Staff

Yolanda Coentro

President & Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Nonprofit Practice

Yolanda is the President and CEO of the Institute for Nonprofit Practice where she is leading the development and implementation of the organization’s strategic plan to scale nationally. Yolanda was recently named a 2019 Barr Foundation Fellow, featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy as one of "15 More People Changing the Nonprofit World", and one of 25 "Powers That Will Be" in Boston Magazine. She is a 2018 recipient of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s TOYL (Ten Outstanding Young Leaders) Award, a 2017 Social Innovation Forum "Social Innovator," and has been featured in a number of publications including the Boston Globe, Boston Voyager, and Social Innovations Journal.

Prior to the Institute, Yolanda was the Chief Operating Officer at Horizons for Homeless Children where she oversaw all center-based programs, as well as national and local training efforts focused on early childhood education and care for homeless children. She also served as the Vice President for Programs at YWCA in Boston, which focused on programs aimed toward eliminating educational and health disparities in the Greater Boston community.

Yolanda began her career in nonprofit management leading Cutting EJ, a Somerville-based economic justice and anti-racism organization. Additionally, Yolanda worked at The Home for Little Wanderers as the Director of the Safe At Home Program where she oversaw a rapid and successful expansion, building the operating budget from $1 million to $5 million, quadrupled the staff and established a competitive internship program.

Yolanda led efforts to develop a plan for building a pipeline of trained and diverse community mental health workers for the Massachusetts Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI). She chaired the Health Disparities Committee for the CBHI Advisory Council, is an Overseer at the Boston Children’s Museum and has served on the board of Silver Lining Mentoring.  Yolanda currently serves on the Public Policy Committee of Independent Sector.

As a Diversity and Organizational Development practitioner, Yolanda consults with various nonprofits and state agencies with a focus on diversity and inclusion, leadership development and organizational culture change.  Yolanda is a graduate of Boston College and has her Master’s in Social Work.


Patrick Kirby

Chief Growth Officer & Executive Vice President, Institute for Nonprofit Practice

Pat has over two decades of management and leadership experience spanning the corporate, public and nonprofit sectors.  As the Institute’s Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer, he oversees the program operations for our Boston, Lowell, Hyannis and Providence sites while building out the strategy and team to expand to new markets and deepen impact through new program offerings.  He is an alumnus of the Institute and has served on faculty as a Senior Fellow for the past two years.    

Pat recently departed Citizen Schools after ten years of service where he started as Massachusetts Executive Director and ended as their Vice President of the National Network.  As Executive Director, Pat doubled the budget of the flagship Massachusetts region to $5.4M while building an exemplary management culture resulting in a consistently high 98th percentile satisfaction ranking in Gallup’s national nonprofit employee engagement survey.  Pat’s experience leading Citizen Schools’ national network – 6 regions collectively raising over $20 million per year – will help the Institute for Nonprofit Practice to expand its impact and scale over the coming years. 

Pat started his career as a high school teacher after graduating from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he grew up.  After immigrating to the U.S., Pat joined City Year and held a range of leadership roles in their Boston and National offices.  He spent five years scaling the Timberland Company’s employee volunteer program across 23 countries of operation as part of the company's highly regarded Corporate Social Responsibility department.  His efforts doubling employee engagement to 90% of the global workforce helped Timberland win the 2006 Points of Light Foundation’s Excellence in Workplace Volunteering national honor.   

Pat has served on the Board of Advisors at the Orchard Gardens K-8 School, GroundWork USA, Volunteer NH!, and The Brookings Institute’s “Building Bridges Task Force on International Volunteering and Service.” He currently serves on the National Board of Trustees for SCS Noonan Scholars. 


Aviva Luz Argote

Faculty Director & Vice President, Institute for Nonprofit Practice

Aviva is the Faculty Director for the Institute for Nonprofit Practice, where she brings her experience facilitating dialog, creating generative workplace culture and weaving relationships among diverse stakeholders. Prior to joining INP, Aviva directed Harvard University’s Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations where she managed global civil society research teams, and taught courses on strategic financial management, collaborative team design, and fundraising.

Aviva’s expertise centers on inspiring professional and personal resilience, modeling authentic leadership, and developing cross-cultural competency. Aviva’s prior professional experience includes work with the RAND Corporation, Los Angeles County, and Coro leadership centers. Her experience as an independent consultant focuses on social sector leadership curriculum design and delivery and enhancing nonprofit board strategies. Recent projects include:

  • Oak Foundation, designing and teaching custom-made case studies to enhance the policy impact of the Foundation’s grants.

