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Published: 02/02/2007

New breed of leadership at volunteer groups Lawyer-mom leads Andona Society

By Judy Wakefield
Staff Writer

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When the women's group The Andona Society was founded 55 years ago, members were stay-at-home moms drawn to the Andover area as big companies, like Raytheon, Western Electric and Bell Labs, were hiring their husbands in droves.

The Society's mission was to raise money for programs that helped kids in Andover, and the group pledged year after year to do just that. An annual ball, a fashion show and the two-day ClownTown carnival, are a sampling of the fund-raising events that have withstood the test of time. They continue to be very well-attended and therefore, money-makers.

Moms liked Andona's kid-focus and still do, according the society's new president, who represents a new breed of leadership for the long-time volunteer group. The current president comes with an Esq. after her hyphenated last name as well as a husband and three young kids.

"There's actually a lot of working moms on the board," said Paula Colby-Clements, Esq., of Andover, who works full-time as dean of admissions at Massachusetts School of Law in Andover, and as a law professor who teaches two classes at the school. "That's how it is today."

Indeed it is, as the most recent Census data (2002) reports that 55 percent of mothers with infant children are working. Even more college-educated moms - 63 percent - are in the labor force, according to Census data.

Colby-Clements, whose children are 6, 4 and 2, didn't want to make a big deal of her hectic life. She works five days a week in addition to supervising the homefront, which includes husband Gregg Clements, and children, Jordan, 6 and a kindergartner; Emily, 4, who is in preschool; and son, Jack, 2, who goes to day-care.

"I don't really think I stand out," Colby-Clements said. "There are a lot of women like me. We've always been driven and hard-working and it's the same when you have kids.

"We work but we want to be involved with our communities and kids," said this native of Billerica who lived in Chelmsford before moving to Andover a few years ago.

Her predecessor was at home, while Denise Bordonaro is another former Andona president who did not work. She, too, is an attorney, although not currently practicing.

"I would definitely say the number of working women in Andona is rising from when I started. However, we don't track exact numbers. Currently, my guess is that over half of the active members work in some capacity (full or part-time)," said Bordonaro of Andover, who is married and has three sons.

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