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September 21, 2020: Lawrence History Center installs new president and vice president, welcomes 2 new members to its board of directors, and premiers virtual Walk to the Great Stone Dam

September 21, 2020


Contact(s): Susan Grabski, Executive Director, Lawrence History Center, 978-686-9230

Lawrence History Center installs new president and vice president, welcomes 2 new members to its board of directors, and premiers virtual Walk to the Great Stone Dam

Lawrence, MA – On September 19, 2020, the Lawrence History Center (LHC) held its 42nd Annual Meeting virtually on Zoom. LHC President Kathleen Curry presided over the meeting at which Mark Cutler was installed as her successor, Glennys Sanchez moved into the LHC Vice President role, and two new board members -- Michael W. Morris, Jr., Esq. and Jineyda Tapia -- were elected by the membership to serve their first three year terms.

After the membership accepted the LHC Annual Meeting Minutes, 9/28/2019, LHC Treasurer Mark Svendsen presented the FY2020 Treasurer's Report for acceptance. His overview included some of the impact the pandemic has had on our investments, as of 4/30/2020, however ended on a positive note sharing that accounts have rebounded some since May. Kathleen Curry presented a Bylaws Revision for acceptance to increase the number of board members on the board from 11-15 to 14-18 members. LHC hopes to increase the board's diversity and representation of current Lawrence residents while maintaining long term expertise, historical perspective, and institutional knowledge. LHC Vice President Mark Cutler presented the Board Slate of Candidates, 2020-2021 and introduced two new nominated board members: 

Michael W. Morris, Jr., Esq.

Lawrence born and Andover raised, Mike practices law with Morris, Rossi & Hayes in Andover having graduated from The Johns Hopkins University and The Boston University School of Law. In addition to the practice of law, Mike has served as a volunteer or board member for several non-profits in the Greater Lawrence area including The Lawrence Boys & Girls Club, The Merrimack Valley YMCA, the Andover Center for History & Culture, the Professional Center for Child Development and the Andover Chamber of Commerce, having served as Chair of the Board of Managers of the Andover/North Andover YMCA and the Andover Chamber of Commerce. Mike has been honored for his volunteer service having received the Billy Robertson Service Award from the Lawrence Boys & Girls Club and the Cynthia Wright Chairman’s Award from the Merrimack Valley YMCA. In addition to his volunteer service, Mike is passionate about history which has resulted in him being selected as the keynote speaker at the Town of Andover Memorial Day Ceremonies in 2015; working with the Andover Center for History & Culture and Phillips Academy to help bring noted civil war historians Drew Gilpin Faust and Gordon Rhea to Andover to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War; graduating with Honors in History from college; and receiving the Webster History Prize while a student at Phillips Academy. Mike presently lives in Andover with his wife Kristen and his two children, Tim and Katie. 

Jineyda Tapia

Jineyda Tapia is a 1st generation daughter whose mother and aunts settled in the City of Immigrants looking for a better life. She attended Lawrence High School and during her senior year had two seminal experiences that made her fall in love with her city. The first was Mr. Meehan’s Art class, where he walked students around the city and made us see the beauty of its architecture and through it the influence of different immigrant groups. The second was a volunteering opportunity at the Lawrence History Center where she saw the dynamic nature of a city that constantly changed as different immigrant groups left their mark. It is these experiences, and a American Studies class with Mr. Gorham and Mr. Dunlevy, that cemented her desire to come back and make a difference. She received her Bachelor’s at UMASS Lowell and would later attain her Master’s at Middlebury College. Once back as a teacher at her alma mater, Jineyda worked passionately to help 1st generation students to attain a college education through Upward Bound programs in Maine and Salem that serviced Lawrence. She then joined Andover Bread Loaf which focused on literacy programs throughout various partnerships in the city, including Movement City, the Boys and Girl’s Club, the Public Library, and various schools throughout Lawrence. Professionally, Jineyda joined other 1st generation and young professionals in the area as they formed the Greater Lawrence Young Professionals Network (honored with the 2018 Eartha Dengler History Award). Their programming geared towards creating a community of young professionals across the Merrimack Valley that came back to make it better in the areas of business, education, and civil engagement, to name a few. Simultaneously, she was part of a cohort of young Lawrencians that provided trainings at Lawrence High School on cultural competency for teachers who were new to the community. During this time, a Boston Magazine article attacked the city and students wanted to engage in their civic duty by protesting and telling their stories of their beloved Lawrence. Ms. Tapia, along with other young Lawrencians, coordinated these efforts in conjunction with various non-profits and school administrators. Ms. Tapia is currently teaching English at Phillips Academy and is the Associate Director of Andover Bread Loaf. Through ABL, she implements and supports programming in Lawrence throughout the year, including summer opportunities at the Lawrence History Center, the Lawrence Public Library, and the Boys and Girls Club. Her elders still reside in the city that enabled the younger generation to have a better life. As her mother says, “I raised a nurse and a teacher in these projects—this is my home.” 

LHC Executive Director Susan Grabski said, "Both bring unique talents and have a long time affiliation with LHC. I have no doubt they will continue to make enormous contributions to the organization as we move our mission forward. I look forward to working with them across the next 3 years!" 

After the Board Slate's acceptance by the membership, newly installed President Mark Cutler thanked now Past President Kathleen Curry for her leadership, Glennys Sanchez for her willingness to step into the Vice President role, Mike Hearn for continuing to share his expertise by remaining on the board after his term as Past President ended, and also Sara Morin who agreed to continue as Secretary for another 3-year term. Mark also noted appreciation to both Mary Guerrero and Karen Van Welden Herman who agreed to serve additional 3-year terms. And he extended gratitude to outgoing board member James Sutton for his service on the Board for the last nine years, as well as for agreeing to continue on as chair of our Collections Committee, a role that he enjoys immensely. 

To learn more about the 16 member LHC Board of Directors, 2020-2021, please visit:

After the business meeting was adjourned, the membership heard updates from LHC Executive Director Susan Grabski and Collections Manager Amita Kiley. Both of their reports will be expanded upon in the upcoming Annual Report, 2019-2020. The guest presentation was the video debut of the the Virtual Walk to the Great Stone Dam. The date, September 19, 2020, marks the 175th anniversary of the very first granite block being laid by the Essex Company in the creation of the Great Stone Dam and the date the very last granite block was laid on September 19, 1848.  

This Great Stone Dam Virtual Tour was led by Jim Beauchesne, Visitor Services Supervisor, Lawrence Heritage State Park, filmed and edited by Barbara Buls, and co-edited by Brett Power -- all from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation. Credits may be found at