Courtney O'Keefe

Executive Director

Courtney O’Keefe is the creator of Ward 5 Online, a hyper-local blog covering the political, developmental, artistic and community happenings in her home ward. A lifelong resident of Somerville, she makes her home and runs her business, CKO Strategies, in Magoun Square. Courtney served on the SLF Board of Directors from 2011-2012 and rejoined in September of 2014 after serving as Ward 5 Alderman in 2013. A practicing minimalist, Courtney embraces and encourages the appreciation of simplicity and knowing that the best things in life aren’t things.

Pete Slipp


Pete Slipp has been a resident of Somerville since 2010 and treasurer of Somerville Local First since 2015. A Massachusetts native and graduate of Boston College, Pete began his career working at an international accounting firm specializing in non-profit and financial services clients. Pete is currently a financial administrator at Boston College working with the university’s endowment investments, and recently completed his MBA there.

When not attending BC football, BC hockey or Patriots games, Pete can be found enjoying evenings in Davis Square, brunch in Ball Square, or relaxing on the beach at the New Hampshire seacoast.

Heidi Shalek

Heidi Shalek is co-owner of The Training Room, a local non-membership fitness studio offering personal training, group training and indoor cycling to the Somerville area.  She and her business partner, Maren Kravitz, established their first location in 2010, and opened a second location (also in Somerville) in 2013.  Heidi also co-owns a Boston-based fashion company with her brother and designer, Luke Aaron.  Their showroom is located in the Beacon Hill, specializing in made-to-order bridal gowns and evening wear. Follow Heidi’s small businesses on Instagram: @lukeaaronboston, @thetrainingroomboston.

Ian R. Witherby


Ian R. Witherby is the founding Executive Director of Lighthouse Social Impact Group, Inc., a Somerville-based not-for-profit organization which empowers human service & other agencies to create and sustain meaningful, lasting social impact through individualized program evaluation & innovation strategies. He has also consulted on inclusion program & grant administration with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Education and has held programmatic & communications-related board positions with several local not-for-profit agencies. Additionally, Ian brings to Somerville Local First expertise with both membership-based and community-centered organizations, 501(c)(3) mechanics, and operational policy development.  

A Massachusetts native and Somerville resident for more than 5 years, Ian received his MSW (Social Innovation & Leadership) from the Boston College School of Social Work, and his summa cum laude BA in Philosophy from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. A social worker by ideology, Ian identifies as a change-maker, rather than a clinician, and is professionally committed to youth empowerment, ethical program design, and participant-centered approaches to social justice challenges. 

Ian is an enthusiastic experimental cook and a coffee aficionado, as well as a passionate cruciverbalist and science fiction guru. He and his husband spend most summers exploring the outdoors of Penobscot Bay & Mid-coast Maine. Connect with Ian by visiting

Marta Melo


Marta Melo is a lifelong Somerville resident and recent first-time homeowner in our fine city. She brings more than 12 years of marketing, communications, and graphic design experience to the SLF board, along with a fluency in Portuguese. Marta currently works as a senior marketing manager for the Watertown-based company, Bright Horizons. As a professional, she’s passionate about branding, content, messaging, and typography. On a personal level, she’s passionate about cooking, dancing, design, exploring new bars and restaurants, and all things Somerville.

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