For Immediate Release

Meschino takes leave of absence to run for office

Boston, MA, December 17, 2015 – Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice (MA Appleseed) has today named Sue Heilman as interim executive director. With more than 25 years of experience leading mission-based non-profit organizations, Ms. Heilman will help MA Appleseed continue its broad systemic reform initiatives focused on equity in public education and access to Massachusetts’ courts and legal system. MA Appleseed’s Board granted its current executive director Joan Meschino a temporary leave of absence while she campaigns for the Massachusetts state senate.

“Sue has a proven track record in working with boards of directors, staff teams and additional stakeholders to fulfill missions, inspire vision and meet strategic goals and objectives. We look forward to working with her in this interim period,” said Board chair Martha Mazzone. “We want to thank Joan for her deep commitment to MA Appleseed and her outstanding service in support of this Commonwealth’s most vulnerable populations, and we wish her well in her campaign.”

“I look forward to building on a strong foundation through collaboration and my personal passion for MA Appleseed’s important mission,” said Heilman. “It’s a privilege to step into this role to assist MA Appleseed’s Board and staff in its research, policy development, community outreach, and advocacy initiatives.”

Among other things, Ms. Heilman will lead the center in its new access to justice initiative, exploring the impact that recent technological innovations could have in strengthening access to Massachusetts courts by empowering those who cannot afford to pay a lawyer.

About MA Appleseed

MA Appleseed has been instrumental in leading vital systemic reform initiatives for over 20 years. By building on its experience and expertise as a leader, a convener and a trusted research and policy resource, MA Appleseed has been a key voice in influencing policy on education, youth homelessness issues, and the courts in Massachusetts. The legal community has strongly supported MA Appleseed’s endeavors for many years, through law firm and corporate sponsorship for the MA Appleseed “Good Apple Award.” MA Appleseed awards the Good Apple each year to a corporate general counsel or leader who embodies the commitment to the ideals of justice shared by the Massachusetts legal community. The 2016 Good Apple Award will be given to Jeffrey N. Carp, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of State Street Corporation, on March 24, 2016. For more information, visit the MA Appleseed website,

Photo of Award Ceremony © 2015 Rick Friedman

Photo of Award Ceremony © 2015 Rick Friedman

2015 Good Apple Reception

Massachusetts Appleseed hosted its 8th annual Good Apple Reception at the Boston Harbor Hotel’s Wharf Room on March 19, 2015. Massachusetts Appleseed presented the 2015 “Good Apple Award” to Stephanie S. Lovell, Senior Vice-President and General Counsel of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts for her “unwavering commitment to social justice, dedication to public service, and generosity of spirit.”

Keynote speaker, Dean Richlin introduced Ms. Lovell. Martha Mazzone, presented Ms. Lovell with the Good Apple Award. Mr. Richlin is a partner at Foley Hoag LLP. Ms. Mazzone is Chair of the Board of Directors for Massachusetts Appleseed, and a Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Fidelity Investments.

Sara Jane Shanahan, partner at Sherin and Lodgen, LLP, and a Massachusetts Appleseed Board Member, was master of ceremonies for the event, which was enjoyed by some 200 guests. Ms. Mazzone gave a brief report on Massachusetts Appleseed’s recent initiatives. John E. Alessi, partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Massachusetts Appleseed Board Member thanked guests for attending and made concluding remarks.

Massachusetts Appleseed would like to thank all our guests whose presence and goodwill made this year’s reception a tremendous success. We thank the Boston City Singers for their wonderful performance.

We are grateful for all our sponsors. Their generosity and strong support enables Massachusetts Appleseed to further its mission to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues.