Mercedes Aponte Community Action Manager, Crossroads MA
Mercedes Aponte (she/her/hers) grew up in Brockton, Massachusetts as 1 of 3 kids in the house #MiddleChildrenUnite. She attended Bryn Mawr College as a Posse Scholar and is the first person in her family to go and graduate. She left Bryn Mawr with a BA in Geology in 2018, believing she would go into research and climate justice work. After graduating, she went down a different path and pursued a career in youth development for the C5 New England program at CrossroadsMA, a program she once attended as a young person. Mercedes has been working full-time for 4 years at CrossroadsMA, starting as a fellow and working her way to becoming a program manager. She is passionate about building equity throughout the world through mentorship and authentic coaching. In her free time, Mercedes plays rugby with a women’s league, spends time with her grandparents, or binge-watches shows with her roommate. She has a love for cooking new meals and trying new foods and cuisine.
Erin Barfield Senior Director of Development, Big Sister Association of Greater Boston
Erin Barfield is the Senior Director of Development for Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. Erin joined the Big Sister Boston team in March 2019 and has spent nearly a decade of her professional life working in service to nonprofits with incredible missions. Erin is passionate about the impact that mentoring has on young people — particularly girls. At Big Sister Boston, Erin manages and oversees development operations while also contributing to overall strategy and leadership with external committees & volunteers. Previously, Erin managed peer to peer fundraising for Shatterproof, launching a successful 5K run/walk event, and started her nonprofit career as Events Manager at Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, managing fundraising and community events along with creating the Young Professionals Committee. Erin also has experience in marketing and communications for a gourmet food distribution company, and she started her career working in alternative radio. Erin received a degree in Print Journalism and Audio/Radio Production from Emerson College. When she’s not working, Erin enjoys spending time with her husband and keeps active through a variety of hobbies, including roller derby, working out with friends, and skiing.
Titciana Barros Director of Community & Culture, The Teachers’ Lounge
Titciana Barros is the Director of Community and Culture at the Teachers’ Lounge. Her journey into education started 12 years ago as a TFA math teacher at Roxbury Prep. Over her tenure, Titciana was the first alum high school Principal, Dean of Curriculum & Instruction, Dean of Students, and a STEM teacher. Last year, she worked as a STEM Instructional Coach at Davis Leadership Academy. Titciana is passionate about mentorship, community building, and facilitating educational conversations. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Theology from Boston College and a Master’s of Education in Curriculum & Teaching with a focus in Mathematics from Boston University.
Lisa Brown Dir. of Volunteer Services, Foster Care Review, Dept. Of Children and Families, Dept of Children and Families/Foster Care Review
Lisa Brown (she/her/hers) is the Director of Volunteers at Foster Care Review at Department of Children and Families. She grew up on the south shore of Massachusetts, studied at Franklin Pierce College in NH, lived briefly in Chicago, and once worked in the corporate world in the travel industry. Lisa currently works and lives in downtown Boston. She is a nonprofit professional with over 13 years of management experience in trauma informed care settings serving disenfranchised populations. She specializes in managing volunteer teams for mid-size organizations providing food insecure communities with access to nutritious food and wellness programs. Lisa currently oversees state-wide programs serving families and children in Massachusetts for the Department of Children and Families. She is interested in continuous learning, and she hopes to gain insight from this cohort.
Shiricka Brown Youth Development Manager, More Than Words
Shiricka Brown (Shi) works as a Youth Development Manager at More Than Words, a job training and youth development program that empowers system involved youth to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. As a Youth Development Manager, Shi provides case management, coaching, and support to young adults to help them achieve their personal goals in education, employment, and self-efficacy. Prior to this position, Shi gained over a decade of experience in the nonprofit healthcare sector in New Jersey, providing medical case management for patients. Her professional passion is led by empowering clients to stand in their own advocacy, creating a bridge to supportive services and vital resources, and seeing tangible growth in those she works with. From a young age, Shi was taught the importance of volunteering and community service, leading to a lifetime passion for nonprofit work and supporting young people as they navigate challenging systems. Shi has volunteered as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) in Passaic County, New Jersey, a formal role for youth involved in the child welfare and court system that advocates for their best interests in school, court, and the community. Shi is passionate about social equity and justice. As a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated (Boston Alumnae Chapter), she empowers and serves the needs of communities through outreach, engagement, programs, and events. She also serves as a member of the REI (Race, Equity, Inclusion) team at More Than Words, which oversees the advancement of REI goals for the organization. Shi graduated from Rutgers University as a member of the Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society with a B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice. Shi lives in Natick, MA and is a hobby crafter that enjoys event planning and writing poetry.
Jennifer Bufithis-Hurie Associate Program Director, EVkids
Jennifer Bufithis-Hurie is the Associate Program Director at EVkids, a tutoring and mentoring program in Boston. Jenn graduated from Beloit College with a BA in Psychology, and she moved to Boston to serve in Americorps. This started the journey to working directly in communities in different neighborhoods around the city. She has worked for educational and youth empowerment nonprofits for the last 12 years and has been with EVkids for the last 5 years. She has a passion for working with youth and believes in the power of youth voice. She believes in the potential of consistent mentorship and strong relationships between adults and youth. When Jenn is not advocating for youth and families, she likes to be outside hiking, biking, and finding new places to explore. Jenn is looking forward to the Core Certificate Program!
Alithea Casimir Program & Partnership Manager, Youth Guidance
Alithea Casimir, LICSW, has joined Youth Guidance in Boston as a Program & Partnership Manager. She holds a strong passion for youth development and positive provider practice. Casimir brings a lens of trauma-informed care as well as diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion in practice beyond words. Her ability to take on a panoptic view on challenges supports her focus on details to achieve vision work. In her role, Casimir encounters all the adventures of navigating partnerships within public school systems as well as aligns commitments from stakeholders that work together to support successful outcomes. Casimir provides management of the BAM (Becoming a Man) and WOW (Working on Womanhood) programs. Her years of experience in community care, corporate finance, and nonprofit social work lends to the organizational focus of providing year-round social emotional learning support for youth. Casimir supports the Executive Director, Shawn Brown, in long and short-term planning for the Boston expansion site including the creation of strategic plans, operating strategies, and financial management. She also serves as a catalyst for the growth of programs and services by leading management efforts for WOW in the greater Boston area.
Tyler Cavanagh Development Coordinator, St. Stephen’s Youth Programs
Tyler Cavanagh (He/They), Manager of Development and Communications, St. Stephen’s Youth Programs (SSYP), holds a BA in music (vocal performance) from Westfield State University and has more than 15 years of experience in youth work, including licensed camps and childcare, teen leadership programming, mentoring, and arts education. As an experienced performer, Tyler brings a strong focus on story telling, visual communication, and event management to the development team at SSYP. Having spent the majority of his career doing direct service in youth development programs, Tyler focuses on bridging the gap that often separates development teams and program staff, and often finds himself in the classroom or on the playground at SSYP, interacting with the young people we work with. Passionate about inclusive community building, Tyler is known for his unique leadership development activities, often focused on interpersonal communications, soft skill growth, and celebrating diversity. He is also active in the SSYP Mentor program, paired with a wonderful teen staff member, who shares his excitement about astrology and the LGBTQ+ community. Born and raised on the South Shore, Tyler currently lives in Quincy. When not at SSYP Tyler can be found singing while he collects the carts at Trader Joes, teaching youth acting and musical theatre at Spotlight Music and Theatre Academy, or on stage with various community theatre groups on the South Shore.
