Co-Founder, MakeIT Haverhill
Keith Boucher is Co-Founder of MakeIT Haverhill (MIH), a project of Community Action Inc., the federally designated anti-poverty agency. Two years in the making, it opened in June 2019 in a 2000 SF facility at 301 Washington St in Haverhill, MA. MIH is focused on workforce development; specifically employment, education and entrepreneurs for the challenged Mt. Washington neighborhood and all of Haverhill. English Language Learners, parents of students and immigrants make up a large part of the cohort that MIH seeks to build a skill set that will lead to employment, family stability, and economic success. Prior to opening MIH, Keith spent 10 years at Autodesk, Inc in Sales management positions and enjoyed a long career in software at IBM / Lotus Development and other notable companies where he was a pioneer in Ecommerce standards development for the hardware / software industry.
Originally from Lawrence MA, Keith and his wife Diane raised their family in Salem, NH and moved to Haverhill in 2009. They are the proud parents of Alexis, Carrie, and Nicole. Keith enjoys his four grandchildren, gardening, beer brewing and the Red Sox.
Keith graduated from Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL with a BS in Government and also holds a Teaching certificate from Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, NH.
Director of Philanthropy, Emmaus Inc.
Gretchen Arntz has spent 30+ years seeking social justice for disenfranchised families and single adults. Gretchen began her career as a community organizer with the MA Office for Children and then served as Executive Director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Lawrence and Girls Incorporated of Greater Haverhill. A founding Board member of Emmaus Inc., she proudly serves as its Director of Philanthropy and a member of the senior leadership team. During her tenure, Emmaus’ budget has grown from $1.3 Million to $8 Million. Annually, the organization impacts the lives of close to 2,500 adults and children facing homelessness and engages up to 600 volunteers. A well-known community leader, Gretchen was one of the founding members of the Mt. Washington Alliance and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Greater Haverhill Chamber’s Board of Directors.
A life-long resident of Massachusetts, Gretchen was born and raised in Scituate, MA. She and her husband Michael Ross moved to Haverhill, MA in 1990 where they raised their two daughters, Tori and Meredith. In 2018, Gretchen and Michael relocated to a townhouse in Lowell, MA. Outside of work, Gretchen loves spending time with her adult daughters, traveling, attending theater performances and concerts, partaking in great food and wine, and cycling with her husband.
Gretchen received her bachelor’s degree with honors in psychology from Wellesley College and her master’s degree in social work from Boston College.
State Auditor, MA
Diana Dizoglio is the current State Auditor for Massachusetts. Diana previously serves as State Senator for Massachusetts' First Essex District, which includes the Cities of Amesbury, Haverhill, Methuen and Newburyport, the Towns of Merrimack and Salisbury and portions of the Town of North Andover. In this legislative session, Diana serves as chair of the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business and Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities and Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government.
Prior to her election to the State Senate in 2018, Diana served three terms as state representative for the 14th Essex District, representing sections of Methuen, Haverhill, Lawrence and North Andover. Before winning her first race for public office in 2012, Diana worked for multiple non-profit, community based organizations. Her experiences in both the private and public sectors are what inspired her to give back through public service and to forge lasting partnerships with communities across the Merrimack Valley.
Educated in Methuen Public Schools, Diana is a graduate of Wellesley College and Middlesex Community College.
JONATHAN (JON) DOWST
President, Pentucket Bank
Jonathan Dowst (“Jon”) is President of Pentucket Bank in Haverhill, MA. Jon joined Pentucket in March 2019 after a long career at Bank of America and previously at community banks located in New Hampshire. In Jon’s career, he has held executive-level positions in Small Business and Business Banking, Commercial and Retail Sales Performance, Sales Management, Process Design, Information and Technology, and Business Strategy. He started his banking career as a bank teller, commercial note clerk, and Credit Analyst at a small bank in New Hampshire.
He has been active in his community, serving as Chair of the Finance and Capital Improvements committees for the Town of Weare, NH; long-time Director and Treasurer for the Nashua Children’s Home; a founding Director of Biz-Gen, an entrepreneurship program for high school students interested in business careers, and moist recently joining UTEC in Lawrence, MA, as a Director. Since joining Pentucket Bank, Jon has become involved with the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, MakeIT-Haverhill and is a member of the Haverhill Rotary Club. Jon lives full-time in Weare, NH with his wife and large family, and also in Haverhill, MA. When not banking, Jon enjoys running, skiing, restoring old houses and cars, hunting and fishing.
Jon graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Economics, then returned to UNH for a Master of Business Administration.
KATRINA (KAT) EVERETT
Co-Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Power of Self-Education (POSE)
Founder/Curator, COCO Brown
Katrina (Kat) Everett is the Co-Founder and CEO Power of Self-Education (POSE) Inc., as well as Founder and Curator of COCO Brown. Kat has over 22 years of refined experience in the human and social services field working in a variety of professional settings and levels including grassroots organizations, public and private sector, governmental, city, state, and federal entities. She also brings 10 years of diversity/equity/inclusion education experience cultivating and working with cross-sector teams locally, nationally and globally. Kat brings extensive community engagement and relationship development experience. She is skilled in innovative approaches and transformative interdisciplinary pedagogy. Additionally, Kat is an educator, social justice advocate, curative, writer, and spoken word artist.
Born and raised in Haverhill, MA., Kat has lived in Maryland and Virginia. Returning back to Haverhill in 2010. Kat and her husband Dennis have a blended family and are raising 7 children. Kat enjoys all things multilayered and creative. Her personal mission is: “Constantly Cultivate Community”
Kat has a M.Ed., Community Engagement in Higher Education from Merrimack College and a B.A. in Human Services from UMass Boston.
DENNIS D. EVERETT JR.
Co-Founder, Power and Self Education (POSE)
Dennis D. Everett Jr. is the Co-Founder of Power of Self Education (POSE) Inc., a Haverhill based non-profit whose mission is to “Inspire people and mobilize resources to strengthen communities”. Dennis is also a Journeyman & Member of The International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 6 located in Dorchester, Mass. Prior to joining Local 6 Dennis was an Assistant Program Director for North America Family Institute, where he specialized in supporting youth residential programs in crisis as well as developing supervisors, direct care staff and role modeling day to day crisis management. Dennis has 10 years of attuned experience working in community-based initiatives.
Dennis is a natural community activist having lead several cross-sector community mobilization efforts, and serves on various city and regional committees to address multi systemic community issues. Dennis is also a gifted public and motivational speaker interacting with various local and state level platforms ranging from convocations, symposiums, citywide prayers, restorative circles, spiritual life and recovery groups. Dennis is well known for his work with men, youth and returning citizen. He sites his source of strength is in always staying grounded and connected to God and the people in the communities in which he serves. Dennis is a dedicated husband, father and ordained minister, a multi-talented artist and passionate agent of change. He draws from his personal experiences to transparently inspire those in his community and beyond.
PENELOPE GUERRERO PEREZ
Founder and Creative Director, Penelope Guerrero Design
Penelope Guerrero Perez is a footwear designer originally from Haverhill, Ma. Her footwear career began in Haverhill, shortly after receiving a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Massachusetts College of Art.
With over 20 years of experience, Penelope has held several roles in renowned design houses in New York City that include Donna Karan, Vince Camuto, and Michael Kors. Most recently, she worked at Timberland, where she was the sole/lead designer for the premium women's footwear collection, Timberland Boot Company, and the Global Design Director for Women's Footwear. She has traveled the world researching and developing shoes in countries that include China, Brazil, and India, and several countries throughout Europe. Her design work has been featured in many publications, including the September issue of Vogue.
Dedicated to social responsibility, Penelope is currently serving on Boards that align with her love of art, and her focus on opportunity and inclusion.
Chief of Staff, Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini
Allison Heartquist is Chief of Staff to Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini. She has worked for the city for the past six years, starting as the mayor’s Executive Assistant and ascending to Director of Constituent Services. In her current role, Allison is the liaison between the mayor’s office and the city’s many departments, department heads, City Council and other elected officials. She works closely with the School Department, local Chamber of Commerce, individual businesses, community groups, non-profits and faith organizations.
Allison developed and manages the city’s municipal website and emergency notification system among a myriad of duties. She oversees constituent relations for a resident population of approximately 64,000. She has been especially busy during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, helping the public, the business community and local nonprofits navigate governmental bureaucracy and obtain services. Allison has taken a leading role making sure first-responders, nursing homes and health care professional in Haverhill have access to face masks and other PPE. She has similarly led the city’s efforts to provide food, face masks and financial support to at-risk residents.
