Board of Directors
The Neighborhood Developers’ Board of Directors is composed of residents of the communities we work in and individuals who bring expertise and professional knowledge related to our mission to build great neighborhoods.
Neighborhood Organizer with Revere on the Move, City of Revere
Vice President at Boston Private Bank and Trust Co
Training Director at North Suffolk Mental Health Association and Revere Resident
Director, Morrison Consulting
Teacher at Malden Public Schools
Director of Sales at the Residence Inn Boston
Charlene Bauer, President
Senior Vice President of Business Development and Community Relations, Metro Credit Union
Vice President, The Education Resources Institute
Michael Martin, Treasurer
Executive Vice President of Wingate Management Company
William H “Tuck” Willis
Associate Provost at Bunker Hill Community College
Executive Director for the Revere Chamber of Commerce
The Neighborhood Developers Staff
Ann Houston, Executive Director
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Since 2004 Ann Houston has served as Executive Director of The Neighborhood Developers, an organization that builds vibrant and sustainable communities using integrated investment strategies. Over the past decade, TND completed over $85 million of real estate development, and it engages over 1,600 members annually and, through CONNECT, a partnership of five co-located non-profits, provides financial education and workforce development services to 4,000 clients annually. Ann serves on NeighborWorks America’s national Real Estate Advisory Committee and its Community Stabilization Committee on the board of MHIC (a New England CDFI lender and investor), the state-wide Citizen’s Housing and Planning Association, and Massachusetts General Hospital’s newly formed Executive Committee on Community Health
Real Estate Development
Director of Real Estate Development
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I began working for The Neighborhood Developers’ Real Estate Department in June 2011, and have been impressed by the people and places of Chelsea and Revere ever since. Since joining TND, I have managed several of our new construction developments, providing new homes for families and seniors. The work is consistently satisfying and challenging, revealing that there is always a new goal to set, new puzzle to solve and new skill to learn. I hold a master’s degree in urban planning from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College. In my spare time, I like to write music, play tennis, garden, and search the stacks at record and book stores. I live in Roxbury with my wife.
Associate Project Manager
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I joined TND in September 2015 after completing my M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University. While at Tufts I focused on housing and community development, and interned with Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) and the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC). I grew up outside Philadelphia and attended Trinity College in Hartford, CT. After college I worked on a political campaign in Maine and spent four years working in politics and policy in Washington D.C. before moving to Massachusetts. I am excited to apply all that I learned through these experiences in my role in real estate development at TND, and am eager to learn from TND’s talented and dedicated team. I am particularly inspired by the way TND brings together affordable housing development, community engagement, and asset building to empower residents and build vibrant, sustainable neighborhoods.
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I joined TND in spring 2015, after spending five years as a Senior Project Manager at Metro West Collaborative Development. Prior to that, I spent five years developing affordable housing at WATCH CDC. A graduate of Brandeis University, I’m passionate about creating high-quality, healthy, safe and affordable homes as a way to strengthen communities and provide individuals and families the stability needed to take advantage of other opportunities. I’m excited to be part of an organization that takes a comprehensive approach to community building by combining high-quality real estate development with community engagement and asset development.
CONNECT and Financial Capabilities
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Stefanie has over ten years of experience in program design, program implementation, policy analysis, research, and advocacy for public and nonprofit organizations, primarily in the areas of housing, transportation, sustainable economic development, and disaster recovery. She worked for a DC-area consulting firm for close to eight years before joining a Chicago think tank in 2010. Prior to assuming leadership of the CONNECT Program in Summer 2015, Stefanie served as its Program Evaluation Manager. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning from the Woodrow Wilson School and a B.S. in Economics., and recently became the mother of twin boys.
Lead Financial Coach
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I consider myself a “citizen of the world” having lived in France, Germany, London, Kenya and the US, so I immediately felt at home working at CONNECT where there are so many staff and clients from different cultures and nationalities. I strive to live by my missionary grandparents’ motto: “to make a positive difference in the world and have fun doing it”. My formal education includes a B.A. from Barnard College (majoring in Education and German) as well as an M.S. in School Psychology from City College Graduate School of Education, and finally a Psy.D. (Doctorate in Psychology) from Rutgers University. I am passionate about social and political justice, working in whatever way I can to level the playing field for all, particularly those who face barriers due to lack of money or education, language barriers or immigration status. I believe that we are all travelers on life’s journey, and are called to help each other along the way. I am thrilled to be part of an organization that is doing all it can to bring economic stability to all who come through its doors.
