LAWRENCE COHORT

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BEHLING, TIM

Vice President of Supply Chain, Gemline

 

Tim is the Vice President of Supply Chain for Gemline, a promotional products supplier located in Lawrence. Prior to this position, Tim worked for 24 years in supply chain, logistics and finance in Massachusetts, Tennessee, China, and Wisconsin. He has served on the Junior Achievement board in Massachusetts, Knoxville, TN, and Appleton, WI.  Tim has been involved at all levels of the Junior Achievement curriculum (teaching in the classroom, JA company program, board chair role) throughout his career. While living in China, Tim volunteered for Captivating International, a project benefitting the Seng Girls Home in the Qinghai Province.  He is currently leading a social impact/sustainability initiative at Gemline, with a goal of making Gemline a leader in this area in the Lawrence community.

Tim lives in Danvers with his wife, Michelle and their daughter, Ella; their son Andrew attends college in Montreal, and oldest son Alexander works in New York. In his spare time, Tim enjoys traveling, running and golf.

Tim has a BS in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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BONAVITA, MATT 

Global Director, Internal Audit at New Balance

 

Matt Bonavita is the Global Director, Internal Audit at New Balance, a leading athletic brand found in over 3,000 retail stores across 115 countries.  Matt started the internal audit function at New Balance eight years ago and has since become a trusted leader in risk management and assurance for the organization.  Over the past year and a half, Matt’s primary responsibilities have shifted to the COVID governance lead for New Balance.  In this role, he oversees COVID-related policies and protocols with the primary focus being the health and safety of all employees and customers. Overall, Matt has over 20 years of experience in the audit profession, across multiple industries including retail, manufacturing, insurance, and financial services.  Throughout his career, he has worked closely with various executive leadership teams, boards of directors and audit committees to address key business risks through strategic value-add initiatives, assurance services and the strengthening of internal controls. During his career, he also earned his Six Sigma Green Belt.  He has contributed to publications on various topics including data analytics, compliance with changing tariff policy, and COVID vaccine clinics.  Matt enjoys giving back to the community, volunteering for several years at the Special Olympics School Day Games in Lawrence.  This event blends his passion for promoting childhood movement and activity with a day of fun and competition for both himself and the children.   

 

Matt lives in Newburyport with his wife Kristen and their two daughters, Kayleigh and Teagan.  Nothing gives Matt more pride than being a “girl dad” and spending time watching his children grow.  Together, the family enjoys bike riding, playing soccer, going on hikes and days at the beach. 

Matt graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Science Degree as a double major in Accounting and Marketing.

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CALDERON, KARINA

Director of Community Development at the Lawrence Partnership

 

Karina Calderon is the Director of Community Development at the Lawrence Partnership (LP). She is responsible for managing several initiatives, such as the Venture Loan Fund, a collaboration between 11 financial institutions that aims to assist small business owners who are not able to get loans from traditional banks, and the Merrimack Valley Small Business Technical Assistance Program, where the LP provides grants to at least 15 small businesses to assist them with any strategic needs that will help them grow. She also had the opportunity to collaborate with the Lawrence High School and their career readiness program, where she successfully connected the school with local employers who provided internship opportunities and a job shadow all-day event for the students. She is currently a Board member at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center as well as an Advisory Member of Community InRoads, a non-profit organization that provides volunteer professional and technical services to smaller non-profits from the area. One of the things she enjoys the most is being a connector between the community and the Cultural Inclusion program. This program trains professionals of colors on non-profit management and prepares them to serve on non-profit Boards.

 

Karina is originally from Dominican Republic but lives in Methuen with her blended family of six: her partner, Alvaro Perez, and their kids Alvarito, Gabriel, Aimee, and Camilha. She spends her spare time on her business: Kreative Gestures by KC, which is a personalized merch and t-shirt shop. You can find her either fulfilling orders or educating herself in the latest software and techniques to keep her business competitive in the current market.  

