The Granada House wouldn’t be the exceptional place it is without strong leadership from our Board of Directors. We are grateful to them for their wisdom, guidance, and support.
John Riley, President
John began his journey with Granada House in early February of 2020 and immediately joined the Fundraising Committee. He would like to see the establishment of a strong alumni group. “I have been an active sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 38 years. Although I am not a graduate of Granada House, I was fortunate enough to be in a sober facility for 30 days, I know the importance of a structured environment that embraces all 12 step programs. A structured environment that embraces residents to live productive lives while focusing on a physical, mental and spiritual journey is key to achieving sobriety.” John has worked in the hospitality industry for over 35 years. Currently, he is in sales and sells to large conventions looking to host their meetings in Boston. John is looking to contribute to the dynamic and committed board to bring great energy to the house.
Donna has been on the Board since 2007. She previously served as Treasurer and President. Granada House has been through many changes during her tenure such as searching for a new CEO and adding motivated members to the Board. “Our year’s search for a CEO to bring us into a new realm of success was a valuable bonding experience. We are launching some new ideas while maintaining the warmth and heart for which Granada House has become well-known.” Donna spent many years in Corporate Event Planning in the Greater Boston area. She is now working as Vocational Coach for recovering people and is employed by several for-profit sober living houses. Donna has served on the board of Right Turn in Watertown and has volunteered at the Women’s Lunch Place. Next on Donna’s agenda for Granada House: extending the mission to a second house, Alcott, to bring expertise to a separate women’s program.
Karen has had the privilege of serving on the Board since 2014 and is an integral part of the Fundraising and Event Planning Committees. One motivating factor for Karen’s work on the board are the success stories from Granada House clients. “I believe that every sober alcoholic roots for the newcomer to “get it” and to maintain sobriety – the GH is a place that helps with that first step. For me, getting to know many of the female residents at my Thursday Night women’s meeting when they were just getting sober helped me witness the miracle of new sobriety and in turn helped me to stay sober.” Karen has a background in Graphic Design and Photography, and she is currently the Director of Staffing at East Meets West Catering in Boston Seaport. One thing she would like to see happen at Granada House is the development of a class for clients to learn job skills. Karen would also like to build the network among the past and present residents. Karen has previously volunteered with the Boston Living Center and YMCA.
Erin, a previous high school history teacher and admissions officer, joined the board in March 2020. She was drawn to the work of Granada House after meeting Donna Wolfe. After she was recruited and toured the house with Vijay, she was instantly inspired to donate her time to help Granada House raise money to expand their women’s programming. “This board appointment happened at an opportune time when I was seeking ways to connect with families who are supporting a loved one in recovery. The fact that Granada House serves both men and women makes it special.” Erin is working with the Fundraising Committee to assist in grant research and to help advertise Granada’s mission and seek new donors, as well as usher in a new era for the house.
Melissa is a Professor of the Practice in the Music Industry Department at Northeastern University. She is also a Professional Songwriter and wants residents to feel supported to express themselves creatively. “I would love to see a “Granada House Press” – maybe a quarterly magazine that showcases residents’ work or even a scalable newspaper for the recovery community. The Granada House has served the Boston area for decades; it is a home for recovery not a place to recover.” Since joining the board, Melissa has been a member of the Fundraising Committee.
Toby’s work on the Board started in 2005, and he has served in many capacities. Once dedicated to fundraising, he became a member of the Transition Committee during the search for a new CEO, which started in 2019. “Granada House has always been a local community program in which it’s residents have been integrated into the larger 12-step communities. I am proud that Granada House has worked with different communities. They were the first to house HIV-positive residents and clients with head injuries. Granada House has also taken the lead in some areas such as becoming a non-smoking house.” He currently owns his own real estate business after working in the non-profit sector for many years. There is no doubt that Toby will help propel Granada House into its new chapter as a prominent and well-respected facility in the Greater Boston area.
Andrew’s early career consisted of community based mental health work with high risk urban populations. Moving into senior clinical roles, Mr. Linberg’s interests turned to program development. He was the senior most clinical leader in the establishment of Arbour Counseling services in Middleboro Massachusetts and moved on to found the behavioral health Division of The Duffy Health Center on Cape Cod. In 2004, he returned to the Boston Area to a senior leadership position at Arbour Counseling Services and subsequently co- established and developed Arbour Community Services, a program which provides comprehensive mental health services for high risk families. He is currently serving as the Executive Director for New Horizons Medical, a multi-location outpatient addictions treatment program. “Granada house has always had a special place in my heart because of all the powerful and lasting recovery stories I have heard from there.” Andrew has been on the board since 2018. He is also a father, hockey player, and recovery advocate.
Peter McGrath, Treasurer
Peter has a long history with Granada House and was part of the original group who started with the idea of a recovery residence in Brighton in 1978. He has been on the board since its inception, making him the longest serving board member.Peter has served in all officer roles through the years. “The house is unique in many ways. It’s coe-ed, HP accessible, has a great community reputation and has been run on a philosophy of caring and supporting individual human rights. GH has been a trendsetter in recognizing individuality. I get more from my association with the house than I can give back.” Peter would like to see the house expand services by increasing the number of beds and create separate residential sites for men and women. Peter is a retired hospital administrator with a 10-year stint in government health regulation. He has dedicated over 50 years of service to nonprofit boards and management positions in 4 Boston area hospitals. Peter is currently giving his time as CFO to the Michael Lisnow Respite Center in Hopkinton, MA and serves on the board of directors of Alternative Supports Inc., in Waltham, MA.
Monica, a writer, joined the board in May 2020 and will help Granada House with grant writing and fundraising. She is not new to the grant writing process as she has worked with Catholic Charities in the past. Monica is currently working as an Application Support Engineer for a tech company. She feels the house is in an ideal location for people in early sobriety to build a new life. She would like Granada House to bring in new donors through creative outreach initiatives. “I am grateful for the chance to give back by lending my skills to an organization with a mission to help people live free from addiction.” Monica has wasted no time and is working on a project to capture the success stories of former residents for the website.
Cindy O’Donnell, Clerk
Prior to her board appointment in 2016, Cindy volunteered at the Granada House helping women residents get involved in recovery. She has served on the Executive Director Search Committee and is currently on the Clinical Committee. “I believe recovery from substance use disorders requires the building of community. The community that is Granada House has always made it special for me. Residents form bonds with each other, with staff, with the local recovery community and with their employers. These relationships help them to recover and build a fulfilling life as a sober person.” Cindy would like to see Granada House focus efforts on building a women’s program with strong trauma informed services. Cindy works for the Department of Developmental Services in the Northeast Region, and has a strong connection to nonprofits that provide services to people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. She has also been a school volunteer in Melrose for many years. She is also involved in the Farm Direct Coop and recently began volunteering with Bread of Life in Malden.
Jason brings a varied background to the Board of Directors. In his previous life, he worked in advertising and gained experience in copywriting, marketing, and branding. Today, he is a theater teacher at the Haley Pilot School (BPS) in Roslindale, where he works from the intersection of art, history, and social justice. Jason is a parent and member of the board of trustees at the Chestnut Hill School, serving on advancement and DEI subcommittees. His goal is to help Granada House look beyond day-to-day operations and stay responsive to the changing dynamics of the recovery world. “Taboos are fading away, which is critical in saving the lives of the people we love. We all know someone — a family member, a friend, a coworker — who is struggling, and the disintegrating veil of secrecy is something Granada House has to take advantage of.” Jason has learned so much from Donna Wolfe about the importance of connecting, and he looks forward to bringing his experience and service to the forwarding of the Granada House mission.