Practice Seminar Faculty

Bill Allen

Adjunct Lecturer, International and Public Affairs, Brown University

Throughout a career of over forty years, Bill Allen has been an innovative and strategic leader in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. He held senior management positions in three local United Ways, most recently as Executive Vice President of Community Services at the United Way of Rhode Island (1977 to 2004). He was interim president of this United Way in 1996.

Bill teaches courses in nonprofit policy and practice and social entrepreneurship at the Watson Institute at Brown University. He has responsibility for the Policy in Action consultancy program for MPA students. Allen has been a member of the adjunct faculties at Providence College and Boston College School of Social Work. He joined the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership (INML) as a Senior Fellow in 2016 and will be Management Seminar Faculty for the 2016-2017 program in Providence, Rhode Island.  

Allen was elected to a four-year term on the Cumberland School Committee in 1986 and chair of the committee in 1988. He has been chair of the board of several Rhode Island-based nonprofits. He is a member of the board of Butler Hospital Foundation and is board chair at Children’s Friend.

Bill has a Master in Social Planning (MSP) degree from Boston College School of Social Work. He received the John O. Stiteley Distinguished Public Service Award from the RI Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration and the David E. Sweet Leadership Award from Leadership Rhode Island.


Richard Brothers

Independent Consultant

Rich Brothers recently retired as President and CEO of the Cape and Islands United Way, a position he held for thirteen years. During his tenure he increased the average year’s fundraising total by 30% while markedly reducing the organization’s overhead expense, allowing even more dollars to flow to the community. He achieved his goal of transforming the United Way board into one on which the most influential leaders on Cape Cod sought membership. He created the “Second Home Community” fund, whereby wealthy seasonal residents pledged financial support for their second-home community, resulting in $2 million in new dollars. Altogether, Rich raised over $15 million dollars for those in need. He also established the United Way as “convener” for Cape “not for profits”, government agencies and funders to improve service delivery and fundraising in a more efficient and effective way.

Before coming to work on Cape Cod, Rich was, from 1984 to 1998, Vice President of the United Waysof New England. In that role, he was the primary fundraising counselor for 60 multi-state businesses and 30 local United Ways in Eastern New England. Those businesses included Raytheon, Verizon, Liberty Mutual Bank, IBM, John Hancock, Reebok, Polaroid, Stop and Shop and Digital Equipment Corporation. Working with the CEO’s and senior staff of these businesses and with community leaders, he was instrumental in raising over $300 million dollars. 

Prior to his careers with United Way, Rich held a number of increasingly responsible management positions with Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Boston.  In his last position at “The Blues”, he served as Manager of Major Account Development. A native of Boston, he graduated from The English High School. He lives in Chatham with his wife Ellen and together they have three grown children and nine terrific grandchildren. Today he spends some of his time as Principal/ Consultant at Dorbury Consulting.


Anna Cano Morales

Associate Vice President for Community, Equity, and Diversity, Rhode Island College

Anna Cano-Morales is a former appointee to the R.I. Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education, has previously been elected to the University of Rhode Island Foundation Executive Board of Directors, and has served on the board of directors for the RI Latino Political Action Committee and RI Civic Fund, the International Charter School and Teach for America. 

Anna has extensive experience in social services work and policy in Rhode Island. For a decade, Anna worked as the Associate Vice President for Grant Programs for the Rhode Island Foundation where she led the Hispanics in Philanthropy initiative and managed a team of Program Officers. Anna also served as Director of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University, and serves as Chairwoman of the Central Falls School Board of Trustees.

Anna earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development, Counseling, and Family Studies, with a minor in Latin American Literature, from the University of Rhode Island. She received a Master’s of Social Work in Policy, Administration, and Systems from Rhode Island College.


Selvin Chambers

Executive Director, Root NS, Inc.

Selvin L. Chambers III joined Root NS, Inc as its Executive Director in August 2016. Mr. Chambers’ experience includes more than 15 years in non-profit and local government work and extensive business development experience in the non-profit sector. He has a passion for engaging local communities and building and supporting community-based programs and collaborations serving a broad spectrum of youth and young adults.

