Meet the Board of Directors, 2017 - 2018

The Lawrence History Center Board of Directors represent the Lawrence community as residents (current and former), employees, business owners, educators, artists, scholars, and local historians. Their collective efforts to enrich art, culture, education and overall sense of place and identity in Lawrence are unparalleled. Please take a moment to learn more about this talented group!
(Slate approved on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at the LHC Annual Meeting.)


Tue–Fri: 9am-4pm
Sat: By appt
Sun-Mon: Closed

Address & Phone

6 Essex Street
Lawrence, MA 01840

Social Media


Founded in 1978 as the Immigrant City Archives, the mission of the Lawrence History Center is to collect, preserve, share, and animate the history and heritage of Lawrence and its people.

mhearn Mike Hearn, President

Mike is the Director of Libraries for Northern Essex Community College (NECC), he wrote the finding aid for the LHC Essex Company Collection, and he also wrote the book, The History of the Essex Company, released in late 2014. More about Mike at

kathleencurry_0.jpg Kathleen Curry, 1st Vice President

Kathleen joined the LHC board in 2011 and recently received her Masters in Organizational Leadership. As co-founder of Imajine That, an interactive children’s museum located at the Riverwalk in Lawrence, and her years of work with Little Sprouts Child Enrichment Centers, she has expertise in early childhood education.

Kathleen has family ties to Lawrence and first learned about LHC when doing genealogical research. She lives in Haverhill with her husband and four children.

msvendsen Mark Svendsen, 2nd Vice President

Mark grew up in North Andover, MA. He attended Merrimack College and received a BA in Mathematics in 2009. Upon graduating from Merrimack College, Mark stated working as a Mathematics teacher at Lawrence High School. It was here that his students told him about a trip to the Lawrence History Center and he went and visited LHC for the first time to look at their scouting collection. He has continued the work of a long-time volunteer at LHC, Al Koch, with respect to that collection.

In 2012 Mark moved to Central Catholic High School. In his spare time Mark serves on the board of Directors of the Yankee Clipper Council, Boy Scouts of America, volunteers with the North Andover high school robots club, and serves as a moderator for the Central Catholic Student Council.

ellen.jpg Ellen Minzner, Treasurer

Ellen is Director of Outreach, Community Rowing, Inc., Boston and has her Master's Degree in Urban Planning from Tufts University. There she wrote a thesis on the role of youth sports in community development. Previously she worked for two years as the manager of the Community Development Department for the City of Lawrence, MA. She then took over as Executive Director of Greater Lawrence Community Boating in 2009, where she led the expansion of programming from summer-only to year-round operations. She also created a successful program under which Lawrence youth became rowing coaches and now lead middle-school youth participating in rowing-fitness programs. Ellen continues to play an advisory role in the rowing programs in Lawrence.

Ellen will receive US Rowing's 2015 Isabel Bohn Award at this year's Golden Oars Awards Dinner. This incredible distinction is awarded to an individual or organization achieving measurable success in expanding rowing opportunities for those with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Ellen coached the USA ParaRowing Team (LTA mixed four with coxswain) to a silver medal at both the 2014 and 2015 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam and London and at the Olympics in Rio in 2016

morin Sara Morin, Secretary

Sara was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala and was adopted at 8 months old. Growing up she spent a lot of time with her grandfather, grandmother, and great grandmother at their home on Prospect Hill. Her grandfather, an immigrant from Sicily, enjoyed taking her for walks in the area and taught her about the community around her. She has life long ties to Holy Rosary Church on Essex St. Her love of history began at an early age from reading and visiting museums with her parents. She graduated from Salem State University with a bachelor’s degree in history. In 2015, she graduated with master’s degree in museum studies from Harvard University’s Extension School. She looks forward to taking part in the preservation of the City of Lawrence’s history by working with the Lawrence History Center.

pamela.jpg Pamela Yameen, Immediate Past President

“Growing up in a strong neighborhood, Tower Hill, gave me a great sense of family and community. This has influenced my educational pursuits in Urban Studies, my work in my family’s business (Butcher Boy Markets), and my efforts on behalf of the organizations I represent in the Merrimack Valley. My commitment to work and service comes from the potential I see all around me and a desire to help it be realized.”

