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Northeast Human Resources Association
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Board of Directors
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Cynthia Ring, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare


Chair Elect

Nancy Persson, Leadership Growth Solutions



Doreen Nichols, Eversource Energy



Carlos Echalar, CDM Smith

Board of Directors

 Scarlett Abraham, Bright Horizons Family Solutions

 Karen Anderson, Mimecast

Barry Gale, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston

 Dave Hennessy, Keystone Partners 

 Andy Porter, The Broad Institute

 Susan Sgroi, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA

Donna Sinnery, Teknor Apex Company

Phil Strazzulla, SelectSoftware Reviews

Mike Tufts, The Norfolk & Dedham Group

Senior Advisory Board

 Fred K. Foulkes, DBA, BU School of Management

 Daniel B. Klein, Esq., Seyfarth Shaw, LLP


Board of Directors


 Scarlett Abraham

Scarlett Abraham joined Bright Horizons on March 5, 2007. Scarlett’s passion for HR began after she graduated college and worked for a staffing agency.   In her current role, Scarlett is responsible for aligning business objectives with employees and management.  She serves as a consultant and strategic partner to leaders and collaborates with department managers to help fairly implement our policies and to assist them with coaching employees and supporting their development. 

She supports the creation of a work environment that lives by Bright Horizons HEART Principles, and encourages professionalism, growth and diversity. Scarlett is committed to employee growth and supports such commitment by partnering with members of the organization to identify training needs at every level.  Scarlett is passionate about retaining good talent and often facilitates trainings geared towards employee development. In addition to the support that employees receive from their direct supervisor or local leadership team, she assists employees with successfully resolving questions and concerns that may arise. 

One area of focus for Scarlett is partnering with the business to  focus on the company culture and develop Diversity and Inclusion strategies and initiatives that grow and strengthen the overall organization. She acts as an employee champion and change agent and is committed to providing an overall  positive employee experience.


Scarlett holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Developmental Psychology from Suffolk University.  She and her family live in Hyde Park, MA.



 Karen Anderson 

Karen Anderson joined Alnylam in 2014 from Biogen Idec where she served as Vice President, Human Resources for R&D and Corporate Development. Prior to Biogen Idec, Karen was the Vice President of Human Resources, Commercial for Pfizer Inc. covering both Developed Markets and Emerging Markets. Earlier in her 10-year tenure with Pfizer, Karen supported Worldwide R&D. Before joining Pfizer, she spent 6 years at Baxter, most recently as Global Human Resources Director.

Her career as a human resources leader in the bio-pharma industry began in 1995, when she joined Bayer as Director of Compensation from her role as an Associate Consultant with the Hay Group. Karen received a Masters in Organizational Psychology and Development from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She earned her Bachelor of Arts with honors in both Psychology and Labor Relations from York University in Toronto, Canada and serves on the Board of Directors for Advancing Women in the Enterprise of Science & Technology (WEST).



 Carlos Echalar

Carlos Echalar is an accomplished human resources executive with more than 20 years of experience leading human resources strategy, talent management, compensation, organizational development and delivery for global engineering and technology firms. Most recently, Echalar was the CHRO for MICROS Systems, a $1.4 billion, 6,500-person technology company recently acquired by Oracle. He has also served as the CHRO of ManTech International, and a global HR executive for Computer Sciences Corporation and SAIC Corporation. He earned an MBA from the University of Maryland, Smith School of Business and a BS in industrial/organizational psychology from Old Dominion University.



Barry Gale

Barry has more than 35 years of experience in Human Resources in industries as the diverse as Financial Services, Legal Services, and Hospitality. He was named Chief Human Resources Officer at Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston (FHLBank Boston) in 2013. As CHRO, Barry is responsible for the overall leadership, vision, strategic direction, and oversight for FHLBank Boston’s human resources activities and operations, facilities management and administration, as well as the Bank’s diversity and inclusion efforts. 

In his role, Barry provides advice and guidance on strategic and business initiatives to the Board of Directors and Senior Leadership. He serves on various FHLBank Boston committees, including the executive leadership team, providing invaluable guidance by leveraging his expertise, insight, and collaborative approach. Barry also serves as a member of the FHLBank Systems Human Resources Officer and Diversity & Inclusion Groups. 

Throughout his career, Barry has focused on being a valued business partner. He has extensive domestic and international experience working in the Financial Services, Online Publishing, and Professional Services industries where he has delivered effective performance consulting, influenced decision making, and contributed to driving business results in complex environments. Barry is recognized for his commercial orientation, customer centric focus, and exceptional relationship building skills that deliver organizational results. 

Barry earned his B.S. in Management from the University of Massachusetts.