Prince Charles CSNDC Computer Learning Center Director, Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation
Prince Charles currently works at at the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation as the Computer Learning Center Coordinator.
Prince has trained 800+ residents/students who are enrolled in a curriculum called Tech Goes Home. Prince has taught the TGH Community program which is Adults learning the fundamental digital skills. Courses cover topics including but not limited to job searching, financial literacy, communicating with friends and family, and finding educational programs. The program involves 20+ hours of training conducted by a TGH trained staff member from the community organization in which the course is run. Upon completion of TGH, participants have the option of purchasing a new computer for $50 and we help them sign up for low-cost Internet access. Prince also does a TGH Small Business course that assists local micro entrepreneurs gain digital tools to strengthen their businesses and, in turn, the local economy. TGH Small Business supports micro entrepreneurs and nonprofits who serve low income neighborhoods and have minimal or no tech skills or access. Prince offers participants 25+ hours of free, hands-on technology and Internet resource instruction. Participants learn to use technology to: Organize- Use online City resources to manage finances, licensing, and permits; Market- Engage new and existing customers via websites and social media; Sell- Manage mobile and online purchases and accept credit card payments. Prince received an Associate Degree in Science from the New England School of Technology in 2004, and a Bachelor of Science in Digital and Recording Arts Technology in 2006.
Nekia Clark Director of Patient Services & Outreach, Ellie Fund
Nekia Clark the Director of Patient Services and Outreach at The Ellie Fund. Nekia is a single mother of 2 children and a breast cancer survivor. She loves to read and travel. Her goal is to network with other individuals who share the same goal of achieving leadership skills.
Teyana Curran Director of Regional Programs, Silver Lining Mentoring
Teyana (she/her) is the Director of Regional Programs at Silver Lining Mentoring (SLM) in Boston, MA. She brings her passion for social justice and relationship-building to oversee the strategic direction of local programs by collaborating with team members to provide the best quality services possible for mentees and mentors. All of her efforts are in the service of working towards SLM’s mission: to empower youth in foster care to thrive through committed mentoring relationships and the development of essential life skills. Teyana has a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and she has been serving youth and young adults in the Greater Boston area for over a decade. Prior to SLM, Teyana worked at Summer Search, where she served in a variety of roles including the Director of High School Programs. She spent five years mentoring students aged 15+, and she supported other mentors in providing mentoring services to the participants who were navigating diverse and nuanced pathways. Teyana continues to be driven by her desire to empower young people to be their full selves and to support them in having access to the opportunities and networks that will help them navigate adulthood independently.
Beverly Eugene-Graham CEO and Lead Consultant, B.E. Phoenix Consulting
Beverly is a passionate advocate, facilitator, and consultant with over 10 years of experience using an intersectional framework to train organizations on Cultural Competency, Implicit Bias, Disability, and LBGQT Equity at MaeBright as a collaborator. They are passionate about prioritizing the interests of the most marginalized in all communities, particularly Black and LGBQT folks. Their drive for this work comes from their own experience with systems of power that place non-hegemonic identities at the margin. Within the past five years their work has shifted from academic and community initiatives to supporting corporations and nonprofits to reach their varying Equity and Inclusion goals through organizational assessments, strategic planning, and training for service providers and corporate professionals. They bring openness, vulnerability, and strength to have frank conversation on challenging topics.
Daisy Guzman Associate Director of Development, Trinity Boston Connects
Daisy is a committed professional in her role as Associate Director of Development at Trinity Connects Boston, and she has long maintained a passion for social justice, diversity, inclusion, and equity. She makes an incredible impact at organizations that she is involved in as well as other people. Daisy has excellent judgement and is an incredible team player. She cares deeply about her work, and she pushes herself consistently to do the best she can. She takes initiative and always pursues opportunities to learn and lead.
Nathaniel Hayes College Access Manager, Thrive Scholars
Nathaniel (Nate) Hayes was raised on Chicago’s Southside prior to completing a Bachelor’s in Philosophy at Washington and Lee University and a Master’s of Public Service at the University of Arkansas – Clinton School of Public Service. His academic pursuits empowered him to lean into his value of developing people-centered solutions for individualized growth, particularly regarding college access, inclusion, and equity. Within his career, he has been an advocate in expanding opportunities through his various roles in College Admissions as well as within High School and Nonprofit organizations’ College Access curriculums. He focusses his attention on communities in urban and rural settings who have been historically marginalized from quality education access.
Kaelin Holland Associate Director, Prospect Development & Research, Year Up
Kaelin Holland (she/her) has over ten years of experience in the nonprofit and social impact sector, working for causes spanning from environmental advocacy to workforce development. She is currently an Associate Director of Prospect Development & Research at Year Up. She leads prospect research & pipeline management for a team of institutional solicitors and supports a growing corporate philanthropy program. She previously spent five years in prospect research at Northeastern University, including leading international research focused on alumni and families in the United Kingdom, Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. She began her career at the Environmental League of Massachusetts, with responsibilities in fundraising operations, event planning, data management, and communications. She has also held freelance research and writing positions for academics and a startup venture capital fund. She received her BA in English and Environmental Studies from Santa Clara University in 2011 and her MBA from Northeastern University in 2017. She previously served on the leadership team of Net Impact Boston, a volunteer-run social impact networking organization, and was a volunteer docent at the Institute of Contemporary Art. She enjoys cooking, being outdoors, and remaining optimistic about her gardening skills.
Chanie Infante Louisma Strategic Engagement Manager, Housing Opportunities Unlimited
Chanie is the Strategic Engagement Manager at Housing Opportunities Unlimited with experience in community development, housing, and youth work. Before HOU, Chanie was the Communications Manager at Dorchester Bay Economic Development and developed, managed, and executed media/digital strategies and campaigns for the organization and its small business lending program. In that role, Chanie created the organization’s first online campaign, the first monthly giving campaign appeal, and also developed and published the organization’s very first digital and interactive annual report. The rebranding of the small business lending program, Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Business Loans, was co-led by Chanie, and she also launched the Small Business Month social media campaign that featured a coalition of local small businesses. Chanie’s work with children and their families fueled her interest in studying Human Services at Springfield College. She completed a graduate program in Nonprofit Management at Suffolk University and later gained a Master’s of Business Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Springfield College. Chanie is involved in several community programs and previously served as co-chair of the Boston Scituate METCO Parent Organization, board member of the Dorchester Food Co-op, Community Liaison with the Huntington Theater’s Community Membership Program, and freelance writer for the Dorchester Reporter and The Jewish Advocate.
Sara Jean-Francois Manager of Partnership Engagement, One Goal Massachusetts
Sara Jean-Francois (She/Her/Hers) is a Massachusetts native with a passion for racial justice, educational opportunity, and women’s rights. She holds a B.A in Psychology and a B.S in Health Policy and Management from Providence College (Class of 2019) and a Master’s of Public Policy from Brandeis University (Class of 2021). As a graduate student, her research focused on demystifying the phenomena of “anti-racist campuses” and establishing metrics for evaluating campuses on a criteria of “race-consciousness” rather than anti-racism. Following her graduate degree, Sara worked as the Assistant Director at a small nonprofit organization in Boston. Now, as Manager of Partnership Engagement at One Goal Massachusetts, Sara works with secondary and post-secondary institutions to build relationships that will enable students to transition from high school to college more seamlessly. Sara is a recipient of the 2020 Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) Equity and Inclusion Fellowship. Sara also serves on the Advocacy Committee for YWCA of Boston and the Minds Matter Boston Associate Board. Ultimately, Sara aspires to leverage her experience working with students and administrators, as well as creating and implementing programs, to develop more inclusive and equitable practice, policies, and pedagogy in the education sector.