Pamela was raised in Lawrence, Massachusetts and has never stopped giving back to her community. As President of the Lawrence History Center Board of Directors, Pamela has furthered the mission of our organization through her strong leadership ability and desire to do good things for the citizens of Lawrence. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Essex Art Center, an Essex National Heritage Area Commissioner, a member of the ECCF-Betty Beland Greater Lawrence Summer Fund, the Bread and Roses Heritage Committee, and the American Lebanese Awareness Association.

whimpper_2_0.jpg Whimpper Barahona

Whimpper is a teacher at Lawrence International High School. During the summer of 2012, he co-taught along with Professor Robert Forrant a summer enrichment program using a new curriculum piece, The Great Strike, Lawrence, Massachusetts 1912, developed by Small Planet Communications of Lawrence. Since then he has been instrumental in making sure the curriculum is taught at the high school.

Whimpper is an immigrant from Ecuador and became U.S Citizen in 2011. He lives in Lawrence.

rbartlett.jpg Randald Bartlett

Randald is the Sr. Operations Manager for Enel Green Power North America and is responsible for their Northeast hydro plants (NY and New England, 25 plants in total). Lawrence and Lowell are two of his local plants. He holds a professional engineering license in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with a specialty in civil engineering. He has been with EGPNA for almost 8 years. He started in their engineering department focused on dam safety projects and has spent the last 5 years managing their hydro plants. He is responsible for the Essex Company and its operations in Lawrence.

mculter.jpg Mark Cutler
Faculty at Phillips Academy, Spanish Instructor

Mark joined the Phillips Academy faculty in the fall of 2003, returning to his native town of Andover and intent on connecting his students with diverse and divergent communities “beyond the bubble” of the campus. His engagement in Lawrence began with community-based learning opportunities in Lawrence’s elementary schools and has evolved into a rich and robust, ongoing oral histories project called Nosotros, el pueblo: Voces de la Ciudad de Inmigrantes (We, the People: Voices of the Immigrant City) in collaboration with Lawrence High School, Lawrence CommunityWorks, and Lawrence History Center. Mark currently is the director of Confluence: Environment, Culture Community, in coalition with educators and students from five Merrimack Valley high schools; a house counselor in a 36-student dorm on campus; and a founding and current board member of the Independent Schools Experiential Education Network (ISEEN). Mark is married to his hometown friend, Melanie, a successful environmental science teacher at Andover High School, and the couple has two daughters and a dog.

Forrantimage.jpg Professor Robert Forrant

Robert is a UMass Lowell Professor of History. Before that he worked as a machinist and as Business Agent for International Union of Electrical Workers Local 206 and ran a community economic development project in Springfield, MA.

He is a member of the Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School Board of Directors in Lawrence, on the editorial board of Mass Benchmarks, a joint publication of the UMass President’s Office and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, co-editor with Jurg Siegenthaler of The Great Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912: New Scholarship on the Bread & Roses Strike (2014), and co-author with the Lawrence History Center’s Susan Grabski of Lawrence, Massachusetts and the 1912 Bread & Roses Strike.

Robert received the 2015 Mass History Commendation at the Mass Humanities History conference at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester in June. In August 2016, he awarded the title of University Professor, the highest distinction bestowed on a UMass Lowell faculty member, recognizing exemplary contributions to teaching, research and service (

guerrero.jpg Mary O’Brien Guerrero

Mary, a resident of Lawrence, is a retired public school teacher. She, along with her family, has two businesses in Lawrence -- Cafe Azteca, featured on Neighborhood Kitchens on WGBH, has been serving Mexican food since 1994. El Taller a bookstore cafe opened in 2012 and is dedicated to supporting literacy and fueling the pulse of human creativity in downtown Lawrence and beyond.

