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Provincetown :: Friday, April 18th 2014

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A New Generation of Caring for Others


January 24th, 2014

So many of us were saddened when Irene Rabinowitz, 18 years the head of Helping Our Women, retired in December 2013. How to find a new leader with the same breadth of vision, energy and enthusiasm? Well, we're happy to report that the H.O.W. Search committee found the “real deal” in Nancy Lynch!

I'm working again in a nonprofit where I can form relationships with our clients, I'm living in the place I've always wanted to be, and am so happy to be totally accepted as part of the norm in a community”.

Born in Brockton and raised on the South Shore, she frequently visited Provincetown in summer with her parents, and fell in love with the natural environment. “I just loved the dunes – this was back in the day when we could still go sliding on them – and I always knew even then that I wanted to live in Provincetown someday,” she noted. Though she spent 10 years in the corporate world, in 1998 she shifted tracks and moved to Vermont, buying a small farm and becoming a stay at home mom to her young son, with her ex-partner. After a year and a half, this dynamo was “getting restless”, and began work doing childbirth classes and acting as a doula, through March of Dimes in Vermont, before being offered a job with them as Director of Public Affairs and Programming.

Through the years, she has been recruited for many of her positions, and has worked with the Association of Maternal & Child Health in Washington, D.C., doing lobbying and policy work centered around womens' health issues; the Vermont Marijuana Policy Project, where she lobbied for passage of legislation to allow use of medical marijuana for patients suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDS, and acting as liaison between public safety officials, doctors and patients to make access safe, legal and easy to navigate; then Safeline Vermont, an agency servicing sexual assault and domestic violence victims in Central Vermont; then to the Peace and Justice Center, a 30-year old nonprofit needing revitalization, where she used her lobbying skills and nonprofit background to work on economic (i.e. living wages) and social justice issues, do policy work, and more. In a career of “caring for the underdog,” she calls it the “culmination of her as a person”, but added that, “As a change agent, I was hired for particular reasons, loved the work, but I did burn out on being the “hammer”. She then helped work for passage of a state exchange to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and went on to serve as assistant to Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos, and moved on to the Vermont Department of Health Access, acting as Outreach Education Manager to educate businesses about the process of ACA/Vermont exchange.

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Finally, “the stars aligned”, the position at HOW came up, and she was thrilled to be offered the position. “My son is grown, married and settled now, my wife Gia and I were married in Ptown in 2009 and were just waiting for an opportunity, I'm working again in a nonprofit where I can form relationships with our clients, I'm living in the place I've always wanted to be, and am so happy to be totally accepted as part of the norm in a community”. She praises Irene Rabinowitz for her generous training, calls Donna Szeker “just great” and the Board “wonderful.” She proudly showed me a lovely handmade hanging craft piece given to her by a client (“and I've only been here two months!”), and says she has “never lived in a more welcoming, friendly and accepting community in my life, and I love my job!”

A friendly, approachable woman, Nancy loves to cook and host parties and gets great pleasure from people enjoying her specialty Italian, Greek and Portuguese dinners! Her joys are wife Gia, son Adam, daughter-in-law Nicole, and first granddaughter, Nevaeh! She's also a “dog mom” to her standard poodles, Boston and Brigid, a big Boston sports fan who adores Tom Brady, has studied herbalism and loves to make tinctures, salves, other natural remedies, is a Level Two reiki practitioner (family/friends only), has just taken up paddle-boarding and loves it! She also loves donkeys, astrology, seafood (especially lobster, SEA scallops and shrimp cocktail), and the ocean. “It is my church,” she notes. We predict great things for HOW with this big-hearted, highly experienced and dynamic woman at the helm.

Chris Daniels is a writer, photographer and office-guru-about-town who shares her life with a bossy cat and “Damon, the Dog With the Toy”

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