Meet the staff


Leadership

 

Lisa Funaro, LICSW – Executive Director

(617) 964-6273 ext. 113, lisaf@mareinc.org

Lisa has over 35 years of experience in the adoption field. She began her career as an intern and then recruitment coordinator at MARE in the 1980's. Before returning to MARE as Executive Director in 2006, she served as Executive Director of the Ocean State Adoption Resource Exchange, now Adoption Rhode Island.  She was also the Director of Adoption for Cambridge Family & Children’s Service and directed adoption programs for Act of Love Adoptions and Boston Children’s Services. Lisa is ultimately responsible for all of MARE’s programs, services, budgets, and equipment and oversees a staff of 16.  Lisa was nominated by Congressman Joseph Kennedy III and was named a 2013 Angels in Adoption honoree by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

 

Bridget Chiaruttini, LICSW - Associate Director

(617) 964-6273 ext. 112, bridgetc@mareinc.org

Bridget has over 15 years of experience in the adoption field.  Before joining the MARE staff, she was the Clinical Coordinator and then Program Director for a Boston adoption and foster care program. Bridget was first hired at MARE to manage all of MARE's child recruitment and family support programs and in September of 2016 assumed the Associate Director position.  She oversees the day-to-day operations of the agency’s child recruitment, family support, communications, and public relations functions.

 


Child Services

 

Kim

Kimberly N. Sheppard, MSW – Director of Child Services 

(617) 964-6273 ext. 120, kims@mareinc.org

Kimberly has over 25 years of experience in the field of child welfare, specifically specializing in permanency for children in foster care. She began her career as a social worker with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, where she also served in a number of other professional capacities, including as a Foster Care Reviewer and Program Coordinator, before moving on to serve as the Youth Engagement Supervisor for BUILD – a non-profit youth entrepreneurship and college access program. Kimberly has also done per diem work with the Boston Public Health Commission and The Pine Street Inn, where she counseled homeless individuals, as well as those struggling with addiction. In her current role with MARE, Kimberly manages the Child Service Coordinators across the agency, as well as the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Program.

 

 

Maurine Albano – Child Services Coordinator – Western Region

(413) 452-3431, malbano@mareinc.org

140 High Street, 2nd Floor, Springfield, MA 01105

Prior to joining MARE in 2001, Maurine worked in various facets of social services and held several human resource management positions at the Milton Bradley Company. Maurine is an adoptive parent of two children. As the Western Region’s Child Services Coordinator, Maurine works collaboratively with DCF and contracted agency 18 Degrees, (formerly known as Berkshire Children and Families) to provide comprehensive recruitment services to the waiting children in her region.  

 

Rebecca Raposa – Child Services Coordinator – Southern Region

(617) 964-6273 ext. 122, rebeccar@mareinc.org

Rebecca joined the MARE staff in 2014 and brings professional experience in psychology, juvenile justice, and youth advocacy. As a Child Services Coordinator, she is responsible for all recruitment efforts for the waiting children in the Southern Region of the state. 

 

 

Emily Goldberger, LCSW – Child Services Coordinator – Central Region

(617) 964-6273 ext. 123, emilyg@mareinc.org

Prior to joining MARE in 2017, Emily worked with children and families in a variety of social service settings including the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, Jumpstart for Young Children and Community Work Services. As a Child Services Coordinator, Emily splits her time providing recruitment services between the Central and Boston regions.  

 

 

Emily Ramondetta, BSW – Child Services Coordinator – Northern Region

(617) 964-6273 ext. 121, emilyr@mareinc.org

Prior to working for MARE, Emily has previously worked as an Adoption Social Worker for the state of Michigan. She also has experience working in the juvenile justice system, as well as working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. As a Child Services Coordinator, Emily is responsible for the recruitment efforts for the waiting children in the Northern Region of the state.  

 

 

Lindsey Brynjolfsson, MSW – Child Services Coordinator – Boston Region & Contracted Agencies

(617) 964-6273 ext. 126, lindseyb@mareinc.org

Lindsey has 15 years of experience in the field of social work. While always working with children, the focus of Lindsey’s work has included: mental health, school-based services, family support, child protective services, and adoption. Lindsey was previously employed with MARE as the WWK Recruiter for the Western Region (2007-2013) and has returned to MARE in the role of CSC as of April 2019. Lindsey will serve as the CSC for the Boston Region and contracted agencies throughout the state.  