Rachel Evelyn Jean-Louis Director of Development and Learning, The Teachers’ Lounge
Rachel Evelyn Jean-Louis is the Director of Learning and Development at the Teachers’ Lounge. Evelyn is the daughter of two Haitian immigrants and was born and raised in Cambridge Massachusetts with her eight brothers and sisters. Evelyn started her work as an educator in 2011 as a mentor and went on to teach in Brooklyn, NY, and Cambridge, MA. Evelyn is an innovative and service-driven educator who is passionately committed to empowering young minds to reach their highest potential. As the Director of Learning and Development, Evelyn will go on to design and launch the Classroom Leaders of Color Teacher Fellowship.
Andrew Kall Development Director, New England College of Optometry (NECO)
Andy is the Director of Development at New England College of Optometry. Andy is passionate about education and building relationships with community members, alumni, and corporate partners.
Jumaane Kendrick Director of Programs and Partnerships, MissionSAFE
Jumaane Kendrick is the Director of Programs and Partnerships of MissionSAFE — a community diversion program created to divert youth from the school to prison pipeline. He has earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at Lasell College in Newton, MA and a Bachelor’s in Business Management at Bays State College of Boston. In addition, Jumaane was a gang interrupter with Ten Point Coalition mediating battles between rival gangs. He was also a Coordinator at The Violence Intervention Advocacy Program which provides support and resources to all gunshot and stab wound victims who enter Boston Medical Center’s Emergency room; they also provide trauma response support and resources to help survivors recover emotionally, mentally, and physically. Jumaane is described as an “exemplar of forgiveness” and is the definition of resiliency, being a high school drop out, ex-offender, ex-gang leader, and a survivor of street violence. Jumaane set out to put an end to losing anymore friends to street violence. Jumaane started Lasell Denim & Co. — a clothing and production company in remembrance of his friend Terrance Lasell Jacobs who was killed in 2009. Jumaane occupied his friends’ time and provided a safe place to prevent further retaliation or incarceration. Through his efforts, several of his friends created their own companies, went off to college, found career paths, or have left the streets in the past. In recognition of his exceptional work around community violence, mentoring, and gang mediation, he was recognized and honored in 2012 by The Philanthropic Initiative and awarded the Boston Neighborhood Fellows Unsung Hero Award for being a change agent.
Alexis Kubana Associate Director of Workforce Initiatives, International Institute of New England
Kubana (preferred name) is the Associate Director of Workforce Initiatives at the International Institute of New England, (IINE). He is an experienced and community-oriented innovator with a passion for close collaboration with refugees and immigrants. He is the founder of Tomorrow Vijana (Youth), and he is skilled in recruitment, program development, capacity building, volunteer management, education, community outreach, and story telling. Kubana is currently involved in workforce development, and he is responsible for strengthening existing initiatives and assessing, developing, implementing, and evaluating new initiatives in IINE’s workforce skills training programming throughout New England.
Lihuan Lai Director of Operation, Enroot
Lihuan Lai (she/her) has a longstanding passion for supporting students who come to this country seeking educational opportunities, and she brings over 13 years of professional experience, most recently working in international admissions for Bentley University and Fordham University. Her work experience also includes chapters at the Asian University For Women in Chittagong Bangladesh, at the Asian American Civic Association, and as Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Commonwealth School. She is currently working at Enroot, a nonprofit that serves immigrant youth, as the Director of Operation. Born in Southern China, Lihuan moved to the United States with her family when she was eight years old. As a former English Learner, former Summer Searcher, and former Posse Scholar, Lihuan has a deep first hand appreciation for students’ experiences and the importance of communities like Enroot. Lihuan has a Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership Development from Fordham University and is proficient in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Hakka. In her free time, Lihuan loves to practice yoga asana, social dancing (bachata, salsa, zouk), and pretending to be a plant doctor to her garden and fruit trees.
Kanika Minocha Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging Manager, Doc Wayne Youth Services
Kanika Minocha is the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Manager at Doc Wayne Youth Services. Kanika is responsible for creating a culture of safety, equity, and inclusivity, both within the staff and for youth and partners. She earned a B.A. in Psychology at San Jose State University while also competing on the Division I varsity golf team. Kanika got an Ed.M. and M.A. in Psychological Counseling from Teachers College at Columbia University. Kanika has received training in Trauma Informed Care and Gender Diversity & Inclusion. In previous professional settings, she has worked with athletes and immigrants, and she is very dedicated to her clinical roots along with her passion for justice and equity.
Brendan Monahan Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, St. Francis House
An experienced nonprofit professional and fundraiser, Brendan Monahan serves as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at St. Francis House, the largest day shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty in Greater Boston, and all of Massachusetts. In this capacity, Brendan works with corporations, foundations, local businesses, and community groups to create mutually beneficial partnerships which helps fulfill St. Francis House’s mission and achieve supporters’ goals around philanthropy, volunteerism, employee engagement, and recognition. As a firm believer in leveraging his skills in support of causes he believes in, he has helped raise millions of dollars for a variety of worthy causes, doing similar work on behalf of Father Bill’s & MainSpring, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund, the United Way, and Stonehill College. Brendan holds a BA in History and Criminology from Stonehill College.
Laura Montoya Henao Program Associate, Enroot Education
Laura brings a background in supporting high school youth in South America, coaching business professionals, and serving on the Cambridge International Examination team in Colombia. Currently, Laura provides academic support to immigrant youth in Massachusetts. She holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and has over 6 years of experience designing and teaching programs, particularly business and language curricula, to diverse populations. She is passionate about the connections between education and innovation and the role the two contribute to helping students.
Shanita Nichols National Director of Development, Bottom Line
Shanita serves as the National Director of Development at Bottom Line. In her role, she helps lead Bottom Line’s national efforts to engage stakeholders to raise the funds and resources needed to grow Bottom Line in terms of students served and communities served. A Bottom Line alumnus and Boston native, Shanita earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and African American Studies from Smith College and a Master of Business Administration with a focus in Corporate Social Responsibility from Simmons University. Shanita has a background in corporate community relations and financial services. Before joining Bottom Line, she worked at State Street Corporation in their Corporate Citizenship department as the Employee Community Engagement Manager. Her primary responsibility was to manage engagement and volunteerism in North America and foster relationships with nonprofits in the Greater Boston area. She also launched and served as the chair of an employee resource group in support of the State Street Foundation strategic community initiative to create meaningful careers for Boston youth and to help diversify the employee pipeline. Prior to this, she worked at BJ’s Wholesale Club (Corporate Office) as the Foundation and Fund Analyst in their Community Affairs Department. She played a significant role in the development and implementation of both new and ongoing partnerships between BJ’s Charitable Foundation (BJCF) and nonprofit organizations. She also managed the BJ’s Aisle Help Fund, a chain-wide employee emergency relief fund that provides financial support to Team Members in need. Shanita’s life mission is to advocate for educational equity and to provide resources to underserved communities to break generational curses. As a first-generation college student, Shanita knows first-hand the positive impact of education and how it can change the trajectory of a person’s life.