Allison lives in Newburyport with her daughter, a senior at Newburyport High School. Her favorite activities include watching her daughter perform in equestrian competitions and spending time at the beach, where she has an abiding interest in protecting and preserving coastal land and habitat. Allison holds a B.S. degree from UMass-Amherst.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity House CRC
Brad Howell is President and CEO of Fidelity House CRC providing leadership to a regional human services agency supporting people with disabilities and significant challenges. He previously served as the CEO of Career Resources Corporation in Haverhill, MA for 13 years. In January of 2019 Career Resources merged with Fidelity House and Brad was appointed President and CEO.
Brad sits on the board of directors of the Association for Developmental Disabilities Providers, the Executive Committee of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, the North Andover Scholarship Foundation, the Northern Essex Community College Human Services Department Advisory Board and the Mass Rehab Commissioner’s advisory board. Brad is also a meditation teacher with the Natural Dharma Fellowship organization and sits on their Ethics Committee.
Originally from Erie, PA, Brad has been living in North Andover, MA since 1999. He is married to Laura and has two sons ages 18 and 22. Brad enjoys bike riding, beekeeping and meditation. Brad graduated from West Virginia University with a BA in Psychology and holds a MA in Clinical Psychology from Towson University.
MATTHEW E. JUROS, RA
Matthew E. Juros is a registered architect with 30 years of experience. After 15 years of working at larger firms in Boston and Cambridge, he founded Fishbrook as a way of working in a more personal and crafted manner. His early experience focused on designing institutional projects as well as high-end residences. He has managed hospitality, retail, office and public space projects. These larger, fast-track projects provide the context for his current practice.
The father of a twenty one year-old daughter, Matt resides in Cambridge, MA. His wife is a novelist and teaches at the GrubStreet writer's workshop.
He is a member of the Mayor’s Downtown Development Committee in Haverhill where he energetically advocates for a new Comprehensive Master Plan. Matt is the incoming Chair of the Executive Board of Directors of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce. Matt is a founding member of HAVERHILL.BIZ. He has served on the Historic District Commissions in both Haverhill and Boxford, MA. Matt is a passionate cyclist and has competed in bicycle races all over the country.
Superintendent, Haverhill Public Schools
Margaret Marotta began her tenure as Superintendent of Haverhill Public Schools in July of 2018. She came to Haverhill with 25 years of experience in education and human services. For the past 20 years she has been an active district-wide urban instructional leader, confronting a full array of circumstances faced by educators across the nation, including “Turn Around Planning” in the Boston and Salem Public Schools. She is committed to meeting the needs of all learners and creating consistent, but flexible systems that adjust to meet the individual needs and personalities of our schools and students.
Margaret holds a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from Assumption College, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Suffolk University Sawyer School of Management, a Master’s in Science in Counselling from Suffolk University and a Doctorate of Education from Boston University.
Managing Partner, Matias Realty, LLC
Manuel Matias is the managing partner at Matias Realty, LLC. In this capacity, Manuel oversees all of the internal operations, growth and marketing efforts of the business. Matias Realty is a full fledged real estate and property management company, serving and specializing in the Merrimack Valley region. Prior to Matias Realty, LLC, Manuel operated Matias Enterprises, a real estate development and construction company. In this role he oversees a portfolio of residential properties and manages all project requirements. Prior to opening his own businesses, Manuel dedicated years of his career to working for the Essex County Sheriff's Department, the Department of Homeland Security and continues to work and serve the federal government.
Manuel is a product of the Haverhill community and is committed to giving back to the place that gave him access to his American dream. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Haverhill Boys & Girls Club and is committed to ensuring underserved youth have access to opportunities that allow them to reach their full potential. Manuel and his wife, Natalia, reside in Boxford alongside their dog, Winter.
In 2002, Manuel graduated from Haverhill High School and went on to attend Northern Essex Community College, where he obtained his Associate's Degree. In 2009, he graduated from UMass Lowell with a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice.
MICHAEL R. MCCARTHY
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Northern Essex Community College
Michael R. McCarthy serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for Northern Essex Community College (NECC). Michael is responsible for providing leadership and oversight in the areas of finance, human resources, budgeting, strategic planning, information technology, purchasing, facilities, maintenance, safety and security, police and sheriff training academies, auxiliary services, athletics and wellness. Michael joined Northern Essex Community College in 2016. Prior to joining NECC, Michael served for over 16 years at the Essex County Sheriff’s Department in Middleton, MA as the Chief Executive Officer. Prior to his appointment as CEO, Michael served as the Chief Financial Officer and de facto Chief Administrative Office for the department.
Originally from Newburyport, MA, he has lived in Middleton, MA for more than 12 years where he and his wife, Jennifer, an elementary school teacher, are the proud parents of three boys, Connor, Chris, and Caden. Additionally, he has volunteered in many youth sports organizations including serving on the Board of Directors for the Middleton Youth Baseball and Softball Association, as past president.
Michael holds a Master of Science degree in Administration from Boston College, an Advanced Management Certificate in International Trade from the American Graduate School of International Management, Phoenix, Arizona, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Tufts University.
STEPHEN (STEVE) PASCOE
Capri Realty and Management LLC
Raised in the city of Philadelphia, Steve attended Villanova University where he studied finance and business. He has spent his years in various businesses ranging from wholesale food distribution, moving and hauling and general contracting. In 1995 he started investing in real estate and eventually retired as a “for hire” general contractor. He now focuses strictly on multifamily, new construction and land development. Steve is constantly working on his next big thing or helping someone else with their goals. With over 30 years in the industry, he has become a valuable resource for up-and-coming real estate investors and landlords and enjoys helping others grow their portfolios and strategies. Giving back to communities, especially ones he does business in, has always been a high priority to Steve. His various companies sponsor many community non-profits and kids sport teams. Steve is a proud member of the MakeIT Haverhill advisory council which is focused on education and job placement of local residents and also spends much time working with organizations focused on keeping at risk-kids off the streets in our communities.
Director of Planning and Development, Community Action Inc.
Kerri Sheeran Perry currently serves as Director of Planning and Development at Community Action, Inc. in Haverhill. Kerri is responsible for drafting grant requests, reporting to grantors, developing agency programming, and all phases of nonprofit operations, outreach, support and governance. Kerri leads the agency’s fundraising initiatives and campaigns. She works with partner organizations, funders and municipal leaders to develop and implement new programs that will facilitate the mission of the non-profit. Prior to joining CAI in 2014, Kerri led a non-profit organization focused on providing housing and wrap-around social services to low income and homeless families in Essex County. Kerri also practiced law at two Boston law firms and was in-house counsel at LandAmerica. Kerri is a Corporator at Institution for Savings in Newburyport, Massachusetts.
Originally from Westport, CT, Kerri has lived in Newbury for more than 16 years with her husband Tim, an Andover native, and three children: Timmy (18), Jack (17) and Caroline (13). Kerri enjoys discovering National Parks, watching her children’s sporting events and Improv shows, cycling and spending time with her family.
Kerri earned a Juris Doctorate from Vermont Law School in South Royalton, VT. She graduated from Merrimack College in Andover with a BA in English and Political Science.
Owner and Chief Executive Officer, Haverhill Stem LLC
Caroline Pineau is a business owner, marketing professional, yoga teacher and entrepreneur with experience in business, event and brand management, integrated marketing, and customer relations. After early career sports marketing and sales positions with XOS Digital and Experience Sports LLC (producer of the world-class Denver Marathon), Caroline turned toward a more entrepreneurial path. She founded the community-centered yoga studio, The Yoga Tree in Haverhill MA in 2010. Caroline ventured next into Massachusetts’ nascent adult-use cannabis industry, and in May 2020 opened Stem, the Merrimack Valley’s first female-and-locally owned adult-use cannabis dispensary in downtown Haverhill. As one of Massachusetts’s first Economic Empowerment Applicants, Caroline operates Stem with the desire to positively contribute to the economic revitalization in downtown Haverhill, one of the state’s designated areas of disproportionate impact.
Originally from Kennebunk, Maine, Caroline lives in Haverhill with her husband, Adam, and their two children, daughter Charlie, 3; and newborn son, Bodhi, and two big hound dogs. She loves art, yoga, and supporting the local community.
Caroline earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the College of Charleston, where she majored in Communication/Media Studies & Studio Art.