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Originally from the Azores, I came to Boston to study Computer Science and earned a Masters degree in Computer Science from Boston University and Bachelor’s from Northeastern University. After working as a Systems Analyst and Programmer at MIT, I transitioned to the Learning and Performance field. I worked at the YWCA Malden to develop the financial empowerment initiative and provide micro enterprise technical support, and joined CONNECT as a Financial Coach in 2012. I’m passionate about interdisciplinary work to prevent homelessness and advance the economic capacity of immigrant families who are caught in difficult economic conditions. I’m a strong believer in the power of emerging technologies and social innovation to produce solutions to systemic economic problems.
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Chelsea has been my hometown since I arrived from Honduras in 1979. My passion for community involvement and civic participation began in 1988, when I helped form Centro Latino for the Hispanic community here in Chelsea, and where I served as a Board member for three years. I was also an active volunteer at The Chelsea Collaborative for three years, before being hired there as a Community Organizer. Simultaneously, I helped create ROCA’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program for at-risk adolescents. My 25 years of work experience have been focused primarily on community organizing efforts and civic community engagement. I was a Program Manager at HarborCOV Emergency Shelter for almost 10 years. In 2005, I was elected to the Chelsea School Committee and am leaving this year after my 10-year tenure. I joined TND/CONNECT in December 2014 after completing the six-month Leadership Fellows program with TND’s Community Engagement Team. One recent personal success this past June was my graduating from Cambridge College with a Bachelor’s in Human Services. I am very proud of my many accomplishments and contributions to my community and hometown, Chelsea, which in turn have helped me grow both personally and professionally.
Blake Roberts Crall
Director of Financial Capabilities
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I joined TND in 2013 after completing a dual master’s program at Tufts University in urban planning and food policy, with a focus on food security and social welfare programming. My background is in the non-profit and public sectors, designing and implementing programs that address economic disparities in low-income communities. I grew up as an expat overseas, living in Indonesia and Ecuador before attending Swarthmore College. As the Financial Programs Coordinator at TND and CONNECT, I am thrilled to be a part of an organization that prioritizes social justice, and that supports the holistic needs of the community through financial stability and asset development efforts
Financial Capabilities Program Assistant
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Before starting as an AmeriCorps VISTA here at TND, I was a New American Integration Program (NAIP) AmeriCorps member serving in Boston. During my time in NAIP, I was teaching English and computer classes to immigrants and coordinating the volunteer program. My love for working with immigrants and refugees really started during my time at Clark University, where I graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in International Development and Social Change. I have volunteered and studied in many countries and feel that I really thrive working in diverse communities. I’m passionate about expanding access to resources for people and here at TND I’ll be working to develop our public benefits capacity; to screen and help more people apply for the benefits they need.
Alina is excited to be working at TND because she's passionate about the connection between economic systems and people's quality of life. Previously, she's assisted student campaigns for responsible endowments at a non-profit, contributed to shareholder proposal filings at a socially responsible investment firm, and improved methodologies for calculating a holistic measure of societal wealth at a government agency. Alina studied economics at Smith College.
Director of Community Engagement and Chelsea Thrives
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Melissa Walsh has been the Director of Community Engagement at The Neighborhood Developers since 2012, and in 2014 Melissa assumed a second leadership role as the Director of Chelsea Thrives, Chelsea’s Working Cities Challenge Initiative. In her role, Melissa is responsible for stewarding community engagement activities, neighborhood planning, neighborhood revitalization projects, and cross-sector collaborations in Chelsea and Revere. Her team has increased from one to five staff, and the breadth of activities under her purview has grown substantially, including the management of two extensive community action planning processes with municipalities, businesses, community agencies and residents; and the management of the Chelsea Thrives initiative now focused on alleviating crime and increasing community safety, a key quality of life driver in Chelsea’s Shurtleff-Bellingham neighborhood. Melissa has a Masters in Community Development from Clark University. Prior to joining TND, she had been the Director of Community Development at the Greater Providence YMCA, where she led community health improvement efforts and youth development programs in Rhode Island.
