PLAN’s service coordinators, trust-administration staff, and executive leadership have extensive experience working with, and on behalf of, disabled individuals and elders with limitations.
Indeed, PLAN is unique in having a veteran team of social-work trained Service Coordinators who support and advise our beneficiaries on a continuing basis.
Joan McGrath, Executive Director: Joan has more than 25 years of experience in professional accounting and finance, and has been with PLAN since 2008. Prior to assuming the role of executive director, Joan’s responsibilities included PLAN’s operations, trust administration and finance. She has been an auditor with a “big four” public accounting firm, where she focused on high growth, emerging business clients. She also led her own private consulting practice, where she worked with nonprofits, service organizations, and venture capital startups. Joan earned her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Boston University School of Management.
Kathy Vitello, LSW, Director of Operations: Kathy is a Licensed Social Worker with more than 35 years of experience working with the seniors, people who are physically challenged, and chronically ill. She has broad experience and insight—drawn from her work in hospitals, in skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and psychiatric facilities, and in-home care and hospice settings. Kathy holds a degree in Mental Health from Northern Essex Community College; has a BA in Applied Mental Health from University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and earned certificates in Suicide Prevention in Older Adults and Mental Health and Aging from the Institute for Geriatric Social Work at Boston University. Kathy has also participated in a week-long training in Thanatology and is a member of the NPA Conference Planning Committee.
Lucille Cassis, Director of Marketing and Business Development: Lucille directs the growth of PLAN’s membership, creates strategic partnerships and campaigns, oversees community and media relations, website/social media, brand identity, and grant management. With more than 25 years of non-profit leadership experience in health care/health insurance, homeless prevention and missions dedicated to helping people with physical and developmental challenges. Lucille holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Boston University, a Master’s in Communication Studies and certificate in web development from Emerson College, a certificate in Public Relations and Professional Fundraising from Boston University.
Jean Brisson, LSW, Service Coordinator: Jean is a licensed social worker with more than 30 years of experience working in the public sector. Jean has worked as a consultant for PLAN since 2014 within the Western Massachusetts Region, in which she served elders with disabilities and adults with chronic mental illnesses, intellectual disabilities and physical limitations. Jean is an Adult Foster Care Provider and is certified in ‘Caring for the Alzheimer’s Patient.’ She previously worked as a Case Manager and Residential Director through the Massachusetts Department of Disability Services. Jean has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in Public Health Advocacy. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.
Ellen Harnen, LICSW, CBIS, Service Coordinator Supervisor: Ellen is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with more than 20 years of experience working with adults with disabilities; their families and caregivers. She has experience working with individuals in various clinical and residential settings. Ellen has worked extensively as a case manager providing services to adults living with a neurological injury and/or illness. She has worked with veterans with disabilities, their families, and caregivers, through the provision of case management support and advocacy. Ellen earned a Master of Social Work degree from Simmons College in Boston. She is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist and a member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
Kate Robinson, LICSW, Service Coordinator Supervisor: Kate is a Licensed Social Worker in Massachusetts and Rhode Island who brings to her role extensive knowledge from the mental health, long-term care, and legal fields. She enjoys working with the service coordination team and serving beneficiaries and families from diverse cultures and backgrounds who face medical and mental health challenges. Kate has published in academic and trade journals and has presented at colleges and conferences. She earned a Master of Arts in Adult Learning and Development from Lesley University, her MSW at Bridgewater State University, and a post-graduate certificate in Behavioral Health and Aging from Boston University.
John Scott, LSW, Service Coordinator: John is a Licensed Social Worker with more than 20 years of experience working with people who are physically challenges and seniors in skilled nursing facilities and long-term acute care hospitals. John also worked with Alzheimer Care Services in coaching, marketing, and program development. His connection to PLAN dates to the 1990s when he served as a companion visitor. John holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Eastern Nazarene College.
Shani Walker, LSWA, Service Coordinator: Shani is a Licensed Social Work Associate in Massachusetts. Shani has worked for years to resolve conflicts and stabilize at-risk youth and families in crisis. Her experience on various treatment teams spans residential programs, in-home support, and community-based practices, where she helped to develop and participate in individualized service plans. Shani served as a mediator on select cases in the Quincy District Court, while earning a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution from University of Massachusetts Boston. Shani also holds a bachelor’s degree in History from University of Massachusetts Boston.
Valerie Vernon, LSW, Service Coordinator: Valerie is a Licensed Social Worker who brings many years of experience working in nonprofit and the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families to help stabilize and support high-risk families. Valerie also brings almost 20 years in auditing and public safety experience for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Valerie volunteers in her community and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Framingham State University.
Cynthia Calixte, Intake & Service Specialist: Cynthia has ten years of experience assisting people with disabilities and their caregivers in understanding and accessing Medicaid benefits. Cynthia has served in a variety of roles – outreach, intake, care coordination and case management and settings – Medicaid, Senior Care Options, and Adult Foster Care. She is committed to and takes pride in connecting with her clients and advocating for their positive outcomes. Cynthia is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at Regis College.
Kevin Coulter, Accountant: Kevin compiles financial statements for trust beneficiaries and works with investment statements and trust documents here at PLAN. He also prepares trustee certificates and final distribution schedules. Prior to his role as an accountant, he held a marketing internship with PLAN, assisting with PLAN’s website content and various marketing initiatives. Kevin has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management from Xavier University, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Accounting from Southern New Hampshire University.
Margaret Galvin, Accounting Assistant: Margaret provides administrative support in trust operations and finance.
Lorraine Mackun, Administrative Assistant: Lorraine provides administrative support in trust operations, finance, and service coordination—and is often the first person to greet visitors and callers.
Cassidy Tatun, Executive Assistant: Cassidy has extensive experience developing education and outreach programs, conducting project research, providing organizational assistance and creating digital content for webpages and newsletters. Cassidy graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Brandeis University, with a minor in Social Justice and Social Policy.
Anne Marie Wall, Trust Enrollment Specialist: Anne Marie has been with PLAN for four years and is part of the Administrative and Operations team. As the Trust Enrollment Specialist, Anne Marie handles general inquiries and oversees the enrollment process from start to finish for PLAN’s First and Third Party trusts. She also assists in other operational and administrative functions. Anne Marie has more than 15 years’ administrative and operations experience, having worked at various financial institutions and the finance department of a large law firm in Boston. Anne Marie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance at Boston College.