A man and woman stand for a group photo

MMA President and Agawam Councillor Cecilia Calabrese and MMA Vice President and Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine.

Agawam City Councillor Cecilia Calabrese and Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine will lead the MMA this year as president and vice president, respectively, following their election by the MMA Board of Directors during the association’s Annual Business Meeting in Boston on Jan. 25.

Calabrese serves as vice president of the Agawam City Council, on which she recently began her eighth term. Calabrese joined the MMA Board of Directors in 2017, as the District 1 representative for the Massachusetts Municipal Councillors’ Association. This past year, she was the MMA’s vice president.

For 2020, Calabrese identified several priority issues, including working toward a sustainable solution for solid waste disposal and recycling, exploring community composting programs, advocating for the protection of public waterways and groundwater, addressing municipal pension liabilities, ensuring the structural integrity of infrastructure, and promoting forward-thinking education systems.

“In my role as president I anticipate being able to use that position as a bully pulpit to add my energy to the MMA’s advocacy for the needs of the cities and towns in Massachusetts,” Calabrese said.

From serving with 2019 MMA President Ellen Allen and observing other past presidents, Calabrese said she appreciates the work and challenges involved with the role.

“I have learned that being on the leadership team of an organization such as the MMA, because of its very nature, brings with it an awesome responsibility to remember that I do not merely represent myself as an individual, or my community,” Calabrese said. “Rather, I represent 351 cities and towns of Massachusetts, and the diverse opinions and sensitivities thereof.”

With a law degree from the Quinnipiac University School of Law, Calabrese has worked as a bankruptcy attorney and served as an assistant attorney general and on the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination’s advisory board to fight housing discrimination. She ran her law firm for more than a decade, and now works as a dental hygienist and a residential and commercial property manager. She previously had served on the Conservation Commission in Brookfield, Connecticut.

Chapdelaine has been Arlington’s town manager since 2012, following two years as the deputy town manager. He also worked for the city of Fall River, his hometown, from 2008 to 2010, first as the director of community services and then as city administrator.

Chapdelaine has also worked as a youth council director for the Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board and as legislative aide and deputy chief of staff for former state senator Joan Menard. He has a master of business administration degree from Suffolk University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from UMass Dartmouth.

Chapdelaine joined the MMA Board in 2013, first as an at-large representative for the Massachusetts Municipal Management Association and then as the Management Association’s District 4 representative. He became the Management Association’s second vice president in 2016, first vice president the following year, and then president in 2018.

Chapdelaine said he’s looking forward to working with the MMA’s board and staff, and to collaborating with Calabrese and MMA Executive Director Geoff Beckwith to drive a “bold” agenda so municipalities can have the necessary resources to address the challenges they face.

“My primary goal is to maintain the tremendous credibility that MMA leadership has developed over the years with the elected and appointed leaders of state government,” Chapdelaine said.

Chapdelaine encourages members to contact him with ideas, questions or suggestions, and he said he’ll do everything he can to advance a dialogue around their issues and concerns.

“The MMA’s strength is derived from its broad and diverse membership,” he said. “I am eager to find ways to amplify that strength by engaging with as many members as possible over the course of the year.”

Beckwith expressed appreciation for the energy, thoughtfulness and experience that Calabrese and Chapdelaine bring to the MMA.

“The MMA depends on strong leaders who can unite and mobilize our members in common cause to benefit every community across the state, and we are deeply grateful that Cece and Adam have stepped forward to provide that leadership,” Beckwith said. “With them at the helm, we know 2020 will be a great year for our cities and towns.”

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