Executive Director

Martha Dansdill served as HealthLink's Executive Director. She organized the vast energies of the volunteers and networks to ensure that ideas, opinions, and visions get translated into action.  She was HealthLink’s Project Manager for our grant work, making sure we meet deliverables, deadlines and accounts for expenditures. She has been active in numerous local and statewide environmental campaigns, including initiating HealthLink's successful campaign to end the corporate partnership between US Youth Soccer and ChemLawn and waste reduction initiatives. She served on the Swampscott Board of Health for 9 years and initiated the creation of the Swampscott Renewable Energy Committee.

Activist Volunteers

Dorothy Allen holds a BS in Chemical Engineering and MS in Environmental Engineering and has worked as an engineer for the US EPA and the Massachusetts DEP for the past 22 years in regulatory programs as diverse as the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the federal and the state Superfund.  On the community level she was an active member of Nahant’s clean water advocacy group SWIM, and was the founder and the Chairperson of the Nahant Renewable Energy Committee, a group that performed baseline energy use assessment, performed utility energy audits for buildings, produced a report on the potential for renewable energy use by the town and engaged the town in the MTC’s Community Wind Collaborative program.  She has contributed articles as well as poetry to community newspapers.

Burton J. Apple is a retired U.S. Air Force intelligence officer who serves on the HealthLink Advisory Board. He daily scans the Internet for significant articles which he distributes to HealthLink Core members. Burt also maintains the News Headlines section of the HealthLink web site. His management consulting firm, Burton Apple Associates, specializes in management improvement strategies involving Communication, Learning, Sales and Marketing, and Quality Assurance.

Jane K. Bright is Chief Operating Officer for Brightwork, Inc., a web application development company. Jane worked for 27 years as a corporate executive in the field of Human Resources, primarily for the Gillette Company and then Fidelity Investments, at their Boston headquarters. Jane is the HealthLink point-person on the Salem Harbor Generating Station clean up and passage of Massachusetts power plant regulations. She is the facilitator for the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow and is a Board member of CEANS, the Creative Economy Association of the North Shore. She was invited by Senator Jim Jeffords to testify on mercury and the power plants and made several trips to Washington for Clear the Air.

Avi Chomsky is Professor of History and Coordinator of Latin American Studies at Salem State College, and has been active in Latin America solidarity and immigrants' rights movements for over 25 years.  She received her PhD in Latin American history from the University of California at Berkeley, where she wrote a dissertation on the United Fruit Company in Costa Rica.  Her work has focused on Central America, the Caribbean, and Colombia, and in particular on the impact of U.S. multinationals in these regions.  She has been studying the impact of U.S.-owned coal mines in Colombia for the past five years, since she learned that most of the coal burned in the Salem and Brayton Point power plants was imported from these mines.  With HealthLink, she has worked to create people-to-people solidarity with workers and communities affected by the Colombian mines, taking delegations to Colombia and bringing representatives from Colombian unions and affected communities to Salem to meet with coal consumers here.  She co-edited The People Behind the Coal (and a Spanish edition, Bajo el manto del carbon), a compilation of studies and testimonies about the Colombian mines.

Elaine Denune is a former sportswoman with a passion for the environment. She has focused her energies as a volunteer for HealthLink, grows and preserving her own produce and is an active member of Swampscott’s Renewable Energy Committee.

Lori Ehrlich earned a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School in 2005, where she was the Founder and President of the Energy Caucus.  She has been a practicing CPA for twenty one years following a BS in Accounting at Lehigh University.  She has been an active volunteer at HealthLink for ten years and is a proud volunteer and former President.   She is HealthLink's leading investigative researcher, having uncovered potential threats to public health. This work led her to found the Wenham Lake Watershed Association to remediate and protect a major municipal drinking water source and start blogging at www.truthandprogress.com, where she covers matters of politics, energy & environment.  She is the current President of The Environmental Integrity Project in Washington, DC, serves on Governor Patrick's Finance Committee, and currently also serves as a member of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner's Advisory Council.

Alison Gibbs is a public relations associate for HealthLink, assisting with event communications, press releases and other writing projects.  She holds a Masters degree from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and a BA in economics from Duke University.  She has 20 years of professional writing experience as a business journalist and as a media relations executive for the Bank of America, and currently works as a freelance writer and communications consultant.

Jody Howard is a landscape designer whose interest in the natural world led her to 15 years of service as a Marblehead Conservation Commissioner.  She is currently on the Board of Trustees of the Marblehead Conservancy.  She serves as HealthLink's Clerk and is one of the primary movers in the Wind Project. She wrote an article for Soundings magazine in favor of the Cape Wind project. Jody is Chairperson of the Marblehead League of Women Voters’ Preserving Your Environment.

Cindy Keegan is sole proprietor of Compliance Integration, a safety & environmental consulting firm helping business and municipalities adhere to, and move beyond, regulatory compliance.  She has a BS in Civil Engineering and is a certified Toxics Use Reduction Planner, and has been working in the environmental field for over 20 years. She volunteers time to local citizen environmental groups including HealthLink and serves on the board of Salem Alliance for the Environment (SAFE).  In addition, Cindy is the Chair of the City of Salem’s Renewable Energy Task Force and was the Project Coordinator for our North Shore Air Inventory Report project funded by EPA Region 1.

Laura Leeson is a founding member of HealthLink, a key supporter and tireless volunteer. She is the mother of three and is passionately involved in local and national environmental campaigns including cleaning up the Power Plant, toxics awareness and eliminating pesticide use. Recently she was featured in a documentary by Plants, People & Places on organic lawn care to air nationally. She is a superb gourmet cook who can put together a fast feast for hundreds.

Cate Maas is a social worker who initially became concerned about toxins in our environment due to a hazardous situation in her work place which lead to an investigation on the effects of toxic chemicals on child development. Cate’s ongoing concerns about the contaminants that we are exposed to prompted her to serve as member of the Chelsea Board of Health and also as an active member of Greenspace, which is a part of the Chelsea Collaborative, a non-profit organization that addresses a wide range of environmental issues in this urban industrial community.

Gail McCormick holds a Master's Degree from Columbia University and has many years of experience as an environmental activist.  She created an exhibit of award-winning environmental paintings accompanied by written commentary that has been exhibited at numerous universities, museums, the UN Conference on Women and the Environment, and the Earth Summit in Rio.  She also served on the Executive Committee of the Sierra Club in Georgia.  Gail initiated and spearheaded HealthLink's Wind Power Project.

Lee Mondale has been an active, long time member of the League of Women Voters of Marblehead, was recently in a leadership position for four years, and has worked to promote communication and cooperation among the Massachusetts League, HealthLink and the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow. She worked for many years as an art photographer, was a board member of the Photographic Resource Center in Boston and is a steering committee member of New England Women in Photography based at Simmons College.

Lynn Nadeau co-founded HealthLink and acts as glue and taskmaster. She was a mathematics teacher for 26 years. Deeply rooted in community and a long-term activist for responsible public policies, she created a book, The Promised Land Haggadah, sold 14,000 and used the profits to create a public seaside park and to support HealthLink. She serves on the Boards of Jewish Journal, Clean Water Action, Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow and the Clifton Improvement Association.