Molly Paone Assistant Manager of Program Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Mass
Molly Paone has had a variety of roles working with children and families: from summer camp, to refugee resettlement and from event planning to in-home therapy. Molly went to undergrad for child development at Colby-Sawyer college and got her Master’s in social work at the University of Stavanger in Norway through the Erasmus Mundus Family program. A certified yoga teacher and advocate for trauma informed care, Molly works to equitably promote access to social emotional learning and self-regulation tools. As an Assistant Manager at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern MA, Molly interviews families who want mentors for their children and volunteers who want to be mentors, and she matches them up based off needs and interests. Working with families from diverse backgrounds and socio-economic positions, Molly is interested in getting more involved in social reform efforts and increasing economic advancement for all. In her spare time, Molly enjoys travelling, going for walks, making art, and showing up for book club even though she didn’t finish the book.
Victoria Patlajan Director of Education, Project Place
Victoria Patlajan (she/her) is the current Director of Education at Project Place, where she has worked for the last 5 years. She is an alumn of Clark University (’14 BA in English) and Johns Hopkins University (’16 MSEd). Victoria started her career as a Special Education teacher with Chicago Public Schools, but when she moved back to Massachusetts, she found a love for the nonprofit world at Project Place and hasn’t left since. Project Place promotes a community of hope and opportunity for homeless and low-income individuals by providing the skills, education, and resources needed to obtain and sustain employment and housing. Victoria is a member of the Senior Leadership Team and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. She leads a team of full-time instructors and coordinators and oversees workforce development programming and credentialing.
Nicole Patnaude Director of the National Quality Mentoring System, MENTOR
Nicki Patnaude (she/her) is the Director of the National Quality Mentoring System and understands the value of having good mentors in one’s life. Guided by caring adults she found along the way, Nicki has invested her career in helping young people identify the supportive relationships they will need once they’ve aged out of systems, like foster care, and providing training and support to programs that nurture these types of relationships. At MENTOR, she spends most of her time talking about what makes mentoring programs great and how they can continue to improve and innovate over time. She leverages her strengths as a developer and communicator to create a culture of continuous quality improvement in partnership with MENTOR’s Affiliates, partners, and mentoring programs. A Minnesota girl at heart, Nicki relocated to the Boston area in 2020 and can often be found outdoors near a body of water or trying to find the best iced coffee beverage in the New England area.
Tu Phan Youth Program Manager, The Food Project
Tu Anh Phan is a Youth Development Manager at The Food Project which is based in Boston and Lincoln. The mission is to create a thoughtful and productive community of youth and adults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build a sustainable food system. Tu Anh’s program works with returning youth (14-18 year olds), and it also works with farmers, community organizers, and development team.
Ashley Pinciaro Northeast Regional Manager, Narrative 4
Ashley Pinciaro (Ashley) is the Northeast Regional Manager for Narrative 4, a global nonprofit with the mission of building the next generation of empathic leaders. Ashley manages Narrative 4’s work throughout New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont, developing over 50 new institutional partnerships in just 18 months. Ashley intentionally develops strong relationships with all N4 partner schools and organizations, supporting and encouraging their efforts in using Narrative 4 tools and resources to build empathy and connection in their environments. Ashley’s work in the nonprofit sector spans over 10 years. Over the decade she has developed inclusive and energetic programs for multiple organizations, recruiting and stewarding multifaceted partnerships, hiring, supervising, and managing dedicated staff teams, and maintaining key external relationships. She is a highly relational and communicative leader with experience developing successful recruitment strategies, creating initiatives to communicate the vision and successes of the organization to a wider audience, and developing new program procedures to sustain and build out future growth. Ashley holds an M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College (2009) and a B.A. in English, Honors, Magna Cum Laude, from Millsaps College (2007).
Marynee Pontes Deputy Director, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City
Marynee Pontes currently serves as the Deputy Director for the Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program, based out of the nonprofit organization, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. In this role, Marynee oversees the growth and development of the ICCC program, cultivating and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders to support the expansion to different markets and demographics. In addition, she manages all the program logistics and operations, as well as leading the program’s recruitment efforts. In her spare time, Marynee serves as a Board Member and Co-Chair of the DEI Committee for Strong Women, Strong Girls (SWSG), a nonprofit that empowers young girls in under-resourced communities through positive mentoring relationships. She also serves as the Director of Development for the Kriola’s Professional Association, an international professional association for Cabo Verdean women. Prior to joining ICIC, Marynee was a Project Manager with Studio 189, an ethical fashion social enterprise based in Accra, Ghana that worked to create sustainable livelihoods for female artisans. She was responsible for managing their clothing production factory, where she provided financial literacy and development trainings to artisan workers, and she utilized data and research to increase efficiency and sustain high wages for workers. Marynee holds a B.A. in International Relations, Economics, and Africana Studies from Tufts University.
Dominique Rainey Senior Managing Adviser, Bottom Line
Dominique Rainey is a young, successful, and proud Black woman. She is a first-generation college graduate who earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University in 2016. Afterwhich, she started her passion for supporting high school students through the college application process as an AmeriCorps member of College Advising Corps-Boston University. Today, Dominique continues this work as the Interim Access Team Manager at Bottom Line, an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing educational equity and economic mobility. In her role, Dominique assists first-generation students from low-income backgrounds through the college application and financial aid processes, and she currently supervises a team of three access advisors.
Jorge Villarini Major Gifts Officer, Boston Ballet
Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jorge Andrés Villarini currently serves as Major Gifts Officer for the Boston Ballet. As a former professional dancer, Jorge toured nationally and internationally with Boston Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Martha Graham Dance, and BalletMet. Throughout this 15-year performance career, his repertoire included works within the classical, neoclassical, modern, and contemporary dance realms. Jorge received his dance education in Puerto Rico at the Escuela de Baile ANDANZA, as well as the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theater in New York. He posses a BFA in Dance with a concentration in Ballet Performance from Marymount Manhattan College. In 2020, as the world shut down to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Jorge decided to transition into a career in nonprofit development joining the Institute for Nonprofit Practice’s development team were he worked until January of 2022 as a Development Coordinator. The experience with INP allowed Jorge to redefine his work as a racial justice advocate in the ballet industry.
Abigail Welty Development Manager, Bottom Line
Abby Welty is the Development Manager in Bottom Line’s Massachusetts region, where she supports fundraising efforts that allow Bottom Line to partner with more degree-aspiring students in Boston.
Kevan Barton Executive Director, YouthConnect – Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston
Kevan Anthony Barton, LICSW is the Executive Director of YouthConnect (a program of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston), with more than 20 years of experience working with children and adolescents in the Boston area. Kevan received his MSW from the Boston University School of Social Work. Having worked with several nonprofits in the Greater Boston area including at Quincy-Geneva Housing Development Corporation, Sociedad Latina, United Way and Lift, Inc., Kevan has extensive leadership and management experience. Kevan’s most recent work prior to YouthConnect was at Middlesex Community College, where he was the Assistant Director and the Lead Social Worker for The B.R.I.D.G.E. Program, an alternative middle school in Lowell, MA. Kevan began his work with YouthConnect in 2002 as a district-based social worker in South Boston, then moving to the Roxbury district, the Gang Unit/School Police Unit, and a Senior Social Worker. In his most recent role after returning to YouthConnect in 2015, Kevan has served as Director of Operations, ensuring that program policies and procedures are up-to-date and reflect the mission of the program. Additionally, Kevan manages the development of the client database platform to help inform best practices and policies in the program logic model. Kevan currently serves on the board of directors of Gender Spectrum and has previously served on the Board of Zumix.
Stacey Beuttell Executive Director, WalkBoston
Stacey Beuttell became Executive Director of WalkBoston in October 2019, after being with the organization since 2013, and having held the titles of Deputy Director (2017-2019) and Program Director (2013-2016). She is committed to WalkBoston’s mission to make walking safer and easier in Massachusetts to encourage better health, a cleaner environment and more vibrant communities, and has elevated mobility justice as central to the mission. Her approach draws on the expertise and desires of residents, community-based organizations, and municipal staff to make built environment changes that improve the quality of life and public realm in neighborhoods across the Commonwealth. As Executive Director, Ms. Beuttell ensures ongoing programmatic excellence in advocacy initiatives and grant-funded projects; actively engages board members, donors and volunteers in impactful and rewarding work; guides fundraising efforts; and provides consistent high-quality management of financial and administrative matters. She is an appointed member of the Massachusetts Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board and a member of the Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) Executive Committee. She also serves as the WalkBoston representative on many Boston and statewide coalitions including the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition, Great Neighborhoods Coalition, and the Traffic Safety Coalition. Prior to joining WalkBoston, Ms. Beuttell practiced urban planning and design at Sasaki Associates for 13 years where she gained valuable community engagement, presentation and design skills that serve her well in the nonprofit sector. As a senior urban planner, Stacey developed master plans and established management guidelines that celebrated and protected ecological systems while creating people-centered campuses for institutional and corporate clients.
Alison Carter Marlow Executive Director, Jeremiah Program – Boston
Alison Carter Marlow is the Executive Director at the Jeremiah Program (JP) Boston campus. She is a space maker and thought leader with a deep desire to see black and brown women thrive. Alison actively coaches and mentors women who have brilliant, harbor limiting beliefs. Prior to joining Jeremiah, she worked for more than eighteen years in various capacities at Action for Boston Community Development, Inc.- the largest community action program in New England. She also served as Director of Programs and Operations at YouthBuild Boston, a vocational and service training nonprofit in Roxbury for over six years. Alison earned her Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College and a graduate certificate in Public Administration from Suffolk University. With more than two decades of experience in human services, Alison is excited to be at JP, leading the efforts to support an organization that partners with moms in the pursuit of their gifts and dreams. This role provides tremendous opportunities to grow professionally and to grapple with her career-long questions about what truly builds assets in BIPOC communities.
Heather DiNino Founder/Director, Elements Academy, Inc
Heather DiNino is an educator, entrepreneur, and mom. A long-time teacher and lifelong learner, Heather worked for over a decade as a public school special educator. Realizing she could have more of an impact without burnout and while making her own rules, she opened an independent private school in 2020 (yes, right smack dab in the midst of lockdown…) She is passionate about providing an opportunity each child to find their strengths, explore their passions, and follow their true path in life. She coaches teachers and parents to support this journey by engaging each child’s innate curiosity and creativity. Heather had also previously founded an Inclusive Family Yoga Studio and weaves family wellness support into the school – creating more than just a school – a community. Heather’s most challenging and rewarding role to date is mom to 2 spirited children – they are the inspiration and anchor to the work she does.
Erin Dyson-Enamorado Director of Business Development, More Than Words
Erin Dyson-Enamorado is the Director of Business Development at More Than Words with nearly 10 years dedicated experience in acquisitions, logistics and training in a job-training program aimed to help to empower system involved youth to take charge of their lives. Previously supported a youth program for 5 parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina and coordination/management of a disaster relief facility and work camp servicing 5,000 volunteers annually and support relief efforts across 8 towns. She now lives in Shirley with her husband, 3 children and loved pets where they enjoy access to the local hiking trails 3/4 of the year and ski trails in the winter. Her passion has always been with helping others and having a real hands-on role – something her career at More Than Words has allowed her to do. She is passionate about tackling systems of oppression, particularly those that affect immigrants and their families as it is something very near and dear. On her “off” time she continues to make improvements in the world – namely in the form of her turn of the century home – a true labor of love and something she has dreamed of doing since a child.
Janelle Engerman Chief Impact Officer, He is Me Institute
Janelle Engerman has been Chief Impact Officer of He is Me Institute since August 2021. In her role, she is responsible for the planning, facilitation, and the overall effectiveness of He is Me programs and partnerships. She works closely with He is Me partners to create ecosystems designed to increase the number of effective Black male teachers. Over the past 10 years, Janelle has worked in various K-12 roles to improve educational outcomes for students in her hometown of Boston, MA. During this time she has been a paraprofessional, leader of Special Education instruction, and overseen school culture and climate. She joined He is Me Institute after serving as a high school assistant principal. Janelle studied Sociology at Framingham State University. She enjoys learning and sharing her passion for education with individuals who are motivated to make a difference.
Ellen Gallagher Chief Program Officer, Tech Goes Home
Ellen Gallagher (she/her/hers) aspires to create more equitable and just communities. In May of 2022, she joined Tech Goes Home (TGH) as their Chief Program Officer. TGH brings computers, internet, and training to families and individuals throughout Massachusetts so students can do homework, adults can find jobs and manage finances, seniors can connect with loved ones, and all can lead healthy lives. Ellen currently leads a team of nine and was drawn to the organization because of its focus on racial justice and because it works for equity in a tangible way. Ellen spent over a decade advocating for the rights of immigrants and refugees. She worked in Rhode Island doing community engagement and as a lobbyist for immigrant rights from 2005-2008. Next, she moved to Boston where she was an organizer with MIRA, the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition. After MIRA, she spent five years directing programs at Welcoming America where she was the founding staff person. Welcoming America supports communities in their efforts to be inclusive, welcoming places for immigrants and refugees. After her time with Welcoming America, Ellen earned her Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). Beginning in 2017, she spent five years working at HKS. She first managed an experiential learning field lab and next led leadership development programming for students at the Center for Public Leadership. She has her BA in Sociology from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. Ellen lives in Cambridge with her wife and two elementary-school-aged children.
Darian Gambrell Executive Director, DEAF, Inc.
Darian grew up alone in the mainstream and didn’t learn American Sign Language until she was 10 years old. Once she learned the language, she also learned more about her deaf identity and the different identities as a black deaf woman. Her life experience has prepared her for her continuous journey. Since 2021, Darian is the new incoming Executive Director for DEAF, Inc. in Allston, MA. A community based nonprofit organization for deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind and late deafened adults. Prior to arriving to Massachusetts, Darian was manager at the Raleigh regional center of the North Carolina Division of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, which has seven regional centers across the state. Prior to this role, Darian was well-known at Gallaudet University for her student-centered management; she oversaw the Office of Student Success and had a leadership role in the university’s JumpStart and Peer Mentoring programs for incoming students. Darian has worked in several positions in nonprofit, colleges, and state agencies throughout her career. She is a current member on the Board of Trustees at Gallaudet University and a former board member for Arts Access, Inc. Gambrell hosts community conversations and workshops and has since cultivated a reputation as an engaging facilitator on diversity and inclusion dialogues. She received Bachelors and Masters from Gallaudet University.