Since 2013, Chambers has been a senior fellow for the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership.  His previous executive and managerial positions include serving as the interim Chief Operating Officer for the United South End Settlements, Metro Boston Regional Director for the Trustees of Reservations, Executive Director of the Food Project and Executive Director of the Elizabeth Peabody House in Somerville.  He has also worked at City Boston Youth Development and Family Services and the City of Cambridge Youth Programs as well as City Year in several cities throughout the US. A graduate of Fitchburg State University with a bachelor's degree in Sociology, Chambers holds a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the Boston University School of Management and Certificate in Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management from Harvard Business School.


Yi-Chin Chen

Executive Director, Friends of the Children, Boston

Yi-Chin Chen is the Executive Director of Friends of the Children-Boston — an organization dedicated to providing youth facing the highest risks h 12.5 years of relentless support from kindergarten to high school graduation, no matter what.  Friends-Boston currently serves 128 Achievers, a term used to demonstrate the belief that all children have the capacity to succeed.

Yi-Chin previous served as the Interim Executive Director and Deputy Director of Hyde Square Task Force where she played a variety of leadership roles during her 12 year tenure.  She is responsible for the creation of several nationally recognized programs.

i-Chin received a master's degree in Social Work from Boston University with a specialization in Macro practice.  She is also a graduate of the Institute of Nonprofit Management and Leadership in 2009.  She has served on several city and statewide committees, advisory board and board of directors, including Hyde Jackson Square Main Street, Boston Children's Hospital's Community Advisory Board and Boston University School of Social Work Alumni Board.  In 2011, She received the prestigious Hubie Jones Urban Service Award from BUSSW for her outstanding leadership empowering youth and families.


George Chu

Partner, Room40 Group

George is a partner of the Room40 Group, an advisory group that works with the leadership of nonprofits to help their organizations improve, grow and change. He is a hands-on executive with a record of delivering results in entrepreneurial, high-growth nonprofit organizations. As a consultant, George has focused on defining strategy, creating buy-in, and leading execution and implementation from the frontlines to the executive team. Previously, George served as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Analytical Officer, and Chief Financial Officer for Citizen Schools, a nonprofit focused on improving schools. He was also a consultant for The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit consulting firm, and Arthur D. Little, a global strategy and operations management consulting firm. George started his career as a manufacturing engineer for Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is a two time collegiate All-American wrestler, and is named an inventor on U.S. patent 5,746,741. He is currently seeking hobbies more befitting his physical and intellectual condition. George resides in Dedham, MA with his wife and two children.


Mary Sylvia Harrison

Vice President for Programs, Nellie Mae Education Foundation

Mary Sylvia Harrison brings experience leading initiatives to improve education and college readiness to her role in overseeing the Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s programs, New England’s largest foundation dedicated exclusively to education.

Prior to joining the Nellie Mae Education Foundation in 2008, Mary was President and CEO of The College Crusade of Rhode Island. Under her leadership, the organization became the state’s most comprehensive college readiness and scholarship program for students in low-income urban school districts.

Mary served on the Rhode Island Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education from 1994 to 1999, and represented The College Crusade as Core Partner with the Providence Public Schools in a Carnegie Corporation-funded High School Redesign initiative. Prior to joining The College Crusade, she was Executive Director of Times2, a nonprofit provider of math and science enrichment programs for underserved learners.

Mary holds a B.A. from Villanova University and a J.D. from Antioch School of Law.


