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Amy Schectman watching Brighton resident Tatyana play piano


Our seasoned, thoughtful leaders make every decision with the well-being of our residents topmost in their minds.

Amy Schectman
President & CEO



For over 35 years, Amy has worked in the public and nonprofit sectors to advance affordable housing and social justice. Recognized for her ability to forge effective partnerships, Amy is a thought leader in holistic approaches to elder housing and care. Amy also plays a state and national advocacy role. She serves on Governor Charlie Baker’s Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts, and is on the board of CHAPA, MHIC, MHAC, and other nonprofits. She has been invited to The White House four times and has hosted U.S. Congressmen, U.S. Senate staff, and state legislators numerous times. Read more.

Susan Appelbaum
Chief Development Officer


Susan Appelbaum brings over thirty years of fundraising, communications and management experience in non-profit organizations both inside and outside the Jewish community. She possesses a wealth of knowledge and professional expertise in creating and running successful Advancement Departments. Through the years, Susan has built lasting relationships with many individuals, foundations, community groups, city officials and business leaders in greater Boston and beyond.

Some of the organizations Susan has worked for are most recently Gateways: Access to Jewish Education and Gann Academy. Susan has also served as founding Director of Development for the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. The Greenway, the result of the Big Dig, is a ribbon of contemporary urban parks in downtown Boston. Susan was asked to establish the Hadassah New England Area Development Center focusing on Major Gifts fundraising and outreach for National Hadassah and she ran the Center for four years and today it is thriving.

Susan was employed at the Combined Jewish Philanthropies for ten years serving in multiple positions including Associate Campaign Director, Director of Major Gifts and Women’s Division Director.

Sharon Adams Brooks
Chief Marketing Officer


Sharon Brooks’ career in the field of senior living has spanned over 35 years. In her current role as Chief Marketing Officer for 2Life Communities she is responsible for implementing branding, marketing communications and sales protocols for a rapidly growing and evolving organization. 2Life has a 53-year track record for excellence in affordable housing and is expanding its mission to include market rate communities serving the middle-income market. Sharon founded and grew SB&A and Brooks Adams Research, a nationally recognized marketing, advertising, sales and consumer research organization that served more than 500 senior living organizations, providing best in class services to clients and providing thought leadership and creativity to the field of aging services across multiple models of housing, services and care. In 2016, SB&A and BAR were acquired by GlynnDevins (now Attane) where Sharon served as President, East Coast until July, 2020. Sharon is a graduate of The University of Virginia and did her graduate work at the Grady School of Journalism, University of Georgia.

Karen Edlund
Chief Financial Officer


Karen brings over twenty years of experience in the affordable housing and real estate industries to her position as 2Life’s Chief Financial Officer. Karen has significant experience in tax credit housing and investment finance. She is a past president of the Boston Chapter of Financial Executives International, a board member of the Women's Institute for Housing and Economic Development, and on the finance committees for The Dimock Center. In 2017, she was recognized by the Boston Business Journal as the Nonprofit CFO of the Year. Karen received her M.S. in Finance at Boston College and her B.A. at Middlebury College.

Lizbeth Heyer
Chief of Real Estate and Innovation


Lizbeth brings to 2Life more than thirty years of professional experience in affordable housing development, planning, policy, and advocacy in both the nonprofit and public sectors. Her housing career began in 1986 as a community organizer with the Massachusetts Tenants Organization where she led local, state, and national efforts to preserve expiring-use housing.

After receiving her Master’s in Urban Planning from MIT, Lizbeth worked for the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC), eventually becoming Associate Director of Real Estate Development, where she led numerous community planning efforts and affordable housing and mixed-use development projects totaling over $80M. Before joining 2Life, Lizbeth served as the Associate Director of Public Housing and Rental Assistance for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, where she led gubernatorial initiatives to reform and preserve the state’s public housing system, expand the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, and create the HomeBASE program, which provided housing instead of shelter for over 6,000 homeless families. 

Meet our Real Estate Team

Emily Levine
Chief of Staff


Emily brings an extensive background in legislative policy and advocacy to her position as Chief of Staff at 2Life Communities. In this role, Emily is charged with driving the organization’s broader strategic initiatives and supporting external policy work including overseeing 2Life’s Aging in Community Collaborative. After receiving her Master’s in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, she oversaw the grassroots and policy campaign at Strategies for Children, a statewide advocacy organization based in Boston. Before joining 2Life, Emily served as the Director of Policy & Advocacy at Horizons for Homeless Children where she developed legislation and advocated to secure increased public funding to support the unique needs of children and families experiencing homelessness and housing instability throughout Massachusetts. She later oversaw a family shelter program serving over 200 families throughout Greater Boston. She is the Chair of the Public Policy Committee of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston and a Board member of the advocacy organization Homes for Families.

John Lutz
Chief Operating Officer


John comes to 2Life with more than thirty years of management experience garnered across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. The last twelve years were spent in the elder services world serving as associate and executive director at two Western Mass ASAPs (Aging Services Access Points). Prior service included work in the areas of homeless services, child and family services, local government, cultural arts, and consumer products.

John has an M.S. in Public Policy and Management from Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a graduate diploma in business and industrial administration from the University of Auckland (NZ) and an undergraduate degree in Economics from Wittenberg University.

Deborah Cutler, LICSW
Director of Programs and Health Care Integration


Debbi has more than thirty years of professional experience providing social work services and supervision to clinicians working with older adults, as well as experience in program management in affordable, supportive housing. Debbi came to 2Life from Brigham and Women’s Hospital where she was a social work manager. Prior to that, she was the Director of Behavioral Health at Hearth, Inc., an organization whose mission is to end elder homelessness. Debbi received her M.S.W. from Boston University.

Gaye Freed, MSW, LICSW
Director of the Training Institute


Gaye has worked for 2Life Communities for thirty-six years. During this time, she has served in various capacities, including Director of Resident Services and Executive Director of the Brighton campus. In 2018, Gaye launched 2Life’s Training Institute. As Director of Training, Gaye supervises graduate student interns from a variety of human services fields. She also arranges workshops for residents and for staff members from 2Life Communities and our partner agencies on topics relevant to their lives and their work.

Marian Milbauer
Director of Foundation Relations


Marian joined 2Life Communities in 2016, bringing more than thirty years of professional experience in grant writing, program planning, evaluation, research, data analysis, strategic planning, and training in the nonprofit and public sectors. Marian has worked on issues ranging from health promotion and disease prevention to elder services, adult basic education, and more, with clients ranging from state and city agencies to major nonprofits. Marian earned a BA from the University of Michigan and an MPH in Health Services from the Boston University School of Public Health.