Opening Keynote Speaker
Boston City Councilor-at-large
Ayanna Pressley’s career has been marked by history-making campaigns and a relentless determination to advance a policy agenda focused on girls and women, breaking cycles of poverty and all forms of violence, and reducing trauma in our communities. Pressley was first elected to the Boston City Council on November 3, 2009, becoming the first woman of color ever to do so. In 2011, she became the first woman in 30 years and the first person of color ever to top the ticket. On the trail and in office, Pressley doesn’t shy away from sharing her story as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault as a college student. Pressley founded and Chairs the City Council’s Committee on Healthy Women, Families, and Communities and has built broad and diverse coalitions to advance lasting, meaningful reforms to complex social issues like teen pregnancy and trauma. Pressley is an Aspen-Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership (2012) and a Truman National Security Project Partner (2012).
Lunch Keynote Speaker
Makeeba McCreary, EdD
Chief of Staff, Boston Public Schools
Dr. McCreary joined the Boston Public Schools leadership team in July 2015 as Chief of Staff to the Superintendent. Her responsibilities include overseeing Communications, Inter- Governmental Relations and Advancement, and serving as a direct liaison to the School Committee. Prior to BPS, Makeeba McCreary was the founder of a national consulting agency providing guidance for philanthropic investment in the urban public education arena and advising on multi-sector partnerships to drive resources into underserved communities, primarily for urban youth and families. Early career grounding for Makeeba includes experience in the educational policy sector, building collective impact models, co-designing multi-million dollar public safety campaigns and crisis communications for brand management. Makeeba received her BA from UMASS Boston graduating Magna Cum Laude, a Masters in Adolescent Risk and Prevention from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and her Doctorate in Educational Administration and Organizational Leadership from the Teachers College of Columbia University.
Moderated Conversation with Non-Profit CEOs on Leadership and the Philanthropic Landscape in Boston
Linette Liebling, Moderator
Linette’s passions include all matters of public health with a particular focus on sexual health education. Linette currently teaches at Wheaton College in addition to maintaining a consulting practice. Most recently, Linette has been training middle school teachers on a Statewide comprehensive sexuality education program which she developed, and she is also working with the Department of Public Health on creating trauma-informed primary prevention for adult GLBTQ communities. Linette currently serves on the boards of several organizations to further her interest in working for social change, including the Boards of Mass Promise, a statewide program of Americorps, and the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. She has also served on the boards of the Massachusetts Midwives Association, and for three terms on the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, where she has served as President.
Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, PhD
Chief Executive Officer IBA – Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion
Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, Ph.D., is the CEO of IBA-Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, an organization dedicated to empowering individuals through education, workforce development and arts programs, and to creating vibrant affordable housing communities. After a dramatic turnaround during her tenure, IBA is the largest Latino-led nonprofit in Greater Boston. Calderón-Rosado has advised various task forces, boards, commissions and high-profile searches, including Boston’s Police Department and Public Health Commission. In 2009, she was selected for the prestigious Barr Foundation Fellowship. In 2010, Massachusetts’ Governor Deval Patrick appointed her to the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, becoming the first Latina to serve in Massachusetts’ history. She is a Founding Board member of the Margarita Muñiz Academy, the first dual-language innovation high school in Massachusetts. Mayor-elect Martin Walsh appointed Dr. Calderón-Rosado to co-lead his housing transition team in November 2013, and six months later, appointed her to his Housing Task Force. In December 2014, Governor-elect Baker appointed Calderón-Rosado to the Safe, Stronger Communities Transition Committee. Dr. Calderón-Rosado is a Puerto Rican-born civic leader who received her doctorate from the UMASS Boston.
Sylvia Ferrell Jones
Chief Executive Officer, YWCA
Sylvia leads, YWCA Boston, an organization dedicated to achieving racial and gender equity. Prior to joining YW Boston in January 2007, she worked in real-estate investment management as Director at AEW Capital Management and Principal Investment Officer for the Connecticut Trust Funds, and in non-profit governance and executive leadership as Director of Agency Development with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Ferrell-Jones earned degrees from Cornell University and Yale Law School. She has served on a number of boards at local, state and national levels and currently serves on the boards for United Church Funds; the Handel & Haydn Society; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; and Andover Newton Theological School. For fun, Sylvia is deeply involved in music both as a performer and audience member.