Neighborhood Revitalization Manager
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I joined TND in October 2013 as the Data and Communications Project Manager after volunteering with the Somerville Community Corporation. Originally from northern Kentucky, I graduated from Brandeis University in 2010 with majors in International Relations and Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies. Following my undergraduate studies, I spent time working as a local journalist and editor in Cincinnati prior to moving to southern Israel for graduate school at Ben-Gurion University. My studies abroad led to my involvement in grassroots planning, environmental justice and social entrepreneurship NGOs, with a focus on the indigenous Bedouin community. Before joining TND I worked with early education non-profit Raising A Reader MA, an organization that first began its work promoting early literacy education in Chelsea. I’m looking forward to helping TND create vibrant, equitable, and prosperous neighborhoods in Chelsea and Revere as the new Neighborhood Revitalization Manager. Feel free to contact me to learn more about what we do and how we do it!
José Agustin Iraheta Zaldaña
Chelsea Thrives Community Engagement Manager
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I have lived in Chelsea since 2004 and joined TND in 2014. After graduating from Chelsea High, I attended Hamilton College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Studies. During my time at Hamilton, I taught Basic English skills to refugees from Vietnam, Russia, Bosnia, Somalia, Burma, and Nepal. After graduating from college I learned about TND and it’s programs to support our community. As a CONNECT client, I got more involved in the community and became the coordinator at a local food pantry. I then signed up as a facilitator for neighborhood meetings and then went on to serve as an interpreter, before beginning my current role in community engagement. I have chosen to make Chelsea my home, and I am blessed to know my work is to ensure that my community thrives. I love my neighborhood, and I want to work with you and others to make it a great place to live in.
Senior Community Engagement Manager
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Community service and volunteering have always been very important to me, and I am constantly looking for ways to make a positive impact, both locally and abroad. While volunteering in Ecuador, my passion for helping others was intensified as I worked with children in the street markets of Quito and tutored in an after-school program in one of the surrounding communities. With Habitat for Humanity, I have led and participated in trips to Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and back home, I have been actively engaged in volunteering in various roles. Whether it be as part of my professional work or on my own free time, contributing my time to improve the community has been a priority. This desire is what led me to The Neighborhood Developers. I started as a volunteer, helping with VITA and a symposium, and then I started my AmeriCorps VISTA service at TND. After VISTA, I became part of the Community Engagement Team at TND, and it is here that I have been very fortunate to grow and work with amazing people.
Associate Director of Resident Services
Gabriel Fonseca grew up in rural Northwest Ohio. He earned a B.A. in Human Services at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan were he was a member of the baseball team. He also earned a M.S. in Human Development and Family Systems at the University of Rhode Island. Since moving to the Boston area in 2012, he worked for the MA Children's Trust, helped Massachusetts General Hospital establish a fatherhood program, and now is a proud member of the The Neighborhood Developers team. He is working with the talented Community Engagement team to establish a robust Resident Services program.
Resident Services Manager
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My family and I emigrated from Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge era in the early 80s. We eventually settled in the Shirley Avenue neighborhood of Revere, Massachusetts. I grew up in a bilingual household and a multicultural community but I didn’t understand the value of these assets at the time. After high school; I enrolled at the University of Richmond, Virginia, graduated with B.A. in Women’s Studies and then made my way back home. In June 2012, I met my predecessor, Rachel Meketon and that meeting was the clichéd life changer. I found her leadership and TND’s commitment to community engagement inspirational and motivational. As a result, I have been part of some wonderful processes and programs that helped develop my leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills as a lead volunteer in my very own neighborhood. Most importantly, I found value in the very assets that I shied away from in my youth and look forward to leveraging them to build up my beloved community. I’m excited to formally join the team in July 2014 and to facilitate the next steps of the Shirley Ave Action Plan.
Born and raised in Southern California, Canada moved to Boston in 2011 to attend college. In 2016 she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from The University of Massachusetts Boston. Canada joined The Neighborhood Developers in August of 2016 as the Resident Services VISTA. As a VISTA Canada hopes to collect and use data to create and improve programs offered to TND residents and the neighborhood.
