Board of Directors
Introducing our Board of Directors
Thank you to the individuals who commit their time and talent to the WFL Foundation.
Kara Reinhardt Block grew up in Princeton, NJ. After graduating from Princeton University with an AB in East Asian Studies, Kara lived in Washington, DC, where she worked in health policy with a focus on medically-underserved populations. She graduated from Tulane Medical School in New Orleans, LA and completed her residency in internal medicine at Tufts Medical Center. In 2010, she and her husband, Jason, moved to Wellesley, where they have two boys in public elementary school.
Currently focused on raising her children, Kara was heavily involved as a parent volunteer at the Wellesley Montessori School including recruiting for and serving on the 2015 search committee for a new director. Kara is the PTO volunteer coordinator at her children’s school, a role that grew out of her involvement on the organizing committees for the school’s two major regular fundraisers. Since its inception, Kara has served on the organizing committee for the Wellesley Free Library Foundation’s annual mini-golf fundraiser. She speaks Mandarin Chinese and is on the parent committee as well as the Advisory Board at the Wellesley Chinese Language School.
Kara enjoys being a parent coach for town soccer and maintains a strong interest in food, Tudor history, amateur photography, healthy policy and activism.
Cynthia L. Strauss is a retired investment professional, having worked at Fidelity Investments for 23 years. She served in numerous senior management and investment capacities at Fidelity Management and Research (mutual fund asset management) during periods of strong fund performance in each line of business. This included Director of Research of a portion of Fidelity’s actively managed US equity funds, Director of Research of Fidelity's investment grade bond funds, and Director of Research for Fidelity's domestic and Canadian dollar money market funds. She was also a member of the Senior Management Team at Fidelity Charitable (the largest U.S. donor advised fund), where she developed a national grant program and provided research and advice on the broader philanthropic sector, grant making and social impact investing practices. Prior to Fidelity, she was a founding Managing Director of a New York merchant bank owned by French based Credit Agricole. Cynthia also held a leadership position in leveraged finance at Citibank where she worked for over 12 years, with expertise in global banking, corporate finance and restructuring. She currently serves on the board of Fidelity Digital Assets, LLC, and the North Carolina Cash Management Trust funds. Other present board service includes WGBH (the largest public broadcasting organization), the Wellesley Free Library Foundation, Exceptional Lives (data base for disability services), as well as the steering committee for Invest to Elect (women’s political organization). She previously served on the Board of the YMCA of Greater Boston, as well as a number of advisory committees for national organizations in the philanthropic sector including Charity Navigator, Guidestar, and Exponent Philanthropy. Cynthia holds a B.A. degree Cum Laude, with departmental honors in Art History, from Wesleyan University, and resides in Wellesley, MA, with her 17 year old son, Edward, and husband, Harry Sherr.
A partner at Baumann & Baumann CPAs Wellesley, MA since January 2013, Macdonald has been a partner at regional and national accounting firms for 30 years. Macdonald has been a Wellesley resident since 1977 along with his wife Katherine and two children both of whom are graduates of WHS.
Macdonald served as a member of the Wellesley Advisory Committee 1999 to 2002, Chairman 2001 to 2002, and member of the Wellesley Audit Committee from 2002 to 2005. He also was a board member and Treasurer of Wellesley Scholarship Foundation from 2002 to 2012 and board member of JFYNetworks Boston MA. Macdonald is a graduate of Boston College and Bentley University.
Mary and her husband, Jim, moved to Wellesley in 1980 from California. They have two adult children, who attended Bates School, where Mary was active in the PTO and served as president. Mary’s work life has centered on early childhood education. For the past 27 years, until her recent retirement, she was executive director of the Wellesley Community Children’s Center (WCCC), which offers education and care to children in its Early Childhood Program located on the campus of Wellesley College and After School Programs in six of the seven town elementary schools. Before WCCC, Mary taught at the Stanford University Children's Center, where she founded and directed the first Infant Center; taught and supervised students at the Lemberg Children's Center at Brandeis University; worked in an early intervention program in Brookline; and was founding director of the Child Care Center at McLean Hospital. She has also taught early childhood curriculum courses at Wheelock College and early childhood education courses at Wellesley College. Mary has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in early childhood education from Wheelock College.
