Board of Directors

Acton-Boxborough United Way is governed by an all-volunteer board of community members and a part-time Executive Director who provides valuable leadership, expertise and coordination of our efforts to improve lives in Acton and Boxborough.


Karen Collins, President

Janis Raguin, Vice President

Joel Friedman, Treasurer

Martha Papalia, Secretary


Board of Directors


Marie Altieri

Ashwin Anand

Pubali Banerjee

Vivian Kobusingye Birchall

Mark Burak

Carol Buysse

Amy Cerel

Karen Collins

Quentin Cote

Pat Easterly

Joel Friedman

Zainab Garelnabi (ABRHS Student Board Member)

Linda Moineau

Jo-Anne Nyer

Jill O'Brien

Martha Papalia

Janis Raguin

Elizabeth Sun (ABRHS Student Board Member)

Bert Ware



Griet Dehandschutter

Griet Dehandschutter, Executive Director

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Griet Dehandschutter brings to ABUW over 20 years of management, strategic fundraising and communication experience, working locally and internationally. Griet is founder of Dehandschutter & Associates, a strategic fundraising consultancy, based in Acton.

Throughout her professional and personal life, Griet has loved to build community. She has been eager to bring people together across cultures and borders in meaningful and creative ways. As co-founder and Managing Director of the European-American Business Council, communications consultant for Burson-Marsteller, representative of the Belgian government to attract American companies to locate in Belgium, and for the past 14 years as a strategic fundraising consultant to large and small nonprofits around the world, she has always emphasized impact and innovation.

Griet has been an active volunteer in her faith community, sports and local schools. As Co-chair, she planned and rallied people in support of the ambitious $1.8 million “Open Doors” Capital Campaign of the United Church of Christ in Boxborough to restore the historic meeting house and the Community Center, creating affordable gathering space and fostering community connections.

Griet believes that diversity is a fact, inclusion is a choice. ABUW is uniquely positioned to offer “one big tent” for all to gather and to take action in our increasingly diverse community. The organization plays a vital role to nimbly identify and respond to critical community needs by securing necessary resources, inspiring volunteers and growing community partnerships.

An Acton resident since 2002, Griet grew up in Antwerp, Belgium, where she studied law. She later married Art Boyd after meeting at the Johns Hopkins University in Bologna, Italy while studying for their Master’s degrees in International Relations. Aside from English, Griet speaks (Flemish) Dutch, French and German. She is the proud mom of three young adults, Alexander, Romie and Nicholas Boyd. Griet loves traveling, playing tennis, reading, painting, storytelling and walking with their dog Champ.

Katie Neville, Communications and Volunteer Engagement Manager

Katie comes to Acton-Boxborough United Way from Budget Buddies, a nonprofit that runs financial empowerment programming for low-income women, where she served as Director of Operations. Katie earned her certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership through the Institute for Nonprofit Practice in 2018, and completed Foundation for MetroWest's Emerging Leaders Academy in 2019.

Raised in Boxborough, Katie's love of nonprofit work stems from her first job at the Discovery Museum at the age of 14. She holds a B.A. in communications and political science from a dually-accredited American university in Switzerland. Katie served on the AB school committee for five years, before relocating to Harvard in 2018. She is a proud mom of an awesome nine-year-old daughter, three stepsons (ages 9, 12, and 15), and two pups. Katie joined Acton-Boxborough United Way in July 2020. 

Kirstin Lynch, Financial Manager

Kirstin has lived in Acton for over 25 years with her husband Paul and their three children.  Kirstin currently works as the Admin Assistant for the Acton-Boxborough Food Services department where she manages the finances, free and reduced meal program, Point-of-Sale system, parent liaison/support, ordering/inventory of food/supplies, and the state and federal mandated reporting.  Kirstin has volunteered her time in many different roles including Treasurer and "Data Management" for several school and non-profits including ABSAF, Food Pantry Auction, Carroll School Parents' Association, St. Elizabeth of Hungary Auction Committee, Cushing Parents' Council and many school organizations.  Kirstin's has a bachelor's degree from Boston College in mathematics and computer science.  Her previous work experience is developing software systems for the Property and Casualty Insurance markets. Kirstin joined A-B United Way in December 2019.

Shana Brown, Administrative Assistant

Shana Brown is a long time resident of Acton.  She joins ABUW after raising two children in the Acton school system.  Prior to that, she  worked as a consultant in the environmental and energy sectors as well business development for an environmental engineering firm. She is a graduate of Trinity College (CT). Shana joined A-B United Way in February 2020. 

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