ASHLAND – Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland) was elected to be the President of the Massachusetts State Senate by her Senate colleagues on July 26.
Senate President Spilka represents the MetroWest communities of Ashland, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopkinton and Medway, which comprise the 2nd Middlesex & Norfolk district.
“Serving in the Massachusetts Senate has been, and will continue to be, one of the greatest chapters in my life story,” said Senate President Spilka, in a press release issued tonight, August 8.
“I pledge to uphold and maintain the integrity of the Senate, an institution I can honestly say I love with all of my heart. I look forward to working with people from all over the state, to build on the strengths we bring from each region, and to tackle our challenges head on, so that Massachusetts will continue to be a leading light in our nation,” said Senate President Spilka.
Before being elected to the presidency, Spilka served as the Chair of the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways & Means beginning in January 2015. Prior to that, she served as the Senate Majority Whip (2013-2015), Assistant Majority Whip (2012-2013), Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies (2009-2012), and Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities (2005-2009), a committee she helped originate. She began her legislative career as a State Representative for the Seventh Middlesex district in 2001.
Prior to becoming a legislator, Spilka was in private practice as an arbitrator and mediator, specializing in labor and employment law and community and court mediation. In addition, she has been a facilitator and fact finder in disputes in the public and private sectors, as well as a trainer of adult mediation and school-based peer mediation programs, collaborative-based collective bargaining and conflict resolution strategies.
She has also previously worked as a labor and employment attorney on behalf of employees, unions, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) and the Commonwealth.
Senate President Spilka is a graduate of Northeastern Law School and holds a B.S. in Social Work from Cornell University.
She has been married for more than 20 years to Joel S. Loitherstein, an environmental engineer, and has one adult step-daughter two adult sons—Heather, Scott and Jake—and two rescue dogs.
Photos submitted to Source