Creating opportunities through education

The Community Group


Lucy Hulse, President

Lucy Hulse is the Chief Financial Officer of Wide Horizons For Children, Inc., based in Waltham, MA. WHFC is one of the largest private, non-profit adoption placement agencies in the U.S. She is a former business manager at Community Day Care of Lawrence, served on the Development Committee of The Waring School, and is a former trustee of the River Valley Charter School. She holds an MBA degree from Babson College. Lucy currently serves as President of the board.

Nestor Louis Torres, Vice President

Nestor Louis Torres, a founding parent of Community Day Charter Public School (Prospect), joined the Board of TCG in 1995 while serving as Chair of CDCPS's Parent Advisory Board. Louis attended the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto Universitario de Mayaguez and following his service in the United States Air Force, relocated to Lawrence in 1986. While in Lawrence, he served as the Chief Anesthesia Technician at Lawrence General Hospital for 17 years and attended Northern Essex Community College. He is currently a Clinical Application Analyst at Elliot Health System and resides in Manchester, NH with his wife and daughter.

Celeste DiFruscia, Clerk

Celeste McDonald DiFruscia is a former high school teacher, practicing attorney, and president of QUOTA International of Lawrence. She is the current President of AARP Chapter 2817 and a Staff Officer in the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. Celeste currently serves as Clerk of the board.

Eugene Clerkin

Gene Clerkin is a senior vice president and relationship manager at Citizens Bank, focusing on providing capital to affordable housing related community development in the northern New England area. Gene has worked in affordable housing development and financing for the past 20 years, serving most recently as manager of the Bank of America Community Development Corporation’s Boston and Washington, DC offices, and senior lender at Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation. Gene has master planned, developed, and/or financed Low Income Housing, Historic, and New Market Tax Credit properties throughout New England. He is a past winner of the MACDC Jeff Graham award, given to community reinvestment officers who display commitment to community development corporations, and received a national preservation award for the adaptive reuse development of an historic mill property. Gene also serves as chairman of Commissioners of the Bedford (MA) Housing Authority. Gene is a graduate of Bowdoin College (BA) and Bentley University (MBA), and lives in Bedford, MA with his two daughters.

Mary DeFrancisco

Mary T. DeFrancisco grew up in North Andover and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1978 from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester. She received a Juris Doctor Degree in 1981 from Suffolk University Law School in Boston. Mary's work has often involved children's issues, first for over 13 years as an Assistant Register in the Probate and Family Court Department of the Massachusetts Trial Court and later, in high school aged religious education and sacramental preparation at her home parish of St. Augustine, where she now is involved in sacramental preparation for adults. Mary resides with her husband, Mark, in Andover, where they raised their three children.

Patricia Flynn

Judge Patricia Flynn has been an Associate Justice with the Juvenile Court in Middlesex County since her appointment in 2003. She is presently a member of the National Association of Women Judges and a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Judges Association. Judge Flynn was a past member and Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of Lawrence General Hospital, and past Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Notre Dame High School in Lawrence, MA (a Cristo Rey high school). Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Flynn practiced law for 20 years in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Judge Flynn has served as President of the board, and served on the Steering Committee, for the establishment of Community Day Charter Public School.

Ellen George

Ellen George graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Exceptional Citizen Education in 1981. She has worked as a Special Education teacher in public schools, and joined Community Day Care in 1981 in the Latchkey After School Program at Wyman Street. Ellen then moved to serve as the head teacher in the kindergarten class. Ellen serves as Chair of the Andover Thrift Shop Board and as a substitute teacher in Andover.

Mary McCauley Manzi

Retired Judge Mary McCauley Manzi served as a Probate and Family Court Justice at the Fenton Judicial Center in Lawrence, MA. She was appointed to the bench in 1986 and retired in May 2011 after serving on the bench for twenty-five years. She is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School and Emmanuel College. As a Justice, she has been involved with the Task Force on Mediation in the Probate and Family Court and served on the Supreme Judicial Court Committee on Ethics. Out of the courtroom, Judge Manzi was instrumental in the creation of the Community Day Charter Public School, and has continued to be an advocate for us in the community. She is currently working as an attorney with the firm Manzi, Bonanno and Bowers in Methuen.

Robert Nelson

Robert E. Nelson is the Chief Financial Officer of Southwick Apparel, LLC, a Brooks Brothers Company based in Haverhill, MA. Prior to joining Southwick, he was the founder of REN Management Services, Inc. He has affiliations with the AMA, IMA and has served on the Controller's Council and Cost Management Group. He received his B.S Degree in Accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

John Reilly

John Reilly is a Senior Vice President at Fred C. Church, Inc. John heads up the firm's Employee Benefits Division and has been with the company since 1996. He is a graduate of Phillips Andover and Boston College. In addition to the TCG board, John also sits on the Board of Directors for the Lawrence Boys & Girls Club.

Eric Stacey

Eric Stacey has worked at Pingree School since 1997 and is currently the Director of Enrollment Management. In his time at Pingree, he has seen the school’s enrollment grow from 265 students to the current population of 335 students. He attended Colorado College, where he majored in English and was captain of the college baseball team. He lives in Bedford, MA with his wife, Wendy, and his 3 children. Eric previously served on the CDCPS Board and served as President of the Board from 2008-2015.

William Webber

William Webber has served in executive and management roles at ACI Worldwide since 1996. His professional experience also includes work in the financial services industry. He holds a BS from Bentley College and has served on the board of The Community Group since 1983.

Meeting Dates