Operation A.B.L.E. Staff

Joan Cirillo - President & Chief Executive Officer x129

Joan Cirillo


Since 2000, Joan Cirillo has been the President/CEO of Operation A.B.L.E. (Ability Based on Long Experience), a non-profit organization whose sole mission is to help workers 45+ get back to work. She oversees all training, employment and advocacy for older workers for the agency, as well as advocates for all older workers in the Commonwealth of MA. During her tenure as President and CEO, Operation A.B.L.E. has assisted over 17,000 job seekers 45+ get back to work.

Prior to joining Operation A.B.L.E., Joan taught in the Chicago Public School system and ran training departments for John Hancock Life Insurance Company and Bank of Boston.

Joan has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education and an MBA from Simmons Graduate School of Management. She serves on Metro South/West’s Career Initiative Board, is President of the Massachusetts Society for the University Education of Women and is a Board member of Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) and the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Advisory Board. In the past, she has served as Chair of the Job Training Alliance, as a Board Member of the Massachusetts Association of Older Americans and served for years on the Statewide Workforce Investment Board. Joan has been a national judge for AARP Best Awards 50+ since 2002. Acting as the spokesperson for Operation A.B.L.E., Joan has become an expert resource for the media, and has been featured in The Boston Globe, The AARP Bulletin, the U.S. News & World Report, among others, and in many "Letters To The Editor." Joan often speaks at conferences focused on employment for older workers, and from 2002 until 2009, she was the Job Doc in The Boston Sunday Globe. In addition, Joan has been a member of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce for over 20 years.

Mark Gyurina - Chief Program Officer x128


Mark joined the staff as Chief Program Officer in 2008. He manages the employment and training programs and is responsible for new program development, developing partnerships and collaborations, and writing grant proposals.

Mark brings over 20 years of workforce development experience in the Boston area, much of that with Jewish Vocational Services where he managed agency employment, training and adult education programs serving a wide range of target populations including refugees/immigrants, TANF recipients, dislocated workers, youth and young adults, and individuals with disabilities.

Mark holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and served three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand.

Richard Ludwig - Chief Financial Officer x127


Rick joined Operation A.B.L.E. as Chief Financial Officer in 2014. He has extensive experience in strategic planning, financial reporting, budgeting, financial forecasting, project management and process improvement in the management of large and small enterprises. He served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of the Chicago 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid. He was instrumental in the successful financial and operational delivery of both the Sydney (2000) and Atlanta (1996) Olympic Summer Games, in his roles as Financial Planning Program Manager and Budget Director, respectively. Rick has been a controller, tax planner and financial consultant for various firms, and was a manager in the financial management consulting practice of KPMG Peat Marwick in Atlanta. A graduate of Florida State University in Multinational Business and German, he earned a Master of International Management with distinction from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, Glendale, AZ. Rick has worked in 13 countries on five continents.

Esmael Abdulkerim - IT Systems Administrator x140


Esmael joined Operation A.B.L.E. in 2013, after working in IT for over 20 years.  As the IT Systems Administrator, his expertise keeps Operation A.B.L.E. systems running smoothly to benefit staff and clients.  Esmael has degrees in mathematics and computer science from UMass.

Patrice Ball - Program Manager, ABLE Job Resource Center x136


Patrice is the Program Manager for the new ABLE Job Resource Center, available to Boston residents as a result of a grant from the City of Boston’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)—Public Services.  Patrice has over 20 years’ experience in adult education, including teaching, training, workshop development/presentation, and consulting.   Her experience includes technology trainings and support, online learning, online tools, learning management systems, help desk/technology support, technology classroom integration, data management/analysis and reporting, small business consulting, and career services/workplace education. She holds a Master’s of Education in Counseling from Cambridge College, a B.A. in Psychology from Framingham State University and a Certificate of Online Teaching from the Online Learning Consortium (formerly Sloan Consortium) specializing in online tools.   She also has a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Training from UMASS Center for Enterprise Creation.

Robert Timothy Crews - IT Tech Assistant x137


John Cross - Database Analyst x141


John joined Operation A.B.L.E. as a volunteer in 2012 and transitioned to the SCSEP program the next year, acting mainly as a Tutor/Assistant in the Skills2Work program.  He has recently taken on the responsibility for the A.B.L.E. student/participant database and is now a Database Analyst.  John is assisting the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance with building an Access database for their operation.  Prior to coming to Operation A.B.L.E., he worked for close to 40 years at an environmental engineering firm, increasing the productivity of Computer Aided Design, using MS Access to support much of his work.