Prior to moving to USA, she studied architecture for three years at PUCMM, a well renowned university in Dominican Republic. She later decided to switch majors, so she enrolled in Northern Essex Community College (NECC) and obtained an Associate’s Degree in Business. Right after, she enrolled at UMASS Lowell to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. 

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CORVELO, MARTA

Vice President of Operations at Greater Lawrence Community Health Center 

 

Marta Corvelo is the Vice President of Operations at Greater Lawrence Community Health Center, the second largest Federally Qualified Community Health Center, serving the primary health care needs of more than 62,000 patients at locations in Lawrence, Haverhill, and Methuen. In her role at GLFHC, Marta provides direct and indirect leadership to over 250 employees. In addition, she is responsible for the overall performance of all seven brick-and-mortar clinical sites and the customer support center, referrals, and scheduling department. Marta's professional background before joining GLFHC includes non-profit and for-profit roles in the healthcare settings, but always with a particular focus on providing care to the underserved as well as workforce development in underserved communities. During her tenure at Cambridge Health Alliance, in Cambridge MA, Marta was integral in expanding several clinical sites, including a Comprehensive and Multidisciplinary Breast Center that provided boutique care to uninsured and underinsured women. In the profit world, Marta oversaw a team that offered comprehensive diabetic care and education to the most rural areas in the U.S., where access to medical care was scarce and vital in expanding services to many other underserved regions of the country. During her time at GLFHC, Marta has had many success stories of mentoring and developing many diverse members of the community that now hold several leadership roles at GLFHC.

 

Marta lives in North Andover, MA, with her partner Jude and her three sons, Caleb, Noah, and Jacob. During her free time, and as a self-proclaimed foodie, Marta enjoys trying new restaurants. In addition, she cannot be too far away from the beach and finds a way to enjoy it year-round. But most importantly, she enjoys spending time with her family and participating in as many adventures as possible with her boys.

 

Marta graduated from the Universidade dos Açores in São Miguel, Portugal, with a degree in International Relations and Affairs. She holds a membership with several healthcare organizations and groups such as MGMA, ACHE, and Boston Young Healthcare Professionals. 

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DE PENA, JOANNA

Founder & Executive Director of Top Notch Scholars, Inc 

 

Joanna de Pena is the Founder & Executive Director of Top Notch Scholars, Inc. Joanna is responsible for developing and implementing the strategic plan, overseeing the organization’s budget, working in partnership with the board, managing and providing leadership to the staff and volunteers and is the main youth leadership programming trainer along with other trained professionals.  Joanna has a huge passion for—youth development, instilling confidence creating paths of success for community youth and being a positive role model for the younger generations. Joanna is constantly volunteering and creating opportunities for community service for the youth. Whether it is creating blessing kits (backpacks with essential items for the homeless), feeding the homeless or assisting community events – Joanna is always serving, one way or another.

 

Joanna has lived in Lawrence all of her life however had the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica, Spain, and France while attending her high school, Proctor Academy in Andover New Hampshire. In her spare time Joanna enjoys cycling, hiking, kayaking, spending time with family or reading personal development books.

 

Joanna earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Lasell University, in Newton Massachusetts, her Masters at Merrimack College in Education and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Performance Psychology at Grand Canyon University. 

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FERMIN, MICHELLE

Managing Partner, The Fermin Group

Michelle Fermin is a partner/owner at Century 21 Northeast and the founder of The Fermin Group. The Fermin Group is a real estate team focusing on retail and REO/Corporate owned assets in Northeast Massachusetts & Southern New Hampshire. The Fermin Group has continuously ranked number 1 in the country for all Century 21 teams, last year ranking #1 in the world for small teams. Michelle is also the President of the MSM Investment Group and Fermin Family Trust which focus on acquisition, renovation, and the resale of distressed assets. Michelle has been recognized by her peers with accomplishments such as being named of the most influential leaders under 40 with the "40 under 40 award,” landing the cover of Top Agent magazine and making the WSJ list of 100 most influential real estate leaders. In April 2020, North Shore Magazine named her “A force to be reckoned withMost recently she landed the cover of Boston's Magazine "Who's Who” top agent for 2020. In 2020 Michelle started a free mentorship program for young adults looking to enter the real estate market offering them an intense 8 week 1-on-1 program.   She continually mentors her team of 13 agents, offering them growth, marketing, and wealth management skills.  Michelle’s strong sense of the market, attention to detail and consistent follow up has helped her build a super star team with some of the most successful agents in Massachusetts.

