GBM Team

Joan Pillsbury, Treasurer and Director

Joan Pillsbury, Treasurer and Director

Joan has been interested in green burial since 2009 when she read Mark Harris’s book, Grave Matters: A Journey of the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial. She called her Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Mass (FCAWM) contact person, Carol Coan, and they took a field trip to Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve outside of Ithaca, New York. She joined FCAWM and became a Green Burial Committee member, now Green Burial Massachusetts, Inc.

Joan values the concepts of reduce, reuse and recycle, and has an energy efficient home with alternative energy sources. Green burial makes sense to her. Joan is passionate about having a green cemetery in Massachusetts for everyone.

Eva Moseley, Director

Eva Moseley, Director

Eva is also the Membership Secretary of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Eastern Massachusetts (FCAEM), which, along with the FCA of Western Massachusetts, launched GBM, Inc. Before retiring, she was curator of manuscripts at Radcliffe’s women’s history library.

In her youth Eva studied Sanskrit and Hinduism, thus learning about cycles of life and death, as opposed to the “Western” philosophy of infinite growth (bigger, faster, more of everything). Born in 1931, she has, along with environmental and philosophical concerns, a personal interest in finding land for a green burial ground soon, due to the “actuarial imperative” (i.e., she’s old) and to having three generations of offspring.

In 2019, Eva was nominated for the Green Burial Council Leadership Award, which is presented to an individual, organization, or business that has demonstrated foresight, innovation and extraordinary commitment to the environment through sustainability and attainability in the area of human death care practices.

Candace Currie, Clerk and Director

Candace Currie, Clerk and Director

Candace has been a green burial advocate since she saw an inventory of concrete grave liners waiting to be installed in conventional graves at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge and Watertown, MA. She asked, why is a concrete box going into the ground when a simple casket would suffice? Her two decades of experience at Mount Auburn Cemetery and eight years with the Green Burial Council help answer questions like this one. Candace is adamant that anyone who chooses a green burial should be able to get one in their local or regional cemetery.

Sophia Sayigh, Director

Sophia Sayigh, Director

Sophia was drawn to the idea of returning to the earth as naturally as possible as soon as she found out about it ten years ago, and immediately organized a well-attended GBM information night at her local library to spread the word. She is glad to be part of making green burial an option for anyone who desires it.

A former librarian and lay breastfeeding counselor, she currently volunteers for AHEM, a homeschool advocacy nonprofit, and is a member of the Brewster Cemetery Commission.

Jo Oltman, Director

Jo Oltman, Director

Jo Oltman has been death positive for as long as she can remember, and she is passionate about green burial. An unabashed taphophile, Jo has visited and photographed dozens of iconic cemeteries in the U.S. and Europe, and she is excited about creating the first conservation burial ground here in Massachusetts. She spends much of her time reading articles about death practices and has been a frequent attendee of the Death Salon, Death Cafes here in Boston, and the Daughters of Darkness Festival in Salem.

During the day, Jo manages marketing for a landscape architecture firm in Boston that specializes in cemetery master planning. There she applies her passion for green burial to help her team present on the future of memorialization and opportunities for designers to make beautiful, sustainable spaces for people to celebrate life and honor loved ones.

Elizabeth Cardaropoli, President and Director

Elizabeth has been interested in green burial for many years, rooted in her passion for cultural, environmental, and historic preservation. Elizabeth is a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant with the Celebrant Institute and Foundation. She is a member of the Association of Gravestone Studies. Elizabeth has collaborated with many organizations and institutions: the Order of the Good Death: Death Salon, Fitting Tribute Funeral Services, Mount Auburn Cemetery, Green-Wood Cemetery, Salem's Daughters of Darkness Festival, and the New York Open Center. By day she can be found working in museum administration.