Charmane Higgins

Executive Director, STRIVE and Vice President for Employment and Vocational Services, Justice Resource Institute

Charmane Higgins is the Executive Director of STRIVE/Boston Employment Service, a non-profit organization that provides job readiness training and placement to chronically unemployed individuals throughout the Greater Boston area. In September 2014 STRIVE Boston merged with Justice Resource Institute, Inc. (JRI), a Massachusetts-based human service agency that provides trauma-informed care to children and adults across the Northeast (www.jri.org). Ms. Higgins remains in her role as STRIVE’s executive director while taking on the title of Vice President for Employment and Vocational Services at JRI. 
Prior to joining STRIVE, Ms. Higgins was Director, Cultural Health Initiatives at the American Heart Association, Framingham, Massachusetts. From 1999 to 2003, she served, first, as Career Services Manager and, then, as Assistant Director of Operations for Boston Private Industry Council. Before this, she held positions at Cellular One in Boston and at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. 

Ms. Higgins holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College and a Master’s in Latin from University of Texas, Austin. In 2003, she earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Simmons School of Management, Boston, MA. Ms. Higgins is also a senior fellow and serves on the board of directors at the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership at Boston University’s School of Management from which she graduated in 2009. 

Ms. Higgins actively serves on a number of charitable and civic organizations. She is the Chair of the Boston Latin School Alumnae Association which honored her in 2012 with its Outstanding Recent Graduate Award. She has volunteered with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts since 2011 and was elected to its Board of Trustees in 2013. Ms. Higgins also serves on the Institutional Review Board at Good Samaritan Caritas Hospital in Brockton. She currently volunteers as a tutor with School on Wheels, a non-profit agency that educates children impacted by homelessness and as a Promising Pen Pal with the James P. Timilty Middle School/Simmons College in Roxbury, MA. In her spare time, Ms. Higgins enjoys traveling and practicing yoga at Open Doors Yoga Studio – Dorchester, a franchise she purchased in 2014 with her business partner.


Paola Fernandez

Assistant Vice President, Community Outreach and Business Development, Pawtucket Credit Union

Paola Fernandez was born in Argentina and arrived in Rhode Island at the age of 10. She is the Assistant Vice President, Community Outreach and Business Development at Pawtucket Credit Union. In this role Paola oversees PCU’s community giving program with the goal of delivering strategic financial support to diverse community-based efforts that positively impact the lives of underserved populations throughout Rhode Island. Prior to her current role, Paola served as Director of Public Policy and Research at United Way of Rhode Island where she was responsible for development and coordination of public policy strategies and partnerships with local, state, and federal government. Her career in the nonprofit sector has been focused on social issues and spans across grant allocations and management, outcomes and performance management, advocacy campaign development, lobbying and coalition building. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management with a concentration in Human Resources from Johnson & Wales University. Paola is active on various boards, and most recently became co-chair and one of the founding members of the newly created Asociación Argentina de Rhode Island. She also serves as the co-chair of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University. Paola resides in Cranston with her husband and two children.


Dan Holin

Director of Special Projects, UTEC

Throughout his personal life and professional career, Dan Holin has been busy creating bridges and collaborations between countries, neighboring cities and even his own neighbors. Working in the international arena, Dan helped promote understanding between Israel and the international community through cultural collaborations and agreements in the area of music, film, and industrial design. Dan is most proud of conceiving and implementing “Poems on Trees,” a series of public arts exhibits combining Israeli and foreign poetry hung from trees in major public boulevards in Israel, France and Japan, as well as work he did bridging Arabs and Israelis. Dan has also worked to promote better understanding and collaboration between museums and the communities which reside near them, but do not frequent them. Feeling the need to better connect with his own neighbors, Dan started up a community bicycling club, chaired a community task force, and coordinated a garden work and tools cooperative. From 2003 until 2015, Dan led the creation and growth of The Jericho Road Project, a skillsbased, volunteer-powered community development organization, with sites in Massachusetts, Texas, and California. Recognizing the parallel need for meaningful corporate leadership training, and more and better trained nonprofit board members, Dan was responsible for the growth of The Leadership Connection. With trainers from Harvard University and Deloitte, and customers that included Raytheon and EMC and the nonprofit community, this social enterprise bridged corporate and nonprofit community needs by training corporate executives and then placing them on nonprofit boards.