ANDRES (ANDY) POLANCO
Student Support and Community Liaison, Haverhill High School
Andres (Andy) Polanco first began working with survivors as a sexual assault advocate with the YWCA of Greater Lawrence. Since then, he has branched out to become a part of the Haverhill Community Violence Prevention Coalition and has gone on to work at Haverhill High School as a Drop-out Prevention and Student Support Specialist where he gets a chance to work directly with young men. Andy stresses the importance of working with young men in particular because of the attitudes that they sometimes come to adopt. Andy signed on as one of the first WRD Ambassadors because it reflected his commitment to encouraging men to discuss the problem openly with others. While Andy is encouraged by some change he has seen, he cautions against comfort and complacency. “One thing that I have learned is that we still have a long way to go. This isn’t something that is going to change overnight.” However, he is optimistic that this type of work can make a profound difference. “Something that we have to realize is that this isn’t just a campaign, it’s a lifestyle. We have to be patient and keep encouraging men, keep speaking up, keep putting these ideas out there.”
Great Neighborhoods Network Director, Livable Streets Alliance
Anabelle Rondon is currently the Great Neighborhoods Director at Livable Streets Alliance. She came to LivableStreets from the MA Smart Growth Alliance, where she directed the Great Neighborhoods Program, a platform that develops and disseminates evidence-based resources to inform the actions of local activists as a means to create more livable, affordable, and vibrant communities in Massachusetts. Anabelle has over 15 years of experience organizing communities to effectively engage in the creation of policies that center the communities they will impact. Anabelle plays many roles close to her heart, all focused on the power of networks and building community. Housing advocacy is an anchor interest in her career. She has helped cultivate a network of over 2,000+ community champions statewide who mobilize and take action not only on state legislature but also locally. Anabelle has had the privilege of serving on numerous boards and advisory committees across Massachusetts and New York City—two communities she has dedicated herself to investing in since moving to the United States from her native Dominican Republic.
Anabelle has been living in the Merrimack Valley for over 15 years and moved to Haverhill about 3 years ago when she and her partner Jose Daniel are raising Penelope, 1.5 years old girl. When not at the Real Estate business, Anabelle enjoys blogging and spending time with her family.
Anabelle earned a bachelor’s degree in business management at Cambridge College and a master’s in public administration from the School of Public Affairs at The City University of New York (CUNY).
Chaplain, Leaving the Streets Ministry
Jesus Ruiz is a former gang member who spent time in prison. He has made a miraculous turnaround and is now a chaplain for his own youth center, Leaving the Streets Ministry. One long-term solution to an escalating gang problem in Haverhill involves bringing school programs down to as early as third grade. Chaplain Ruiz came together with school and community leaders to create the Task Force for Gang Violence initiative, Jesus had been awarded as the chaplain with the most volunteer work by the Mayor in Haverhill.
Leaving The Streets Ministry is a youth re-entry center based in Haverhill, MA that exists to help our youth find better avenues that lead to a brighter future. We want to give these kids hope so that they won’t end up becoming a school dropout statistic or choose a life of gangs, drugs and prison. The nonprofit organization was founded by Chaplain Jesus Ruiz and Wand Baez-Ruiz, a dynamic husband and wife team who have experienced the redemptive power of Jesus firsthand. They established Leaving the Streets Ministry so that you have the opportunity to make a difference.
DR. BRIDGET STEWART
Chief Operating Officer/Vice President of Operations, Holy Family Hospital
Dr. Bridget Stewart is currently the Chief Operating Officer/VP of Operations at Holy Family Hospital and is responsible for oversight of the Haverhill campus operations and perioperative services at the Andover Ambulatory Surgery Center as well as both the Haverhill and Methuen campuses. Prior to joining Holy Family, she was at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center (another Steward hospital) as the Vice President of Operations with responsibility for support and ancillary services.
Bridget has served as adjunct faculty in the MHA Program at Regis College and the MPH at UNH and currently serves as Vice President of the UNH Alumni Board. She has participated as a mentor in the UNH pathways program, served as a mentor to numerous HMP students, participated in UNH resume review day and was a member of the UNH HMP Advisory Committee.
Bridget received a Bachelor of Science in Health Management and Policy and a minor in Health Promotion at the University of New Hampshire in 1996. In 1998, she received her Master’s in Business Administration from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa and her Doctorate of Law and Policy in 2009 from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. She resides in Wayland with her husband and daughter.
