Elsje Zwart

Elsje brings an extensive background with non-profits and educational institutions to her job as Executive Director with Gloucester 400+. A Cape Ann resident for 25 years before moving to Ontario for a position as a vice president with Redeemer University, she previously worked with Project Adventure in Beverly and Gordon College in Wenham. She enjoys building inclusive communities where everyone has value and deeply appreciates each unique voice. Together, a community creates the tapestry that reflects who they are. Elsje sees next year’s commemoration as a moment in time when the city can both look back and acknowledge its powerful past – while talking truthfully about the complexity of the past – and be in a good place to build into the future.


Christine Armstrong

Innovative, results-drive marketing and communications leader with extensive experience with some of America’s most trusted brands, including: CBS College Sports TV, Fidelity, Ford Motor Company, Mattel Interactive, Microsoft and Party City. She has a 20-year track record of breathing new life into established brands and creating new brand identities for mission and purpose driven organizations.  By revealing and understanding the truths, motivations and emotional triggers that drive people to action, she designs and directs a process of storytelling and iteration, to influencing engagement and engaging communities.


Isabel Pett

A natural hostess with a strong social conscience, Izzy joined the Gloucester 400+ as a volunteer in 2018. With her formal education in Cultural Anthropology and her career in Event Planning, she is passionate about uniting individuals from varying backgrounds through shared experiences. Being a third generation Gloucester resident, she is thrilled to be working on events for the City’s 400th Anniversary which will be enjoyed by full-time residents and Gloucester-enthusiasts alike. A few of her favorite things include: sailing, live music, carbohydrates, farmers markets, and her animals PePe and Bodie.


Laura M. Alberghini Ventimiglia, Ed.D.

A long-time resident of Gloucester whose family here spans six generations, Laura was a college educator and administrator for more than 20 years. Upon her retirement she turned to her passion and began a new career as a researcher and writer of Italian heritage. She has interviewed people in a variety of settings in two countries, later organizing and writing their stories, and helping other people do the same. Most recently she consulted with the administrators of L’Archivio Storico in Cento, Italy as they developed their online museum, Nulla Osta per il Mondo, and she continues to work with them collecting immigrant stories. She has authored educational articles, chapters in anthologies, family history articles and books. Her love for Gloucester stems from its uniqueness and its people whose stories bring its history to life.