2 Bedford Court, Amherst, Mass. 01002
merlyn@gallants.us / 413-253-2232



High level administrative, educational and clinical experience in diversified settings and levels; able to relate sensitively and intelligently to people from various sectors; proven skills in initiating, organizing and administering results-oriented programs with full staff/volunteer/governance participation and with effective procedures and systems; adept at analyzing, representing, networking, consulting and coalition building; independent judgment and tenacity; specialized doctoral level training beyond two M.A. degrees.


Since 1967, served in increasingly responsible EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR positions for four different voluntary community agencies…

In the urban/rural Connecticut River Valley, managing resources for an elder population. Directing one of Massachusetts’ Area Agency on Aging/Home Care Corporations. Developed confederated elder controlled governance Board, pulled separate Planning, Nutrition, Home Care and Contracted Services into one consolidated system ($4.5 million level) promoting Quality Long Living and established innovative and nationally recognized advocacy and empowerment programming.

10/77 – 10/2010
Highland Valley Elder Services, Inc.
Northampton, MA.

Before that, in a rural Western Mass area, managing resources for a mentally retarded population. As the agency’s first administrative professional, introduced new programs for the normalization and integration of the targeted population into the community. By the time I left, operating budget had jumped from $30,000 to $250,000 from funds secured from all levels of government; capital and contracts were also in place for a first class dwelling to serve as a co-ed residence for deinstitutionalized adults as well as for the construction of a new Day/Work Activity center.

8/74 – 8/76
Northern Berkshire Association for Retarded Citizens, Inc.
North Adams, MA.

… on a one year international assignment in Canada, put in place a Provincial-wide resource system for persons with hearing impairments.

1972 -1973
Western Institute for the Deaf
Vancouver, British Columbia.

 … established programs and funding base for start up operation of a county-wide resource system for persons with communication disorders.

1967 – 1972
Suffolk Hearing and Speech Center
Long Island, N. Y.


 Gallant, R., Cohen, C. and Wolff, T. (1985)
“Change in older persons’ image, impact on public policy result from Highland Valley empowerment plan.”
Perspective on Aging, 13(5), 9-13

 Gallant, R., (1987)
“We the People.”
Aging Network News, IV(5), 9-10.

 Gallant, R., (1990)
Computers and Social Change for Quality Long Living; The Let’s Connect! Project.”
Computers & Society, SIGCAS, 20(3), 116-117.


After a junior year in Paris and an undergraduate philosophy major B.A. from Assumption College in Worcester, Ma. returned to Paris under Middlebury College auspices for a Master of Arts degree. While pursuing the Doctorate in Romance Languages from the U. of Penn. and parenting two deaf children, became intrigued with language acquisition, obtained the Masters in Special Education at Columbia University and, seeking exposure to Multidisciplinary System Interventions, completed coursework short of the Doctorate in Educational Psychology at N.Y.U.; over the ensuing years, attended workshops, training conferences to keep pace with developments in management and gerontology, including the National Leadership Institute on Aging.


 1991 – 93:
President, Center for Understanding Aging

1991 – 1999:
Commissioner, Massachusetts National and Community Service Commission.

Recipient of the Distinguished Area Agency on Aging Director Award
from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

1989 – 1991
Chairperson, Massachusetts Intergenerational Network.

2001 – 2010t
Steering Committee Member, MA Coming of Age Coalition

2001 – 2005
Member, Board of Directors, Community Partners

Presenter & Trainer at National and Regional Conferences in the Aging Network.

1990 Distinguished Area Agency on Aging Director Award by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A)
Visiting Lecturer, Department of Consumer Studies, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
ElderCare Coalitions Trainer & Consultant with not-for-profits specializing in empowerment programming
Creator CitizensMatch, a citizen mobilization, and cryptocurrency program