Dave Hennessy

David Hennessy is Senior Vice President, Keystone Partners.  In this role, David partners with executives and corporate clients to successfully address their career management and leadership development needs. David joined Keystone in 2000 with over twelve years of experience in management, training and sales. As a certified program leader, he has provided training in communication, leadership and management skills.

David is host of “The Hennessy Report” podcast series – a free flowing conversation with leaders in Human Resources talking about the industry, themselves and their work.  “The Hennessy Report” is produced by Keystone Partners in cooperation with NEHRA. 

David serves as Vice Chair, Board of Commissioners RMLD (Reading Municipal Light Department), a municipal utility serving 29,000 customers in four towns north of Boston. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Boston University’s Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.



Doreen Nichols

As Vice President of Talent, Culture and Organizational Development, Doreen has primary responsibility for planning and directing corporate-wide organizational change, employee engagement strategies, and initiatives that support Eversource’s business objectives and the company’s vision, mission and values.

Doreen joined Eversource Energy in 2017. She brings more than 25 years of global human resources experience in both big brand corporations and early-stage start-ups.  Prior to joining the Eversource team, she led teams in outstanding companies and institutions such as Genzyme, a Sanofi Company, Staples Inc., LensCrafters, and Tulane University. She is recognized as a thought leader in global diversity and inclusion, operations, acquisitions, divestitures, talent strategy, and performance management.  Doreen holds a BS in Human Resources Management from DeVry University, Certificate in Human Resources from Bentley, and both the SPHR and SHRM-SCP certifications.

In her spare time, Doreen is a make-up artist, and competitive tennis player on the USTA and Central Massachusetts Indoor Tennis Association.  She enjoys traveling, recreational cooking and spending time with her family. 



Nancy Persson

Nancy Persson is the principal of Leadership Growth Solutions, a consultancy providing executive coaching, leadership development and strategic team solutions to businesses and not for profits.

Before starting this business, Nancy led the Talent Solutions team at The Hanover Insurance Group, providing Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, and Learning & Development solutions to the $5B property and casualty insurance company’s 4,200 employees. Prior to The Hanover, Nancy was with Staples for 20 years, where she held a variety of leadership roles in Executive Development, OD and Learning. Before Staples, Nancy held Talent Leadership roles with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Child World, and Hills Department Stores.

Nancy brings more than 30 years of talent development and Human Resources experience to her work. She is an expert facilitator, communicator, executive coach and development consultant, widely recognized for her expertise in talent and organization development and her bottom line focus. Nancy earned her BA in Communications and Education from Boston College, a Master’s Certificate in Executive Coaching, and a Master’s Degree in Organization Psychology, both from William James College. She also has earned both the SPHR and SHRM-SCP certifications.  

Nancy also holds a first-degree Black Belt in Tae Kwan Do. Knowing that fresh challenges lead to continuous learning, she has added kickboxing and beekeeping as hobbies. Nancy is passionate about her family, her work, downhill skiing, and spending time with her husband Mark, her sons, Douglas and Jackson, and her clinically insane dog Scarlet. 



Andy Porter

Andy Porter is the chief people officer at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. There, he leads the Human Resources function and is responsible for creating an organizational environment that fully enables the success of the Broad mission by attracting, developing, and retaining top talent.

Porter brings over fifteen years of experience to the job, most recently as Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Merrimack, he served as head of Human Resources at Dyax Corp, worked for several years as an independent consultant within the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, and held roles in Human Resources at Harvard-affiliated hospitals. Additionally, Porter has spent time outside of his full-time roles teaching as an adjunct professor at MCPHS University, and sharing his views on organizations and talent management as a contributor to the blog “Fistful of Talent.”

Porter holds a B.S. degree in organizational psychology from Bridgewater State University, and an M.S. in organizational development from American University.


Cynthia Ring

Cynthia Ring has served in a variety of Leadership roles within Human Resources over the last twenty years.  Her current role is as Chief of Human Resources at Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare where she serves to champion a People and Business Strategy.  Prior to joining Harvard Pilgrim, she served as Vice President of Human Resources & Patient Experience at Central New England HealthAlliance Hospital.  Prior to joining HealthAlliance Hospital in 2012, Ms. Ring served as Executive Director of Human Resources for Commonwealth Medicine/ University of Massachusetts Medical School.  She also served as Director of Human Resources for Lifespan, Rhode Island’s largest health system for over ten years. 

She was instrumental in implementing a number of workforce investment and development programs as well as talent acquisition strategies.  Over the last six years, she received special recognition from the Stepping-Up Program, JobClubRI and the Governor’s office for her work in establishing an innovative career ladders program and her commitment to community workforce investment and development programs.  She is committed to community service and corporate responsibility and serves on many non-profit Boards.  

Ms. Ring holds a masters degree in business administration from Bryant University, and an undergraduate degree in English from Framingham State University.