Director of Resource Development
I began my career in community development in the international sector, first as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Papua New Guinea and then as a fundraiser at Oxfam America. Through this international community development experience, I learned the value of supporting indigenous efforts and grew to love working with people from all over the world. Fundraising in support of stronger families and equitable communities has remained a career constant. I’ve worked for community development corporations and the intermediaries that support them for 20+ years. I’ve written grants for TND since 2003 working remotely from my home in Vermont.
Rachel Van Voorhis
After many years as the proposal writer for an architectural firm specializing in the expansion and adaptive reuse of historic municipal buildings, I was looking for a change. I learned about TND through a chance conversation with TND’s Director of Resource Development Nancy Turner (a high school classmate), and started at TND in June of 2013 as a volunteer grant writer. In October of 2013, TND hired me to work off site as a grant writer from my home in southeastern Massachusetts. I am inspired by TND’s comprehensive approach to neighborhood revitalization and have loved learning and writing about the organization’s affordable housing, community engagement and financial capability efforts. Working for TND is consistently challenging and satisfying and I am honored to play a part in its important work. I graduated from Yale with a B.A. in American Studies and Brown with a M.A. in American Civilization and live at the base of Cape Cod with my husband and four children.
Director of Learning and Evaluation
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Mary Coonan has over 30 years of experience in program development and leadership with an emphasis on evaluation both in Latin America and on the U.S east coast. She has been involved in the design and implementation of a revolving loan fund operating in 26 communities throughout Nicaragua; an international microfinance training program for practitioners from over 100 countries; a joint master’s degree program in community economic development between Southern New Hampshire University and the Open University of Tanzania; a workforce development program serving seven family homeless shelters in Boston; and an economic development center partnering with 22 community organizations in the Boston area.
Most recentlly, Mary worked as an evaluation consultant with the Center for Social Policy supporting organizations with evaluation – primarily multi-site, multiplayer, collective initiatives. Recent and past clients include New Lease for Homeless Families, SkillWorks, Year-Up, Commonwealth Workforce Coalition, MASSCAP, Essentials for Childhood, Thrive in Five, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA Foundation, The On-Solid Ground Coalition, United Way of Massachusetts, Boston Housing Authority, The Boston Foundation, Children’s Hospital, Family to Family, Brookviewhouse, Project Hope, HopeFound, Home Start, Regional HUD office, City of Springfield, City of Lawrence, Framingham Continuum of Care, TEEN Voices, Cambridge Cares About Aids, English for New Bostonians, and Notre Dame Education Center.
Mary has an MA from Southern New Hampshire University in Community Economic Development and a Certificate of Advanced Degree in Program Evaluation from Claremont University
Communications Project Manager
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Trey Greer graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Political Science. After university, he joined AmeriCorps where he worked as Marketing and Outreach Coordinator for Southwest CARE Center, an HIV clinic in Santa Fe, NM. He then moved to Portland Oregon, taking a position as the Social Media Project Manager for People in Need Partnership. He worked as a freelance designer and writer taking contracts from organizations based out of Austin: Texas Department of Public Safety, The Texas Association of Local Health Officials, and The Austin Public Library among others. In the summer of 2016, he moved to the Boston metro area.
Resource Development Manager
My career started out in the hospitality industry with a focus on sales, marketing, and event planning. I have previously worked at a university arena located in Virginia, convention centers in South Dakota and Connecticut, and a destination management company in Boston. I discovered my passion for fundraising during the time that I worked for the American Heart Association in Connecticut and knew that I wanted to return to a non-profit. I am excited to join the team at TND and be part of their important mission. I hold a master’s degree from Old Dominion University and reside in Swampscott with my husband and daughter Emily. In my free time I enjoy coaching girl’s fastpitch softball, cheering on my beloved Red Sox, gardening, reading, and enjoying nature.
Carlos Ramos Jr.
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I joined TND in March of 2016 after working at a small business security firm. Prior to that, I had worked at CAPIC’s Head Start program in Chelsea for nine years, starting as an intern after earning my GED from the LARE Institute. After completing my internship, I was hired as a receptionist, and then worked my way up the ladder as an Intake / IT Coordinator & Administrative Assistant. I love working for the community I live in, especially with low-income families, because that is where I come from. I am currently in the process of obtaining my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University.