As Special Projects Director at UTEC, Inc, a youth serving organization in Lowell, MA, Dan is charged with launching new programs and designing new collaborations between corporate and academic partners and UTEC. These include launching a new mentoring and transportation programs at UTEC, and a training and employment collaboration with Whole Foods Market. Dan resides in Concord, MA and is an avid cyclist, dog owner and outdoors person.


James Lehane

Independent Consultant

Jim Lehane is President of Spring Hill Associates, a Cape-based consulting firm specializing in strengthening key operating components of not-for-profit organizations. Special focus is given to strategic planning, board development, and communications planning and execution. A 32- year resident of Cape Cod, he has served on a number of local boards including the Town of Sandwich Finance Committee, The Cape and Islands United Way, The Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, The Thornton W. Burgess Society and the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. Off-Cape boards on which he served include The Boston Chamber of Commerce, The Boston Private Industry Council and The Massachusetts Business Roundtable. 

Jim was Chief of Staff for the President of Boston College where he managed the staff and business affairs of the president’s office and was university ombudsman, coordinating with senior university officials on a variety of presidential initiatives. Principal staff liaison to the board of trustees, he also served as a policy and operational affairs advisor. Before joining the university, Jim completed a 26-year career at Verizon where he retired as Verizon/ New England’s Managing Director of External Affairs. In that role he had responsibility for all planning and implementation of public and community relations activities as well as town and city municipal relations. At the same time, he served as Executive Project Manager for E911 implementation throughout New England.

Jim is a graduate of Boston College and has done graduate work at Bridgewater State University, Duke University, Babson College and Suffolk University. He lives with his wife Susan in East Sandwich and together they are the parents of four grown children and grandparents of eleven.


Sandra McCroom

President & CEO, Children’s Services of Roxbury

In 2015, Sandra was selected to serve as President & CEO of Children's Services of Roxbury (CSR). Sandra brings an extensive history of cross sector executive management experience and involvement in the Boston community to CSR. CSR is one of the largest, minority operated, human services providers in Massachusetts; serving more than 6,000 people annually. CSR employs nearly 400 people providing high quality service to economically disadvantaged children, youth, families, and individuals, in four cities across Massachusetts. Children's Services of Roxbury, Inc. is dedicated to providing comprehensive child care services and helping families establish strong foundations for living. Sandra is proud to be leading that charge.

Sandra spent the past 7 years of her career in state service. In 2010, Governor Deval Patrick tapped her to serve as Undersecretary of Criminal Justice in the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPPS). Her portfolio included the supervision and management of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, the Sex Offender Registry Board and the Parole Board, with a combined 6000 employees and $550 million annual budget. Prior to her appointment as Undersecretary, Sandra served as the administration's Executive Director of the Office of Grants and Research administering federal and state grant funds for public safety initiatives totaling more than $150 million.

Sandra is intimately familiar with the non-profit sector. For 8 years, she led Roxbury Youthworks, Inc. (RYI) as Executive Director. RYI serves system involved youth and their families. In the mid 1990s, she was Senior Development Coordinator of the Safe Neighborhood Initiative under Attorney General Scott Harshbarger. Her career in Boston began as a youth worker following three years as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand.

Sandra is a proud graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, where she graduated with a Bachelors degree in Psychology. She was raised in Ohio.


Heather McMann

Executive Director, Groundwork Lawrence

Heather McMann is Executive Director of Groundwork Lawrence (GWL), a non-profit that is “changing places, changing lives” in Greater Lawrence, Massachusetts. GWL was one of three pilot communities in the Groundwork USA (GWUSA) network, now 23 affiliates strong.  GWUSA is a network of local organizations devoted to improving the physical environment of low-income communities -- a national enterprise with local roots, working at the intersection of environment, poverty, health and civic engagement.