 Susan Sgroi

As Senior VP of Organizational Effectiveness and CHRO, Sue oversees the HR function with a focus on fostering a culture of continuous improvement that will enable Blue Cross to succeed in the rapidly evolving health care environment.

Sue joined Blue Cross in January 2015. She formerly led the human resources function for the asset management division of Fidelity Investments. She brings more than 25 years of experience both nationally and internationally across a variety of human resources disciplines, with a proven track record of aligning strategic and business goals with organizational and workforce strategies.

Sue holds a master's degree in organizational development from American University and a bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College. She serves on the St. Francis House board of directors, the largest day shelter for the homeless in Boston, as well as the Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA).  Sue is a member of the Human Resources Policy Institute (HRPI), and the Health Care Human Resources Forum (HCHR), both of which partner with Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.



Donna Sinnery

Donna Sinnery is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Teknor Apex, one of the most ethical, customer-connected companies in the material science industry. All across the world, people come into contact with products that Teknor Apex had a hand in making. With specialty divisions for vinyl, TPE, nylon, colorants, and chemicals, and almost a century of expertise, Teknor Apex has the capability to deliver highly-tailored solutions, no matter the customer, supplier, or product. As a global leader in custom compounding, the company has always ventured beyond the boundaries of traditional thinking, providing our employees with the freedom for innovative and strategic thought. With nine U.S. locations and operations in Belgium, Germany, Singapore, and China, we provide an atmosphere that stimulates and develops our diverse workforce in an effort to bring together the best ideas and talent across all divisions.

Prior to Teknor Apex, Donna was with Corvias Group, where she supervised HR for its divisions – Corvias Military Living, Corvias Campus Living, and Corvias Solutions. Prior to joining Corvias Group in 2010, Donna provided strategic leadership and management direction for Fidelity and State Street Corporation on a variety of global initiatives supporting the acquisition and management of talent. Additionally, she was the founder and president of Global Sourcing, Inc., an international search organization that supported the recruitment of talent across five continents, including more than 15 countries.

Donna has served on several professional boards throughout her career and currently serves as a member of the Linkage Advisory Board.  Early in her career she was a member of the United States Air National Guard, where she specialized in human relations. 

Phil Strazzulla is the Founder of SelectSoftware Reviews, a website that helps HR leaders buy the right software through free online guides.



Phil Strazzulla

Phil has always been interested in business, having started investing at the age of 12.  This led him to NYU where he studied finance.  After graduation, Phil started his career working as a venture investor at Bessemer Venture Partners.  Subsequently, he attended Harvard Business School to get his MBA where he taught himself how to program and started his entrepreneurial journey.

Phil got into the HR world when he founded NextWave Hire in 2015.  NextWave helps companies build their employer brands through better career websites, talent communities, employee testimonials and more.

Phil is originally from the South Shore but now lives in Boston's South End.  He's an aspiring golfer, meditator, and chef - but all three of these are still a work in progress.



Mike Tufts

Michael Tufts is the Chief Human Resources officer at the Norfolk & Dedham Group. Prior to joining The N&D® Group, Mike spent the bulk of his career in the investment management industry, first at Harvard Management Company (eighteen years) and then for a short stint as a consultant at Bain Capital.

Mike brings over fifteen years of human resources experience (ten plus in the C-suite) to his current role. Mike is a business enabled and results oriented CHRO with deep expertise in strategic workforce planning, performance management, people strategy, culture, change management, facilities management, corporate finance and business continuity planning.

Mike was born and raised just outside of Boston in Quincy, Massachusetts and now lives in Marshfield with his wife Hillary and daughter Shea.  



Senior Advisory Board


Fred K. Foulkes, DBA

Fred Foulkes, director of the Human Resources Policy Institute at Boston University's School of Management, is one of the most highly respected HR professionals in the country. A distinguished professor and researcher, he also has experience as a human resources practitioner. 

Fred received an AB degree from Princeton University and MBA and DBA degrees from Harvard University. He was a member of the Harvard Business School faculty prior to joining the faculty of Boston University, where he teaches courses in human resources management, strategic management and labor and personnel relations. 

He is program director of NEHRA's Senior Executive Forum and a senior advisor to the board.



Daniel B. Klein, Esq.

Daniel Klein is a partner in the Wage & Hour Litigation Practice Group of Seyfarth Shaw's Boston office. Mr. Klein's practice includes the defense of collective and class actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state laws in federal and state courts. Dan has represented private employers in litigation under the Federal Fair Labor Standards and the Massachusetts wage payment, overtime and tip statutes. He also has conducted wage and hour audits and provided counseling to numerous employers on compliance with state and federal wage and hour laws. 

Since 1998, Dan has served as a member of the Board of Directors of The Resource Partnership, a non-profit organization that assists employers in the hiring of individuals with disabilities. He received his B.A. (cum laude) from Colgate University, and his J.D. (cum laude) from Boston College Law School.


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