Remembering Our 509 Sister Lisa Goncalves

On April 2, 2017, we lost one of our most active union members from the Private Sector Human Services Chapter, Lisa Silva Goncalves. She was an officer on the Joint Executive Board, a single mom of two young girls who, at 37, is gone far too soon after a single car crash. In 2011, Lisa was one of the primary leaders in the organizing effort at her DDS agency, Sullivan & Associates, which later became known as Guidewire. She demonstrated deep compassion for her clients, though it was her advocacy for her co-workers that truly distinguished Lisa’s legacy as a union leader. She was on the contract bargaining teams, and joined the Local 509 JEB shortly after ratification of their first contract. Lisa took time away from her direct care work in the group home to volunteer work as a Member Political Organizer, and she even filled in as a field representative when her field rep was briefly sidelined. As an active steward, she could always be relied upon to handle grievances and attend investigatory meetings. Lisa was committed to bettering the working lives of her co-workers, traveling from the Springfield area to Beacon Hill to testify or lobby on various House Bills. 

As recently as February 2017, Lisa re-dedicated herself to working on passage of a bill that would provide for an appeals process for DDS and DMH Private Sector workers who have had a DPPC (Disabled Person’s Protection Commission) charge filed against them which was substantiated, even though the accused may be innocent. Lisa drew on her own experience with an unfair DPPC charge to champion this important legislation.

Lisa had an infectious beaming smile and a hearty laugh that belied her true joie de vivre. She was loved by her Sisters and Brothers on the Private Sector Chapter Executive Board and is greatly missed by many. It’s a testament to Lisa’s lasting impact on the lives of others that the JEB, the PSHS CEB and the Local 509 Staff Union have contributed thousands to a fund that will support her two daughters. 

Members wishing to make a contribution to Lisa’s children, Imani and Nadia Doyle,  may do so by sending it directly in their name to:

Luso Federal Credit Union c/o Scott Ganhao
599 East Street
Ludlow, MA 01056


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