 

Michelle is an avid traveler, visiting 53 countries thus far, which she enjoys doing with her family.  Michelle is the mother of 3 adult children, Alex (26), Jess (24), and Jazlin (20), who are her world. Michelle currently resides in Boxford MA and is an active participant in various community outreach programs.

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FREEMAN, ALEX

Managing Partner, Manzo Freeman Development

 

Alexandra (“Alex”) Freeman is a Managing Partner at Manzo Freeman Development (“MFD”), a privately-owned commercial real estate firm. MFD leverages 40+ years of direct real estate acquisition and development experience, in depth local market knowledge, a strong reputation and a track record of success. MFD is a vertically integrated real estate acquisition development and management company with a full suite of services. MFD owns and operates 1.4+Million SF of mixed-use commercial properties across Massachusetts and New Hampshire. MFD’s most recent acquisition is the iconic Everett Mill on Union St in Lawrence, MA. Alex is the Director of leasing across all properties also specializing in construction and property management. After graduating from Babson College, Alex spent four years consulting for Pricewaterhouse Coopers (“PwC”) within their Advisory practice. Alex consulted for large financial services clients including US global banks, professional services firms, private market clients specializing in real estate investment and global paper and water chemical companies. She focused on developing strategies to enhance current business processes to improve clients’ overall performance which she now leverages in her work as a real estate developer at MFD.

 

Alex is in her second year serving on the Babson College Advisory Board as one of the youngest board members in college history. In addition to her Board responsibilities, Alex is a longtime volunteer and rider in the Pan-Mass Challenge, Board Ambassador for Flying Kites as well as a Friends Council Member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. Outside of MFD and her volunteer work, Alex is an avid tennis player playing 4 years of collegiate Varsity tennis at Babson College.

 

Alex graduated from Babson college with a BS in Business.

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FRIEDMAN, EVELYN 

Executive Director, Greater Lawrence Community Action Council Inc.

 

Evelyn Friedman joined the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council Inc. as the executive director in September of 2012 with over 30 years of strong nonprofit management experience.  Evelyn has played catalytic roles in transforming challenged nonprofit organizations by applying data-driven outcomes to program development. Prior to joining GLCAC, Evelyn was the Director of the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development, under then Mayor Thomas M. Menino where she led a staff of 200 and managed a $120 million dollar-plus budget. During her time there she was instrumental in bringing $50 million in additional resources to the city to assist the redevelopment of housing, address housing foreclosures, and homelessness. From 1990 to 2008, Evelyn was the executive director of Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation located in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. She transformed the once-failing agency to one of the premier community development corporations in the region.

Evelyn also serves on the board of the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation and chairs its Investment Committee, serves on the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency Advisory Board, the Lawrence Partnership Board, and is a founding member and past president of the Neighborworks Capital Corporation.

 

She lives in Jamaica Plain and has one daughter.

 

Evelyn graduated from the University of Massachusetts and Boston College. 

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GARCIA, TOBIT 

Senior Accounting and Tax Advisor, JBS Corp

 

Tobit Garcia is a senior accounting and tax advisor, and now also a shareholder of JBS Corp. After joining the family-owned accounting and tax firm in 2016, he became inspired by the work with individuals and small businesses. Tobit joined JBS Corp in 2016 at the Lawrence office and immersed himself in the field. He learned the business’ ins-and-outs and has since dedicated his time to providing financial literacy in English and Spanish to help community members better understand tax work and accounting so that they may use these tools to grow themselves and their small businesses. In 2019 Tobit and his wife opened a social justice consulting company that aims to support organizations in developing more inclusive and equitable spaces through training and facilitation work.

