Director of Health and Human Services
City of Lawrence
In July 2019, Martha became the Health and Human Services Director for the City of Lawrence, overseeing the Council on Aging, Veteran Services, Recreation Dept. and Human Rights Committee. In her role, she continues to foster new partnerships with other community leaders, businesses, non-profits and academia institutions to expand the already vast foundation of resources that she has established throughout her 30 years with the city of which 11 yrs., were as the Director of the Council on Aging, in order to better serve the community as a whole.
Born in Cuba, Martha and her parents immigrated to Lawrence when she was 5 years old. Martha has been a resident of the City of Lawrence since 1969 and is the proud wife of Fernando Velez, and mother of Tabitha and Sheldon Velez. Martha has been an employee of the City of Lawrence for 30 years.
Martha has a unique ability to bring people together to achieve common goals. She serves in various coalitions, boards and committees that reflect her passion for creating inclusiveness and an understanding of diverse cultures. She has received The Eartha Dengler History Award by the Lawrence History Society for her progressive views for the City of Lawrence; The Lawrence’s Unsung Heroine by the MA Commission on the Status of Women for the work she has done in the Greater Lawrence community and more recently for her work in response to the Columbia Gas Crisis.