While Director of WCCC, Mary entered into a collaborative agreement with the Library to operate a kindergarten after school program at the Fells Library. She has been on the organizing committee of the Wellesley Free Library Foundation Gala Committee for the past six years.
Bridget grew up in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. A graduate of Princeton University and Boston College Law School, she also has a master’s degree in Anglo-Irish Literature from Trinity College Dublin. Bridget is an attorney at Ropes & Gray in Boston. She has lived in Wellesley for 18 years, and the Wellesley Free Library is one of her favorite places in town! She has held active roles with several community organizations, including serving on the boards of the Friends of the Wellesley Free Library, Wellesley Mothers Forum, and National Charity League-Wellesley Chapter. Bridget and her husband Kyle have three daughters, all of whom attend Wellesley Public Schools. Bridget took up rowing a few years ago, and loves being out on the Charles River at sunrise.
Michael Casey is a husband, dad, photographer, avid reader, and proud card-carrying member of the Wellesley Free Library. Mike is a professional photographer who specializes in portraits and architecture to expand brand-building efforts for a broad portfolio of corporate, non-profit, and individual clients. His portraits present a real and honest side of his subjects and his architecture and interior work conveys the beauty of our surroundings -- both manmade and natural.
A native of Taunton and graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, Mike spent 12 years in the advertising industry with Hill, Holliday and Arnold. With inspiration from clients including Titleist, Reebok, and Red Hook Brewery, Mike honed his skills as a storyteller with a lens. Mike's civic passions include the Pan Mass Challenge, Project 351, Camp Harbor View, Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, Wellesley High Girls' Golf and Soccer, and Wellesley Little League.
Since 1999, Mike has proudly called Wellesley home. His wife, Lisa Hughes, and children, Riley and Dylan, embrace all things Wellesley -- especially the community's emphasis on civic, cultural, and recreational engagement. One of the Caseys’ most meaningful memories was the debut of his book with Kevin O'Connor, The Best Homes of This Old House, at the WFL.
Keith grew up in Florida but has called Massachusetts home since 1979. He has an undergraduate degree from Florida State University and a law degree from Boston University. He also has a master’s degree in history from the University of Virginia where he wrote his thesis on the development of the university library in 19th century America. He has practiced corporate and securities law at Ropes & Gray in Boston continuously since 1982, broken only by 3 ½ years during which he was Director of Corporation Finance at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. Keith also serves as Secretary and pro bono counsel to Upstream, an organization committed to expanding opportunity and reducing unplanned pregnancy across the United States.
Keith and his late wife Andrea moved to Wellesley in 1990 and raised two sons, both of whom went to Fiske Elementary School and one of whom graduated from Wellesley High School. Keith is an avid cyclist (having ridden a dozen times in the Pan Mass Challenge), a middling gardener, a mediocre golfer and a voracious and eclectic reader.
Laurel has expertise in development, fundraising and database management and has been working in the non-profit sector for over 15 years. Earlier in her career, she worked for a large national regional mall developer as the Director of Human Resource Information Services. Laurel is active in community-based, non-profit organizations that work to improve the well-being and quality of life of the residents of Wellesley, Massachusetts. She has held several leadership positions on non-profit boards including President of the Eliot Montessori Board of Trustees, Chair of The Fund for Wellesley and President of Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club. At present, Laurel is Vice President for the Wellesley Service League and serves on the boards of the Wellesley Library Foundation and Wellesley Friendly Aid. Laurel earned both her BA in Sociology and her MBA from the University of Chicago.
Johanna Murray grew up in Thousand Oaks, CA then moved to Boston where she attended Northeastern University. After graduating with a degree in Business Administration, Johanna worked at MFS Investment Management marketing mutual funds to financial advisors. She later worked at Idiom Technologies, a translation software company, developing marketing materials and events to end users. In 2001, she and her husband, Alec, quit their jobs and traveled around the world. They lived in Chatham, MA before settling in Wellesley in 2007.
Since then, she has dedicated herself to raising her two boys and providing freelance marketing services. She has also volunteered for Bates Elementary and Wellesley Middle School PTOs. In 2014, she joined Wellesley Nursery School in the Hills as their office coordinator. While at the preschool, she created an Author Speaker Series with local children's authors and collaborated with the Hills Branch Library to implement a monthly program. Johanna is also a member of the Wellesley Service League and the Hills Garden Club of Wellesley. She speaks Spanish, enjoys yoga, hiking, and reading in the magazine room at the library.
Alexa has lived in Wellesley since 2010 with her husband Robert and their three daughters Lucy (16), Molly (14) and Lila (12) who attend the Wellesley Public Schools. She would be remiss to not include additional family members Coco and Java, their two beloved chocolate labs.
Alexa spent a career in financial services and retired in 2017 after 14 years at Fidelity and prior stints at Charles Schwab and Franklin Templeton. After retiring from financial services, she joined a volunteer training program at the Museum of Fine Arts and now leads art tours across the collections, as well as participating in a number of other program activities. She has missed the museum and the art during the quarantine.
Throughout her years in Wellesley, Alexa has remained active and committed to community. She has held or currently holds a Board or leadership position in the Wellesley Chapter of the National Charity League, the Wellesley Education Foundation and has been active in planning events for PTOs and neighborhood associations. Her family enjoys the Wellesley Free Library and she looks forward to participating in Board activities to help the library evolve to meet growing community demands.
A native of Kalamazoo, MI, Liz attended Boston College, receiving degrees in Biology and Economics. Professionally, her career in finance, including at Bank of Boston and Fidelity Investments Institutional Services, focused on specialized financing for multinational asset management and insurance companies globally. Presently, she is Principal of Snug Harbor Consulting, a financial consulting practice, and Managing Partner of Walker Snug Harbor, a multi-family investment partnership.
With the exception of two years in New York in the late 1990s, Liz has lived in Wellesley since 1986. She has two daughters in college who attended Sprague and graduated from Wellesley High School. Liz has spent countless hours at the WFL: story time at the Hills branch; and at the main library in the play room, Wakelin room for recitals, and reading in the periodicals room between carpools.
Liz was actively involved in the Wellesley schools, holding leadership positions in Creative Arts & Sciences, Art Enrichment, Sprague Fields Task Force, WHS PTSO Volunteer Coordinator and Nominating Committee, and elected School Council member, and co-founder of Lessons in Leadership speaker series. Other Wellesley service activities included Wellesley Mothers Forum Treasury positions and Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club Economic Needs, Scholarships, and Donations Committees leadership roles. In 2019, Liz became a trustee of the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation. Beyond Wellesley, Liz has been an Advisor at WGBH since 2012 and sits on the Advisor Nominating, Emerging Media & Technologies and Ralph Lowell Society committees. Since 1996, Liz has served in various volunteer leadership positions at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and is currently Vice-Chair of Membership for the Patron Program. Liz volunteered extensively with Junior League of Boston (recipient of Boston Bean Pot award for community volunteerism), Children’s Hospital Boston (Co-Chair Women in Medicine Committee), Brigham & Women’s Hospital (Advocate), and Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (Parent Board).
Emily grew up in Wellesley and is a graduate of Wellesley High School. Emily graduated from Bowdoin College, with a degree in Economics and a minor in Mathematics, and from Georgetown University Law Center. Emily began her career as a lawyer clerking for a Federal judge and has practiced as a business litigator in Boston for the past 20 years. Emily is a partner at Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C., where she is chair of the litigation department.
Emily sits on the Board of The Boston Club and chairs its Governance Committee. Emily also served on the Board of the Wellesley Community Children’s Center for a number of years. Emily is an active member of The Wellesley Club and a regular volunteer at Sprague.
Emily and her husband, Chad Harris, have lived in Wellesley since 2006. They have two sons in the Wellesley Public Schools and one exuberant, albeit obstinate, Lakeland terrier who loves to explore Wellesley’s trails. When she is not at work, Emily logs many hours cheering on her sons’ baseball teams.
Linda received a BBA in Marketing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and continued with studies in Managerial Accounting at Harvard University. Linda has spent the majority of her career as a Sales and Management professional. She specializes in creating and managing high performing sales teams, market analysis, identifying new markets and opportunities and setting and achieving sales objectives within the engineering and construction, technology and aviation industries. She has worked for international companies such as Hilti and Bombardier as well as with technology start-ups.
Linda has served as an active volunteer at the Fiske Elementary School and Wellesley Middle School and continues to do so at The Rivers School in Weston. She has also served in various active roles as a volunteer with the Wellesley Mothers Forum and at The Hills Church in Wellesley.
Linda, her husband Shawn Herlihy and their three boys have lived in Wellesley since 2008.