Stacey Harris VP, National Expansion, Institute for Nonprofit Practice
Stacey L Harris is INP’s Vice President of National Expansion. In this role, Stacey supports the design and implementation of INP’s new market and program expansion strategies. Currently, her portfolio includes INP’s 2022-2023 launches of the Black Leadership Institute and Core programming in the Bay Area and Western New York. Stacey has dedicated the last 10+ years to advancing racial and social equity through education access and workforce development. Her experience includes project management, education/workforce nonprofit strategy, and program launch, implementation, and scale. Stacey spent 6 years at Year Up where she managed national projects aimed at standardizing student training across the network, provided strategic support to a number of regional agencies, and helped launch the organization’s offices in Tampa Bay and Charlotte. In her final 2 years there, she launched, managed and grew a pilot program in New York that has resulted in over 100 young adults obtaining career-track jobs. The program is now considered to be a vetted model for the organization’s expansion efforts. She began her career at Citizen Schools, first as an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow in Revere, Massachusetts, and then as Executive Assistant and finally Chief of Staff to the Massachusetts Executive Director. Stacey holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and an MPP, focused on education policy and nonprofit management, from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Brenda Hernandez Chief of Equity and Engagement, Planned Parenthood League of MA
Brenda Hernandez is a diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging professional with over a decade of experience in the higher education and nonprofit sectors. Most recently she served as the inaugural Chief of Equity and Engagement at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. She received her BA in women’s studies from Mount Holyoke College and her JD, cum laude, from Pace University School of Law. Brenda is a feminist activist and has presented on issues of reproductive justice, abortion support, and street harassment at several universities and conferences. She is a trained yoga teacher and practitioner and brings mindfulness into her equity practice. She enjoys performing and attending live music. A native of Northampton, she currently resides in Roslindale with her husband, daughter, and their cat Amethyst.
Katie Hyten Co-Executive Director, Essential Partners
Katie Hyten is the Co-Executive Director of Essential Partners, a nonprofit organization that gives people the means to strengthen relationships, deepen belonging, and renew hope in their communities. During Katie’s tenure at Essential Partners, she has served as the program lead on collaborations with local grassroots groups, churches, foundations, and colleges, training stakeholders to design, convene, and facilitate dialogues across differences. She has helped communities hold dialogue about topics such as the role of guns in American life, ethnic violence and civil society, racial and ethnic diversity, as well as campus inclusion and belonging. Katie completed her master’s degree in international negotiation and conflict resolution at Tufts University’s Fletcher School, where her research addressed foreign policy in religious conflicts. She has held appointments as a Visiting Fellow and Lecturer at Tufts University where she developed and co-taught a course entitled “Dialogue, Identity, and Civic Action” and as a consultant for Harvard Medical School’s Scientific Citizenship Initiative to co-design a course on science communication for ethical community engagement. Prior to joining Essential Partners, Katie served as a mediator and independent consultant in conflict resolution processes and helped develop and manage the first university-wide inter-religious institute at Pepperdine University. She was awarded Harvard’s Program on Negotiation (PON) Summer Fellowship to support her research and work with Search for Common Ground in Lebanon. Raised in a military family, Katie lived in six states before entering college. She and her partner now live in Massachusetts when they’re not visiting family in Colorado, Alabama, and Australia.
Zaida Ismatul Oliva Executive Director, Chica Project
Bi-cultural, proud immigrant, first in family, English-language learner, dual citizen – so many ways to describe The Chica Project Executive Director, Zaida which all makes her empathetic to the lives of the young women they serve. More importantly, her life experience renders Zaida profoundly committed to cultivating a world of women empowering women, a sisterhood of love and uplifting one another. She came to Chica Project from her leadership role at Bunker Hill Community College where she directed dual enrollment and early college related programming. Her experience conducting outreach, recruiting 60-90 mentors annually, spearheading curriculum and trainings for academic achievement and cultural competency brought her to what she describes as her dream job. (Of course, second place to her role as mom to 3-year-old Luna).
Marcus Kennedy Director of Corporate Relations, United Way Massachusetts Bay
Marcus Kennedy currently works at the United Way as the Director of Corporate Partnerships of life sciences and higher education in the Boston area. He has held various roles within the pharmaceutical, medical device and tech industry. In his new role with the United Way, he is chartered with closing the health, education and economic equity gap for underserved communities. He also is part of United Way’s BoSTEM and Work Equity committee within the United Way. Marcus is a graduate of University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in Finance. Marcus is a Boston native who enjoys travel, cooking and the beach life.
Marta Kuperwasser Operations Director, WE in the World
Marta serves as the Director of Operations for WE in the World. With over 19 years in Operations and Finance Management, Marta has a passion for seeing the puzzle pieces coming together. She understands that no area is complete without the synergy that comes from operating as a team. Originally from Managua, Nicaragua, Marta’s immigrant roots are what drive her to want to provide equitable experiences to communities and people. She recognizes the hard work and wonderful opportunities afforded her by her parents, school and greater community have helped shaped who she is today and works to provide those same opportunities of equity to others.
Emily Levine Chief of Staff, 2Life Communities
Emily (she/her) brings an extensive background in legislative policy and advocacy to her position as chief of staff at 2Life Communities. She drives their broader strategic initiatives, external policy work, and has overseen the development and implementation of their 3-year DEI Strategic Plan. Before joining 2Life, Emily served as the director of policy and advocacy at Horizons for Homeless Children. She developed legislation and advocated to secure increased public funding to support Massachusetts children and families experiencing homelessness and housing instability. She also oversaw a family shelter program serving more than 200 families throughout Greater Boston. As a high schooler in her native Western Massachusetts hometown, Emily served as the student voting member of the Massachusetts Board of Education before working as a Preschool teacher in a community-based classroom in Springfield. She later oversaw the Early Education for All grassroots campaign at Strategies for Children, a statewide advocacy organization based in Boston. Outside of work, Emily serves as chair of the Public Policy Committee of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston and on the board of the advocacy organization Homes for Families. She earned a Master’s in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor’s in Politics from Bates College. Her most significant accomplishment to date (and likely until forever) is becoming a mother and raising her spunky, vivacious twin daughters Remy and Poppy.
Christopher Martinez Sr. VP of People, Equity, & Culture, Conservation Law Foundation
Chris Martinez is the Senior Vice President for People Equity & Culture at the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF). Chris graduated with his B.S. from Springfield College in Springfield, MA where he studied Nonprofit Business Management. Following college, Chris remained committed to mission-driven, community development work, focusing primarily on Youth Development, Organizational Culture, Human Resources, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. As the first Sr. VP for People, Equity, and Culture at CLF, Chris is excited to translate his experience into practice in the environmental and legal spaces. As an experienced trainer, keynote speaker, and conference organizer, Chris enjoys providing learning experiences for leaders at all stages of their professional journeys. Chris also volunteers at the YMCA, the MSPCA , and serves as an elected commissioner for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ LGBTQ+ Youth Commission. In his free time, Chris enjoys spending time with his rescue pets, plants, and partner. He is also resuming running half-marathons after a two-year pandemic hiatus. In his imagination, he is a wildly successful stand-up comic and bestselling author who also happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to Henry Cavill.
Tomica McDonald Chief Operating Officer, He is Me Institute
On March 14, He is Me Institute welcomed its first Chief Operations Officer, Tomica McDonald. In her new role, Tomica is responsible for Financial Management and Compliance, Data Strategy, Employee Retention and Human Resources, as well as Technology Management. Tomica brings a wealth of experience to her new position more than 20 years of leadership in strategic planning and project management, and three years as executive director of a nonprofit that provided direct humanitarian services in Lincoln Parish, Louisiana. Tomica is known as a systematic problem solver and has a reputation for building relationships and finding solutions. Tomica is the mother of twin boys, Chase and Chance. As a parent to teenage boys, Tomica has a deep personal interest in He is Me’s mission. Her first week on the job, she says, He Is Me Institute feels like home. To be a part of a movement that is changing lives on such a grand scale is humbling and purposeful. She said she is excited that her experience at He is Me will provide additional insight into how to continue to shape and mold brilliant young men who operate with a spirit of excellence as they matriculate through life. Tomica earned an Associate’s degree from Louisiana Tech University in Business Technology, and then a B.S. in Computer Information Systems. She is currently working toward a Master’s in Public Management, which she expects to complete in December. After that, she says she is anxious to begin her lifelong goal of obtaining a doctoral degree from Grambling State University in Developmental Education.
Asjah Monroe Founding Director, SMALL HOUSE INC
Asjah Monroe is the Founding Director of Small House Inc. Established in 2021, Small House aims to create space and opportunities for transformation in the lives of underserved youths and young adults experiencing homelessness. Small House will provide transitional housing along with coaching support so that youth can adequately prepare for independence on their own terms.
Caitlin Moore Executive Director, United Nations Association of Greater Boston (UNAGB)
Caitlin Moore is the Executive Director of the United Nations Association of Greater Boston. A former (and forever) teacher, Caitlin has worked in schools as a middle school social studies teacher in Fitchburg and East Boston and was a school administrator in Lawrence (all MA). She has also been a lecturer in the Education Department at Brandeis University. She is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Sage Morgan-Hubbard Director of Lab Faculty, College Unbound
Sage Morgan-Hubbard, MA+, with Ph.D. coursework, is the Director of Lab Faculty at College Unbound, an innovative College of returning adult learners with a personalized, interest/project-based curriculum model. She was previously the Assistant Director of the Brown University Center for Students of Color. She is an educator, public speaker, consultant, and dream midwife who co-curates inclusive diverse public spaces for living and learning for all people. An award-winning poet, social justice artist, and activist, she has worked at four Smithsonian museums and taught students from pre-K through senior citizens, online, incarcerated, and everything in between. Sage puts her creative lens into customized consultant work making sure that everyone has the multimedia tools of poetry, performance, storytelling, collage, and curriculum, they need to bring their dreams to life. She loves aqua aerobics, her Shiba Jindo puppy Broccoli, and her middle name Xaxua, is an onomatopoeia which means the rustling of the leaves in the wind.
Devin Morris Executive Director, The Teachers’ Lounge, Inc.
Devin Morris is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Teachers’ Lounge. Devin co-founded The Teachers’ Lounge in 2018 with then business partner Jabari Peddie. They began this work because throughout their own K-12 and college experiences, as well as in their professional careers, they witnessed the under-representation of Educators of Color in lead teaching positions and felt the effects of not having a teacher with whom they could identify and see themselves reflected. Together, they sought to change this reality for future generations of students by creating and curating spaces intended to increase the recruitment, revitalization, and retention of Educators of Color across the Greater Boston Area. Devin received his Marketing degree from Boston College in 2005. After gaining over 5 years of experience in footwear design & product development, Devin went on to receive a Master’s in Business Administration from Babson College, with a focus on Social Entrepreneurship and a rediscovery of his passion for education. Now in his 13th year in education, Devin has held roles in teaching, coaching, mentoring, school leadership, student/staff recruitment and retention, marketing, and development in district, charter, and private schools in NYC and The Greater Boston Area. Outside of co-founding The Teachers’ Lounge, Devin sits on several local and National coalitions supporting the diversification of the teacher workforce in support of all students. Devin has a passion for equity, community engagement & collaboration, program development, execution, and collective accountability.
Diana Navarrete Executive Director, Foundry Consortium
Diana Navarrete-Rackauckas (she/they) is the Executive Director at the Foundry Consortium. An educator, equity and diversity advocate, and a nonprofit leader, Diana is passionate about creating accessible and engaging experiences for local audiences. Raised in an immigrant family and community, she is dedicated to holding inclusive spaces that empower participants to more confidently navigate their worlds. Before entering her current role, she worked in museums across the country, had written and been featured in various articles about equity in arts and culture fields, and had presented her research at multiple conferences including ones hosted by the Museum Educators of Southern California and Yale University. She holds an M.A in Art History from the University of California, Riverside and a B.A. in Art History and Religion from Oberlin College.
Daniel Navisky Boston Executive Director, Thrive Scholars
Daniel “Dan” Navisky (he/him), Thrive’s Boston Executive Director, is a Boston-based nonprofit leader and attorney with extensive experience serving high-profile organizations as an executive, manager, general counsel, and board member. He joined Thrive Scholars in October of 2018 as the first regional executive director after Thrive expanded to a national organization. In his role, Dan helps to marshal resources in the Greater Boston area to support local Scholars, working with Thrive’s Boston Board of Directors and Boston-based supporters and corporate partners. At Thrive, Dan manages a local budget of $2M. With Dan’s support, Thrive Boston has doubled its budget and revenue, including several high-profile six-figure and multi-year gifts. Under Dan’s leadership, Thrive has also doubled the number of local Scholars served as part of our strategic plan to expand from serving under 100 to 300 or more annually from greater Boston. Dan previously served as the General Counsel of the May Institute, a national education, and human services nonprofit serving individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. He previously held policy and civil rights roles in Boston and Washington, DC, in advocacy organizations and government institutions, including for U.S. House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt and the Anti-Defamation League. A trained attorney, Dan also practiced law at a number of firms in Greater Boston for many years. Dan serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations in the education, arts, and Jewish communities in Greater Boston. He holds a J.D. from Boston College Law School and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Rochester.
Kimberly Nidah Vice President of Development, Massachusetts, uAspire
Kimberly Nidah (she/her/hers) was born in France to Cameroonian parents. She earned her BA in Economics from Bucknell University as a Posse Scholar and MA in International Development from American University. She works at uAspire as vice president of development, Massachusetts, ensuring that uAspire Massachusetts is aligned to the organization’s national vision and strategic direction and well positioned within the region’s higher education/college access and success community. Kim is responsible for sustaining and creating new influential funding relationships to secure the necessary financial resources and strategic positioning to effectively achieve uAspire’s programmatic and policy impact within the region. In her free time, Kim enjoys spending time with her parents and traveling as much she can.
Darren Noisette Arenas Director of Corporate Engagement, Year Up
Darren Noisette is the Director of Corporate Engagement with Year Up, a workforce development organization that focuses on placing young adults from diverse backgrounds into internships and meaningful careers. Prior to joining Year Up, Darren served as Senior Vice President of Customer Experience with Connected Living, a software company renowned for its innovation and technological solutions which continue to help change the landscape of the senior living industry. Since joining Year Up, Darren has earned acknowledgement from his peers as a team member who is a big thinker and keenly aware of the details. During his tenure at Connected Living, Darren led and coached teams of Customer Success and Operations Managers/Directors, facilitated and oversaw the implementation of all services, and directly contributed throughout the customer journey by effectively establishing relationships with partners, vendors, and consumers alike. From 2015 through 2019, Darren also worked in the mental health and substance abuse fields with organizations such as Habit OPCO, Acadia, Arbor Fuller, and Universal Health Services where he provided counseling and support for children, women, and men in need. Darren comes to INP fueled with passion for deep, person-centered missions which are also committed to creating and providing REAL change and opportunity for diverse populations. Darren is on a mission to level the playing field for under-resourced communities and organizations in emerging US markets. Helping businesses leverage the power of networking, customize and scale processes, and to significantly impact the DEIB initiatives of corporate culture while growing the business are all entrenched in Darren’s mission.
