Board of Directors

Please consider joining our Board!

pina_headshotRosa Piña – President / Board Development * Executive

Born and raised in Venezuela by Dominican parents, Rosa came to live in the U.S. in her teens. After living in Lawrence for 10 years and working closely with the community at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC), Rosa moved to Florida where she was involved in working with the underprivileged Spanish population. She became a spokesperson for the Healthy Start Coalition of South West Florida, promoting health and safety on local TV programs. Rosa has a long history of participating in numerous charitable programs, fundraisers, and non-profit organizations such as the United Way, and has worked closely with the local health department. She returned to Lawrence after 11 years and has re-integrated herself into the city. In December 2011 Rosa was sworn in as a Committee Member of Semana Hispana (Hispanic Week), an event with 34 years of tradition that celebrates Lawrence’s Latino heritage and culture.

Rosa sees LCW as one of the most solid and finest organizations in our community. In her own words, “LCW is an excellent recipe for what the community of Lawrence needs” and I want to be part of all the positive things that LCW does. Rosa has a Bachelors degree in Health Science from Hodges University and graduated from the Greater Lowell Vocational School in Tyngsboro, MA, as a Registered Medical Assistant.

Sarah Perez – Vice President * Executive

I was born in Santo Domingo Dominican Republic. I am the second of four siblings. I moved to MA when I finished my high school in D.R. A short time later I had my oldest son Danny. I went to Cosmetology School at Lowell Hairstyling Academy and graduated in 1992. I worked for a few years as a hairdresser and had my second son Michael. I needed a stable income, a job with benefits to support my two boys because I was a single mother at this point. I found a job at a nursing home as a kitchen aide and later became a housekeeper. This job gave me the stability I needed to return to school. In 1998 I graduated from NECC with an LPN degree. Years later I did my Associates in Nursing and my BSN.  I was a critical care nurse until 2012 when a work-related injured made me change my career path.

I serve on the Board of LCW because I believe that with the right resources, motivation and persistence every Lawrence resident will have the opportunity to succeed and exceed his/her expectations. With the opportunity to represent my community I strive to be their voices and fight in their favor. My new career as a financial professional gave me the opportunity to help many families in the Merrimack Valley Area by protecting their assets and planning for their future.

grotton_headshotPatrick Grotton – Board Treasurer / Finance Committee * IT Committee

Patrick is the Chief Information Officer for Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, a partner and an important Lawrence institution, where he has worked since 2004. Patrick holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Maine at Orono and an MBA from Babson College.

 

Maria Fina – Assistant Treasurer / Finance Committee

 

 

 

 

cook_headshotCindy Cook – Clerk / Strategic Planning * Board Development * FAB Committee

I have been teaching English to Speakers of Other languages in Lawrence for 20 + years at the Adult Learning Center, at Northern Essex, at the International Institute and at Polartec (Malden Mills).  A learner in one of my classes told me about Lawrence CommunityWorks and invited me to an evening meet and greet program.  I liked the friendly people with new ideas for Lawrence.  I found that I could practice my Spanish and nobody laughed.

Later, I was invited to design a program for LCW member guides. It was a collaborative effort, with staff and member guides participating in the design, the classes and the evaluation.  From the guides’ presentations in class, I learned about LCW programs and philosophy.  Soon, I was bringing my own classes to LCW to learn about Individual Development Accounts and Wallet Wise, Movement City for their children and Network Organizing for civic participation.

As a Board member, I believe that people in Lawrence and surrounding towns can enrich each other’s lives by working together on common goals, learning from each other and sharing dreams.

MariaNaterawebsiteMaria Natera – Assistant Clerk

Maria became an active member of Lawrence CommunityWorks 7 years ago.  She was a Weaver for a year and Lead Weaver the following year. She attended several workshops including Wallet Wise and First Time Home Buyer.  She participated in the Yes We Will Campaign, Lawrence Save Committee as well as the design Team for the Lawrence Saves Campaign. She served as a Neighbor Circle Facilitator and participated in the pilot Leading Circle.  She is a Healthy Living Workshop facilitator for the IDA and Home Safe: Post-Purchase program. She joined the team at Groundwork Lawrence as a LISC AmeriCorps member in September 2010 and became the Healthy Living Programs Manager in 2012. Originally from the Dominican Republic, she moved to New York in 1993 and six years later to Lawrence, where she received her Associate’s degree in Psychology and Social Work from Northern Essex Community College and then completed a B.S. in Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Maria says, “I am a proud daughter of a great mom and woman name Iris, and a proud mom of a wonderful son named Sixto who is my miracle. I am a fortune woman and that’s why I thank God every day for all that he has been giving me. For that reason, I love to share with my community a little bit of what I have received.”