Stephen Currier - Employer Account Representative, x137


Steve came to Operation A.B.L.E. by way of ReServe Greater Boston. His career spans from Washington D.C. to New York and finally back to his native Boston. As part of the Workforce Development team Steve prepares students in the art of interviewing with prospective employers and strategies as to best position a resume and cover letter. His main objective as a Job Development Specialist is to match and place ABLE program participants with employers via internships and ultimately potential employment. Steve received his BA. in journalism from Northeastern University.

Rick Ellis – Communications and Social Media Coordinator X131


Rick is a Public Relations/Marketing Communications professional with over 30 years’ experience planning and leading public relations. He has successfully executed marketing strategies in support of non-profit and for profit companies.  Mr. Ellis actually has prior experience with ABLE.  In 2011, he became a SCSEP participant helping develop our website and social media sites. His diverse experience includes AT&T Wireless, state government and several non-profit and Foundations.  He has worked closely with state, national business and industry reporters; and launched new products, corporate campaigns and community projects with non-profits in Ohio and Massachusetts.

Shirley Fickett - Program Manager, Skills2Work, Medical Office Training  x133


Shirley’s experience in multiple teaching modalities, from classroom lectures to online teaching forums, prepared her well as she was named Program Manager for the Skills2Work and Medical Office &Healthcare Office Training in 2015.  Shirley enlists various teaching methods, effectively reaching the maximum number of students with different needs, abilities and learning styles.  Shirley has an MBA from Babson College and B.S. from UMass Dartmouth in Management with minors in marketing and computer science.  She is also a certified healthcare professional with expertise in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.  Through the National Health Career Association, Shirley holds the following national certifications:  Certified Healthcare Instructor, Certified Medical Administrative Assistant, Certified Billing and Coding Specialist and Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist.  Through the American Association of Professional Coders, she is a Certified Professional Coder.

Martha Fields - Program Manager,  x122


Martha joined Operation A.B.L.E. in 2015, bringing a wealth of experience as an international business consultant, entrepreneur and expert in management, human resources, career management, leadership development and diversity and inclusion. She was a vice president at a Harvard Medical School affiliated teaching hospital and in 1994 founded her management consulting firm, Fields Associates, Inc., in Cambridge.  Her clients have included Bank of America, Children’s Hospital Boston, Fidelity Investments, Harley-Davidson and Harvard University.  Martha is the author of seven books, including “Indispensable  Employees:  How to Hire Them.  How to Keep Them” and “Managing Diversity:  Expert Solutions to Everyday Challenges” which was published by Harvard Business School.  She has appeared as an expert on CNN, ABC, PBS, FOX25, CBS, NBC and in Fortune and Forbes.  A graduate of Boston University, she received her B.A. in Hispanic Studies and Sociology.

Myriam Forero - Accounting Assistant x126


Two years ago, Myriam left New Jersey to come to Boston in search of new opportunities.  With over 20 years of financial experience in a wide array of business environments, Myriam joined Operation A.B.L.E. to assist the Chief Financial Officer with payroll, accounts receivables, accounts payable, bank reconciliations and other financial projects.  She received her B.A. in business administration from Georgian Court University in New Jersey.

Claudine Guerrier - Admissions Specialist, Skills2Work, ABLE Beginnings x135


Claudine is involved in the Wednesday Information Sessions Operation A.B.L.E. runs to introduce people to the agency’s services.  There, she reminds participants that age is no barrier to ambition. She recently joined Operation A.B.L.E. after a career focused on health services.  She had been a respiratory technician at Mount Sinai Medical Center and also worked at AIDS ACTION Boston, Lynn Community Health Center and Boston Medical Center.  Claudine received her bachelor’s degree in human services from Springfield College and M.Ed. (concentration in counseling psychology) from Cambridge College.

