Kathleen Walrath, President of the Board of Directors, Member of Stewardship Committee
Kathy and her husband Tom joined the Falmouth community part-time in 2000 and then in 2015 transitioned from the suburbs of Chicago to a full-time resident in Teaticket. Kathy joined the Friends of Nobska Light as a committee member in 2016; board member since 2017; vice president in 2018 and president March 2019. Her passion for boating off the coast of Falmouth with views and navigational guidance from Nobska Light ignited the relationship with FONL. A graduate of St. Xavier University with a master’s degree from the University of Illinois, Kathy, now a semiretired healthcare executive, is known for a collaborative leadership approach yielding strategic outcomes in a competitive environment. Her experience with volunteer structures, education, safety and client satisfaction contribute to the strength of the FONL board.
Patrick Burke, Member of the Board of Directors, Member Facilities & Finance Committees
Pat, his wife Patty, and their three daughters have been summer residents of Falmouth since 2000 and now enjoy the beauty of Nobska Light from their home in Woods Hole.
Pat’s professional career began in the consulting practice of Arthur Andersen & Co. in Boston. From there he has held leadership positions in the manufacturing industry and founded Waverly Partners, Inc. to acquire and improve specialty manufacturing businesses. Pat has served on numerous not-for-profit boards focused on education and the arts in the Philadelphia region. He holds degrees from the University of Notre Dame and Stonehill College where he serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees.
Pat joined the Friends of Nobska Light as a board member in 2017 and began services as Vice President in 2021.
Lara Balter, Member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer
Lara has been summering in Woods Hole at Nobska Point for most of her life. She has enjoyed watching her 4 children play on the same grass, rocks and paths that she did as a child. A particularly fond memory is her first ride on the Shining Sea Bikeway during it’s inaugural summer to get ice cream in Falmouth center! She and her husband, Steve, realized a long-held dream and purchased the home their family had always rented in 2018. The preservation and history of the Lighthouse and its’ surrounding area have always been of particular interest to her. A graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Hartford she has a background in accounting and is the founder of a charitable foundation working in the field of mental health.
Sarah (Sally) Calacicco, Clerk and Co-chair FoNL Museum Committee
Sally began her role as recording secretary for the Friends of Nobska Light in 2017. A graduate of Skidmore College, she has worked in the hospitality field, and most recently as a secondary English teacher in Montgomery County Maryland. Though raised on the North Shore she enjoyed many visits to Falmouth as a child and has vivid memories of getting blasted by the Nobska horn before it was relocated to the lower rocks. After many visits to Falmouth and Woods Hole over the years with her husband and children, the decision was made to retire here. Having studied Art History, worked as an educator and raised by the sea, she has a deep interest in the establishment of a Maritime Museum in the keeper’s house.
Commander Carissa April, USCG Retired, Member of the Board of Directors, Member of Capital Campaign Committee
Carissa serves as a Board member and Capital Campaign Committee member, bringing to bear over 22 years of experience executing a broad range of U.S. Coast Guard programs and many thousands of hours standing the watch at sea and ashore. Carissa first came to Cape Cod in her second tour of duty, as the Executive Officer on the CG Cutter Monomoy in Woods Hole; here, she met her husband and, over time, became a Falmouth local. Carissa has fond memories of being invited to Nobska—it was then the Coast Guard Group Commander’s home—for meals, watching the fireworks, and meeting up with Flying Santa.
David Forsberg, Member of the Board of Directors
David has worked in a number of government and not for profit positions. After completing military service, he worked in the family insurance business, but eventually left to pursue careers in social services and government. He graduated with a degree in Religion from Bowdoin College and did graduate work at Boston University and Harvard Divinity School. He served on the Worcester City Council, as HUD Regional Administrator for New England, Secretary of Health and Human Services for Massachusetts, Chief Development Officer for the City of Worcester and Massport, and President and CEO of The Worcester Business Development Corporation. Earlier in his career he was an urban ministry advisor to the Lutheran Bishop for New England and headed Lutheran Social Services of New England. He is an Army veteran and resides in Falmouth with his wife, Ann. They have two adult sons and one grandson. He enjoys fund raising for worthy causes, especially Nobska Light Station.
Charlotte Harris, Member of the Board of Directors
Charlotte was a founding member of the Friends of Nobska Light. A graduate of RISD with a master’s degree from the University of Hartford and completed doctoral work at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Charlotte retired from a career in public education as Development Director of the Boston Public Schools. In retirement, in Falmouth she has served as president of her congregation, treasurer of the UUA's Ballou Channing District, treasurer for People for Cats, President of the Falmouth Art Center, and an elected member of Falmouth’s Planning Board. Recruited to Nobska’s cause to write the application to the Coast Guard for the lease of Nobska Light, her grant writing skills continue to contribute to the mission of preserving the beauty and utility of the light station.
Stephen Levy, Member of the Board of Directors, Member of Facilities and Finance Committees
Steve and his wife Sandi have owned a summer home next to Nobska Light for nearly forty years. While living on Nobska Point, Steve has been actively involved in efforts to preserve and enhance the scenic beauty and residential character of the Nobska neighborhood and the Nobska Keeper’s House.
