Two agencies merge to create one

The Boards of Directors of Fidelity House Human Services, Lawrence, and Career Resources Corporation, Haverhill, approved a merger agreement effective Jan. 1. The name for the newly merged nonprofit is Fidelity House CRC.

Brad Howell, who served as the CEO of Career Resources Corporation for 13 years, has been appointed CEO of the combined organization. Fidelity House CRC has 481 employees and is now the largest provider of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities based in the Merrimack Valley. Two of its facilities are in Andover.

Andrew Novelline, president of Abbot Financial Management in North Andover, will serve as President of the board of directors. Walter Meyer, tax executive director of Ernst & Young, PC, is vice president of the board. Chuck Walker, president of Pentucket Bank, is the treasurer. Attorney Kara Johnson of Spruce Law LLC in Andover is the clerk.

Yvonne Allard, retiring CEO of Fidelity House Human Services, said “the two agencies are a natural fit in terms of geography and mission and values.”

Fidelity House CRC serves 1,200 children, teens and adults in the Merrimack Valley and across northeastern Massachusetts. Services include community residences for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities or acquired brain injury, day habilitation, community-based day supports, vocational services, intensive in-home services for children and family support.

According to Howell, the purpose of the merger is “to enhance services, improve efficiency and to increase the capacity for innovation.” Howell emphasized that “there will be no interruption in services. The needs of the individuals we serve remain our top priority.”

Brad Howell holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology and has served people with disabilities for 35 years. He sits on the governing board of Merrimack Valley Community Partner program which provides care coordination for MassHealth members. He is also vice chair of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and a member of the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers Board of Directors.

Lawrence General Hospital welcomes new board chair, trustee

Robert Gilbert of Andover picked up the gavel earlier this month on the Lawrence General Board of Trustees for a two-year term as chairman. Gilbert has served on the board since 2013 and is the current chairman of the Facilities and Grounds Committee. He has also served on Compliance and Audit Review, Finance, Governance, Trustee Quality Assurance, Executive and Executive Compensation committees during his tenure on the board.

Gilbert is Senior Counsel at Latham & Watkins LLP in Boston, where he represents clients in complex insurance, business, product liability, environmental, and real property disputes.

Joining the board for her first term is Gabrielle Ross, PhD, of Gloucester. Dr. Ross is an international health policy expert, with 30 years of focus on effective strategies for addressing health disparities and the social determinants of health, innovative service delivery strategies, and women’s health and gender equity. She has worked in developing countries and with the World Health Organization, and is currently executive director of Health Quarters, a primary provider of sexual and reproductive health care with locations in Beverly, Haverhill and Lawrence.

“We are so appreciative of the community volunteer leaders who help guide our health network,” said Dianne Anderson, RN, president and CEO of LGH. “These incredibly talented individuals help us chart the course for Lawrence General Hospital in its mission to serve the health needs of this region. We are humbled by the dedication of our trustees and thank three others who are leaving the board after many collective years of service: Cheryl Neal, Ronald Pollina and Debra Rahman Silberstein — our departing chair.”

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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