  • FUSE Corps, year-round training curriculum to support senior corporate executives in assuming Fellowship positions in local government agencies.

  • Harvard University’s executive education Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa, design curriculum and serve as member of inaugural coaching team.

Aviva grew up in New York City making sense of her surroundings through the lens of her bilingual and bicultural family.  She holds an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School and a BA from Pomona College.

 


Megan Bird

Chief Operating Officer

Megan has over a decade of operational leadership at entrepreneurial, multi-site organizations during periods of expansion and strategic evolution.  She is passionate about adult learning and development, loves building and improving systems and is deeply committed to the power of data and evaluation to enhance program outcomes and generate external support.  As Chief Operating Officer Megan will oversee Human Resources, Information Technology, Finance, Evaluation and support on the codification and development of systems to support the scaling of our program to new sites.  

Megan Bird served most recently as senior consultant at Positively Partners, a social enterprise committed to helping organizations achieve exceptional performance from their employees.    She worked across seven nonprofit clients in the Greater Boston area and New Hampshire focused on the development and implementation of scalable performance management, people development and workforce training approaches that apply the tenets of positive psychology to drive sustained performance from managers and individual contributors.  She has experience in instructional design, facilitation, training and strategic planning. She supported clients on a range of needs including day to day oversight of HR operations, organizational culture and talent development.

Prior to this Megan was the Executive Director for Citizen Schools Massachusetts.  During her ten year tenure at Citizen Schools, Megan held school based and program leadership positions and led the expansion of Citizen Schools Extended Learning Time model in the Boston Public Schools and launch in the Chelsea and Somerville Public Schools.  She was the first Executive Director in Citizen Schools’ 22 year history to enter Citizen Schools as an AmeriCorps member and progress to senior leadership. Megan graduated from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice (INP) Core Certificate program in 2016 and launched the relationship between Citizen Schools and INP that resulted in 14 Citizen Schools staff members to date enrolled.

Megan holds a B.A from Wellesley College and Masters degree in Education from Lesley University.  She is certified as a Senior Human Resources Professional by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). She lives in Dublin, NH with her husband and two daughters.  She is bilingual in Spanish and English and is a member of the YWCA New Hampshire Board of Directors.


Nate Bae Kupel

Associate Director, New England, Institute for Nonprofit Practice

Nate Bae Kupel has spent the majority of his career working to advance the needs of communities and non-profit organizations with missions to empower disenfranchised populations. Prior to the Institute for Nonprofit Practice, Nate worked for a healthcare-based marketing and communications firm called Crescendo Consulting Group where he developed digital marketing and innovative digital behavior change programs for healthcare organizations to improve the quality and access of services to at risk populations.

Before joining Crescendo, Nate was the Associate Director of the Academy for Transformation at YouthBuild USA, an international youth leadership and workforce development organization. In his role, he developed trainings, webinars and other technical assistance engagements for Department of Labor funded grantee organizations across the country.

Nate has also worked in the Asian American Community which includes community based research at the Institute for Asian American Studies at UMass Boston, anti-racism training experience with the Asian American Resource Workshop, and several terms as President of the Board of Directors for Boston Korean Adoptees, Inc. He was also a participant of Asian Pacific Islander Movement’s Activist Training Institute. Nate holds a Master of Social Work from Simmons College, a BA in Sociology and a Certificate in Asian American Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Claudia Frazer

Development Manager, Institute for Nonprofit Practice

Claudia came to the Institute in early 2018 with experience in nonprofit development, fundraising events, and program operations. Before joining the team, Claudia worked at Community Harvest Project and Garden State Urban Farms, agricultural organizations working to increase food security and enhance urban food systems. Through her work in corporate sponsorship and skills-based volunteerism, Claudia gained interest in resource distribution and cross-sector collaboration to address community needs. These experiences also highlighted the need for leadership development, DEI work, and cultural changes within many organizations and companies.

Claudia holds a B.A. in Political Science from Clark University, with concentrations in Ethics in Public Policy and Philosophy.