Mary co-directs our summer program, Lawrence Student Writers Workshop: The Rising Loaves. Her passion for teaching and place-based learning had a tremendous impact on the middle school participants!

KarenVWHerman Karen Van Welden-Herman

"Vitally interested in history, community, architecture and material culture, I look for ways to blend those interests into my volunteer activities and my art practice. I believe that preservation of community character helps people discover a pride of place and develop a new sense of awareness about where they live and/or work. My hope is that everyone will take time to be engaged in making our communities stronger.

I hold a deep admiration for Eartha Dengler's vision and determination to build LHC as an important cultural resource for the people of Lawrence."

Karen is an artist who earned her B.A. in History from the University of Colorado and her Masters in Bilingual/ESL Studies from UMass Boston. She is active with the following local organizations:

  • Chair, Andover Preservation Commission, Andover, MA
  • Member, Essex Art Center Board of Directors, Lawrence MA
  • Secretary, Lawrence History Center Board of Directors, Lawrence, MA
  • President, Memorial Hall Library Board of Library Trustees, Andover, MA

Karen received the 2015 Virginia Cole Community Service Award at the Andover Town Meeting in May. In 2016, Karen was a YWCA Tribute to Women Honoree.

yadira.JPG Yadira Betances Muldoon

Yadira is a graduate of Lawrence High School and studies journalism at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She worked for three decades as a journalist for the Eagle-Tribune and now work as a photo journalist for El Mundo Boast and Methuen Life Magazine.

Over the years Yadira has donated an enormous amount of material to the Lawrence History Center collections. Her contributions represent all areas of activity and have helped us to collect 'current' history in the city of Lawrence.

padova_0.jpg Richard Padova

Richard, M.Ed, M.A., was born and raised in Lawrence. His parents, Sam and Connie Pauta, are lifelong Lawrencians. He is currently an instructor of history, government and geography in the Global Studies Dept. at Northern Essex Community College, where he also serves on the Alumni Advisory Board. During the summer, Richard is also a historical tour interpreter at Lawrence Heritage State Park. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, gardening, traveling to Europe and collecting presidential campaign memorabilia.

Richard and his wife, Lori, live in Andover.

chet-sidell_0.jpg Chet Sidell, Board Member Emeritus

Chet is a long time supporter of the Lawrence History Center and of the city. Originally in the ladies' garment industry, he and his wife, Faye, opened the KGR clothing store in Lawrence in 1975, naming it for their children, Kara, Gary, and Randy. The store was known for selling quality clothes at affordable prices. Since that time, Chet has been credited with bringing new development to the city by purchasing, renovating, and preserving nearby mill buildings. Among his accomplishments are Bell Tower Square at 60 Island Street and 56 Island Street, which has been occupied by the Essex Art Center since 1993.

Chet remains active in numerous organizations in Lawrence as a mentor, friend, and supporter and continues to have an impact on the people of Lawrence.

James Sutton

Jim currently works part-time as a library consultant, associated with the Collins Center at UMass/Boston. He worked in public libraries for 35 years in Newton, Stoughton, Natick, and Andover. In addition to serving on the LHC Board, Jim is the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the Punchard Free School and the Membership Chairperson of the Friends of Memorial Hall Library.

He lives in Andover with his wife Vicky and is the grandfather of five healthy, intelligent grandchildren whom he loves to dote on. He is currently working on a mystery novel, golfs, and is learning Latin.

claudia.jpg Claudia Dengler, Honorary Member

Claudia is the daughter of Eartha Dengler, LHC's founder. Like her mother she is committed to strengthening communities and the organizations that serve them. Her work at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, the Greater Boston YMCA, and Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc., has inspired her own consulting work focused on the civic sector, business planning, and a sub specialty in real estate. Claudia shares her expertise with the History Center as a longtime supporter and contributor.

Claudia lives in Minnesota where she serves on the boards & finance committees of the Citizens League & GTS, Inc. She also works as a sailing instructor and does yacht deliveries worldwide.