Jadiann Thompson is an Emmy award winning journalist who anchors the 7NEWS 4pm, 4:30pm and 5:30pm weekday newscasts in Boston. She joined 7NEWS in June of 2015. Prior to that, Jadiann was the 6pm weekday anchor for the NBC affiliate in Kansas City – KSHB TV. While in Kansas, Jadiann served as multimedia journalist: on same days, the newscast she was anchoring started with a story she had pitched, shot with her camera, written, and edited.


Margery Eagan is the co-host of 89.7 WGBH’s midday program Boston Public Radio. She has worked with co­-host Jim Braude for 18 years, first doing a TV show together at NECN then a radio show at WTKK. The duo came to WGBH in 2013. Eagan was the Catholic spirituality columnist for the Boston Globe’s website, Cruxnow. In 2015 Margery Eagan won first place for excellence in religion commentary at the Religion Newswriters Association’s annual conference in Philadelphia.

2015-2016 Season

APRIL 2016

Kimberly Todd

Clothes: Just the Start of Making the Woman

Kim Todd has been involved in development for over 20 years. As Executive Director of Dress for Success Boston, Kim is responsible for running day-to-day operations and fundraising. She oversees a staff of four, and over 100 volunteers. Kim also serves as spokesperson for the organization, and has appeared on WCVB-TV’s Chronicle, FOX 25 News, and has been a guest on several radio shows.

MARCH 2016

Myra Biblowit and Dr. Nadine Tung

Myra Biblowit is the president and chief executive officer of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the nation’s highest rated breast cancer organization, with a mission focused exclusively on funding research around the globe. Myra was appointed to BCRF in 2001, a year when BCRF raised $10.6 million and committed $8.5 million to funding 50 researchers in the United States. This year, BCRF has awarded $48.5 million in annual grants to over 240 scientists from top universities and medical institutions around the globe. In addition, $5.4 million has been committed to the international Founder’s Fund project focused on metastasis.

Nadine Tung, MD is the Director of the Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) which she established in 1997 to evaluate patients and families with hereditary cancer syndromes. She is also a breast medical oncologist and a member of the Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center as well as an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. She graduated from Princeton University in 1980 and Harvard Medical School in 1984.


Cheryl Clarkson

Ms. Clarkson owns and operates SkinHealth Centers, which perform advanced skin care services, cosmetic laser procedures, facial rejuvenation injectables, and non-invasive body contouring.  With a team of Board Certified, Harvard -affiliated surgeons, RNs, and medical aestheticians, SkinHealth’s mission is to Help Men and Women Look Fresh and Vibrant at any age. Founded in 1999, SkinHealth Centers are located in Boston and Wellesley Hills, MA. Ms. Clarkson holds a Masters of Science in Business, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management, where she was selected to be a Sloan Fellow. At 39 years of age, Ms. Clarkson became one of the first women to be named acting-CEO of a publicly traded NASDAQ company.

She has served on the Board of Directors of 5 major medical and health care corporations and has been the President of four medical device and services companies. She is a Trustee of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, a Harvard teaching hospital.  Ms. Clarkson was a founding member of the Cancer Council at Massachusetts General Hospital,  a founding member of the Children’s Hospital of Boston Global Research Council, and served on the Stem Cell Research Committee of Children’s Hospital at Harvard University.


Susie Kitchens

The British are coming!

Susie Kitchens arrived in Boston to become Britain’s Consul General in August 2012. She is here with her US-born husband, Michael, and their two children, living on historic Beacon Hill. Prior to this assignment, Susie was the Deputy High Commissioner at the British High Commission in Tanzania. Susie’s diplomatic career has also included postings in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London (on bilateral relations with Latin America, Consular policy and on the United Nations Security Council) and also as Political Officer at the British Embassy in Guatemala.


Nancy Parker Wilson

Women & Wine

Nancy Parker Wilson, of Portsmouth, RI has been General Manager for Greenvale Vineyards since she, her husband and parents embarked on this enterprise in 1992 on a farm that has been in her family since 1863. A 1981 graduate of Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, she moved to Boston after graduation and became the Director of Public Information for the two Boston area Zoos, Stone Zoo and Franklin Park Zoo. After five years she became an Account Executive at a Boston area public relations company, Clarke and Company, where she led the Community Relations program for the Prudential Property Company, Coors Beer and helped to develop the opening of Domain Home Furnishings.


Dr. Antonia Stephens, Dr. Laura DeGirolami, and Dr. Elizabeth Trehu

The Pinckney Street Prescription

Dr. Antonia Stephen received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and subsequently completed her general surgical residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and an endocrine surgical fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. She then joined the surgical staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the Division of Surgical Oncology.

Elizabeth G. Trehu, M.D, is Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Promedior, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company developing novel biologic therapeutics for the treatment of fibrosis. As CMO, Dr. Trehu oversees all clinical development, medical affairs, regulatory and quality assurance activities for the company, as Promedior advances its product candidates in human clinical trials for diseases involving fibrosis.