MICHAEL (MIKE) TROTTA
President/Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Crystal Engineering
Michael (Mike) Trotta is the President, CEO, and Managing Director of Crystal Engineering. Mike started his career 20 years ago as a financial advisor in a family firm before embarking on his entrepreneurial path building several businesses from the ground up in the technology, financial, and manufacturing spaces. In 2011, Mike acquired Crystal Engineering, a family-run manufacturer of high-speed stampings and CNC-machined parts. Mike brings M&A, sales/marketing, executive management and growth and business development experience in the automotive, medical, aerospace, and commercial markets.
Mike lives in West Newbury, Massachusetts with his wife and daughter and while not working enjoys skiing, boating, rugby, and coaching baseball.
Mike has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida.
SARAH VAN GULDEN
Priest-in-Charge, Trinity Episcopal Church
Executive Director, Urban Bridges
Sarah van Gulden serves as the Priest-in-Charge (PIC) at Trinity Episcopal Church and Executive Director of Urban Bridges, Inc. both located in Haverhill, MA. Urban Bridges, Inc. is a new 501.c3 non-profit created to serve as the vehicle for Trinity’s community ministries for children and women. In 2019 Sarah joined these organizations to lead long-term strategic planning. From 2014-2017 Sarah served as the Assistant to the Rector at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Lynn, MA. During her three years Sarah organized parishioners to create social justice cohorts including the Beloved Community Team and the BeYou LGBTQ+ Community Youth Group. Before being ordained an Episcopal priest, Sarah taught in public pre-schools with special needs students.
For the past 8 years Sarah has lived in Rockport with her husband, the Reverend Derek van Gulden and their very spoiled cat, Tux. Derek serves as the Pastor of First Congregational Church, Rockport. Sarah and Derek enjoy baking and birding and Sarah is training for her first 5K.
Sarah received her B.A in English/French Literature from Connecticut College. She graduated from the Episcopal Divinity School with a Master’s of Divinity and was ordained to the priesthood in 2015.
ANDY X. VARGAS
State Representative for the 3rd Essex District
Andy X. Vargas serves as State Representative for the 3rd Essex district. He sits on the Ways and Means, Education, Public Health and Small Business Committees. Rep. In this role Andy has passed and advocated for several pieces of legislation in the areas of civics education, youth development, gun violence prevention, and school nutrition.
Andy was elected to the MA House of Representatives at 24. Prior to this, he served as a City Councilor in Haverhill, MA. as the first Latino elected official in his city. Prior to elected office, Andy led communications and marketing for Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll), a non-profit that fosters inclusive entrepreneurship in communities that need it most. He also served in the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, and as a White House intern under the Obama administration.
Andy grew up in Haverhill, MA. after his family immigrated from the Dominican Republic. Andy resides in downtown Haverhill with his wife and Yankees fan, Rikelma. Baseball and basketball are his pastimes.
Andy attended Boston University and received a bachelor's degree, with a double major in Political Science and International Relations and a concentration in Foreign Policy and Security Studies. In 2019, he received the Young Alumni Award from BU. At the University of Virginia, Andy also received a certificate from the 2019 Emerging Legislative Leaders program at the Darden School of Business.
WILL F. VILAS NOVAS
Director of Workforce Development, UTEC
Will F. Vilas Novas is the Director of Workforce Development at UTEC, Inc. His current responsibilities are to oversee all workforce development program workflows, staff, program operations and administrative functions. Will joined UTEC in January of 2013 as the Transitional Coach Supervisor and he later held various positions including serving as Director of the Alternative Diploma Program and then Pathways. Will begin his career as a Youth Worker working with at-risk young adults at Roca, Inc. in Chelsea, MA where he served as a Streetworker for 3 years. Will is a proud member of the Brotherhood of Strength (BOS), which has a mission to engage men and boys of color as allies in sexual violence prevention through mentorship and education.
Will immigrated to the United States from Brazil at the age of 15 to pursue the American Dream. He enjoys spending time with his wife Jessica, his 8 year-old son Jordan, and 9 month-old daughter Ava. He is a member of GracePoint Community Church and loves coaching, playing and watching soccer games.
Will graduated from UMass Lowell with a BA in Psychology and received the Community Service Award due to his involvement with youth programs.