Regina L. Lawson, President
Regina, Andrew’s Mom, has nearly three decades of experience working intimately with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is passionate about supporting programs that promote inclusion in the community. Regina has been a volunteer for Special Olympics Massachusetts for 20 years. She has helped organize the Special Olympics Polar Plunge fundraiser for 10 years. Regina is a past member of the Norwell Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), a parent organization that advocates for children with disabilities in Norwell Public Schools and provides information and support to parents of children with disabilities in the schools. She is a graduate of Bentley University and is a self employed accountant.
James D. Lawson, Treasurer
Jim, Andrew’s Dad, served for 19 years on the Board of the ARC of the South Shore, a charitable organization committed to empowering families and individuals of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities to reach their fullest potential. He also served two terms as the organization’s president and initiated its Capital Campaign to expand and improve its building. He also served for four years on the Board of Directors of the ARC of Massachusetts, a charitable organization whose mission is to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. While on the Board, he started a Capital Campaign for the organization’s new building. In addition, Jim has been involved with Special Olympics Massachusetts for 20 years as a volunteer and a tennis coach. Jim earned a Bachelor of Science from Babson College and a Master’s of Science in Taxation from Bentley University. He is a Senior Estate tax accountant with Ropes & Gray LLP, a global law firm.
Sarah is Andrew’s older sister, who he referred to as “the lovey sister.” From early intervention sessions to high school sporting events, Sarah was able to witness Andrew’s many achievements throughout his lifetime. Her favorite times with Andrew were those on the beach and on the ski slopes where he would pick the trails and lead the way. One of her favorite moments was when Andrew gave an inspirational toast to her and her husband Cliff at their wedding in August 2015. Sarah earned her doctorate of physical therapy and minor in psychology from Northeastern University in 2011. She works at Peak Physical Therapy & Sports Performance in Quincy, MA.
Bridget Lawson, Clerk
Bridget is Andrew’s younger sister, who he referred to as “the Bridgeybee.” Throughout the years Bridget followed Andrew through his love of sports with Special Olympics Massachusetts. She volunteered with his swim team, ski team, and tennis team. While going through Norwell Public Schools, Bridget was involved in Best Buddies with Andrew. When Andrew turned 22 and transitioned to the Friendship Home of Norwell, she started volunteering there until she was old enough to be employed. Bridget has been working for Friendship Home now for over 7 years. She received her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Springfield College in 2016. She is now employed as an Occupational Therapist at the Lillian M Jacobs Elementary School in Hull, MA.
Since the fall of 1991, Leo Sarkissian has served as Executive Director of The Arc of Massachusetts, which works to advance the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc has been a leader in advocating for increased budgets in turning 22 and related community services, family support, and expanding access to MassHealth services such as the personal care attendant program. The state office also is active in national efforts through The Arc of the United States. Working with 18 chapters and other agencies across the state, The Arc provides families with needed information, services and support. Leo has held various roles in the disabilities field before his present position, serving as executive director of The Arc of the South Shore, residential director and an area social worker. He lives in Walpole Massachusetts with his wife Mary and is the father of two grown daughters.
Matt and Andrew grew up and went to school together in Norwell. They quickly became friends due to their shared interest in sports and appreciation of one another’s sense of humor. In high school Matt was involved in Best Buddies and was Andrew’s teammate on both the soccer and basketball teams. As Andrew’s friend, Matt experienced firsthand the immense benefits that inclusive programs provide. He received his Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of New Hampshire and is now a pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT). Matt began his OT career working at Boston Children’s Hospital and currently does home visiting for children and families through Early Intervention.
James and Andrew were lifelong classmates, teammates and friends. From their early days as kindergarten classmates, the two bonded over their shared loves of basketball, good food and involvement in the Norwell chapter of Best Buddies. James and Andrew were teammates on the 2008 Norwell High School boys' basketball team that finished its season with 19 wins and many more lifelong memories. James received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University and a Juris Doctor degree from Boston College Law School. He is an associate at Ropes & Gray LLP, where he works as a corporate and real estate transactional attorney.