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First Literacy of Boston names new board chairman

Jim Nolan, a managing director at Citi Securities Services, took over as chairman on July 1.First Literacy

First Literacy, a Boston-based adult education program, on Wednesday announced the appointment of its first new chairman in 14 years.

Jim Nolan, a managing director Citi Securities Services, took over as chairman of the nonprofit’s board of directors on July 1. He succeeds Jeff Beale, a retired executive at Eaton Vance, the nonprofit said in a press release.

“I have loved every moment of my time as Chairman of the Board at First Literacy,” Beale said in the release. “Literacy is a right, and we work hard every day to provide services for our adult learners and teachers.”

Nolan is a longtime member of First Literacy’s board, having been with the group for the past 15 years. He has co-chaired the group’s annual adult spelling bee, which raises over $250,000 for First Literacy’s various programs.


“I am honored to step into this role,” Nolan said. “Under Jeff’s leadership First Literacy has realized tremendous growth and I look forward to continuing this growth enriching the lives of more adult learners in Boston and throughout Massachusetts.”

Terry Witherell, First Literacy’s executive director, cited Nolan’s deep commitment to the organization.

“Jim’s long history on the board at First Literacy and dedication to furthering our mission makes him an ideal person for this role‚” she said. “I look forward to working closely with Jim to continue helping adults throughout Massachusetts improve their literacy skills so they can succeed in every aspect of their lives.”

First Literacy was founded as the Boston Adult Literacy Fund in 1988. Its mission, according to its website, is to ensure that “adult learners and adult educators receive the support and resources they need.” To this end, the organization works with approximately 7,800 adult students and 200 teachers across Massachusetts to provide them with grants, scholarships, and free professional workshops.


Beale will continue as a member of First Literacy’s board of directors.

“We greatly appreciate his support over the past fourteen years, through the transition from BALF to First Literacy the growth of our annual spelling bee fundraiser, and navigating a pandemic,” said Witherell.

Jeff Beale, a retired executive at Eaton Vance, served as chairman since 2008. He will remain as a member of the board.First Literacy

Camilo Fonseca can be reached at camilo.fonseca@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @fonseca_esq.