Sheila Y. Moore, MS
Founder, Educated Ladies Empowered to Change, Inc.
Sheila Moore is the Employee Resource Group and Engagement Specialist in the office of Diversity and Inclusion at Liberty Mutual Insurance. In this role, she is responsible for driving employee engagement and fostering an inclusive workplace environment through building capabilities for success. Prior to joining Liberty Mutual Insurance, Sheila worked as the University Relations Consultant for State Street Corporation. Passionate about philanthropy, Sheila is the founder of Educated Ladies Empowered to Change, Inc., a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women to expand their capacity and grow, personally and professionally. She is a 2013 recipient of The Philanthropy Connection’s Young Philanthropist Fellowship and has received other awards including the 2013 YMCA Achievers award and the 2010 South Shore Stars Emerging Leaders 40 under 40 award. Sheila holds a Master of Science in Leadership with a concentration in Human Resources from Northeastern University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Virginia State University.
Workshop: Negotiating at Work
Jihye Choi, Moderator
Jihye Choi is a Resident in Social Enterprise Fellow with New Sector Alliance in Boston, MA and aspires to facilitate partnerships for social impact. Her academic studies concentrated on American and Western European societies with special attention to the role of religion in the public sphere. In 2013, she interned with the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of TN where she became more interested in criminal justice, law enforcement, and the non-profit sector. Building on these insights, she began work in spring 2014, as a liaison for Ed Davis, former Police Commissioner of Boston and fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Harvard University in 2014.
Deborah Kolb, PhD
Professor Emeritus, Simmons School of Management
Dr. Kolb is a foremost authority in the fields of negotiation, leadership, and gender. She is the Deloitte Ellen Gabriel Professor for Women in Leadership (Emerita) and co-founder of the Ford Foundation-funded Center for Gender in Organizations at Simmons College School of Management. Deborah was Former Executive Director and is currently Co-Director of the Negotiations in the Workplace Project at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. She also served as Faculty Research Fellow at Stanford’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research in 2008-2009, and is Adjunct Faculty at INSEAD. Additionally, she is strategic advisor and mentor to many of today’s most successful executive women. Deborah holds a BA from Vassar College, an MBA from the University of Colorado, and a PhD from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Women in Philanthropy
Amy Feind Reeves, MBA, Moderator
Founder & Executive Director, Job Coach Amy
Amy has had successive, largely successful careers as a banker, global management consultant, entrepreneur, corporate executive and non-profit executive. She founded JobCoachAmy to be the resource she wished she had when transitioning into the workforce. In recent years her practice has expanded to mentoring women at all stages of their careers. She works closely with the Young Philanthropists of TPC as well as other nonprofit and corporate groups to provide career, professional development and employee retention services. She is a frequent contributor to job-hunt.org and has a forthcoming guidebook for jobseekers on how to get and keep a job. Amy graduated cum laude from Wellesley College and received an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth. She lives in Boston with her family.
Director of Programs, Hyams Foundation, Inc.
Angela Brown is Director of Programs for the Hyams Foundation, Inc., and oversees the Foundation’s funding for grassroots leadership development, organizing and institutional and policy change, toward the goal of dismantling persistent, racialized economic disparities in Boston. Angela’s work includes grantmaking to public policy advocacy and community-based organizations and coordination of the Foundation’s Program-Related Investing activities. With a background in community and economic development, she has been a manager with Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development, MA, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (New York), and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. She holds an AB from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MPP from Harvard University’s JFK School of Government.
