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Executive Committee

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Kathryn Nielsen, Ph.D. launched 100 Women Who Care, Boston North in 2017 in collaboration with a dynamic group of philanthropic women. Continuously inspired by women who lead with authenticity, values and vision, Kathryn is committed to transformative leadership, democratic philanthropy, and community engagement. Kathryn is a researcher, administrator, speaker, and teacher in higher education and also serves on local non-profit boards. A feminist, aspiring minimalist, and mother of four, Kathryn enjoys tennis, yoga, golf, art, travel and work that inspires personal, professional, and philanthropic growth. 

Karen Vigurs-Stack is a founder of 100 Women Who Care to make an impact for community organizations doing remarkable work. Karen believes that the power of women combined with radical hospitality - the concept of bringing people together to stimulate empathetic collaboration and participation, will provide a relevant space for women to make a difference in their own communities. As a marketing executive who lives to spread the word, no matter if it’s a movie, destination or recipe, this is not the last you’ll hear from Karen.


Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

This is your Team section. It's a great place to introduce your team and talk about what makes it special, such as your culture or work philosophy. Don't be afraid to illustrate personality and character to help users connect with your team.


Mary Schwalm is an independent photojournalist taking regular assignments from Reuters, the AP, and local media outlets. As the official photographer for the Boston North chapter of 100 Women Who Care, Mary showcases the collective effect of participation and collaboration through shared giving in the community. An avocado eater, duck aficionado, and lover of flying kites, Mary lives in North Andover with her wife and their dog and cat. 


Deborah Higgins loves working with giving-minded women to collectively make a significant impact in the local community. She supports multiple charitable causes, whether organizing walking teams or gathering the requisite signatures to champion legislative change. In addition to philanthropy, Deborah’s passions include learning, animals, and international travel that has taken her to India, Uganda, Kenya, Egypt, Japan, the Seychelles, and Bora Bora. A graduate of Bentley University, Deborah spent most of her career in supply chain management and sales for large corporations before developing a successful career in residential real estate 10 years ago. A longtime resident of Tewksbury, Deborah shares her home with four rescue animals: Teagan, Charlotte, DeeDee and Daisy.

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Melea Ray is a high school English teacher in Massachusetts and joined the 100 Women board in 2020. She is passionate about creating innovative and meaningful lessons for her students and helping others with their educational endeavors. As an advocate for animals both big and small, Melea has acquired quite a few rescues over the years, including her horse, Libbey, whom she pulled out of the slaughter pipeline. In October of 2022, Melea and her husband, Tyler, welcomed their beautiful little girl, Autumn, into this world. While Melea wears many titles, her favorite one yet is “Mom”! 

Cynthia McGowan, Ph.D. is Professor of Chemistry at Merrimack College in North Andover MA where her 26-year academic career has spanned a number of roles in the sciences, teaching, and senior administration. As co-founder of 100 Women Who Care she helps the organization identify worthy causes in local communities. Cynthia resides in Bedford MA with her husband and two large Maine Coon cats. Her two married daughters with bio-medical careers live close by. In her spare time, Cindy enjoys an engaging novel, a challenging recipe, a relaxing round of golf, and hugs from her grandchildren.

Christine Maxim is passionate about being involved in her community. Over the years she has volunteered in the schools and various sports teams while raising her three sons, as well as serving as a member of the Dracut Garden Club since 1999, as Vice President for the Salisbury Beach Beautification Committee, and as a member of the Boston North chapter of 100 Women Who Care since its inception. For over twenty-three years, she has assisted buyers and sellers as a professional real estate agent. Currently with Keller Williams Realty in Andover, MA, Christine served as a board of director on the Agent Leadership Council from 2016 - 2020, as a mentor for local agents, and as a chairperson on the KW Cares Committee. Christine is a happy resident of Salisbury and was recently blessed by becoming a grandmother to a beautiful grandson.

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