Wayne Jones - Program Manager, ABLE Beginnings x125


Wayne is the manager and principal instructor for the A.B.L.E. Beginnings computer and job search classroom training program.  His background includes radio communications, office product and computer field service.  Wayne has taught a broad range of subjects:  military leadership and instruction techniques for non-commissioned officers, product trainings for new customers, office equipment repair classes and safety workshops for field service employees, and classes in Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.  Wayne joined Operation A.B.L.E. in 2007 following a US Army tour at the Fort Devens NCO Garrison School, then over 10 years with IBM, over 10 years with Mac-Gray Copico, and 14 concurrent years with the Boston Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club.

Bill Nadler - Office Technology Administrator/ Sr. Training Specialist x142


Bill is the Senior Training Specialist and Office Technology Administrator.  Bill teaches Microsoft Office computer skills to students in many in-house training programs as well as performing corporate training for incumbent workers at various locations throughout the greater Boston area.  A “natural” when it comes to teaching people how to use various computer software applications, Bill has a way of explaining highly complex topics in a number of ways to ensure that everyone “gets it.”  In addition to possessing the qualities of an effective instructional leader, Bill has the ability to create a climate that demonstrates a commitment to success for all people.  Bill holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Northeastern University.  His background in the electro-mechanical packaging group at MIT Draper Laboratory has served him well as technology administrator.  While at Draper Laboratory he participated in the design verification testing of the Apollo Space Program Guidance & Navigation System and US Navy Poseidon Submarine Missile Guidance System.

Elizabeth Tinsley - Receptionist x120


Liz is the friendly face of Operation A.B.L.E. that staff and visitors see when they enter the agency’s Boston office.  She has been welcoming people to Operation A.B.L.E. for over eight years, returning to the workforce after retiring from 25 years in customer service with NStar (now Eversource).

Rachel Weber Program Assistant, Skills2Works, Medical Office & Health Care Training Programs x130


Rachel’s background is in language development and law, having received degrees from both Boston University and New England School of Law.  She has been a legal assistant in various law firms in the Boston area and is planning to return to legal assisting in a non-profit environment after more experience in the Senior Community Service Employment Program.  Rachel came to Operation A.B.L.E. as a student in March 2015 and now assists Program Manager Shirley Fickett in arranging internships for students in the Skills2Work and Medical Office & Health Care Training Programs.

Regina Wright - IT Technical Assistant x138


Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)


Dave Bassett - SCSEP Director

T: (617) 542-4180 x132


Dave joined Operation A.B.L.E. in March 2017 as the new Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP) Director.  Dave is responsible for working with the four regional managers to deliver work experience and job search training services to mature workers from Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Worcester counties in Massachusetts, as well as throughout New Hampshire.

Dave has extensive experience in planning and managing a variety of workforce development programs with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Boston.  Dave previously held the position as Deputy Director of Workforce Development and Adult Learning at the Mayor's Office of Workforce Develop for the city of Boston.

Dave has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of  Dayton, OH and remains in an active leadership role with English for New Bostonian.

Jill Fainberg -Area Program Coordinator

T: (508) 626-7142


In 2014, Jill started as the Employment Specialist for Middlesex County, based in Framingham, based in Framingham, and became the Area Program Coordinator in 2017.   Prior to this, she taught English as a Second Language to adults.  She had worked in the Office for Resources at Wellesley College for 19 years, working on a variety of computer related issues.  Sponsored by the Fulbright office, Jill worked for the Japanese Ministry of Education in Yokohama for one year.  She has a BA from Colgate University in East Asian Studies.

Ron Genzale - Employment Specialist,  Boston

T: (617) 542-4180 x121


Ron joined Operation A.B.L.E. in 2013 with a background in human services and job development.  He had also been in marketing in the private sector.

Karen Sowsy – SCSEP Regional Manager, Norfolk, Metro West and Worcester

T: (617) 745-4013


Karen earned a BA/BS in Accounting from Boston University and worked in the mutual funds area for over a decade.

But after so many years in the world of finance and she wanted to change careers to something that involved leaning about and helping people.  After months of searching on her own, Karen discovered SCSEP and Operation A.B.L.E.  Soon after, the leadership recognized her talent and qualities and hired her.

Karen recently was made a regional manager for SCSEP responsible for Norfolk County, Metro West, including Framingham, Natick and Worcester.  What she enjoys most about working for Operation A.B.L.E. is the opportunity to meet, work with and help people from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.