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OUR PRESENT
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OUR PRESENT

Monkey Helpers Today: Our Current Mission

Now after more than four decades of successfully delivering on our mission of providing service animals to help adults with physical disabilities live independent lives, we recognized we needed to adjust the way we operate in response to regulatory, market, and technology changes.

Thus, we are transitioning from a service animal model to exploring specific technologies including different types of robotic arms, exoskeletons, adaptive wheelchairs, and assistive technologies that can make homes smart.

Additionally, we are providing a safe, healthy, fulfilling environment for post-service and medically challenged monkeys for the rest of their lives at our state-of-the-art Monkey Living Center or in one of our Special Care Homes.

Where We Are Going

As we go through our transition, we are guided by two fundamental principles.

First, our mission, providing innovative technologies and quality-of-life opportunities to those living with physical disabilities, will remain our compass.

Second, we will take care of our post-service monkeys until the end of their natural lives.

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Innovative Technology for Those Living with Physical Disabilities
Donate2C
Innovative Technology for Those Living with Physical Disabilities

Innovative Technology for Those Living with Physical Disabilities

As an organization dedicated to working with those living with disabilities and bringing humans and animals together, we can look at our history with great pride. Now, Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers (HH) is in an exciting transition phase, undertaking initiatives that will allow us to continue to serve the disability community by providing resources through the utilization of robotics, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

HH is looking to take the 40+ years of experience, intellectual property, and insights it has gained in service to the disability community and offer it in collaboration with robotic, AR, VR, and AI research organizations, firms, and service providers.

The goal of our new Innovative Technology Initiative is to offer new technologies, now coming on the market at a rapid pace, that help empower individuals with physical disabilities to live more independent and engaged lives. As when we trained service monkeys from the 1980s through the early 2000s, our goal today is to provide tools that allow individuals with physical disabilities to have opportunities to pursue meaningful careers, advanced educational degrees, and fulfilling personal lives.

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Our Staff
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Our Staff

Our Staff

Diane S. Nahabedian
Executive Director

Diane S. Nahabedian joined Helping Hands as the executive director in August 2020. As a senior level non-profit management professional, Diane S. Nahabedian has spent over thirty years working with organizations to enhance their stature through outreach to ensure organizational financial security.
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Alison Payne
Director of Monkey Care

Alison has had a lifelong interest in animals, especially primates. In the third grade, she decided that she would work with monkeys or apes someday. Throughout her education, she volunteered at pet clinics, an avian nursery, and Zoo New England, and has always loved learning more about different animals.
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Julie Totten
Director of Development

Julie joined Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers in October 2021. She brings extensive fundraising experience, having worked in development positions for the last seven years at various nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts.
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Erica Noyes
Director of Marketing and Communications

A Helping Hands staff member from 2011-2018, Erica returned to the team in 2020 as the Director of Marketing and Communications.

After graduating from Bennington College with a degree in photography and music, she moved to Boston in 1999 to begin a career in the nonprofit world.
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Natalie Shelton-May
Placement Trainer, Manager of Husbandry Staff and Volunteer Development

Natalie worked with animals in a variety of capacities before joining Helping Hands. Since graduating from Wheaton College in 2005 with a BA in psychobiology, she has worked as a zookeeper, a lab animal veterinary technician, and a manager of a primate psychology research lab.
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Allyson Migneault
Placement Trainer/Veterinary Technician

Allyson received her bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology from Mount Ida College in 2008. She always knew she wanted to work with exotic animals and was thrilled when she was offered a position at Helping Hands in 2009.
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Kim Gomez
Placement Trainer

Kim has always had an affinity for animals, having owned a plethora of domesticated mammals and reptiles while she was growing up. She discovered Helping Hands in the summer of 2013 while attending Boston University, and started interning while completing her BA in behavioral biology.
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Chelsea Lundblad
Monkey Handler

Having grown up on a hobby farm, Chelsea developed an early passion for the animal world as she spent every day among a wide variety of animals. She graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in film and television, but quickly realized working with animals was her true calling.
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Matthew Salcedo
Administrative Assistant

Matthew graduated from Boston University in 2021 with degrees in neuroscience and psychology. He has always loved animals and when he found out about Helping Hands, he loved the idea of both our past work and the future vision. He was excited to accept a full-time position with the organization.
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Tatiana Shannon
Development Assistant

Tatiana graduated from Hampshire College in 2012 with a BA in History and a minor in Fine Arts. Since graduating, she has amassed a decade of experience working in both development and communications for local historical societies, real estate companies, and small businesses all across Massachusetts.
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Our Leadership
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Our Leadership

Our Leadership

Robert Sanders

With more than 30 years of investment, analytical and financial management experience, Robert serves as a portfolio manager at Woodstock Corporation for individuals and families in addition to having investment research responsibilities.
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Susan Keyes

Susan Keyes is the co-owner of Keyes North Atlantic, Inc., a leading provider of green technology and electro-mechanical systems design, installation, repair, and maintenance in eastern Massachusetts.
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Daniel Skehan

Dan is a Finance and Operations Manager at Russell’s Garden Center in Wayland, Massachusetts. He has previously worked as a financial controller for an HVAC and electrical contracting firm and began his career as an accountant for one of the largest regional public accounting firms in Massachusetts.
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Lisa Brown

Lisa is the Vice President of Creative at NNE Marketing, an agency that produces fundraising packages exclusively for nonprofit organizations. Over the last decade, she has written and developed winning creative for some of the most renowned nonprofits in the nation.
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Khristine Carroll

Khristine currently holds the position of Vice President of Business Development at Forum Plastics, a company built on engineering that prides itself on accomplishing extremely difficult programs in the custom mold design & build, injection, insert & micro-molding to support the medical space.
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Michele Cunneen

Michele is the founder and president of Animal Research Consulting LLC, a life sciences consulting firm specializing in animal care programs. Prior to starting the consulting business, she was the Associate Director of Pre-Clinical Biology at Genzyme Corporation.
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Sarah Davis

Dr. Sarah Davis has been providing direct patient care as a dentist in Lexington for over 20 years. She is a member of the ADA and the MDS. Originally from Iowa, Sarah lives in Chelmsford, MA, where she serves as an elected town representative.
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Robin Dorogusker

Robin is the Executive Vice President at DENS Facility Services where she is charged with planning and overseeing business operations and development activities.
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Judi Hindman

Judi joins the Board after 20 years of involvement with Helping Hands, including providing a Special Care Home for monkey Katie for fourteen years. Judi has served as a clinical social worker for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, MA.
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Daniel G. Steger

Daniel is the founder and principal of DGS/a Architecture, a Massachusetts design firm dedicated to custom residential design and construction services. He holds a Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a registered architect in Massachusetts and a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
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Job & Volunteer Opportunities

Job Opportunities

Currently there are no job opportunities available. 

Please check back as we do post any of our current openings here.  

Volunteer Opportunities

Member of the Board of Directors

Helping Hands is always looking for talented people to join our Board of Directors. In particular, individuals with finance, fundraising, legal, communications/media, real estate/development, rehabilitation medicine, or veterinary background/experience are sought. If interested, please contact Monkey Helpers today.

Development Committee Members

Helping Hands is actively seeking candidates interested in fundraising to work alongside senior staff, volunteers, and board members on our Development Committee.

Specifically, we are looking for people who have fundraising, marketing, and/or event planning skills and are willing to reach out to introduce us to potential donors/funders. If interested, please contact us.