Merrimack Valley YMCA promotes Soo Hoo

The Merrimack Valley YMCA is pleased to announce that Claudia Soo Hoo has been named senior executive director of the Andover/North Andover YMCA. Soo Hoo replaces Alex Turek, the former executive director, who left earlier this year to become CEO of the Southern District YMCA in Exeter.

Soo Hoo has spent more than a decade working for the Merrimack Valley YMCA in various roles, and has been a member and program enthusiast for even longer than that. In fact, she attended preschool at the Andover/North Andover Y.

Soo Hoo will be responsible for the daily operations of the branch, recruitment and management of the volunteer Board of Managers, and annual fundraising. The Andover/North Andover Y features three indoor pools, 13,000 square feet of wellness space, a café, a commercial teaching kitchen, a preschool and school age childcare wing, four group exercise studios, a gymnasium, and the Active Living Center for older adults.

Soo Hoo has worked full-time at the Merrimack Valley YMCA for 12 years, serving most recently as the district executive director, which included oversight of the Camping Services branch as well as the Lawrence branch. Since starting her career at the Y, she has overseen aquatics, youth and teen programming, branch operations, and more. She is also currently serving on the Y-USA Diversity, Inclusion and Global (DIG) Innovation Y Steering and Strategy Council.



Carberry earns Good Neighbor Award

Deb Carberry, a Realtor at RE/MAX Partners in Andover, was presented with the Good Neighbor Award by the Northeast Association of Realtors (NEAR).

The award recognizes a local Realtor who makes extraordinary commitments to improving the quality of life in their communities. Nominees are considered for the award based on their personal impact on the community through volunteer work. The award was presented at the NEAR Annual Awards Gala at the Andover Country Club in May.

Carberry has been a member of NEAR since 1999. She served as co-chair of the association’s Community Service Committee in 2017. She was selected as this year’s award recipient for her Someone Cares Package Party. What began as a small gathering of friends in her home has evolved into a full-day annual event.

Hundreds of volunteers gather on the second Sunday of November, now known to many as the Someone Cares Package Party day. The care packages, which include items such as hand sanitizer, socks, lip balm, toiletries, wash cloths, flashlights, and handwarmers, are packed, loaded on a truck, and distributed to Lazarus House, DayBreak Shelter, BlanketMe, and local schools. Some packages are kept by volunteers to be delivered to the homeless and others are sent to soldiers overseas.

This year’s event will be held on Sunday, Nov. 11. More information can be found on the project’s Facebook page at


BNI Merrimack Valley networking meetings

BNI Merrimack Valley chapter meets on Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the Lanam Club in Andover at 260 North Main St. The group’s mission is to help members increase their business through a structured, positive, and professional referral marketing program that enables them to develop long-term, meaningful relationships with quality business professionals.

The philosophy of this organization is built upon the idea of “Givers Gain”: If I give you business, then you’ll give me business and we’ll both benefit as a result. BNI allows only one person per professional classification or specialty to join a chapter.

For more information, call Edna Peters at 1-800-783-6127 or email


Merrimack Valley networking meetings

Merrimack Valley Networking Group, a free business networking group, meets on Wednesdays from 7 to 8:30 a.m. at Atria Marland Place, 15 Steven St., Andover. Bring business cards to hand out.

For more information, call Paul Lambert at 978-609-6420 or email


Monthly professional networking

The Networking Group meets one Tuesday each month from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Temple Emanuel, 7 Haggetts Pond Road, Andover. Past speakers have included professional recruiters, career counselors, human resource professionals, marketing leaders, business owners and more. New sponsorships are always welcome to help defray costs. For more information, contact Brotherhood President Mitchell Schneir at 978-470-1356. Visit for a complete schedule.


To submit an item for the Business Briefcase, email



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