At its annual meeting on Nov. 30, the Massachusetts Chapter of
the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (MassNAELA) honored
several individuals for their advocacy of elder services and their
commitment to raising awareness of legal issues affecting
Massachusetts state Rep. John V. Fernandes was presented the
Legislator of the Year award for his efforts to champion the
concerns of elders at the Statehouse.
As a legislator, Fernandes, who represents the 10th
Worcester District (Milford, Hopedale and Mendon), has made
protecting seniors one of his top priorities and continually
supports legislation that will allow seniors to stay in their
homes, reduce the cost of prescription drugs and improve access to
He serves on the House and Joint Committees on Elder Affairs,
which consider all matters concerning the elderly, handicapped
elders, nursing facilities, prescription drugs, reverse mortgages,
senior pharmacy and other related matters. Fernandes is an attorney
with a practice based in Milford.
Also, Maria Baler was named Member of the Year from among the
chapter's 485 members for her commitment of time and energy to
chapter membership initiatives. And 2009 chapter president, Suzanne
R. Sayward presented 2010 President Francis X. Small with an award
for his contributions and service to the chapter over the past
The MassNAELA annual meeting also included the election of chapter
officers for 2011.
The 2011 officers are: President Tracey A.L. Ingle,
President-elect Philip D. Murphy, Vice President Holly K. Harris,
Secretary Paula Kahn Almgren and Treasurer Steven F. Mann.
Ingle, of Ingle Law in Southborough, was voted Member of the Year
in 2008. She received her bachelor's degree from M.I.T. and her
juris doctorate from Suffolk University Law School.
"I look forward to proceeding with the long-range goals of my
predecessors to educate and train our members on how to position
their clients for the best possible future," Ingle said. "…
Education is the greatest benefit we can give our members and their
clients. It helps them to improve their practice and ultimately be
more successful in the profession."
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is dedicated to
developing awareness of issues concerning the elderly. Nearly 500
attorneys are members of the Massachusetts chapter. They work
directly with the elderly population on a wide range of issues.