History, Mission & Values
Waystone Health & Human Services is a 501c3, nonprofit, human services organization supporting youth and adults with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities; acquired brain injuries; and mental health diagnoses. Our services are provided to more than 1,700 people annually in cities and towns across the Merrimack Valley, Greater Lowell, North Shore, and southern New Hampshire. Our mission is to partner with people who are diverse in age, ability, and cultural background throughout their personal, work, and life journeys.
At Waystone, we acknowledge and honor the fundamental value and dignity of all individuals. We have always strived to create an ethical and compassionate environment that respects the diversity, traditions, and experiences of all whom we serve and employ. The collective history of people with disabilities in this country is intermingled with that of people who have been discriminated against for centuries. The work we do today was founded by the work for equality and justice that was begun so many years ago by civil rights activists. As human service workers, it is our role to actively support equality and justice for all people.
In order to create a more equitable and just organization, we formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce in August of 2020, which is representative of our diverse workforce. The main objectives for the taskforce are to identify areas of concern within our organization and make suggestions for concrete actions. At the same time, Waystone contracted with POSE, Inc. (a local nonprofit dedicated to DEI efforts within the Merrimack Valley). Since then, the taskforce has expanded its focus to include belonging as an ultimate objective of its work. It is our firm belief that diverse, equitable, and inclusive practices will lead to belonging, a concept very dear to our hearts and efforts.
For more information on the DEIB Taskforce, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leadership and BOD
Brad Howell, President and CEO
As President and CEO, Brad leads Waystone Health & Human Services, providing oversight for all programmatic and administrative functions across the organization. Brad began his career providing support to people with disabilities and those who had suffered traumatic brain injuries. He moved into work that was focused on clinical and behavioral supports for people with a variety of challenges. Brad has served in leadership roles at a few longstanding and well-respected nonprofit organizations within the Merrimack Valley and Greater Lowell regions of Massachusetts. Most recently, Brad led Career Resources Corporation in Haverhill, as its CEO, for 13 years, before he was appointed President & CEO of the newly merged Fidelity House CRC in 2019.
Brad received his BA in Psychology from West Virginia University, and he earned his Master of Clinical Psychology from Towson University. Brad serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for Developmental Disabilities Providers (ADDP) and on the Human Services Advisory Board for Northern Essex Community College. In 2021, Brad completed the LEADS Program, a year-long executive education course, focused on systems change, taught by Harvard Business School faculty.
Leanna Fleming, Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Leanna Fleming oversees facilities, finance, and information technology for the organization. Leanna’s background is diverse, she has worked for profit and non-profit organizations across multiple industries including family foundations, higher education, restaurants, real estate, wholesale, and retail organizations. Her primary focus is financial planning and analysis, to help each organization understand their financial weaknesses and to help strengthen them. Working for Waystone HHS gives her role and contributions more purpose, knowing that she is supporting an organization that positively impacts so many lives, on a daily basis.
Leanna earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Bentley University and a BS in Accounting with a concentration in Management Information Systems from Bentley University. She acquired her education part-time, while working full-time.
Wanda Gomez, VP of Community Living
As Vice President of Community Living, Wanda oversees the 24/7 overall operations of Residential Services, Shared Living, Adult Foster Care and Individual Support Services. Wanda’s passion for working with people with disabilities developed through personal experiences, and it has led to a 21 year career in human services. For the past 15 years, Wanda has filled various leadership roles within the agency, and she has recently begun serving as a member to the DEI committee for Fidelity House CRC. Wanda has led the efforts in opening a multitude of new residential homes in addition to serving new populations in the last several years, working collaboratively with the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS) and the Residential Leadership team to make each program a true “home” to the people we support.
Wanda earned an Associate Degree in Human Services from Northern Essex Community College in 2019. Currently, Wanda is enrolled in Cambridge College studying Human Services with a concentration in General Management.
Kathryn Mageary, VP of Human Resources
As the Vice President of Human Resources, Kate is responsible for the strategic direction and execution of the evolving Human Resources policies, programs and practices that support and advance the organization’s mission, vision, values and goals.