 

Originally from New York City, Tobit lives in Haverhill with his wife Viviana, their son Xavi, and their dog, Shea Butta. When he does not have his accountant hat on, Tobit enjoys spending time with his family and playing basketball. Tobit is also a recording engineer and music producer and runs a recording studio on Island Street.

 

Tobit attended Fordham University in New York City where he studied international politics, economics, and law.

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HUNT, CHRIS

Executive Director, The Professional Center for Child Development

Chris has been the Executive Director of The Professional Center for Child Development since 2017. Chris has 20 years of experience in the Special Education and Early Education fields as both an educator and Administrator.  His work has included roles at The May Institute, Educational Consultants of New England, and as the Professional Development Group Manager at the Massachusetts Association of C766 Approved Private Schools (maaps). Prior to joining The Professional Center for Child Development, Chris worked for Community Teamwork in Lowell, where he was elevated to the role of Division Director, overseeing all childcare, Head Start, and youth programs. Chris currently serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee for the Massachusetts Association of Approved Private Special Education Schools (maaps); he also chairs the Professional Development Group Committee for the association. He is a member of the Fiscal Committee for Massachusetts Interagency Coordination Council for Early Intervention and is a member of the Advisory Council for the Lawrence Partnership, a public-private collaborative for economic and community development in the City of Lawrence, MA.

Chris lives in Amesbury, MA with his wife Laura Hunt (Teacher at River Valley Charter School) and children, Lydia (13) and Eva (10). In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and working on his house. He also enjoys coaching his daughter's softball team and being a member of the Amesbury Girls Youth Softball League Board of Directors. No matter the season, he enjoys spending time outside. In the winter, his favorite activity is downhill skiing and in the summer, he likes hiking and being around the water.

 

He is a graduate of Wheaton College and of Suffolk University’s Master of Public Administration program with honors. He later went on to earn certificates from Boston University (Non-Profit Management and Leadership), UCLA (Johnson and Johnson Head Start Fellow program, 2014) and Lowell’s Public Matters Program (2015).

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LEEN, MARTHA

Director of Community Programs and Area Agency Planner for Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore

Martha Leen has over 25 years’ experience in nonprofit management, project development, implementation and evaluation, and grant writing in sectors including education, child welfare, and aging services. Currently, Martha serves as Director of Community Programs and Area Agency Planner for Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore, a position she has held since 2019. In this role, she oversees a range of programs and services for older adults, adults with disabilities, and their caregivers throughout the agency’s 28-community service area. Programs include supportive housing, food security, Medicare benefit counseling, family caregiver support, transportation, and outreach. She also serves on the Advisory Council for the Mayor’s Health Task Force for the City of Lawrence, the Elder Services Task Force in Andover, and is an officer for the General Charitable Society of Newburyport. 

Having had ties to the Merrimack Valley for her entire life, Martha now lives in Newburyport with her three children, Isabella, Harry, and Lila.  Martha’s interests include hiking, gardening, board games, and throwing parties in her 200-year-old barn.

She has a B.A. from Smith College and a M.Ed. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

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LUZON, WENDY

Founder & CEO, CASABE Fruit Store and Delicatessen, Co-Owner, A&J Demolition Services

 

Wendy is a community activist having focused primarily on women’s rights for over 20 years; working tirelessly towards the elimination of domestic violence and sexual assault. Her passion began at a young age and led her to a position at The Women’s Resource Center in 2001, as a resource for children that were sexually assaulted, and their families. In 2004, she joined the YWCA of Haverhill at the Women’s Resource Center as a Family Advocate for the Domestic Violence Program. Later that year she was promoted to Shelter Director of the program. Through this position Wendy worked to ensure domestic and sexual violence against women members of the faith community.

 In 2014 Wendy went to work for Dan Rivera former Mayor of City of Lawrence as a Neighborhood Planner, working as the liaison between the Mayor and the neighborhoods represented throughout the city. Currently, she works at Masshire MVCC as an Outreach Specialist helping connect low and no-income residents to available positions in Lawrence and neighboring communities.

 

Along with her day jobs Wendy has worked tirelessly in the non-profit sector including board positions for Casa Dominicano, Desfile Dominicano, Youth Development Organization, Beyond Soccer, Beyond Volley and co-founder of Festival de Teatro of Lawrence. In 2006 she was appointed to the Human Rights Commission by Mayor Sullivan and appointed again in 2020 by Mayor Vasquez. Along with this she became a founding member of the Financial Literacy Association, Northern Essex Latin American Club “NELAC and 2003 Co-founded Delamano Inc., a non-profit organization that serves as an emergency service network for domestic violence victims in the Greater Lawrence area.

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MANOSKI, MONICA

Executive Director of the Essex Art Center

 

Monica Lynn Manoski is the Executive Director of the Essex Art Center (EAC) in Lawrence, MA. She joined the team in January 2021, immediately launching several community-focused initiatives. Under her direction, EAC is working to serve the residents of Lawrence more fully while becoming an incubator and launch pad for the region's diverse pool of talented artists. Monica has spent her career creating access to art and educational opportunities. Before joining EAC, she worked as an educator and fundraiser for several non-profit organizations, including Teach For America in Chicago and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Monica currently lives in Boston and is moving to Lawrence this summer with her husband, TJ. Monica is a certified Master Reiki practitioner and enjoys doing yoga, writing poetry, and spending time with family. Her first collection of poetry—sisters in this ritual—was published in 2020.

 

Monica earned a BFA in Drawing and Painting from Arizona State University (2010), an MFA in Studio Art from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (2013), and an MSEd in Early Childhood Education from Dominican University (2016).

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MARTINEZ, GLADYS

Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager at Reading Cooperative Bank

Gladys Martinez is an Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager at Reading Cooperative Bank, where she specializes in Business Development. She has over thirty-three years of experience in the financial and banking services field. Her passion and energy to improve financial confidence in others has led her to work on several initiatives in the city. She was active in the Bank’s human centered design work that brought Reading Cooperative Bank to the City of Lawrence and has helped the bank better understand the market.  She played a key role in developing and leading the financial literacy efforts at the Lawrence High School.  Gladys has worked throughout the Merrimack Valley and is extremely knowledgeable about the needs of the Lawrence and the Greater Merrimack Valley markets.

Gladys serves as a member of Lawrence Kiwanis Club. Kiwanis offers an opportunity for personal involvement in the leadership and improvement of community, nation, and world.  She has served on the board of the Lowell Association for the Blind and 6 years on the board of the Pregnancy Care Center. In 2017 Gladys was awarded the Community Bank Heroes award by Banker and Tradesman for her work in financial Literacy in Lawrence. Gladys lives in Haverhill with her husband Jose, and her three children Nicholas, Mathieu and Destiny. In her spare time Gladys enjoys walking her puppy Sadie, gardening, and Spin Class.

 

Gladys graduated from the Northern Essex Community College, with an associate degree in Business Administration.

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MOHIKA, ROSELEE 

Director of Enrichment Programs, The Community Group in Lawrence, MA.

 

Roselee Mohika currently serves as Director of Enrichment Programs for The Community Group (TCG). At TCG, Roselee has implemented and consistently upheld policy standards that guarantee students in out-of-school time programs have equal access to educational enrichment programming, while maintaining high standards for health and safety. Prior to starting at TCG in 2017, Roselee held multiple operations-based roles within UP Education Network schools in Boston and Lawrence. Roselee is passionate about helping to enrich the lives of youth in the Merrimack Valley. As a board member for Foster Kids of the Merrimack Valley, Roselee has helped broaden the organization's outreach efforts by implementing new operational systems for events. Roselee is a volunteer for the Cummings Foundation Site Visit Committee where she has fostered relationships with Cummings Foundation grant winners and evaluated the results of the foundation’s investments through site visits to organizations in Essex County.

 

Roselee grew up in Lawrence, MA and returned to the city just after graduating from college. She still resides in Lawrence, MA with her fiancé Rhandy, who is the Head Football Coach at Lawrence High School, and their daughter, Aurielle (1). Roselee is happiest when she’s spending time outside, or at the stadium, with her family.

 

Roselee graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT with a BA in Psychology and Science in Society. Roselee is a graduate of Community Inroads’ Cultural Inclusion Program and received a certificate of Non-Profit Board Governance from Northern Essex Community College.

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O'NEIL, JESSICA

Chief Executive Officer, New England Neurological Associates, P.C. 

JESSICA O’NEIL is an executive leader focused on cultivating collaborative relationships with healthcare providers and organizations, together assuring accessibility to high-quality affordable care for patients.  For greater than fifteen years, Jess has worked in multiple facets of healthcare – all centralized in the Merrimack Valley.  Prior to her current role, Jessica’s healthcare experience spanned healthcare informatics, primary care practice management, surgical specialty practice management, site operations directorship at a Federally Qualified Health Center and non-profit hospital administration.  As CEO at New England Neurological Associates, one of the largest neuroscience medical groups in the East, Jess has oversight of day-to-day operations providing visionary leadership inspiring high levels of performance in the delivery of healthcare and business and operational administration.  In her previous role as Executive Director of Physician and Ambulatory Services at Lawrence General Hospital, Jessica was responsible for clinical operations of primary and specialty care, outpatient rehab, physician recruitment, and most recently, oversight of large-scale COVID testing and vaccine sites.  Jess and her husband volunteer providing spiritual enrichment, parenting and marriage support for young families.  Jessica is also a band leader vocalist and keyboardist at her local church in Nashua, NH.  The energy gained through involvement with the local faith community drives the passion Jessica brings to her work.  

Local to the Merrimack Valley of Mass, Jessica and her husband Greg now reside in southern NH with their three children.

Jessica completed a Bachelor’s in Business Management in 2003 and Master’s in Health Administration in 2018, both from UMass Lowell. 

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ORTIZ, ISIS

Vice President, Eastern Bank and President, ALPFA Boston

Isis Ortiz is a Vice President, Portfolio Manager at Eastern Bank where she manages a portfolio of commercial banking relationships with a broad array of middle market and security alarm companies. Prior to joining Eastern, Isis was Vice President, Portfolio Manager at Citizen’s Bank independently managing over 30 middle market client relationships in the public and private sectors. She has held positions at Santander Bank as a Credit Officer and at John Hancock Financial Services within their Bond and Corporate Finance Group. Her career began in the non-profit sector at ACCION International. Isis is an active community leader and diversity, equity, and inclusion champion. She’s a strong advocate for the education and financial literacy of minority students and the rights of women, BIPOC and those identifying as LGBTQ+. Isis is the President for the Boston chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (“ALPFA”), the first and largest Latino professional association in the United States currently serving over 95,000 professional and student members across the country and Puerto Rico. She sits on the Board of Trustees for Phoenix Charter Academy Network, a portfolio of high schools focused on older, disconnected, and underserved students; and she is a member of the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club Advisory Council.  Isis is a recipient of the 2014 McCallum Leadership Scholar Award, a 2018 Latinos for Education Board Fellow, and a member of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce 2021 Boston Future Leaders cohort.

Originally from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Isis lives with her wife, Latasha, in Lawrence, MA. In her free time she enjoys spending quality time with her nieces and nephews and trying out new restaurants.

 

Isis holds a B.A. in Mathematics and a B.A. in Business Management from Emmanuel College, a Master of Science in Finance from the New England Institute of Business at Cambridge College, and a Master of Business Administration from Bentley University.

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QUEZADA, RAMON 

Co-Founder and Director of Business Development Enviro Staffing Solutions, Corp D. B. A Labor On Site 

Ramon Quezada is the Co-Founder and the current Director of Business Development for Enviro Staffing Solutions Corp. D.B.A Labor On Site (LOS). LOS is a mid-sized human resource management firm that now has over $10 Million in yearly gross revenues. Under Ramon’s leadership, LOS has obtained many federal and state certifications such as 8(a), MA-MBE, FL DOT, HUBZone and the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council. Most recently, he and the LOS management team participated in the Business Equity Initiative (Cohort V) to answer some of the most pressing challenges facing the LOS and to help develop and implement its strategic growth plan. Ramon recently entered the real estate market by acquiring several investment properties. In his spare time, he is active in nurturing his passion towards the city of Lawrence. He is hands-on in helping groups that foster new entrepreneurs to provide the right climate in support of tangible growth. Furthermore, he works in close collaboration with many local businesses. In doing so, he can support his community in offering higher wages to reach the American Dream. He is currently serving in The Lawrence Partnership Board its sub committees.

 

Originally from the Dominican Republic, he resides in Lawrence with his wife Estefany and daughter Shanelly. In his spare time, Ramon relishes in playing basketball, bike riding, and being pro-active within community service.

 

Ramon graduated from Lawrence High School and went on to Middlesex Community College to pursue his degree in International Business. In addition, Ramon continues to participate in various local business programs/seminars to further support his advancement in Business Management.

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RODRIGUEZ, ALEX 

Director of Northern Essex Community College’s Center for Corporate and Community Education

Alex Rodriguez is the Director of Northern Essex Community College’s Center for Corporate and Community Education.  Alex joined NECC in September of 2020 and is responsible for leading and driving education and training programs for corporate and noncredit audiences. A Texas native, Alex has been teaching strategy and marketing at local colleges, including Lesley University, UMass Boston, and Newbury College for the past seven years in addition to running his own consulting practice.  He previously worked for the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) a Boston economic development organization founded by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter that focuses on driving economic growth within distressed urban communities.  At ICIC, Alex ran the Inner City 100, the organization’s flagship program that recognizes the 100 fastest-growing inner city firms in the United States and provides them with the necessary management education resources to help their CEO’s continue to grow their firms. Under his leadership, he consistently grew ICIC’s network of new firms and partner organizations to include Members of Congress, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, chambers of commerce, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.  He also worked in various marketing and business development roles for software companies, including Constant Contact, as well as in the United States Senate.

 

Alex moved to New England thirteen years ago with his wife, Katie, and lives in Melrose, Massachusetts. The couple has two children, Charlie, 6, and Sam, 3.  Alex enjoys fishing and travelling to relatively obscure geographies to attend college football games when he is not coaching tee ball and spending time with his family.

Alex holds a Doctorate of Business Administration from the University of the Incarnate Word where his research centered on quantitative methods to assess student satisfaction for consolidated offerings in higher education.  He also holds a bachelor's in political science and an MBA from Texas Christian University.

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SANCHEZ, ANEXIS 

Assistant Vice President – Member Contact Center, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union

Anexis Sanchez is the Assistant Vice President – Member Contact Center at Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, a not-for-profit member-owned financial institution based in Lowell, Massachusetts that was founded in 1912. As the AVP – Member Contact Center, Anexis oversees a team of 25 that respond to all inbound, digital, and outbound communication made to the Credit Union. Anexis started at the Credit Union in 2010 as Member Service Representative and for the last 11 years working her way up to her current role. She is active in the community, serving as the treasurer of a local church, and volunteers her time for local nonprofits such as the Boys and Girls Club.


Anexis lives in Lowell with her husband, Jesus, and their three children, Brandon, Bronson, and Layla. In her spare time, Anexis enjoys taking spin classes and reading.

 

Anexis graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a BA in Business Administration.

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SILVA, ANDRES

Executive Director, EparaTodos Lawrence 

 

Andres is the Executive Director of EparaTodos Lawrence which is part of the EforAll network. He has been part of the EforAll family since 2016, working as Program Manager first and now in his new role since October 2020. Andres is responsible for the day-to-day operations, leading the organization’s development efforts, directing the work of professional staff, and serving as the primary spokesperson for EparaTodos Lawrence. Before EparaTodos, Andres coordinated the medical interpreters at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for almost 8 years. Before that job, he was a senior loan officer at Ascendus (formerly known as Accion - a microlending institution) for the New England region. In 2019, Andres served as a member of the Leadership Team at Breen School in Lawrence and he is also a board member of Community InRoads in North Andover since 2019.

