Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Honors State Representative Jennifer Benson and Others at Annual Meeting

Awards Legislative, Community and Chapter Leaders For Their
Advocacy For Seniors; Presents Representative Benson with the Legislator
of the Year Award

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–At its annual meeting on Thursday, December 10th, the Massachusetts
Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
honored several individuals for their advocacy of elder services and
their commitment to raising awareness of legal issues affecting seniors.
Massachusetts State Representative Jennifer Benson was named the
Legislator of the Year for her support and efforts for passage of
legislation that protects seniors. Dr. Atul Gawande, author of Being
which addresses how medicine can not only improve life but
also the process of its ending, received the Arthur Stavisky Award, an
honor MassNAELA
bestows each year on an individual who has dedicated themselves to
promoting elder causes in the community.

Two special awards were bestowed that were created in 2014 in honor of
the leadership and tireless endeavors of two longtime MassNAELA members.
The Deborah H. Thomson Advocacy Award, which recognizes a MassNAELA
member’s efforts advocating elder issues in state government, was
presented to Laura Silber Traiger, Worcester, MA. The John J. Ford
Litigation Advocacy Award, which honors a member’s efforts to protect
the rights of seniors and the disabled, was bestowed on Patricia Keane
Martin, Boston, MA.

Each year, MassNAELA recognizes chapter members for their commitment of
time and energy to the chapter. The 2015 Member of the Year award was
presented to Geralyn Warren, Medfield, MA for her work on the chapter’s
Program Committee and Public Policy Committee. The President’s Award was
bestowed on Steven Mann, Waltham, MA for his service to and support of
the chapter and its president as the chapter treasurer. Timothy R. Loff,
Newton, MA, who is retiring from the chapter board of directors, was
honored for his 11 years of service as a director. Daniel M. Surprenant,
New Bedford, MA received an award for his service and dedication as the
2015 chapter president.

The MassNAELA annual meeting also included the election of chapter
officers and directors for the New Year. The 2015 officers include
president, Margot Birke, Newburyport, MA; president-elect, Laura Silver
Traiger, Worcester, MA; vice president, Karen B. Johnson, Acton, MA;
treasurer, Steven Mann, Waltham, MA; clerk, Alexis Levitt, Hingham, MA;
and immediate past president, Daniel M. Surprenant, New Bedford, MA.

Newly elected directors include: Annette Hines, Framingham, MA; Patricia
Keane Martin, Boston, MA; Clarence Darrow Richardson Jr., Newton, MA;
and Geralyn Warren, Medfield, MA.

The evening also featured a program entitled, “MassNAELA in Transition:
Where We Were and Where We Are Going,” with founding chapter members,
Emily Starr and Harry Margolis, reviewing the history of the chapter,
where it finds itself today and its role in shaping the future of elder
law. Catherine Seal, national NAELA president-elect, provided an update
on current national public policy initiatives related to elder affairs.

The MassNAELA annual meeting was preceded by a vendor fair which
featured 17 organizations showcasing their elder care services. The
vendor fair provides MassNAELA members with awareness of essential
quality-of-life services to which they can connect at-risk seniors and
better serve their clients.

About MassNAELA
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys,
the premier organization of elder and special needs law attorneys in the
country, is dedicated to developing awareness of issues concerning the
elderly and those with special needs. Nearly 500 attorneys are members
of the Massachusetts Chapter. Members work directly with the elderly and
those with special needs in areas as diverse as planning for
catastrophic care costs, disability planning, age discrimination in
employment and housing, benefits planning, estate planning, veterans’
benefits and more. For more information about MassNAELA, visit


For Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys