Needham Community Council Logo

570 Hillside Avenue
Needham, MA 02494

Needham Community Council Logo

570 Hillside Avenue
Needham, MA 02494

Needham Community Council



Sandra Robinson

Executive Director

Sandra Robinson is the fourth Executive Director of the Needham Community Council since its inception in 1930. She was raised in Needham and is a Needham High School graduate.

Before becoming the Council’s Executive Director she worked for many years in the social service industry. Her work has served a variety of people in need, including women who were incarcerated, survivors of Domestic Violence, immigrants to the United States, and teens dealing with every day life issues. Her goals are always the same: to empower whomever she is working with to make the best choices they can make, and help them move forward in their lives.



Stacey Fallon

Director of Volunteers

Stacey started working at the Council in October 2020 to run the Tech & Tutors Program, and brings over 30 years of corporate training, computer technology, and client service management experience to the Council. She is currently applying her technology, management, and people skills to oversee our extensive Volunteer Program.

Passionate for helping others, Stacey volunteered at both City Year and Pine Street Inn while working at Bain & Co and Ropes & Gray. During Covid, the Council of Aging and The Needham Community Council realized that there was an overwhelming need to help aging adults access technology to avoid isolation.  Stacey was instrumental in forming and managing the Tech & Tutors program, not only providing aging adults with access to tablets, but helping them use technology to connect with family and friends, manage medical appointments and prescriptions, and help them discover additional benefits when connected online.

Stacey and her husband, David, have two daughters and a dog and have called Needham home for nearly 25 years. When not working and making her colleagues and students laugh, Stacey enjoys playing tennis, travelling, walking in the neighborhood, and worming her way into the pickleball craze.



Maria Albanese

Thrift Store Manager

Maria started working at the Council in August 2021. She brings a wealth of retail and financial experience to the Council Thrift. After taking time off to raise her family, Maria love for fashion brought her to the retail industry working at as a wardrobe stylist and retail representative. When Maria is not at the Council, you can find her whipping up a delicious meal, playing golf, and practicing yoga.



Sean Conroy

Assistant Food Pantry Manager

As food support continues to be a top need for our Needham neighbors, Sean joined the Council in 2023 to keep pace with the demand and help with our Saturday Food Pantry pilot program. A farmer by trade, and community-service oriented, Sean is a wonderful addition to the Needham Community Council, combining his knowledge of food and sustainability with the joys of helping our neighbors.

Sean currently lives in Dedham with his fiancée.


Mindy Kalish

Development Manager

Mindy started volunteering at the Council in May 2021 in a variety of roles. From spearheading development projects, working at the Council Thrift or styling for Project Karma, making sure neighbors had access to healthy food was her motivator. She and her husband, Doug, have two sons and have called Needham home for nearly 15 years.

Before taking time off to raise her family, Mindy was a successful marketer with responsibilities ranging from account management to client service management. She is excited to combine her marketing experience with an organization that is near and dear to her.



Dan McMann

Council “Go-To Guy”

Dan joined the Council in November, 2006 as the Facilities and Maintenance Specialist. He is in charge of picking up and delivering surplus to the Council from companies such as Roche Brothers, Target and Sudbury Farms. Dan also manages incoming donations as well as the Council’s waste removal services and a variety of building projects.

Dan has his BA in Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Before coming to the Council he worked as a Shift Supervisor at CVS in Needham.

Since COVID, Dan has been instrumental in keeping food supplies available with  many multiple trips to the Boston Food Bank and other locations.


Gretchen Plotner

Assistant Thrift Manager

For the past 17 years, Gretchen has called Needham home, where she and her husband have raised three kids, tended to some fish, and cherished a couple of dogs. During this time, she has actively participated in several community organizations, including Parent Talk, Community Center Needham, The Fringe Theatre, and Needham Public Schools, as well as the Needham Community Council, where she organized monthly food drives and field trips for Needham elementary students.

In previous chapters of her life, she has worked in hospitality, finance, and recruiting, but she is most thrilled to now be able to tell people she’s working in fashion! When she’s not styling mannequins at the Council Thrift, you might find Gretchen playing the guitar, knitting, or cheering on her kids from the sidelines of various fields and rinks around New England.



Katerina Posadskova

Food Pantry Manager

Katerina started volunteering at the Council in 2006 before accepting her role at the Council as Food Pantry Manager in 2020. She and her family have called Needham their home since 2001, and her son is a Needham High School graduate.

Katerina has lived all over the world. Her diverse background is a huge asset to the Needham Community Council Food Pantry. Her multilingual proficiency and cultural insights, combined with a wealth of experience in marketing, finance, and operations, has been instrumental in running the day-to-day operations of the Food Pantry, ensuring the Council’s customers always have access to healthy food that specifically meets their dietary needs.

Katerina is known as our in-house “Jewelry Aficionado,” appraising all the high-end jewelry in our thrift store. When Katerina is not at the Council, she enjoys gardening, cooking, and taking a variety of classes at Mass Bay to further her education.


Julie Tovar

Sheila Roberts

English Language Learning Program Manager

Sheila’s interest in the Council’s ELL program started when she became a volunteer tutor in 2019. She loved helping her learners improve their English while learning about their cultures, and enjoyed connecting with new people in the Needham community. Recently, Sheila worked as a career advisor for Northeastern University and Boston University’s Questrom School of Business where she counseled many international students about their career paths. Locally, Sheila managed a successful 2023 Needham Select Board campaign and was a founding board member of the Needham High School Diamond Club.

Sheila has lived in Needham for more than 25 years and her three children are all graduates of Needham Public Schools. In her free time, she enjoys studying languages, cooking, reading, walking her dogs, and talking about the Red Sox and Friars basketball.



Mary Ellen Rogan

Office Manager

Mary Ellen joined the Needham Community Council in September 2021. Mary Ellen is the welcoming face you see first when you come to the council and manages all office activities from doing Lyft rides to assisting our Needham neighbors with medical equipment. After a successful client-facing career, she most enjoys putting her time and relator skills to helping her community of over 30 years.

On weekends, Mary Ellen is an avid gardener and can be found tending to her backyard garden and whipping up her favorite Ina Garten recipes. She is mother to two Needham high graduates turned big city children, with her daughter living and working in New York City and her son in Los Angeles.

Mary Ellen engages with many parts of the NCC’s programming and appreciates the dedication of her coworkers to the mission and that every day brings a new opportunity.



Shobana Saravanan

Development Associate

Shobana began her journey at the Council in October 2023 as a Tech Assistant, swiftly advancing to her current position as Development Associate, leveraging her software knowledge and skills in reporting. Shobana brings an abundance of expertise in computer science, e-commerce business, and software programming to the Council. She and her husband, Hariprasadkumar, live in Needham with their daughter, a Needham High School student, and son, a student at Sunita Williams. When Shobana is not at the Council you can find her exploring new places, learning how to swim from her elementary-aged son, spending time with her family, and listening to music.



Sherry Turner

Council Bookkeeper

Sherry has been an independent QuickBooks Bookkeeper since 1995. She began working part time for the Council in December, 2010.

Sherry writes “I fell in love with everyone at The Council and the mission.  It was the best thing I ever did!”  



Cathy Wong

Outreach Director for Community Awareness on Mental Health

Cathy joined the Council staff in 2019 to run the Child Assault Prevention program (CAP) after being a 12-year volunteer for this program. Cathy currently runs our Mindful Community program dedicated to raising awareness and removing the stigma of mental health needs, supplying information and resources for support, and offering hope. Prior to finding her true passion in community service, Cathy was a business manager at Microsoft for over 25 years, specializing in business, finance, and operations.

Cathy currently serves on the Board of the Boston Latin School Association, is an active member of the Needham Youth Online Safety Coalition, and serves on the Domestic Violence Action Committee (DVAC) of Needham. When Cathy is not at the Council, you can find her enjoying a Zumba class and usually donning her favorite color, lavender.

Cathy has a B.S. in Accounting, Finance and Mathematics from Simmons University.



Karen Zarrow

Tech & Tutors Program Manager

Karen joined the Council in April 2024 to take the Tech & Tutors Program baton from Stacey Fallon. She has more than thirty years of experience in the areas of high-tech, consulting, and startups. She brings her extensive experience in technology, training, and building client-relationships to the Council’s Tech & Tutors Program. 
Before joining the Council, Karen was in the security industry.  Most notably, she was part of a three-person team who turned around the visitor management software company, EasyLobby, which was then sold to HID Global. 

Karen earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Information Systems from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a Masters of International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management (now part of Arizona State University). 

Karen was born in Needham at Glover Hospital – now BID Needham and graduated from Needham High School. Her parents moved to Needham in 1960, two weeks after their second baby was born.  Karen found herself always returning to Needham after each adventure.  Needham is home.   

When Karen is not at the Council, you can find her volunteering at TCAN – The Center for Arts-Natick either ushering or bartending, as well as focusing on her yoga practice. She has been the Treasurer for the League of Women Voter’s-Needham since 2022 and loves to garden and travel. 



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