Andres has lived with his wife Kristin and three daughters Valeria, Maya and Ilana in Windham, NH since the summer of 2020 after living in Lawrence for 6 years. Andres enjoys watching soccer, hiking, gardening, and spending time with the family. He is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and strengthening the Hispanic community.

 

Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Andres moved to the USA in 2000 to learn English after earning an associate degree in Business Administration and Finance from Universidad Politécnico Grancolombiano. Andres also has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with a Business Minor from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

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SILVERIO, EVAN

Owner, Silverio Insurance

 

Evan Silverio is the owner of Silverio Insurance. Born to Julia and Jose Silverio, Evan Silverio attended St. Mary Grammar school and Central Catholic High School (Class of ’98) in Lawrence, MA. He began working as a loan officer with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage after his college graduation. Four years later and while continuing to work as a loan officer, Evan joined his family’s business as a licensed Property and Casualty insurance agent. In 2009, Evan created Diverse Real Estate LLC: an entity used to buy, repair, sell and rent real estate property.  Over the years, Evan managed to more than quadruple the insurance agency’s book of business while at the same time purchasing over 90 properties as a real estate investor.  Evan also expanded the agency by adding another location in Haverhill, MA in 2018.  In December of 2019 Evan purchased the agency from his parents and took over as President/CEO.  In January of 2020, Evan also purchased the reputable Woodcome Insurance Agency out of Leominster, MA. Outside of his career, community service has always been high on Evan’s list of priorities.  Dedicating time and donating money to non-profits and charitable events has always been common practice by Evan and his family.  In 2001, He co-founded The BEYOND Scholarship fund that assisted with financial burdens for students looking to get into private high schools.  The fund has awarded nearly $50,000 in scholarships.  Evan served 3 years as the Chair of the Lawrence Redevelopment Authority and is currently on the Executive Committee of the Lawrence Partnership.

 

Evan now lives in Salem, NH and is married to Cary Martinez Silverio and is proud father of Adeline Aura Silverio (3 years old).  He enjoys traveling when he can, trying new foods, and spending time with friends and family. 

He graduated from Wheaton College Norton, MA (Class of 2003) with a bachelor’s degree in economics.

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SOO HOO, CLAUDIA

Chief Operating Officer, Merrimack Valley YMCA.

Claudia is the COO of the Merrimack Valley YMCA.  She has been working at the Y for nearly two decades, but has been part of the Merrimack Valley YMCA as a member, program enthusiast, and camper since she was a young girl.  In her tenure at the Y, she has overseen aquatics, youth and teen programming, day camp, overnight camp, diversity, inclusion, and global work, and branch operations.  Today her portfolio includes the association marketing and philanthropy efforts, the Andover/North Andover YMCA, Camp and Childcare, the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity work, as well as the day to day operations of the Merrimack Valley YMCA.  She is the President Elect of the Andover Rotary Club, sits on the North Andover Youth Center Board, and sits on the Ironstone Farm Challenge Unlimited Board.  Claudia sits on the national YMCA of the USA Diversity, Inclusion, Global, and Multicultural Leadership Council and is the Vice Chair on the national Y steering committee for the Asian Pacific Islander Leadership Network.

 

Claudia currently lives in North Andover with her husband, Ben, and her two children, Callie (11) and Ryan (8).  In her spare time she enjoys running, skiing, golfing, swimming, cooking, and reading.  However, her favorite pastime is cheering, coaching, and volunteering in her kid's schools, sports, and other activities.  This October she is running her first Boston Marathon.

 

Claudia has her Bachelors of Science degree in Crime, Law, and Justice and a minor in Sociology from the Pennsylvania State University.  In her tenure at the YMCA, she has completed several professional development opportunities specifically for staff of color, including Multicultural Executive Career Advancement (MECA) and Multicultural Executive Development Institute (MEDI).