Meet our Leadership Team
Laura H. Hughes, PMHCNS-BC, Administrative Director
Laura is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. She graduated from Wheaton College with a B.A. in philosophy, and holds a Master of Science in Nursing from the MGH Institute of Health Professions. She is licensed to practice Nursing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as an advanced practice nurse specializing in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. Laura brings her experience working with clients in inpatient, outpatient, partial hospitalization, day treatment, and community health settings. Laura’s focus is upon empowering and educating clients to make behavioral changes. She provides individual counseling and group therapy aimed at increasing clients’ knowledge and motivation to improve their mental and physical health, and increase their independence and life satisfaction.
Ethan Harris, LICSW, Clinical Director
Ethan received his Master's Degree in Social Work from Simmons College in 1969 and joined Programs For People as a founding member in 1973. Mr. Harris completed the family training program at Cambridge Family Institute from 1977-78 and studied at the Centro Milanese Di Terapia Della Famiglia in Milan in 1984. He served as editor of Family Issues from 1987-1994 and the Newsletter of the American Family Therapy Academy from 1994-1998. His publications include, "Crying, Sleeping, and the Post Modern Marriage" in the Journal of Feminist Family Therapy (1999) and "My Brother's Keeper: Siblings of Chronic Patients as Allies in Treatment" in Siblings in Therapy. He has served as visiting professor at Boston University and Simmons College Schools of Social Work and has been a field instructor for Simmons School of Social Work for over 30 years.
Jeffrey Goldbarg, M.D. - Consulting Psychiatrist
Dr. Goldbarg graduated from Harvard College and Boston University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in adult psychiatry at McLean Hospital. He is licensed to practice medicine in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is certified in the specialty of Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He has been practicing psychiatry for over 30 years. In addition to his consulting responsibilities, he is involved in Program For People's Inservice Training Program for interns and staff members.
Brandon Bruinsma - Food Service Manager, The Lunch Box
Brandon's experience in the culinary field actually began at the age of 4 as he stood by the side of his father, an Executive Chef. He quickly adopted his father's passion for cooking, eventually studying culinary arts at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School. After working in his father's restaurant, he learned more about restaurant management while training under renowned Chef Tomasso Garguilio, and later held a position as Executive Chef for a large assisted living establishment in Montana. Prior to joining the staff here, he was Sous Chef at an award winning restaurant in Boston. Brandon loves being able to take the knowledge that he has gained from his experience and pass it on. Although managing The Lunch Box is a different venture in his career path, the ability to work with people to help them achieve their own personal goals drew him to Programs For People.
Stephanie Calcagni, BS - Financial Data Manager
Stephanie received her degree in Business Management from Providence College and is the agency's Financial Data Manager, responsible for the billing, accounts receivable, and coordination of payroll and benefits. She has had over 25 years experience in both private and public sectors. She has been employed by Programs For People since 1983.
Dan Cicconi, LMHC - Counselor
Dan received both his B..A and M.A. in Psychology from Framingham State College, and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. As part of his training he did his counseling internship at Programs For People, and upon completion of his internship was hired as a full-time member of the staff. Dan served as a counselor at Programs For People for 10 years, and then for the next 9 years was employed by the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership and Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan as an access line clinician and a team leader. In those roles he was involved with treatment planning and authorization of care for MassHealth recipients. Dan recently returned to Programs For People as after being away from direct client care for a period of time he was eager to return to the program where he had learned many of his clinical skills to resume a role where he could have greater impact upon improving the lives of others. At Programs For People Dan provides individual counseling, facilitates groups, and supervises clinical interns from master's level counseling programs.
Kevin Fandel, B.A. - Consultant
Kevin holds a B.A. in Education/Human Services from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He brings over 25 years of experience in Corporate Human Resources, including senior positions at GE/RCA, Digital, and Boston Scientific. Throughout his career, Kevin has balanced being both a "Business Partner" to management and an "Advocate" for employees. He utilizes these skills in Project Advance (Programs For People's employment placement program) where he helps clients and employers to develop successful job matches.
Beverly Folkes, AS - Administrative Assistant
Beverly received her Associate in Science degree from Lasell College. She has served as Administrative Assistant/Executive Secretary at Programs For People since 1990.
Sarah Foster, B.A. - Employment Counselor
Sarah holds a B.A. in Psychology from Lake Forest College and has 10 years of experience working vocationally with individuals with a wide range of disabilities. Past positions have included serving as a Program Coordinator for the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and Employment Counselor for Project Advance at Programs For People. She recently returned to Programs For People to resume a counseling career. Her responsibilities include providing vocational counseling and job placement for Project Advance, as well as serving as liaison between Project Advance and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.
Jessica Johnston, M.S., OTR/L - Occupational Therapist
Jess received her Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy from Boston University/Sargent College for Allied Health Professionals and has had 15 years of experience in mental health settings, including serving as occupational therapist for the inpatient unit at Bournewood Hospital and as Community Residence Director at Wild Acre Inn in Lexington. She also has experience working in rehabilitation at Community Rehab Care in Newton, treating cognitive and physical impairments resulting from neurological injuries. Jess brings a focus on the use of functional and cognitive based strategies to assist clients in managing day to day activities.
Mary Jane Kunkycky, M.S., CRC – Employment Counselor
Mary Jane graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, and earned a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Southern Illinois University’s Rehabilitation Institute. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. She has worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor in many capacities with persons with a variety of disabilities, from clinical settings such as the New England Rehabilitation Hospital to corporations including Paul Revere Insurance Company, Raytheon, and the John Hancock Insurance Company where she coordinated vocational rehabilitation for employees. Prior to coming to Programs For People she worked with the Boston Veterans’ Administration, providing vocational assessments and recommendations for disabled veterans. Mary Jane serves on the Board of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Association.
Kevin Pelletier, LCSW
Kevin graduated from Simmons School of Social Work with his MSW in 2015. He is also a graduate of UMASS Lowell in 2013 with his Bachelor’s in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy. During his undergraduate years he received a Leadership award from the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention. Kevin completed a social work internship here as part of his graduate training. He has experience working in day programs, inpatient, outpatient, and residential settings.
Anthony Sirignano, MPA- Employment Services Manager
Tony earned a Bachelor's Degree in Special Education from Boston College and a Master's Degree in Public Administration/Disability Policy from the Sawyer School of Management at Suffolk University. He has over 30 years of experience supporting people of all abilities in achieving their goals of working in the community. He has worked in both public and private sectors to develop successful employment opportunities by matching the skills and interests of the individual together with the needs of the employer. He is a strong advocate for community participation, believing in the dignity of work that fosters a person's self-esteem and value as a contributing member of society. Tony has extensive experience working with state agencies, advocacy organizations, businesses, and chambers of commerce.
Iris Carroll,OTR/L,MPH - Founder and Director Emeritus