For Immediate Release
BOSTON, MA – The Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice Board of Directors unanimously voted to appoint Melanie L. Todman, Associate at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, to Chair of its Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting on June 27, 2019. She succeeds Martha Mazzone, Executive Vice President of Legal Transformation at Cobra Legal Solutions LLC, who served as Board Chair since 2015 and who will remain on the Board of Directors.
“It has been an honor to serve as Chair of the Board over the past several years, and I thank my fellow Board members for the opportunity,” said Martha Mazzone. “I join my colleagues in congratulating Melanie, a true advocate of social justice with a deep commitment to moving Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission and projects forward. I am confident that under her leadership, Appleseed will continue and expand its essential work to reform the systemic barriers that keep access to justice and equal opportunity out of reach for so many in our state.”
Additionally, the Massachusetts Appleseed Board of Directors elected John A. Shutkin, General Counsel at CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, as the new Vice-Chair. Justin J. Wolosz of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP has stepped down as Vice-Chair and will also continue to serve on the full Board of Directors. Massachusetts Appleseed, a nonprofit organization that advocates for systemic reform in areas such as access to justice, youth homelessness, and education is pleased to announce that Ms. Todman and Mr. Shutkin have assumed their new leadership roles.
Ms. Todman is an associate in Nutter’s Litigation Department. Her practice focuses on advising clients in internal governmental investigations and complex civil litigation relating to securities, insurance and reinsurance, commercial and product liability, government procurement, and municipal law. She has also spent time as a volunteer attorney in the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau and prior to that, was a legal fellow at Heartland Alliance International in Chicago. While serving on the Board of Massachusetts Appleseed, she has been a champion of the organization’s access to justice work, devoting hours of pro bono time to its pilot project, Turning on the Lights: How the Massachusetts Trial Court Could Deploy a Virtual Court Service Center to Assist Self-Represented Litigants.
“I want to extend my deepest thanks to Martha Mazzone for her tireless work as Chair for so many years, and to the Board of Directors for their confidence in me to serve in this new role,” said Ms. Todman. “Appleseed’s work to break down systemic barriers affecting our most vulnerable residents is more important than ever, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board to continue moving Appleseed’s vital mission and projects forward.”
John A. Shutkin is the General Counsel of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, based in its Lexington, Massachusetts office. His extensive legal experience includes serving as General Counsel for KPMG International and the law firm of Shearman & Sterling LLP. Throughout his career, he has devoted his time to working for communities in need, serving on the boards of Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund, Partnership for After School Education (PASE), the Bank Street College of Education, and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice. Mr. Shutkin is a committed member of the Appleseed network and in the past, served on the Board of Directors at Massachusetts Appleseed’s sister center, Connecticut Appleseed. In his time on the Board of Directors, Mr. Shutkin has generously supported the organization’s programs and will be heading the new Governance Committee.
“There is nothing more critical right now than continuing to expand justice and equal rights for all of our residents in Massachusetts, and I am honored to have the opportunity to do so as Vice-Chair of Massachusetts Appleseed,” said Mr. Shutkin. “I thank my fellow Board members as well as Martha Mazzone for her years of leadership and wisdom, and I look forward to working with Melanie to make a real difference for Massachusetts’ most vulnerable communities.”
Massachusetts Appleseed is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and is thrilled to have Ms. Todman and Mr. Shutkin at the helm as the organization charts its path forward.
About the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice:
Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission is to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues. We research the ways in which the justice system, schools, and government agencies are systematically failing our most vulnerable residents. We collaborate with community partners to ensure that recommended plans of action are practical and comprehensive. We advocate for the implementation of solutions that will create lasting change.