Family Support Services

 

Diane

Diane Tomaz – Director of Family Support Services

(617) 964-6273 ext. 114, dianet@mareinc.org

Prior to her arrival at MARE in 2010, Diane had experience teaching kindergarten, ESL to adult learners, and Spanish and English literature to high school students. In her current role as Director of Family Support Services, she is responsible for developing and implementing services to recruit, retain and support prospective adoptive families from their first contact with MARE to the placement of a child in their home.  She leads the agency's LGBT outreach efforts, Family Blog and Family Mentor program.  She is also the parent of two sons who joined her family through foster care adoption.

 

Ricardo

Ricardo Franco – Family Support Services Coordinator

(617) 964-6273 ext. 124, ricardof@mareinc.org

Ricardo had many years of experience working in Human Services and Faith-based communities in Alabama, Arkansas, and South America prior to joining the MARE team in 2010.  He serves as the coordinator of Family Support Services and is responsible for following up personally with all families who contact MARE to inquire about adoption.  Ricardo leads the agency's Latino outreach efforts and is a liaison with faith-based organizations.  In addition to his work with MARE, Ricardo is an ordained minister.

 


Wendy's Wonderful Kids Program

Wendy's Wonderful Kids (WWK) is a signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a non-profit public charity dedicated to dramatically increasing the adoptions of the more than 140,000 children in North America’s foster care systems. These workers maintain a small caseload of the youth who wait the longest for adoption and employ a child-focused recruitment strategy in order to identify permanent families for these youth.

 

Samantha Benkoski – Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter – Eastern Massachusetts

(617) 964-6273 ext. 116, samanthab@mareinc.org

Prior to joining MARE, Samantha worked as a Child Protective Caseworker in New York State. She has experience working with at risk youth, as well as teens and adults with disabilities. Samantha is a former foster child who was adopted with two of her biological siblings.

 

 


Development

 

Megan Dolan, Director of Development

(617) 964-6273 ext. 111, megand@mareinc.org

Megan joined MARE as Director of Development in October of 2016 and holds primary responsibility for all fundraising activities.  After spending more than 8 years as a practicing attorney, Megan moved into non-legal management roles for nonprofit and governmental organizations including serving as the Network Coordinator for the City of Boston Network to End Homelessness. In her prior role as Development & Communications Manager for The Possible Project, a Cambridge nonprofit serving at-risk high school students, Megan was responsible for developing and implementing a multi-faceted system of fundraising, including the organization’s written and electronic collaterals.  At MARE Megan leads all development efforts, including coordinating the annual Jordan's Furniture Walk/Run for Adoption benefiting MARE.

 


Communications

 

Joseph Sandagato – Director of Communications and Public Relations

(617) 964-6273 ext. 115, joes@mareinc.org

Joseph joined MARE in the fall of 2015 specifically to work on a grant implemented to increase awareness about the need for teen adoption.  He was known to the agency as a long-time volunteer and the father to seven children, all of whom were adopted from foster care. Joseph brings to MARE over twenty-years of professional skills acquired while working in corporate communications, public relations, and community development. In September of 2016, Joseph assumed the role of Director Communications and Public Relations.  He is responsible for managing broad, organization-wide communications, media engagement and supporting staff specific communications needs.  Joe also leads the agency's LGBT advocacy work.

 

Katie Beach - Communications and Public Relations Specialist

(617) 964-6273 ext. 119, katieb@mareinc.org

Katie was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio and attended Miami University, where she studied Strategic Communications and Business. Following graduation, she moved to Boston. Katie came to Boston with the goal of pursuing a Master's degree from Northeastern University in Organizational and Corporate Communications. Two years later, and as she was finishing up her degree work, she decided to change her employment focus from human resources to communications.

 

Jeremy Smith - Digital Communications Specialist

(617) 964-6273 ext. 118, jeremys@mareinc.org

Jeremy has over eight years of communications experience working for non-profits and faith-based organizations.  Jeremy is also an ordained minister and has worked in various social justice and advocacy roles.  Joining the MARE staff in 2017, Jeremy manages MARE's website, social media presence, Video Snapshot program, and is the designer for all MARE communications and collateral. 

 


Administration

 

Anna Collins – Administrative Assistant

(617) 964-6273 ext. 110, annac@mareinc.org

Before joining MARE in 2013, Anna spent 6 years in nonprofit office administration, including coordination of communications and programming for the Adoption Community of New England (ACONE). As Administrative Assistant & Receptionist, Anna serves as part of the front line communications team, maintaining streamlined cross-departmental knowledge, keeping databases up to date, and general office management.  

 

Donna Simon – Accounting Manager

(617) 964-6273 ext. 117, donnas@mareinc.org

Prior to joining MARE in January of 2018, Donna worked in various financial roles for high-tech start-ups and then as controller of a property management company focussed on affordable housing. As Accounting Manager at MARE, Donna is responsible for day-to-day Financial and Human Resource operations.