Audrey Gillis

Development Director, Institute for Nonprofit Practice

A Massachusetts native, Audrey Gillis graduated from Skidmore College with a BA in Spanish and Women’s Studies and spent those years serving as a Big Sister, playing ice hockey, studying abroad in Madrid, and kindling her passion for social justice. After graduating, she began volunteering full time at Rosie’s Place, a sanctuary for poor and homeless women, teaching classes in English as a foreign language. She soon was brought on as an intern, became certified to teach EFL, and was later hired as the first Teacher Coordinator of the Women’s Education Center. In her role, Audrey oversaw 100 volunteer teachers annually, and over four years, she helped to double the size of the program. 

An interest in nonprofit leadership led her to explore a career in fundraising. She began as a major gifts officer at Italian Home for Children, and in 2015 she was hired as the first Development Director at the Institute for Nonprofit Practice (INP). Audrey is an INP alum, having graduated in 2016. Audrey has performed stand-up comedy, has lifted 250 pounds, and has been featured in the Boston Globe’s “Dinner with Cupid.”


Meir Zimmerman

Development & Communications Coordinator

Meir has dedicated his life (both professionally and personally) to making a difference in the world around him, helping those in need, and promoting social justice. 

Meir spent the first few years of his career at Yachad: The National Jewish Council for Disabilities, working to make all aspects of Jewish life more inclusive for people with disabilities. Most recently, Meir worked as a Project Coordinator at the Ruderman Family Foundation, where he developed Link20 - a movement of disability rights activists. 

In addition to his professional work in non-profits, Meir volunteers for several Boston organization including serving as a member of the Boston Sports Museum’s Young Leaders Council (YLC). Meir also volunteers as a High School basketball coach and is an involved board member at his synagogue.

A lifelong New Yorker, Meir is fairly new to the Boston area, but that has not changed his love of the Yankees. He enjoys playing basketball, traveling, volunteering, and expanding his culinary palette.

 

Muniquekell Pearce

Director of Finance and Operations

A native of the Bahamas, Muniquekell obtained her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario and her Bachelor of Science and MBA from the University of South Florida. Muniquekell spent several years honing her business skills at the Coca-Cola Company in the Bahamas across a variety of positions before recently relocating to Boston.  In May, 2018, Muniquekell received a certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice.  She joins the INP team as Director of Finance and Operations.  She is an active volunteer with the E4ALL and Budget Buddy nonprofit programs and enjoys traveling, reading and crocheting.


Saba Abbas

Development & Impact Coordinator

Saba Abbas is engaged with INP’s Development team in the capacity of Development and Impact Coordinator. She has over three years of experience in research, project/stakeholder management and business development primarily in the development sector of Pakistan. Previously she was working with Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN), spearheading their social performance, client protection and financial literacy portfolio. While being with PMN, she headed 6 major projects in the social performance domain, authoring 7 trade publications for the employer. She is also a CERISE certified Social Auditor, currently part of the CERISE Steering Committee working on the digitalization of the Social Performance Indicator (SPI) Tool.  She has a baccalaureate in Politics and Economics from Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan and a masters in International Development from the American University, DC for which she was also a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship.


Mariela Renquist

Programs Coordinator

Combining a passion for equity and community-based solutions, Mariela has worked in community development, arts advocacy, and refugee services. Before joining the Institute for Nonprofit Practice in 2018, Mariela worked at the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) where she coordinated courses for the Mel King Institute and launched their inaugural Certificate Program. She is involved in her Providence, RI community through volunteering with animal shelter and foster programs, as well as advocating for safe and affordable housing.     

Mariela attended the University of Richmond, where she studied International Studies: World Politics and Diplomacy and History.


Eliana Paniagua

Executive Assistant

A Boston native, Eliana graduated from Centre College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and History in May of 2018. Prior to graduation, Eliana worked alongside numerous student-led organizations: Centre Admissions, Centre Feminists, the Diversity Student Union, and SPEAC, Students for Prevention, Education, and Advocacy in the Community. With these organizations, Eliana demanded a culture of inclusivity and social responsibility.

Eliana joins us from Social Finance, Inc., a nonprofit organization focused on the emerging field of Pay for Success financing in the United States. There, Eliana served as an Administrative Assistant and Receptionist to several Managing Directors. Her passion for nonprofit leadership, equity, and social justice led to the Institute for Nonprofit Practice.

Eliana grew up in the Roslindale neighborhood of Boston. She loves to frequent the area and attend their weekly farmer’s market. In addition, Eliana is an active volunteer of Rosie’s Place and the Posse Foundation. She is bilingual in English and Spanish. In her spare time, Eliana rehabilitates her rescue dog, Duck.