armand-hyattArmand Hyatt, Esq – Pro bono Board General Counsel / Real Estate Development Committee * Union Crossing Committee * Executive

Armand is one of the Founders of LCW and served on the Board since 1986! Armand’s contributions over the years as Pro Bono Legal Counsel, Past Board President, Vice President and Clerk, Chair of the Real Estate Development Committee are incalculable and probably unmatched in the annals of community development in Massachusetts. In addition to countless hours of strategic and tactical advice and work to advance LCW’s Real Estate efforts, Armand is diligent in representing LCW (and often some of its members) in legal issues of all kinds. Armand was born in Lawrence and his family Law practice has been in Lawrence for many decades. In the early 80’s Armand was one of only a handful of affordable housing activists who fought for and won the development rights to a large urban renewal parcel (See LCW History). In addition to his commitment at LCW, Armand is a coach in the Amesbury Youth Rotary Basketball League, Holy Family Parish; St. Basil’s Salvatoran Center and is a Big Brother.

Peter CPeterole –  Strategic Planning Committee *  Executive * IT Committee

Peter joined the board in 1997 and most recently held the Board President position. In the past, Peter served on the Executive Committee as the Board Clerk for 4 years and as the Vice President for 2 years. Peter has been employed at Lawrence General Hospital for 43 years and currently is a Quality Review Analyst. Lawrence General Hospital is Lawrence’s largest employer and a close partner of LCW.  Now a resident of Atkinson NH, Peter has served on the Development, Finance and Executive Committees. In addition to his commitment to LCW, Peter serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors and a Board Member of the RTN Credit Union (another LCW partner) and continues on the Board of Directors as Past- President of the New England Emergency Medical ServicesCorporation Inc.

perrault_headshotDenise Perrault – Board Member / Yes We Will * Board Development * Finance Committee * Events Committee for the Annual Meeting

Ms. Perrault has been heavily involved in community service through different initiatives and organizations such as Lawrence CommunityWorks, Katrina relief services in New Orleans, the National Organization for Women, League of Women Voters, Secretary for the African Student Union at UMass Boston.

Perrault regularly advocates for those who need help and the less fortunate making it a priority to correct injustices whether it be calling executive-level people in Washington, stakeholders, or lawmakers to change laws, or helping a friend or a stranger as a court advocate.

Ms. Perrault attended Northern Essex Community College receiving her Associates Degree, as Medical Executive Secretary, and also attending the Liberal Arts Legal Option program. She then transferred to the University of Massachusetts, Boston to the Legal Education program and graduated in May 2015.  Perrault also attended the graduate certificate program, at the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy. Her longtime goal is to see better policies and laws written surrounding women in poverty and low-income issues (including housing). My intent is to continue volunteering, bringing new members to LCW and Movement City, and to remain involved and engaged in the community of Lawrence and with stakeholders and elected officials to “Make Lawrence Better”.

osvaldosalomonOsvaldo Salomon – Board Member

In 2009 Osvaldo moved to the city of Lawrence.  He started as a volunteer at LCW, then became a facilitator, later a weaver, and finally, he became an employee of the organization in 2013.  In 2015 he left LCW and joined the corporate accounting department of a Manchester software company.

Prior to moving to Lawrence, Massachusetts, he lived in the city of Tampa, Florida where he graduated from the Florida Metropolitan University with a B.S. in Accounting.  Also, he lived in the city of Nashua, New Hampshire for fourteen years where he graduated from Daniel Webster College with a B.S. in Management and Information Technology.  While living in Nashua he was the treasurer of the “Asociacion Dominicana de Nashua”, and a participant and a co-producer of the community TV program, “Nashua Latina”.

For many years Osvaldo has advocated for affordable housing, social issues, and education. Those are the reasons why he became actively involved with Lawrence CommunityWorks and now joins the organization as a board member.

Kevin Blanchette PHOTOKevin Blanchette – Board Member

Born and raised in Lawrence, Kevin has a strong connection to the city. This community played a huge role in shaping him into the person he is today. For this reason, he holds a deep purpose to use his knowledge and talents to help the city progress forward. In 2014 he started volunteering with Groundwork Lawrence, by creating maps and assessing the health of trees in the city. This soon led to an AmeriCorps position at Groundwork, and ultimately a position as Project Coordinator there. He now also enjoys engaging the community in the parks in Lawrence; helping to beautify the city. In the same year, he started working with Groundwork, a friend led him into volunteering with Lawrence Community Works. He quickly felt a deep appreciation for their work, and a strong desire to help. Starting as an ESL tutor, the community at LCW warmly embraced him, which encouraged him to become a member. As a member of the Mill City Toastmasters, 2015 PODER class, and 2015-2016 MCLI class, he is continually learning how to be a better leader in the community and is using those experiences to help him become a better volunteer. He thoroughly enjoys planning community events with Groundwork and LCW, as well as engaging with people at these events. He also has a passion for public speaking, which he likes sharing with others, particularly the youth at Movement City and the Groundwork Lawrence Green Team. The work Kevin does in Lawrence, as a professional and as a community member, satisfies his desire to give back to his home, as well as motivates him to move forward with his community.

JonathanMachado_EB14_2094_3x3Jonathan Machado – Board Member

I am a Commercial Lending Bank Officer with Enterprise Bank. Born and raised in the City of Lawrence to immigrant parents of Portuguese descent, I went to Lawrence Public Schools before attending Central Catholic High School. After high school, I achieved a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration concentrating in finance and minoring in Spanish from Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. In the fall of 2015, I received a leadership scholarship from Suffolk University and began pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration. Additionally, I was named one of the 40 under 40 by the North of Boston Business Magazine.

I, like many, believe Lawrence is truly being revitalized through the combined efforts from the general community and organizations such as LCW. I vow to work diligently for the organization and the City of which it serves by pulling from my background and the network of trusted advisors I have surrounding me at Enterprise Bank.

LeninTejada2016Lenin Tejada – Board Member

I was born and raised in the province of San José de Ocoa, in the south of the Dominican Republic. When I was eighteen years old, I emigrated to the United States with my family, where I experienced adversities that an immigrant could feel identified with. However, I knew that adversities can only stop someone when the adversities are larger than the desire to grow as a person, and consequently as a productive member of society. I believe in the power of the we, and recognize that in order for that power to reach its full potential, it starts with the commitment and dedication of the I. I believe that providing guidance and empowering people with the relevant resources, it’s an essential part of a community development. That is exactly what Lawrence CommunityWorks provided for me. I had the opportunity to get involved with LCW years before I called Lawrence home. I was a volunteer and even though I haven’t been an active volunteer for a while, I still get invitations to different events. This tells me that as an organization, LCW values the time and commitment of its volunteers, and one of the hardest things to do, volunteer retention. A few years ago, I got to know LCW on a different level. This time was through the First-Time Home Ownership program where it equipped me with valuable information on the home buying process.

But my connection to LCW didn’t stop there. I had the opportunity to be part of the Leadership Institute PODER in 2014. It takes effort and research to identify what is needed in a community, and I feel that Lawrence CommunityWorks can successfully do that, and as equally important, implementing a project and sustaining it.

God has blessed me with the opportunity to live in Lawrence for over four years now. During that period, I’ve been involved in my community as a church member, as Northern Essex Community College employee for almost 10 years, and as a board member/volunteer. My faith is very important to me, and as a believer, I’m called to not only pray for my city with a willing heart but also to serve the people with a joyful attitude.

James Barnes – Board Member – new in 2017

Jim Barnes encountered LCW for the first time in 2002 when he represented the U. S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development at the celebration for the completion and occupancy of one of the Summer Street homes. The energy of the staff and joy of the new homeowner left a lasting impression, and he is proud to note there is a news photo of that event hanging in the LCW kitchen. Fast-forward 6 years, and Jim was the new Community Development Director for the City of Lawrence. From 2009 to 2012 Jim worked tirelessly with the LCW development team on the very complex Union Crossing Phase One development.  Jim brings his experience in public administration and grants management to the LCW board after 36 years at HUD and 8 years with the City of Lawrence. Jim started his HUD career in the Milwaukee office and held leadership positions in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston. Jim started his housing career as a VISTA Volunteer in a housing counseling agency on the north side of Milwaukee in 1969. He is a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, and he received his MBA from De Paul University in Chicago.

Giraida Perez Gutierrez – Board Member – new in 2017

My name is Giraida Perez Gutierrez and I am a Dominican – American woman born in Bronx, NY.  I come from an immigrant family that migrated to the United States in the late 60’s. I became a part of the Lawrence community in 1988 when I moved to Massachusetts from New York. Since then,  I have grown into a hardworking wife and mother of two beautiful children.

For the past 20 years, I have specialized in customer service for several agencies and organizations. I pride myself on my ability to serve and understand people from all walks of life. I have also been a coach for the Mount Vernon South Lawrence West Baseball League for about 10 years. I am currently a certified Medical Interpreter and a student at Northern Essex Community College, working to further my education and career.

