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.


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.

Administrative Specialist & Volunteer Coordinator.

Deborah Johnson

Deborah , a resident of Ipswich, has worked in Gloucester for the past 5 years for a local business and already knows many local residents. She has a variety of administrative and management experience in education, non-profits and small business. She is excited to combine her experience with her love of Gloucester, and connecting with community organizations, businesses and the amazing people who call Gloucester home. She enjoys birding, swimming, biking, hiking, gardening and a really good book. She is excited to join the amazing team at Gloucester 400+ to honor and celebrate the history and culture of Gloucester.


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.

Stories Project Manager

Terry Mangos Weber,

Terry comes from a strong news writing and marketing background. You can find some of her works in the Boston Globe, Providence Journal, Gloucester Daily Times and many local magazines and blogs. If you’ve ever been in Whole Foods Market, you probably have read Terry’s writing because she worked as the lead writer for Whole Foods’ New England region and in their marketing department for many years. Terry also loves history, and loves Gloucester – making her a perfect fit to lead the Stories Project. And, she’s a writer who cares about helping other people tell their stories.

Proposal Writer

Maria (Mia) Millefoglie
Mia joined Gloucester 400+ as a volunteer in 2021 and is now engaged as a proposal writer helping the organization to secure state, federal, and foundation grants. Mia’s career spans more than 20 years leading development, marketing, and communication initiatives in the non-profit sector. She believes in the power of our words and is committed to helping non-profit articulate their missions, shape their stories, and craft compelling grant proposals.  As a Gloucester native, Mia is honored to part of this commemorative milestone that gives tribute to
the city’s rich history and heritage.


Merlyn Caswell-Mackey

Merlyn’s career in Graphic Design and Art Direction has spanned over 20 years. He began in the surf, skate and music industries, then worked at a recording studio, a few ad agencies, and a global technology corporation. Currently freelancing for a mix of large corporate clients and smaller local businesses and organizations, Merlyn recently began helping the Gloucester 400+ with print projects like postcards, newsletters, a mass mailing, flyers, and magazine ads, as well as helping with Art Directing a refresh of the website and graphics for social media. Growing up on Cape Ann, Merlyn spent a lot of time searching the coast for places to surf, and developed a strong interest in photographing these areas throughout the seasons. He’s been happy to contribute some of these photos to materials for the Gloucester 400+ as well, and is very glad to see the city come together to mark 400 years.


Steve Brettler

Steve Brettler spent much of his adult life as the manager and then owner of the E.P Levine Company. It was there, as a result of his fortuitous purchase of the domain name way back in the infancy of the WWW, that he became interested in the potential of the world wide web as a tool to market and sell his wares. Eventually he wore himself out, sold the domain, and left his company in the capable hands of an employee and a business partner. He subsequently leveraged those skills and his interests in small business ecosystems and started smallfish-design. He uses WordPress (mostly) to build well designed, affordable, and highly functional websites for artists, nonprofits (such as the GloucesterMa400 site) and small businesses of all types, from his cozy home office in Gloucester. Brettler studied photography and music at Bennington College, teaches indoor cycling at a couple of local gyms and is currently learning how to play the Uilleann Pipes.

Social Media

Nicole Dahlmer

Nicole Dahlmer was born and raised in Gloucester and is the fifth generation of her family to call this special place home. She has a Fine Arts degree specializing in Photography, with additional minors in Creative Writing, Art History, and Visual Narratives. She has also been a bookseller at The Bookstore of Gloucester for a decade and is so pleased with the opportunity to be even more involved in the community. As well as managing the social media for Gloucester 400+, Nicole is also a member of the DEIA Committee; ensuring that the marking of a complicated history is told in an truthful way, that all the voices and community stories are shared and considered, and that Gloucester is acknowledging all aspects of our past and working toward a more diverse and inclusive future is particularly important to her. Nicole uses Gloucester and her family history here as a main theme in her artwork and she also enjoys hiking the local trails, searching for sea glass on the beaches, and spending time in the garden and by the fire with friends and family.