After his service as an officer with the U.S. Army Security Agency he joined Cambridge based BBN Corporation in 1966. He was Chief Executive Officer of BBN from 1976 to 1994 and retired as its Chairman in 1995. Among BBN’s many notable technological achievements was its role in the development of the ARPANET, the forerunner of the modern Internet.
Steve has served on many corporate boards and was also a member of the boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the American Business Conference, and the Center for the Quality of Management. He is past Chairman of the American Electronics Association, the Massachusetts High Technology Council, and the Massachusetts Telecommunications Council. Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Massachusetts in May 2001.
Barbara Meissner, Member of the Board of Directors, Chair of Stewardship Committee
Barbara’s professional life in Michigan revolved around her tenure as a college admissions counselor and Director of Experiential Education at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. At that time, Barbara was president of the Women’s Survival Center and a staunch advocate for women and children in Oakland County. The agency included a childcare center licensed for 150 disadvantaged children, a teen mothers house for eight teens and their babies, a crisis center, as well as programs to support all who walked through the doors
In the town of Falmouth, Barbara became an advocate for historic preservation of Highfield Hall serving as Vice President and President after the acquisition and during the restoration. A new cultural center was established to provide art and music for residents and tourists alike. Recently, a new opportunity in the form of the Nobska Lighthouse property came into being. As a board member from the start, the future restoration and maritime museum creation will be a great source of pride for the entire community.
Philip Richardson, Member of the Board of Directors, Member of Facilities Committee
Phil Richardson is a Scientist Emeritus in the Physical Oceanography Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where he studies ocean currents and the soaring flight of albatrosses and other sea birds. He lives near Nobska Light, which serves as an important navigation beacon when he sails the nearby waters. Nobska Light is also a favorite topic of Phil’s photography.
Jeffrey Thomas, Member of the Board of Directors, Member of Facilities Committee and oversees the Caretaker Program
Jeff joined the Friends of Nobska Light the day that the Coast Guard passed the Stewardship of Nobska to the Town of Falmouth and the Friends. He is a member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, and has such been providing tours and public access to Nobska since 2008. An Engineering graduate of the University of Connecticut, Jeff retired after having been a Technical Project Manager in the Massachusetts Computer Storage Industry for much of his career. His experience includes leadership of people, projects, in various positions in the private sector and Coast Guard Auxiliary, as well as his years of boating, navigation, and search and rescue training, he complements the board with these skills. Jeff joined the board in 2017 and quickly assumed a leadership role for the volunteer program.
Karen Falcone, Member of the Board of Directors
Karen, her husband Lou, and their two sons have lived in North Falmouth their entire lives. They have passed Nobska Light on countless family boating outings and always thought the lighthouse symbolized family, fun, and the Cape. Karen has over 25 years of professional experience in the computer industry and holds an MBA from Bentley College and a Bachelor of Science degree from Providence College. Since retiring to North Falmouth, Karen has become interested in preserving the wonderful history of our shoreline.
Caroline Inman, Development Officer
Caroline graduated college in 2000 with a degree in Education and moved with her husband Matthew to his hometown, Falmouth. She taught in the Falmouth Public School system before deciding to stay at home with her two wonderful children, Sadie and Max. In 2011 Caroline joined Highfield Hall as an education coordinator. She takes pride in both the programs she created for children and families and her role with fundraising. The highlight of her tenure at Highfield was in 2015 when Caroline traveled to Japan with a colleague to facilitate the transfer of a historic exhibition of Japanese print works. She brings fundraising experience through her community involvement with Cape Cod Healthcare, Community Health Center of Cape Cod, Falmouth Service Center, and Team Maureen. Nobska has always been a favorite Falmouth destination and icon for Caroline and her family. She looks forward to seeing the fundraising efforts come to fruition.
Michelle J. Donabed, Assistant to the President
Michelle J. Donabed is an attorney with development experience, and a year round resident of Falmouth. She came to the Friends of Nobska as a Volunteer Tour Guide, and then went on to lead the Capital Campaign Committee as Co-Chair. She recently accepted the position of Assistant to the President, where she utilizes her education and experience in development and operations to help the FoNL achieve their campaign goals and operational needs as the organization divests from the Coast Guard. Additionally, Michelle is currently pursuing an Executive Education Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. Michelle is an active member of the Planned Giving Group of New England, and the Philanthropy Partners of the Cape & Islands. In her free time, you will find Michelle sailing and fishing the waters of Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound and Nantucket Sound.
Greg Mazmanian, Volunteer Coordinator
Greg’s passion for lighthouses and seafaring history stems from his youth. His dad was a WWII veteran in the United States Coast Guard. “My dad would share many stories of his tour of duty aboard a destroyer escort in the North Atlantic along with a short stint in a lighthouse.” When the opportunity arose to join the Friends of Nobska Light, Greg did not hesitate. Having recently retired as a Senior Director of Finance from one the largest technology companies in Massachusetts, Greg began as a volunteer tour guide in 2018 and later as an event lead in 2019. His family has owned a home in Falmouth since 1985 where he now resides full time. “Nobska has always been the go to spot for my family. With Nobska’s majestic views and history of a keeper’s life, one cannot help being drawn to this local gem.” Greg continues to share this magnificent landmark with the Cape Cod community and visitors alike. The Board of Directors has recently confirmed Greg as the Tour Guide Manager. Greg hopes to expand the volunteer network as the Friends open the Maritime Museum complex in the near future.