MassNAELA Honors State Representative Kate Hogan and Other Civic Leaders at Annual Meeting

Awards Legislative and Chapter Leaders For Their Advocacy For Seniors; Presents Representative Hogan with the Legislator of the Year Award

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#MAStateRepKateHogan–At its annual meeting held on December 6, 2023, 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 seniors. Massachusetts State Representative Kate Hogan was named the Legislator of the Year for her support of MassNAELA and her advocacy of the Undue Hardship, Pooled Trust, and Long-Term Care Reform bills.

Ruth Mattson, a partner at Verrill, a Boston firm providing estate and business planning services, received the Arthur Stavisky Award, an honor MassNAELA bestows each year to a person who has dedicated themselves to promoting elder causes in the community. Mattson partnered with MassNAELA to draft a letter to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, engaging the Massachusetts Bar Association to participate as well. They also collaborated to implement remote notarization at the start of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, allowing attorneys to help clients execute necessary estate planning documents.

MassNAELA member, Mary Paier Powers, Springfield, MA, was presented the Deborah H. Thomson Advocacy Award, which recognizes a MassNAELA member’s efforts in advocating for elder issues in state government. Ms. Powers co-chairs the MassNAELA Advocacy Committee, establishing its legislative priorities. She was integral in hosting the organization’s first-ever legislative briefing at the State House in Boston and served as the event’s primary presenter.

The John J. Ford Litigation Advocacy Award, which honors a member’s litigation efforts on behalf of seniors and MassNAELA, was bestowed on E. Spencer Ghazey-Bates, Northampton, MA, for his dedicated involvement in MassNAELA’s MassHealth Life Estate Valuation workgroup. Mr. Ghazey-Bates helped clients contest MassHealth’s valuation of their life estate in Superior Court, which led to MassHealth’s return to using the IRS valuation of a life estate.

Each year, MassNAELA also recognizes chapter members for their commitment of time and energy to the chapter. The award for Outstanding Chapter Member of the Year was presented to Amanda Hsiao, Stoneham, MA, for her dedication to multiple chapter events, workgroups, and committees, and for going above and beyond to advance the goals of the organization.

The President’s Award was bestowed to Ashley Aubuchon, Newton, MA, for her service to and support of the chapter and its president. Abigail Poole, Dedham, MA, received an award for her service and dedication as the 2023 chapter president.

The MassNAELA annual meeting also included the election of chapter officers and directors for the New Year. The 2024 officers include president, Michael Couture, Somerville, MA; president-elect, Erin McBee, Harvard, MA; vice president, Gina Barry, Springfield, MA; treasurer, Steven Mann, Waltham, MA; clerk, Ashley Aubuchon; and immediate past president, Abigail Poole. Newly elected directors include Whitney Gagnon, Newington, NH; and E. Spencer Ghazey-Bates.

About MassNAELA

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the premier organization of elder and special needs law attorneys in the country, is dedicated to developing awareness of issues concerning the elderly and those with special needs. Over 400 attorneys are members of the Massachusetts Chapter. Members work directly with the elderly and those with special needs in areas as diverse as planning for catastrophic care costs, disability planning, age discrimination in employment and housing, benefits planning, estate planning, veterans’ benefits and more.

For more information about MassNAELA, visit


Beth Bryant