Steering Committee and Staff

As of June 2015 current Steering Committee members are:

Jean McMurray, Co-Chair Worcester County Food Bank
Amy Borg UMass Medical Prevention Research Center
Amy West WalkBike Worcester
Bob Hersh Center for Sustainable Food Systems, Worcester Polytech Institute
Casey Burns Regional Environmental Council
Dianne Bruce Edward Street Child Services
Kerry Conahagn United Way of Central MA
Kim Reckert UMass Memorial Health Care
Patty Flanagan YWCA/Youth Connect
Trevor Williams YMCA – Greendale Branch
Trish Settles Central MA Regional Planning Commission
Weayonnah Nelson-Davies Community Legal Aid
Zach Dyer Worcester Division of Public Health



Liz Sheehan Castro – Director

As the Director of the Council, Liz manages the administrative work of the Council’s as well as the implementation of the work plan.  Liz joined the Policy Council as the Project Manager in 2009, helping lead the successful implementation of its cornerstone project, Hunger-Free & Healthy.  The Policy Council is a Lead Convener of the City of Worcester’s Community Health Improvement Plan, implementing the work unlizder the Healthy Eating and Active Living domain.  The Policy Council focuses on work related to SNAP/food stamps, healthy food access, reducing childhood obesity, improving walking and biking conditions in the city, and reducing inequity that results from structural racism and classism. Much of the coalition’s work happens through policy advocacy, public education, and collaboration and promotion of programming.  Prior to coming to Worcester, Liz helped establish the Food Security Project of Brattleboro, Vermont; she led teens on service-based trips to Peru with Visions Service Adventures; she taught Spanish at Milton Public High School; and she worked for the Merck Family Foundation.

Liz received her Masters Degree in Sustainable Development from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, VT and her Bachelors from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. She was named as one of Worcester’s 40 Under 40 in 2013 and is an Affiliate in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UMass Medical School in Worcester.  When Liz is not working she can often be found crafting in her basement or dancing in her kitchen. Liz lives in Worcester with her husband, Fernando, and their two adorable children, Kayani and Jolay.