Board of Trustees Members

Portrait of C. Deborah Phillips

C. Deborah Phillips is chair of the Board of Trustees. She is a founding partner of Nickless, Phillips and O’Connor, attorneys at law, in Fitchburg. A former member of the Board of Directors of the Fitchburg State University Foundation Inc., Phillips is a longtime supporter of the University. She is also a director at Fidelity Bank. She was appointed to the board in 2015.


Portrait of Lynn Tesconi Barrieau

Lynn Tesconi Barrieau is vice chair of the Board of Trustees. She is the assistant director of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Project in Worcester. She received a graduate degree in counseling from Fitchburg State in 1991 and has been an adjunct faculty member at Mount Wachusett Community College since 2000. She was appointed to the University's Board of Trustees in September 2017.


Student Trustee Joseph Cautela

Joseph Cautela III '22 is the student representative to the Board of Trustees. A rising senior studying history with secondary education licensure, he was elected to the board in 2021.


Portrait of David C. Tiernan

David C. Tiernan is Senior Vice President, National Practice Leader at TRC Solutions in Lowell. A 1983 alumnus of Fitchburg State, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees in October 2017.


Dr Michael Fiorentino Jr

Dr. Michael Fiorentino Jr. is the former president of Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, where he served for seven years following a long and distinguished career at Fitchburg State University. Fiorentino joined the Fitchburg State community as a faculty member in the Education Department in 1996 was later named vice president and provost in 2004. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2021.


Portrait of Donald R. Irving

Donald R. Irving was the founder and president of Data Guide Cable Corp. in Gardner and is currently owner and president of the real estate development firm Nichols Square LLC. He was appointed to his second term on the Board of Trustees in September 2016. His term expires in March 2021. The two-time alumnus of Fitchburg State lives with his wife, alumna Karen Lindroth, in New Hampshire.


Trustee Martha Nicholson

Martha Nicholson is Controller for W.E. Aubuchon Co., Inc. She received an Associate’s degree in Business Administration from Mount Wachusett Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Fitchburg State University, a Master’s degree in Accounting as well as a Master Personal Financial Planner Graduate Certificate, both from Bentley University. She was appointed to the University’s Board of Trustees in November 2018.


Portrait of Frank O'Donnell

Frank O’Donnell is the president and co-founder of Mission First Consulting. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Fitchburg State in 1993 and later earned a master’s in public administration from the Sawyer School of Management at Suffolk University and a law degree from Suffolk University Law School. Mr. O’Donnell was sworn in as the alumni representative to the board in April 2012 and began his second term in 2017.


Trustee Karen Spinelli

Karen J. Spinelli is president, owner and managing partner of Spinelli CPA, PC, with offices in Worcester and Leominster and her firm is a certified woman owned business in Massachusetts. Spinelli completed and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting at Fitchburg State in 1992. She grew up in Fitchburg and currently lives in Leominster with her husband Tom. She was appointed to the board in November 2020.


Portrait of Carolyn Crowley Stimpson

Carolyn Crowley Stimpson is co-owner and board member at Polar Beverages Company in Worcester, co-owner and vice president of Wachusett Mountain Ski Area and president of MTNside Ski & Ride in Princeton. She and her husband, John, live in Princeton. She was appointed to her second term on the board in January 2021.


Portrait of Richard S. Lapidus

Richard S. Lapidus, President, Ex officio