Emmanuel Owusu-Boakye Executive Director, African Bridge Network (ABN)
Emmanuel Owusu is the Founding Executive Director of African Bridge Network, which aims to create a supportive community that enables African and other skilled immigrants in Massachusetts to leverage their qualifications and experiences in order to maximize their potential. The organization accomplishes this through immigrant fellowship, professional mentorship, job search and career advising, and orientation workshops. Additionally, Emmanuel is an adjunct lecturer at Boston University. Emmanuel is a trained land use planner who served as a regional planner for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Emmanuel has two passions, land conservation and its connection to health and environmental justice. Second is the potential of the African Diaspora for Africa’s development.
Cara Presley Director of Youth and Family Services, Town of Westborough
Cara Presley (she/her) is a career social worker and leader in nonprofit and public sector behavioral health and human services. Currently the Director of Youth and Family Services for the Town of Westborough, Cara has developed and managed diverse mission-driven community-based programs in outpatient, home-based, healthcare and government settings. She prioritizes access to high quality services for historically marginalized communities, centering racial and social justice in her work. Cara is a proud Queer woman, an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ people and a white ally to BIPOC, striving to become an anti-racist accomplice. In awe of sunsets and nature, Cara loves her plants almost as much as her pets, and she adores her partner and stepchildren even more.
Marcella Raines Chief Advocacy and Community Engagement Officer, More Than Words
Marcella Raines is the Chief Advocacy and Community Engagement Officer at More Than Words. She has over 25 years of experience in the Child Welfare field. She is a fierce advocate for young adults. She is a spiritual person, married for over 18 years with 6 beautiful children.
Khari Roulhac President, GetPsychedSports.org
Khari, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, serves as Dean of Students and as member of the School Leadership Team at Newton North High School. Previously he served at Cristo Rey Boston High School as the Dean of Student Support. Prior to Cristo Rey Boston he spent time with College Bound Dorchester as an English Teacher, with Bunker Hill Community College as the Director of Athletics and Fitness Programs, with MassBay Community College as the Associate Director of Athletics, Recreation and Wellness and with Cathedral High School (Boston) as the Director of Athletics. Under his student-centered leadership, Cristo Rey Boston High School successfully maintained a 98% college acceptance rate. Students identified his office as a safe space to reflect, problem solve and receive academic support. Throughout his career he has enjoyed providing services to students while learning the intricacies of institutional policy. Roulhac has been intentional about establishing environments of teamwork and support for students. Creating a culture of goal setting, effort, and accountability in communities where he worked became his signature. Roulhac is a spirit-filled enthusiast who enjoys supporting at-risk students in their pursuit of higher education. He is the founding, Program Director of Roulhac Enterprises Inc., a 501(c)3 educational nonprofit which serves as a resource bank for parents and youth seeking growth and development in the areas of education, athletics, social justice, mental health and employment, Bank Shot, LLC which produces athletic related programming throughout the commonwealth and President of GetPsychedSports.org. GetPsychedSports.org is a 501(c)3 educational nonprofit that remodels interscholastic and youth teams for the 21st century.
Jonathan Sproul Executive Director, Workforce Development & Adult Education, YMCA of Greater Boston
Jonathan Sproul currently serves as the Executive Director of Adult Education & Workforce Development at the YMCA of Greater Boston’s Education & Training Branch. He has over 20 years of leadership experience in public education and nonprofit management, including serving in past roles as President & CEO of Cape Abilities, Inc. and Director of Institutional Advancement and School-Community Partnerships for the Boston Public Schools, and Acting Executive Director of the Boston Educational Development Foundation. He is committed to increasing equitable access to opportunities for traditionally marginalized people and communities, and leads with a strategic mindset, collaborative approach, and big heart. He earned his bachelor’s degree in film studies from Columbia University and his master’s degree in education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He lives in Charlestown with his wife and three young kids, and enjoys fishing, martial arts, physical activity, and being involved in the community.
Kate Swanson Sr. Director of Strategy and Transformation, North Shore Community Health
Kate Swanson is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for North Shore Community Health Center. Kate plays a major role in the development and execution of the organization’s short and long-term strategy, ensuring strategic alignment across all areas of the organization and coordination of transformation and change management efforts. She has spent her entire career in the health care field, including with Mass General Brigham where she served as an internal consultant providing coaching and support for 18 primary care practices, including North Shore Community Health and Lynn Community Health Centers, in their transformation efforts to achieve and maintain recognition as a NCQA-recognized patient-centered medical home. Kate has a strong desire for her professional efforts to directly serve the North Shore community, where she resides with her family. She has particular interest in health care efforts that emphasize upstream medicine, patient-centered approaches, team sustainably and continuous improvement. She holds an MBA with a concentration in Health Policy and Management from Brandeis University’s Heller School, a BA from Stonehill College, and training in the Lean methodology for improvement.
Giovanny Valencia Director of Community Organizing, JPNDC – Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation
Giovanny is a former architect from Bogota, Colombia, with a background in politics, education, and community development. In his home city of Bogota, he became involved in politics through campaigning and supporting local and national candidates in Colombia. His community work in Bogota included developing projects and strategies focused on relief efforts related to natural disasters, such as landslides, affecting extremely poor communities in the mountains around the city. Since moving to the United States in 2006, Giovanny became a community organizer, and has continued his involvement in community activities as a volunteer and board member for different organizations. He also continues to be involved in politics and has volunteered in campaigns for the Boston City Council, Massachusetts State House, and Boston City Hall. Giovanny is the Director of Community Organizing at the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC). He has spent the last decade promoting the creation and preservation of affordable housing for families in Boston.
Blanca Valentin Program Director & Clinical Trainer, The Home for Little Wanderers
Blanca Valentin, LMHC is a licensed mental health clinician who has worked extensively with children, adults, and families for over 25 years in a variety of roles and settings. Blanca’s work focuses on the treatment of trauma, grief and loss, and generational/intergenerational trauma. Through the application of restorative processes, healing circles, and mindfulness, Blanca is committed to the healing of communities of color. Blanca has provided leadership as Clinical Manager, Program Director, and Clinical Trainer overseeing programmatic needs, creating, and facilitating trainings, as well as building and implementing structures and protocols to support community-based programs and staff providing direct care. Building staff capacity, overseeing clinical application and documentation, as well as developing interventions that include trauma-informed care and anti-oppressive practices. Blanca is engaged in several organizations and causes that are committed to decriminalization, decolonization, and freedom of communities of color: As a member of Latinx Therapist Action Network, a national organization of Latinx therapists committed to honoring and affirming the human dignity of Latinx immigrants in ICE detention. Blanca’s work in the Network has centered around education and support to front line workers/community activists in the migrant’s rights movement and more recently part of LTAN’s leadership. Has co-created webinars to educate and support about impact of mental health to frontline workers and the implications of Intergenerational trauma in BIPOC communities. With other healers of color in Boston, Blanca is a member of the Stinging Nettle Brujxs Healing Collective; a group committed to the liberation and healing justice of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, POC communities, and supporting allies. They also offering workshops, community events/conferences, and retreats to co-create spaces for medicine to transcend into wellness.