Laura De Girolami, MD graduated from Columbia College with a B.A. in Art History and then received her M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She completed her pediatric training at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and is a board certified pediatrician. She is s primary care pediatrician and partner at Centre Pediatrics in Brookline, MA.


Brigid Williams, M. Arch

Brahmins, Bohemians and Beyond: The Building of Boston

A presentation by Brigid Williams, an architect who over the years has studied and contributed to the spirit of Boston’s architectural history. A 35-year Beacon Hill resident, Brigid Williams is a prominent architect, talented artist, involved community member and a mom who raised her family in the city. A graduate of Harvard College and Yale University School of Architecture, she founded Hickox Williams Architects with her husband in 1983. Their much-lauded work began with restaurants, retail spaces and a large health club. Their work has since expanded to the creation or transformation of many residential homes that are, according to Design Magazine, some of the most beautiful places to live in the Boston area and beyond


Professor Liana De Girolami Cheney

Concealments and Revelations in the Self-Portraits of Female Painters

Prof. Cheney is an art historian, Beacon Hill neighbor and presently a Professor and Visiting Scholar in Art History at the University of Bari, Italy and Universidad de Coruna, Spain, and is an emerita Professor of Art History, Chairperson of the Department of Cultural Studies at UMass Lowell. She is the author and coauthor of numerous articles and books relating to Renaissance, Mannerism Pre-Raphaelite art.

2014-2015 Season

APRIL 2015

Traci Walker Griffith

Traci Walker Griffith has been the principal of Eliot K-8 Innovation School since 2007. Traci has worked in the Boston Public Schools since 1992 as a teacher and assistant principal. Her effort to create a supportive professional learning community that embraces high expectations for both adults and students has resulted in academic excellence. Under Traci’s leadership, the Eliot has progressed from a state identified under-performing school (Commonwealth Priority School) in 2007 to being named by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as a Commendation School in 2010, 2011, and 2012 and an Expanded Learning Time site in 2014!

MARCH 2015

Lynn Dunphy

Hidden Gems of Beacon Hill

Five hidden gems of Beacon Hill that inspire our sense of history and curiosity in learning will take the stage at the March 10 meeting of the Beacon Hill Women’s Forum. Want to hear about the neighborhood’s memorable moments, such as the battles to save the bricks that never seem to end? Or, where you can take a course on ‘Triumphant Women: How opera divas changed the world?


Lorna Lowe

Lorna Lowe is a filmmaker and lawyer based in Boston. She began her career in television and film in the early 1990’s, first in series development at MTV Networks, in publicity at E! Entertainment Television, then as a special-effects production coordinator at Sony Pictures Imageworks. Lorna left Sony in 1997 for law school at the University of Southern California. While at USC, she became judicial extern for the Hon. Consuelo Marshall, represented incarcerated adults through the Post Conviction Justice Project and completed an International Law Programme at the Sorbonne in Paris.


Karen Cord Taylor

Karen Cord Taylor founded The Beacon Hill Times in 1995 and later The Charlestown Bridge and The Back Bay Sun weekly newspapers, serving as the editor and publisher of these entities through 2007. Prior to that she was a teacher and a professional writer, creating newsletters, corporate materials, and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles on topics as varied as banking, business, real estate, travel and design. She is the author of Blue Laws, Brahmins and Breakdown Lanes: An Alphabetic Guide to Boston and Bostonians, published by the Globe Pequot Press, and, with Doris Cole, The Lady Architects, published by Midmarch Arts Press.


Diane Darling

Speaker, Author, Entrepreneur, Darling Institute

Diane Darling knows the value of relationships and how to build them.  The author of McGraw-Hill’s definitive book on networking, The Networking Survival Guide. Diane speaks and trains thousands of people each year on ways to build relationships, leading to opportunities and growth.  She believes that now, more than ever, in today’s fast-paced competitive world, anyone can leapfrog their way to successful relationships once they master the art of networking.


Elizabeth E. Barker

Stanford Calderwood Director, The Boston Athenaeum

Elizabeth E. Barker is the newly appointed Stanford Calderwood Director of the Boston Athenæum, the storied independent library and cultural institution located at 10 ½ Beacon Street. Before coming to Boston in October 2014, Dr. Barker (who goes by Lizzie) served as Director of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, Director of Colgate University’s Picker Art Gallery, and Associate Curator of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While in New York, Lizzie also held a visiting curatorship at the British Museum, and organized an exhibition for the Yale Center for British Art. Since moving to Massachusetts, she has volunteered for Labs4Rescue, the non-profit organization through which she adopted her own dog.