GWL achieves results by engaging the whole community – residents, youth, nonprofits, government and businesses – in the planning and realization of projects and programs. With this collaborative approach, GWL ensures that all stakeholders are mutually invested in its outcomes, the key to stable neighborhoods and sustainable change. By focusing on four program areas: environmental and open space improvements, fresh food access, youth and adult education and employment initiatives, and community programming and events, GWL creates the building blocks of a healthy, strong community and empowers residents to improve their quality of life.

Under Heather’s leadership, GWL has quadrupled in size and it’s impact has been recognized locally and nationally, including receiving the 2014 Nonprofit of the Year by Enterprise Bank, being named as a Social Innovator by Root Cause, and receiving the MA DPH Peter R. Lee Healthy Communities Awards. 

Heather has spent over 20 years in the nonprofit sector building community and individual assets and she holds a breadth of experience in nonprofit management, with a focus on preparing organizations for growth.  Prior to joining GWL, much of Heather’s experience was with youth organizations focused on creating our communities’ next generation of social justice leaders.  Heather received her MBA from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and her BA from Smith College. Beyond GWL, she serves as a board member of Groundwork USA, MA Public Health Association, and the Lawrence Partnership.  She is also a Commissioner with the Essex National Heritage Area and the Essex County Commission on the Status of Women. In 2010 Heather was honored to be selected as one of the YWCA of Greater Lawrence’s Tribute to Women awardees. 


Robin Vann Ricca

Vice President, Organizational Development & Human Resources, Road Scholar

Robin Vann Ricca is the vice president of organizational development and human resources at Road Scholar. Robin is responsible for overall organizational effectiveness focused on Road Scholar’s employees through group and individual performance systems. A seasoned OD practitioner with expertise in organization and leadership development, Robin brings more than 17 years of experience in learning and human resource program design, culture change, diversity management and cultural competence. Prior to joining the organization, Robin held various leadership positions in the fitness, health care, and human services fields. Robin earned a bachelor’s at George Washington University, a master’s in public health at Tulane University School of Public Health, and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law.


Linda Sopheap Sou

Senior Director of Strategy and Innovation, Lowell Community Health Center

Linda leads strategy and innovation for Lowell Community Health Center. Previously she served as the Chief of Interpretation and Education for the Lowell National Historical Park, National Park Service, where she served on the park management team, working collaboratively with park partners, and as a critical organizational link between the actions of staff in the field and strategic park planning. Linda works to establish and sustain partnerships with community and academic institutions. She also led and supported the planning, development, and implementation of the park’s interpretation and education programs. Linda was charged with updating the Lowell NHP planning documents, park interpretive themes, and developing community engagement strategies and programming for Lowell’s diverse communities.

Before that, Ms. Sou served for nine years as the Director of Lowell Community Health Center’s Teen BLOCK Programs. She worked with a team of youth development specialists servicing young people of the City of Lowell in an after-school setting.

Linda completed her graduate studies at Springfield College – Boston Campus with a Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management. Linda also graduated from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) with a BA in Sociology, with a double minor in Social Work and Criminal Justice.

Ms. Sou was also a lead subject in the documentary film, “Monkey Dance” by Julie Mallozzi which has been screened throughout the United States to raise awareness on intergenerational challenges facing Cambodian youth in Lowell, MA.

In addition to her work, Linda also serves on the Board of Directors for multiple organizations and serves as part of the faculty team at the Institute for Nonprofit Practice as a Senior Fellow.

Linda finds tremendous pride in the City of Lowell and champions efforts around youth development, community coalition building and cultural preservation and innovation. A daughter to Cambodian refugees, Linda was born and raised in Lowell and currently resides in the Centralville neighborhood with her partner, Steven Flynn.