In the year 2000, I became involved with Hope Street Youth Center when one of my siblings became a member. I remained involved with the program throughout the years as a family support and volunteer.  My family and I have been a part of the Lawrence CommunityWorks family since their merger with Hope Street in 2002. With my son as a current member of Movement City Youth Center, I am proud to say that LCW continues to support my family throughout the generations. We have watched the organization develop and mobilize the city of Lawrence beyond serving just our youth. I am extremely excited and humbled to be considered for the board of such an amazing organization.

 Jacoba Olivero – Board Member – new in 2017

I was born in La Isabella, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic in 1953. At an early age, I knew I wanted to work with people. I studied education and psychology at the local University and began working as a teacher in the late 1970’s. Shortly after being married in 1977 I became pregnant with my daughter Cesarina and was unable to finish my degree. In 1982 I immigrated to the United States. When I moved, I did not know any English and moved to a country and a city where I did not know anyone besides my husband’s brothers. We lived in a small apartment in Lawrence and life was difficult during this time because I could not communicate with anyone.

After a few years, I decided that I needed to do more for myself and my family. I began taking English classes at Northern Essex Community College and soon was able to find a job as a housekeeper with a big company and through hard work, I eventually became a manager. Life was hard and often I needed to work more than one job just to get by. In 1983 my son Leuvis was born and I knew that I had to work very hard to take care of my children. Working allowed me the opportunity to meet new people and make friends.

From the beginning, I knew that in order to succeed my children needed to have a good education, I instilled in them the idea that through hard work and effort all things are possible. I also taught them to love, respect and help those in need in our community both in the United States and in the Dominican Republic.

In 2010 I participated in a program offered by LCW. I saw people who were like me when I first arrived; new to this city, with no knowledge of English and in need of guidance and social support. I felt as though I had so much to offer my community and this was my opportunity to fulfil my lifelong dream to do social work and help my community.

Volunteering at LCW brings me such joy and has given me a purpose. I am now a full-time student at NECC studying English and on the road to becoming a councilor. LCW has offered me the opportunity to connect with my community and taught me how to be an active member of my community that can promote change and make Lawrence a better city. But also, has allowed me to be a link in the chain of a network of people helping other people. I am very grateful for the opportunity to help people in my community through all of the good work that LCW does.

 

Advisory Board Members

Carmen Carrion – Asset Building Committee * Union Crossing Committee

Carmen, a long time Lawrence resident joined the board in 2003. A graduate of Emmanuel College, Carmen is now the Director of Advance Services for Comcast. Since joining the Board, Carmen has been active in the Family Asset Building Committee and the Union Crossing Design Team. Her principal contribution however has been as the co-founder of Girl’s Corner, a project focused on providing guidance and support to 10 year old girls in the Network. In addition to her time at LCW, Carmen is active in the group Women in Cable Television and serves on the Notre Dame High School Parent Committee.

Francis Hyatt – Fund Development * Union Crossing Committee

Francis is Senior Vice President of Human Reources at Liberty Mutual.  Francis grew up in Lawrence and is very passionate about connecting effective community development strategies to the resources they need to succeed.

Bill Traynor – Fund Development * Network Organizing
Bill is the former Executive Director of LCW and a nationally known community development consultant specializing in resident engagement and comprehensive community revitalization.  He led LCW through an organizational rebirth and tremendous period of accomplishment and growth, and is now spreading the lessons learned in Lawrence throughout the field.  He is still regularly present at LCW, spending an average of four days a month consulting with staff on special projects.

Linda Ulisse – Property & Asset Management Committee * Union Crossing Committee

Linda Joined the LCW Board in 2005. A professional Property Manager, specializing in senior and assisted living housing, Linda heads LCW’s Property and Asset Management Committee. She is also active on the Union Crossing Design Team and participated in LCW’s first Spanish Class for non-Spanish speakers. Linda is a long time resident of Lawrence and a member of St. Monica’s Parish. She is a member of the National Affordable Housing Professionals Association and is a Certified Professional of Occupancy.

Charlie Wibiralske – Fund Development

Charlie has ample experience in the Boston nonprofit, community development, and philanthropic sectors, as well as a background in corporate finance.  He marries this with a passionate interest in Boston and Merrimack Valley history, and has been instrumental in connecting LCW to potential allies and resources.

Ana Rodriguez

Ana joined the board in 2001 and served as Board Vice President and Board President from 2002-2006. Ana is long time Lawrence resident and activist and works as a Social Worker at the Mass Department of Mental Health. She has been instrumental over the years in supporting and advancing the development of the Lawrence Public Library, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, and Cambridge College and was part of the Right Question Project at its inception. She also serves on the District B Democratic Committee. At LCW she has been instrumental in the Executive Committee and the Real Estate Development Committee.