Martha Velez

Martha Velez, Director of Human Services for the City of Lawrence

Martha Velez is the Director of Human Services for the City of Lawrence, overseeing the Council on Aging, Veteran Service Office, Recreation Department, and the Human Rights Committee. Previously, she served as the Director of the Lawrence Senior Center for many years.

Her leadership at the Lawrence Council on Aging and her commitment as Director of the Lawrence Senior Center have created a community-centered environment that provides a wide range of services to thousands of people every year. Mrs. Velez has also been instrumental in the development of the Lawrence Mayor’s Health Task Force and currently serves as an Executive Committee Member.

By establishing linkages between the Council on Aging and area organizations at local, statewide, regional, and national levels, she has fostered a wide range of cooperative and collaborative relationships with community providers.  She is Chair of Lawrence Diabetes Today Coalition, Co-Chair of the Healthy Active Living Working Group, President of Merrimack Valley Community Service Core, and serves as a board member at Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley.  She also serves on the Patient, Family Advisory Committee at Lawrence General Hospital (PFAC), Determination of Need’s Healthy Aging Advisory Committee, Dementia Friendly Massachusetts Initiative, and the Alzheimer’s Disease Supportive Services Program Advisory Committee at the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

Mrs. Velez has worked tirelessly through the years to educate area residents about the benefits of healthier lifestyle choices. For more than 15 years, she has helped organize the Fiesta de Salud/Celebrating Health Fair and she played a key role in developing the well-known “Winning with Diabetes” program at the Lawrence Senior Center. She has also served on the GLFHC Latino Center of Excellence to eliminate Disparities: REACH New England, and the American Diabetes Association National Latino Subcommittee.

Mrs. Velez has received many honors and awards, including the Unsung Heroine Award from the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, the Honorary Veteran Award, and the Director of the Year Award from the Massachusetts Councils on Aging (MCOA).

Born in Cuba, Mrs. Velez migrated with her parents to Lawrence when she was five years old. She has been a resident of Lawrence since 1969 and an employee of the City of Lawrence for more than 30 years. She is the proud wife of Fernando Velez, and mother of Tabitha and Sheldon Velez. 

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