Dr. Annekathryn Goodman

Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School. In Bangla, There is no word for Vagina: Reflections on Language, Gender Violence, and Women’s Health. Global Health expert Dr. AK Goodman, an obstetrician and gynecologist, will discuss sexual and gender violence around the world at the October 14 meeting of the Beacon Hill Women’s Forum, an organization formed last year to connect and inspire neighborhood women


Vivien Li

“Take a Walk on the Harborside”

Vivien Li is President of The Boston Harbor Association (TBHA), where for more than 20 years she has been working on making Boston Harbor clean and swimmable, and has also been a major force behind completion of the 40-mile HarborWalk public access system.  Vivien and TBHA convened the first-ever “Boston Harbor Sea Level Rise Forum” in 2010, and Vivien was named by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh to co-chair the City’s Climate Action Plan Steering Committee.

2013-2014 Season

MAY 2014

Martha McNamara

“‘Sisters of the brush and palette’: Women Artists of Beacon Hill, 1870-1920”

Martha McNamara is an art and architectural historian who specializes in eighteenth and nineteenth-century New England.  She is Director of the New England Arts and Architecture Program in the Department of Art at Wellesley College where she teaches courses in American architectural history, the history of cities and material culture studies. McNamara is the author of From Tavern to Courthouse: Architecture and Ritual in American Law, 1658-1860 (Johns Hopkins, 2004) and co-editor (with Gigi Barnhill) of New Views of New England: Studies in Material and Visual Culture, 1680-1830 (Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 2012).

MARCH 2014

Allison Byrne

Marathon Runner & Bombing Survivor

April 15th marks the upcoming anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing.  As the city remembers the devastating events that occurred almost a year ago, come hear what it was like to be affected first hand by marathon runner and bomb victim, Allison Byrne.  Allison had been running the 2013 Boston Marathon as a way of grieving the recent loss of her only sibling, her younger sister, who had recently passed after a difficult battle with breast cancer.  Compounding the grief of losing her only sibling, Allison’s 3 year old dog was run over less than one month after her sister’s passing.  Allison decided to run her first marathon to honor them both.  While the training and race were intended to help in the processing of this grief, no one could have foreseen the unlikely end to her quest to make the finish line.


Michelle Karol

Michelle Karol, author of Ripped, an award-winning Jack the Ripper time travel mystery, will thrill and inspire Beacon Hill Women’s Forum members at their February 4th meeting. Ripped is Karol’s first novel, a young adult thriller published last year under the pen name of Shelley Dickson Carr. Ever since as a child she first read He Wouldn’t Kill Patience, the classic mystery written by her grandfather John Dickson Carr, Karol’s been hooked on the genre and dreaming of the mystery she’d someday write.


Randi Lathrop

Randi Lathrop has been appointed to be the first Director of Business Development at the Boston Redevelopment Authority, which is the planning and economic development agency for the City of Boston. Randi was the former Deputy Director of Community Planning at the BRA for 10 years. She managed the planning staff for the department which oversees planning initiatives, and rezoning for the neighborhoods of Boston. She personally have been focused on the redevelopment of Washington Street in Boston’s South End/Lower Roxburyfor the last 20 years. Currently she is leading team of professionals at the BRA on the identity and branding strategy for Boston‘s Downtown Boston BID area and also worked closely with the property owners on creating the first businesses improvement district for Boston; adopted the new zoning and the planning the Fenway neighborhood.


Amy E. Ryan

Amy E. Ryan, who became the first female president of the Boston Public Library in 2008, will headline the December 3 meeting of the Beacon Hill Women’s Forum. With unwavering dedication and a commitment to all citizens, Amy’s vision for the BPL is twofold: to set the course that will keep it at the forefront in both research and service delivery at the neighborhood levels; and to advance a premier library system that welcomes people from all over the world by responding to the changing needs of library users. She values partnerships and collaborates with the schools, universities, youth organizations, senior centers, literacy groups and others to leverage tax dollars to expand the input of library services.


Heather Liddell

Heather Liddell is the Head of Industry for Google’s Banking & Lending Sector where she oversees the sales and account management teams for banks, lending, and investment firms. During our discussion, Heather will share thoughts on how digital technology continues to change our lives, what it is like to work for Google, and what innovative “Moonshot” ideas Google is launching in the market. She will also offer thoughtful perspective on diversity in the workplace and work-life balance – two very important values at Google.


Kristen Gresh

Kristen Gresh was appointed Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Assistant Curator of Photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) in January 2012. She first discovered the work of many contemporary photographers from the Middle East while working as a curator in both Paris and Cairo, and has brought her expertise to the MFA as curator for the exhibition She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World.


Denise L. Faustman, MD, Ph.D.

Women’s Work in Wonderdrugs

Dr. Denise Faustman, Director of Immunobiology Laboratories at Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School will kick off the Beacon Hill Women’s Forum with a broad look at healthcare and medical research, and why it takes so long to introduce a new drug to the market for type 1 diabetes.  In addition, Dr. Faustman will share interesting stories around her personal life as she raised two thriving children on her own, moved from the suburbs to our great city all while balancing an impressive career. She will share her secrets for trying to be great Mom and great scientist.

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