The SDM Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation. We focus on teaching people how to use technology, such as computers and the Internet, to enrich their lives. We help people use email, the web, digital photography, online music, and all of the other ways that people interact, learn, and participate in society using phones, tablets, and computers. We also help small businesses and nonprofits develop and maintain websites, social media, and other technology. Our focus is on teaching, so if your focus is on learning, we are a good match!
We do all of this by offering FREE small group lessons and one on one appointments. Our staff is highly trained, extremely patient, and they work at your pace. Any topic, any time: appointments in person or remotely.
SDM in the News
ChamberChat Podcast with SDM Foundation Executive Director – Melrose Chamber of Commerce April 2021
Melrose’s SDM Foundation continues with tech help during the pandemic – Melrose Free Press September 2020
TechTalk@SDM – January 2020 – Episode 1 on MMTV (Melrose Municipal Television)
Meet Our Team
Aaron SansoneSDM Associate
Aaron’s family came to Melrose in 1972 and still lives here. Raised in Melrose, he studied Information Systems Security at ITT Technical Institute. Aaron has filled multiple IT support roles in the past, including working as an IT Specialist for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and most recently as a Data Storage Engineer for Hitachi Data Systems. Aaron is passionate about technology, learning new things, and sharing his knowledge. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family.
Collin GraySDM Associate
Collin is back with us for the summer. He has been at SDM on and off through high school and now college. Collin is patient, energetic and very knowledgable!
Josh DickSDM Associate
Josh is a Melrose resident who has studied digital media and design at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He has a passion for technology and teaching people how it can make their day to day lives easier. Josh has a strong interest in developing apps and games and is always looking for new technology to learn. Josh enjoys making complex concepts simple to understand and technology accessible for people at any skill level.
Kristin ThorpExecutive Director
Kristin moved to the Boston area from Minneapolis in 1984. Over the next three decades, her work with Stuart McIntosh focused on the ever-expanding world of online information, and how to make it more accessible to users. She and her husband raised their three children in Melrose, where they participated in schools, clubs and organizations. Kristin served for 11 years as an elected member of the Melrose School Committee. The SDM Foundation is her vision of the embodiment of Stuart’s bequest.
Patrick BarosySDM Associate
An educator and technologist, Patrick has been living in Malden for the last 3 years. Self-taught web developer. Photographer. Videographer. Technologist. Educator. His passion is navigating the intersection of education and technology. His tech journey has progressed from someone whose only computer expertise was playing solitaire to becoming a staunch advocate for tech accessibility to all. Patrick has worked in M & A, crypto, content marketing, and education. Always looking to help educate and empower others.
Sara MurraySDM Associate
Sara moved to Melrose from Scotland in 2012. She has a background in engineering design and project management. Moving to the US gave her a chance to explore more creative avenues and she now writes, manages several websites, takes far too many photos and spends a lot of time on Instagram. She loves sharing her technical knowledge and helping others get the most out of their devices and apps. She is a mum to three, which keeps her more than busy when not working
Thatcher AckermanSDM Associate
Thatcher has been a resident of Melrose for most of his life and has grown up in tandem with technological advancements. Most of his educational background can be credited to Melrose Public Schools however he spent some time at Boston College High School, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and North Shore Community College. But his thirst for knowledge and interest in computers thrived outside of the classroom most, giving years of experience with both software and hardware. He is a self-proclaimed nerd who plays lots of video/computer games and enjoys teaching others as well as continuing to learn.
Past Team Members
Janet NevinFormer Staff Member
Janet was one of our original employees at SDM and helped get us off the ground. She continues to be a supporter and champion of SDM and our work, although she is no longer working with us on a daily basis.
Beth LucienFormer Staff Member
Beth was instrumental in the development of SDM and how the shop was run. She started the newsletter and our lessons for students. Beth passed away in February 2019. She was a wonderful, happy, smart, hardworking addition to our staff. Her patient style was appreciated by so many of our clients. Beth continued learning every day, which made her a great role model, and she took on new challenges with incredible energy.
Beth was only with us for two years, but she will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Our Benefactor – Stuart D. McIntosh
SDM Foundation was created by Stuart D McIntosh in 2015 by a bequest upon his death at the age of 93. Because of this, we are fortunate to be able to provide professional help to people without any cost to them.
Mr. McIntosh was born in 1921 and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. He attended the University of Glasgow and received degrees in Chemistry and Library Science.
Stuart wanted to be able to help people use technology to make their lives richer. He realized that the advantages of using technology were enormous and that it was very difficult for people not already in the know to gain access. Even the specialized technical language is a barrier.
From his early professional days, Stuart believed that people should be in charge of their own data. He hoped that assistance focused on what they wanted to do, rather than what the computer was able to do, would benefit everyone. Here at SDM we try to give effect to Stuart’s ideas.
Learn more about Stuart:
SDM blog post – May 2021
ArchiveSpace at MIT (A list of Stuart’s documents being added to the archive)