Small Business Owner
Nonprofit Executive Leader
33-year Ward 6 Resident
Degrees in Politics & Urban Planning
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” — Nelson Mandela
- Small business owner
- 14 years of community engagement and social marketing experience
- 11 years of nonprofit management experience
- 5 years of experience starting new for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations
- Water sector professional and Chair of the American Water Works Association committee on Water Conservation Communications, Education, and Legislation
Joanne considers herself lucky to have had the opportunity to travel and learn throughout her career, while maintaining a home in Brockton. After college, she spent four months interning at a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. where she trained citizens in West Virginia fighting for protection of public lands. She then joined a London-based start-up nonprofit organization called Waterwise, which fights for sustainable water management in the U.K.
Joanne participated in several government committees and steering groups, including the U.K. Environment Agency’s Regional Environmental Protection Advisory Committee and the National Drought Management Group. She became actively involved in advocacy efforts for sustainable water management, and volunteered her time to youth mentoring and other community action projects, including food growing intiatives.
In 2012, Joanne returned to Brockton to help care for her father, whose health had declined. She opened her own consulting business specializing in pro-environmental action, community engagement, and program evaluation. This work took her to Dubai to design an environmental education program as well to North Carolina to evaluate the impact of a youth engagement program. She became involved in the innovation and start-up communities in Boston and beyond. In 2016, she opened a floral hobby business with a childhood friend.
In November 2016, Joanne became Operations Director for Green Camps, a national nonprofit organization that helps youth camps “go green” and engage young people in innovative, fun environmental sustainability programs. Joanne is responsible for the overall development of the organization, including budget management and fundraising.
For more info about Joanne’s professional experience, please check out her LinkedIn profile.
- Born and raised in Ward 6
- Resident for 33 years
- First-generation American
Joanne’s Brockton roots go back to about 1916, when her great aunt, Rose, settled in Brockton’s Village. It wasn’t until the 70s that Joanne’s parents, Jadwiga (‘Jackie’) and Richard, joined Rose and the rest of the family after they came over from Poland.
Born in 1984 to working class parents, Joanne was raised in the Polish Catholic tradition. She grew up in the Village in one of the yellow apartment blocks that’s still there today, surrounded by family and a tight-knit community. Her family bought their first home in ’91 in the Hovendon neighborhood, where they continue to live today.
Joanne believes that with family, community, and hard work, anything is possible.
- Brockton’s St. Edward School
- Fontbonne Academy
- Boston University bachelor’s degree in political science
- University College London master’s degree in urban development and planning
Joanne went to Catholic schools for K to 12. First to St. Edward (now Trinity Catholic Academy) in Brockton and later to Fontbonne Academy, an all-girl high school in Milton. While in high school, Joanne volunteered over 100 hours each year in the Brockton community, mainly at the W. Elm Street animal shelter, Good Samaritan hospital, and My Brother’s Keeper.
She went on to Boston University to achieve a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Political Science with a minor in Biology. She was the first in her family to complete college. While at BU, she worked on campus and in retail to help pay tuition. During her time in Boston, she interned in Congressman Mike Capuano’s district office where she learned firsthand what it takes to fight for constituents. She was active with Get Out the Vote efforts, and campaigned for clean water and green spaces in Boston.
In 2011, while working fulltime in London, Joanne achieved a Master of Science (MSc) degree in urban development and planning from University College London (UCL). She completed two field studies while at UCL. One investigated ways in which an urban park could better serve the London community around it. The other studied the benefits of community-led urban agriculture in Accra, Ghana. She was certified a Project Management Professional in 2013.
Joanne lives in the Hovendon neighborhood of Ward 6, caring for her retired parents. She challenges anyone to show her a dog more adorable than her own King Charles Cavalier, Lala (which means ‘Dolly’ in Polish).