Tammy Tai

Independent Consultant

Tammy Tai brings over twenty years of experience in the nonprofit sector, primarily in the areas of youth development and mentoring. She most recently served as vice president and chief mission officer at MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, the unifying champion for expanding the quantity and quality of youth mentoring in the United States. In this role, she provided strategic leadership to advance the organization’s vision that every young person have the supportive relationships needed to grow and develop into a thriving, productive and engaged citizen. During her tenure, MENTOR strengthened its efforts to: provide support to a national network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships; create researchbased tools and products for mentoring programs; and provide national training and technical assistance. Under Tai’s leadership, MENTOR was selected by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to develop and manage the National Mentoring Resource Center and also launched the National Quality Mentoring System to support mentoring programs in the implementation of the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™. Tai’s commitment to mentoring began over fifteen years ago when she first served as a mentor to a young Latina high school student through the goals-based mentoring program New Pathways for Youth; the experience transformed her professional trajectory and she eventually went on to serve as the organization’s first Program Director.

Previously, Tai served as the Teen Development Program Officer at the Boston based Hyams Foundation. While in this position, she designed and implemented the Foundation’s signature initiative Teen Futures that provided significant multi-year funding to community-based organizations and schools focused on addressing the high school dropout crisis in Boston and Chelsea. Tai’s commitment to tap the power and potential of young people was solidified through early work directing summer and after-school programs in Boston’s Mission Hill community. Tai also served as an elementary bilingual Spanish teacher in Phoenix, Arizona.

Tai has a BA in Sociology from Harvard University and an MBA from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Raised in New York by immigrant parents from Jamaica, Tai resides in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood with her husband, a nonprofit CEO, and their three funloving children.


Isa Woldeguiorguis

Executive Director, The Center for Hope and Healing

Isa Woldeguiorguis has been the Executive Director of The Center for Hope and Healing (CHH) since 2012. CHH has served victims of rape and sexual assault, provided education and awareness raising to eradicate sexual violence in the greater Lowell Massachusetts area for40 years.  Prior to this, she worked in the antiviolence field for twenty-two years, holding several statewide and national roles in the movement to end sexual and domestic violence. 

From 2007-2010, Ms. Woldeguiorguis worked at the MA Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence (Jane Doe Inc.) as Policy Director and then Membership Director.  She worked at the MA Department of Social Services (DSS), now the Department of Children and Families (DCF), from 1994- 2007.  She began as an advocate and ultimately became the Director of the MA DSS Domestic Violence Unit- the first such unit in the country and a national model for integrating domestic violence advocates in the public child welfare system. Her final tenure was serving as Assistant Commissioner for Practice and Policy, during which time she played a role in redesigning the practice model to become family-centered & assisted in building an integrated practice in substance abuse, mental health and domestic violence.

Ms Woldeguiorguis is a well-respected leader and national trainer in the field of child abuse, domestic and sexual violence, system change, policy and practice. She is well known for her dynamic training style and teaching skills on these topics and for her activism in the areas of race and racial disparities. She served as faculty on several national initiatives and co-instructed courses on leadership and the antiviolence movement at Simmons College School of Social Work. She has authored several articles on topics such as family-centered practice in child welfare, racial and ethnic disproportionality and immigration.

Currently, Ms. Woldeguiorguis is the co-chair of the Massachusetts Women of Color Network (MAWOCN). MAWOCN is a group of women of color working in the domestic and sexual violence field who share a vision of a movement in which women of color are in leadership roles and have access to power; a movement that is not white-dominated, where women of color are valued and not tokenized. The Mission of the MAWOCN is to support and maintain the leadership of women of color and to honor and elevate the role of women of color in ending violence. MAWOCN provides training, professional development, peer support/mentorship and works to challenge oppression and institutional racism.


Mike Wasserman

Executive Director, Boston Debate League

Mike Wasserman is the Executive Director of the Boston Debate League, a quickly growing high-impact organization that brings the rigorous activities of debate and argumentation to thousands of students in the Boston Public Schools. Prior to joining the BDL, Mike served in leadership roles at Bottom Line for 10 years, most recently as the Massachusetts Executive Director, leading the organization through a dramatic and unprecedented period of growth. Outside of work, Mike is the co-founder of a non-profit collaborative effort called the Marathon Coalition. He also serves on the Board of Noonan Scholars. He has a BA from Brown University and an MBA in non-profit management from Boston University. Mike lives in Boston.