Speakers & Panelists 2020 – 2021

Check out our amazing list of speakers & panelists throughtout the year!

September 16: Maureen Bisognano

Maureen Bisognano is President Emerita and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, who has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Medicine among other distinctions. She is an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a Research Associate at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Co-Chair of the Mass Coalition for Serious Illness Care with Atul Gawande. She will be speaking to us about global innovations in healthcare as it relates to aging.

October 21: Jumaada Abdal-Khallaq Henry Smith, J.D.

Jumaada Abdal-Khallaq Henry Smith, J.D. is the Coordinator of the Goldenaires of Freedom House. Jumaada is a Boston community advocate for underrepresented neighborhoods. She is a founding committee member for Age Strong’s Age-Friendly Boston’s Advisory Committee and Black History Month Committee, member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People  (NAACP-Boston), Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO), Veterans and Friends of Gourdin Memorial Park, and the Chair of the Boston Juneteenth Committee. She will be speaking to us about the Goldenaires and how older adults are moving the needle on civic engagement.  

November 18: John Froio & Courtney Libon, De Novo

John Froio is the Deputy Director and Courtney Libon is the Housing and Disability Law Supervisor at De Novo. De Novo provides free civil legal assistance and affordable psychological counseling to low-income people in Cambridge, MA. John and Courtney will provide an overview of De Novo and its unique model, and will address their response to the lifting of the eviction moratorium in Massachusetts.

December 2021: Boston Bridge Conversations

Join us for our annual Boston Bridge Conversations. This year we will break into small groups to network and discuss how we think COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on the future of aging.

January 13: Grassroots Aging Professionals Networks

This month will feature a panel discussion with representatives from three grassroots organizations founded to help support and develop professionals in the field of aging. Alongside representatives from our very own Boston Bridge (MA), we welcome founders of EmergingAging (NY) and Emerging Leaders in Aging (CO). We’ll explore how each group got started, what they’re currently focused on, and what they hope to do in the future.

February 17: Dr. Ryan Chin

Dr. Ryan C.C. Chin is the CEO and Co-founder of Optimus Ride Inc. – an MIT spinoff company based in Boston, MA that develops self-driving technologies that enable safe, sustainable, and equitable mobility access. Dr. Chin is a leading expert in the area of Smart Cities and urban mobility systems. Dr. Chin will be talking with us about Optimus Ride’s recent work, including how they are rethinking urban mobility and the implications of autonomous mobility systems for older drivers.

March 17: Rebecca Gutman

Rebecca Gutman is Vice President of Homecare with 1199SEIU, a multi-state healthcare workers Union.

Rebecca will discuss the gains made by Personal Care Attendants through 1199SEIU and the continuing need to lift up homecare jobs in order to provide quality care to seniors and people with disabilities.

April 21: Elders for Climate Action

This month we will be joined by elder activists from the Massachusetts chapter of Elders for Climate Action. Tina Grosowsky and Seth Evans will speak about the ECA’s climate change advocacy work, including how they help concerned elders become effective climate change activists and leverage a multigenerational lens in doing their work.

May 19: Jeff Weiss

This month we will here from Jeff Weiss, the President and CEO of Age of Majority, a marketing consulting group. Jeff will define Active Aging consumers, a group who spend close to $3 trillion on products and services every year. He will describe the mistaken way society portrays this group and explain why by crushing these myths and breaking the stigma and stereotypes attached to older consumers, there is a significant opportunity to change how society and businesses/organizations see and engage older, active adults so that everyone benefits.

June 2021: BB Networking

This year has been an unusual one, and the Boston Bridge Board would like to thank you for your patience and participation as we relied on Zoom for all of our meetings. We recognize that this new format left less opportunity for the networking for which Boston Bridge is known.

This month we will devote our meeting to networking with one another through small breakout sessions. Come ready to chat and make connections!

June 15th: Philippe Saad, AIA, LEED AP

This meeting will be held at 6pm via Zoom. RSVP Here.

We are excited to welcome Philippe Saad, AIA, LEED AP. He is currently a principal at DiMella Shaffer, an architecture, planning, and design firm based in Boston. In 2021, Philippe was named Design Champion by Environments for Aging for his long term commitment and advocacy for inclusive senior living environments. His belief that architecture is a tool for equity and social change led him to co-found Project Q Communities and LGBTQ Senior Housing, Inc., two non-profit organizations focused on facilitating the development of “welcoming, safe, and affordable housing for low income LGBTQ seniors”The Pryde, Boston’s first LGBTQ-friendly senior housing, is the result of that endeavor and he is delighted to share the journey to success with us!

May 18th: MassTech/MeHi Caregiving Initiative Presentation & Panel

This meeting will be held at 6pm via Zoom. RSVP Here

MassTech/MeHI’s Caregiving Initiative: The Massachusetts Caregiver Coalition is an innovative team of leading employers, advocates, and government partners committed to recognizing, supporting, and building creative solutions that allow family caregivers to continue to thrive in the workplace while also caring for family at home.  Their mission is to partner with, encourage, and challenge Massachusetts employers wherever they are in their progress of supporting employee caregivers by:

  • Illuminating the needs of employee caregivers and their economic impact;
  • Identifying, sharing, and leveraging best practices inclusive of all employer sizes, locations and types of workforce;
  • Championing employee caregiver policies; and
  • Enabling culture change for caregivers across all sectors of the economy.


  • Ben Linville-Engler, Chief Investment Strategist and Program Executive at MassTech
  • Laurance Stuntz, SVP of Customer Success at Xealth & Co-Founder of Massachusetts Caregiver Coalition through Massachusetts eHealth Initiative
  • Alexandra Drane, CEO & Co-founder of ARCHANGELS

April 20th: Alice Bonner, PhD, RN, FAAN

This meeting will be held at 6pm via Zoom. RSVP Here

We will be joined by Alice Bonner, PhD, RN, FAAN,Former Secretary of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and current Adjunct Faculty and Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing CAPABLE Program, and Senior Advisor for Aging at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).

Dr. Bonner’s talk is entitled Age-Friendly Health Systems, Communities, and a Time for Leadership:

 Many different professional organizations, health systems, community-based organizations and government agencies are working to become Age-Friendly. Unfortunately, these efforts are not always aligned or integrated. This presentation will give an overview of some of the current state and national initiatives and will talk about how each of us may play a leadership role – from wherever we are.

March 16: Desiree Lapahie/NICOA

This meeting will be held at 6pm via Zoom. RSVP Here

We will be joined this month by Desiree Lapahie, a data analyst at the National Indian Council on Aging. Desiree is a member of the Navajo Nation and has five years of experience in the aging sector. From caregiver to a data analyst, she advocates on behalf of American Indian older adults for improved comprehensive health, social services, and economic wellbeing.

As a caregiver, she experienced firsthand the lack of native perspective for AI/AN people with Alzheimer’s and played a role in the Alzheimer’s Association’s efforts to pass legislation in New Mexico that would benefit people with Alzheimer’s. She has earned her BA in Economics, with a minor in Business Management at the University of New Mexico.  

February 16: Dr. Elissa Sherman/LeadingAge

This meeting will be held at 6pm via Zoom. RSVP Here

Our speaker this month will be Elissa Sherman, PhD, President of LeadingAge Massachusetts. LeadingAge Massachusetts represents the full continuum of mission-driven, not-for-profit providers of health care, housing, and services for older persons in Massachusetts.

Dr. Sherman has worked in aging policy for over 30 years, and will provide a review of the aging services landscape, including the impact of the pandemic on nursing homes, CCRCs, and assisted living facilities. She’ll tell us what lies ahead for these sectors, including challenges and opportunities.