Vilma Martinez-Dominguez to Lead Community Action Council


The long-time Executive Director & CEO of the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc., plans to retire and will be succeeded by Lawrence’s Vilma Martinez-Dominguez.

Evelyn Friedman, Executive Director & CEO, has announced plans to retire in July, and the GLCAC Board of Directors has selected Martinez-Dominguez, the current Chief Operating Officer (COO), to succeed Friedman following a six-month transition period.
“The GLCAC family has been blessed to have Evelyn’s leadership for the past 10 years, under which we have made tremendous strides in improving the organization and serving the community. We are forever grateful for Evelyn’s dedication and commitment to serving our clients. She exemplifies the Agency’s mission,” said Johan Lopez, President of the Board of Directors.

Friedman plans to depart GLCAC in July, allowing for a six-month transition that will include a search for a new chief operating officer to fill the vacancy resulting from Martinez-Dominguez’s promotion. While stepping down as executive director & CEO, Friedman will remain at GLCAC to oversee its community development projects.
“The promotion of Vilma to Executive Director & CEO will enable a smooth leadership transition and promote a leader from Lawrence in the top position at GLCAC. Vilma is a leader who has a great amount of experience and is eager to continue to move the organization forward and grow our reach and our programs as best suited for our clients,” Lopez said.

With the recent completion of an affordable housing development at 370 Essex Street and a new Child Care Center facility on Andover Street, GLCAC is undertaking a second affordable housing project to help further meet the demand in the city. Also under Friedman’s leadership, GLCAC expanded to provide low-income clients with immigration legal services, housing assistance, health insurance enrollment, financial literacy, and income tax preparation. In addition, the number of clients served annually grew from under 20,000 to more than 30,000 in the past decade.

“In the past 10 years, we have made GLCAC a force for improving lives and our community. We have strengthened our network of programs to better serve our clients. We have created affordable housing and expanded childcare opportunities – two critical needs. And just as importantly, we have built strong ties with our community partners in the non-profit and business worlds,” Friedman said.

Martinez-Dominguez joined GLCAC in November 2021 after serving as the City of Lawrence’s Community Development Director. She previously worked at the YWCA of Northeastern Mass. for 24 years, including seven coordinating the city’s health coalition, the Lawrence Mayor’s Health Task Force. As COO, Martinez-Dominguez serves as the internal leader of the organization and oversees the GLCAC program directors in the day-to-day administration and operations of 17 programs.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to build on the extraordinary work that Evelyn and the board of directors have done over this past decade and lead the agency to its next phase. I remain fully committed to ensuring that GLCAC continues to offer essential and relevant resources and services that people living in the communities that we serve need in this ever-changing climate to reach their fullest potential,” said Martinez-Dominguez.

GLCAC is a multi-faceted social services agency that assists nearly 33,000 individuals through a range of programs including early childhood education, fuel assistance, WIC nutrition assistance, immigration services, housing assistance, English-language classes, child abuse prevention and lead poisoning prevention. ◊