With 35 years of experience in Human Resources, Kate leads the Human Resources department, which includes recruitment, workforce planning, compensation, benefits, leave management, performance management, employee engagement, HR analytics, labor relations and legal compliance. Kate holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Psychology, as well as two national professional human resources certifications. She is an active member with the Society for Human Resource Management and the Greater Merrimack Valley HR Association.
Kate is a highly results oriented and creative Human Resources executive who is viewed as a trusted advisor and agent of change. With an unwavering commitment to excellence, she has a passion for fostering dynamic and inclusive cultures, while strengthening organizations through thoughtful design and development of effective people, programs, and systems.
Courtney Salerno, VP of Day & Employment Services
As Vice President of Day and Employment Services Courtney oversees community-based day services, the day habilitation program as well as the vocational team focusing on providing individualized and innovative services to adults with disabilities as well as students and veterans throughout the Merrimack valley area. Courtney was promoted to this role in early 2022, following 5 years of service as the Director of Clinical Services, and 6 years working as a Social Worker with Boston Medical Center.
Courtney graduated from Salem State University with her Master of Social Work and received a BS in Psychology from Husson College. Courtney is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW).
Kristen Tarsia, MPA, Vice President of Strategic Development
As Vice President of Strategic Development, Kristen Tarsia oversees fundraising, communications, community engagement, and strategic initiatives for the organization. Kristen’s passion for working with people with disabilities developed early on in life, and her desire to serve has led to a career in human services spanning 25 years in nonprofits across Massachusetts. For the past 20 years, Kristen has filled various leadership roles focused on program oversight, human rights, and quality assurance, most recently serving as Chief Operating Officer for Career Resources Corporation in Haverhill for 10 years.
Kristen earned a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Suffolk University, a BA in Psychology & Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership through the Massachusetts Provider’s Council. Kristen is also a graduate of the LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) Fellowship Program through UMASS Medical / E.K. Shriver Center.
Board of Directors:
Kara Johnson (President) Attorney at Law, Spruce Law LLC
Lisa Staff (President-Elect) Owner, Simply Organized
Gregory Spurr (Treasurer) Vice President, Rockland Trust
George Moriarty (Clerk) Former Executive Director, Northern Essex Community College, Corporate & Community Ed., Retired
Andrew Novelline (Immediate Past President) President, Abbot Financial Management
Darlene Beal Executive Director, Haverhill Community Television
Nancy McCafferty Senior Relationship Manager, Massachusetts Housing Partnership
Jose Pino Community Relations Officer, Eastern Bank
Brian Dempsey President, Dempsey, Lucey & Associates
Brian Stevenson, Clinical Research Psychologist, VA Bedford Healthcare
Scott Ludgin, Self-Advocate
Glavielinys Cruz, Behavioral Health Clinician, Lynn Community Healthcare
Message from the Board:
Our mission is to partner with people who are diverse in age, ability, and cultural background throughout their personal, work, and life journeys. To further our mission, Waystone is seeking talented, dedicated, and community-minded individuals to join our Board of Directors. Apply to Join Our Board
The role of the Board is to advise the leadership team as it responds to the evolving needs of our clients, their families, and our community. All of us at Waystone are strongly committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
We are looking for candidates who have a personal relationship with, or connection to, our mission and understand who we are and what we do. Our needs include those who have lived experiences that reflect the diversity of those we support, our employees, and our community. Professionally, we are seeking candidates with a background in general or business law, community leadership, healthcare management at a senior level, accounting/banking, or technology.
The Board of Directors meets six times annually, and members are required to serve on a committee that matches their area of interest. Committees meet monthly for one hour. This is an unpaid position, and we encourage our Directors to donate commensurate with their capacity.
Please contact us at LisaRauStaff1@gmail.com to learn more about this opportunity.
Waystone’s Strategic Vision:
The Waystone Health and Human Services of the future will be innovative, thoughtful, financially sound, and data driven.
We are committed to increasing the efficiencies of existing service models, expanding services to new populations, and bridging the gaps in services across the lifespan of current and future clientele.
Through investments in technology, people, and systems, we will strengthen our infrastructure, enhance the effectiveness of services, and provide benefits for / create new ways to engage with our stakeholders.
Waystone will identify and act on collaborative opportunities that add value to our services, diversify our funding portfolio, reduce risk, and provide increased impact to the communities we have pledged to serve.
Accreditation / Accolades
Licensed by the Department of Developmental Services