President, New England Blacks in Philanthropy
Bithiah Carter is the President of New England Blacks in Philanthropy. She is a former Executive Director of Grand Circle Foundation, Senior Director in the Community Impact Division of United Way, and Program Director at the Girls’ Coalition of Greater Boston. She has also served as a consultant in the philanthropic sector focusing on the needs of children and families in the Greater Boston community. Before entering the non-profit world, she worked for nearly ten years in the financial services industry in New York City and Boston. In addition, she serves as a member of the board of directors of several local and national non-profit organizations.
Founding Executive Director, Dancing Classrooms New England
While taking a break from Wall Street to spend time as a professional trapeze artist, Tatiana Lingos-Webb, an accomplished dancer and aerialist, was recruited to join Dancing Classrooms and began her work in arts education. Since 2006, she has taught the program’s syllabus in over 40 New York City schools, primarily in the Bronx and Brooklyn. A Boston native and Wellesley alum, she returned home in 2009 to pursue an MBA at Babson College and start Dancing Classrooms in the New England area. Dancing Classrooms is a social and emotional learning program for 5th graders that brings mandatory lessons in ballroom dance to public school classrooms. The program is active in over 500 schools across 24 American and 5 international sites, and has reached over 400,000 children to date.
What is Driving Innovation in Philanthropy?
Laura Dziorny, Moderator
Chief of Staff, Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy
Currently serving as Chief of Staff for the Boston-based Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy, Laura has a background in education policy and on-the-ground experience at both the classroom and district levels. She previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Boston Public Schools, working to advance district policy-making and managing projects including a working group on measuring school quality. Laura is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where she served as an intern in the education office of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Prior to law school, she taught fourth grade at Ira J. Earl Elementary School in Las Vegas, Nevada and earned a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in history and government from Georgetown University. Laura resides in Charlestown, where she is active in a variety of community organizations.
Founder & Executive Director, IdeaLift
In 2014, Saskia Epstein founded IdeaLift (formerly Power Launch Group), a boutique strategy consulting firm that works with organizations to provide key insights, solve problems, design new services and products, inform strategic decision-making, develop capable leaders and identify cultural practices that will fuel success. Saskia is also the co-founder and CEO of Power Launch, a new social impact accelerator and innovation lab that invests in compelling ideas, exceptional leaders and high-potential organizations to accelerate social change. Most recently, Saskia served as CEO of Room to Grow, a four-star Charity Navigator-rated early childhood nonprofit serving low-income families in Boston and New York. With her husband Paul, Saskia also co-founded The Brookline Teen Center, a state of the art facility and program that opened in fall 2013. Another family venture, the Foundation to be Named Later, was launched in 2005 under the umbrella of the Red Sox Foundation and has distributed $6.5M to youth-serving organizations in Boston and Chicago, and sent 46 young leaders to college.
Executive Director, City Awake
Justin Kang is the Executive Director of City Awake, a nonprofit organization focused on building the ecosystem of civic engagement and social innovation throughout Greater Boston. Recognized by the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine and the City of Boston, Justin started his career as an associate at MassChallenge where he learned the importance of community building. He later joined Opportunity Nation as a national organizer around economic mobility issues. Most recently he was a customer success manager at Yesware. A graduate of Brandeis University, Justin is also on the Massachusetts board of Generation Citizen, an active Big Brother and a New Leaders Council fellow.
Executive Director, Family Independence Initiative Boston
Chrismaldi Vasquez is the Executive Director of Family Independence Initiative, Boston. FII Boston leverages the power of information to support economic and social mobility in America. Rather than impose solutions or fixes on behalf of others, FII is proving that documenting and investing in the initiative and ingenuity of low-income families and communities is the most effective way forward. Prior to joining FII in 2013, Chrismaldi was Director of Capacity and Assessment for Boston Rising, a start-up foundation focused on breaking the cycle of generational poverty in Boston neighborhoods. Before that, she was Director of Community Impact with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimac Valley, focused on grant making to youth-serving organizations. Chrismaldi spent 11 years at the Hyde Square Task Force, a youth community development nonprofit, where she rose from youth organizer to Manager of Organizing and Policy Initiatives. Chrismaldi has earned a national reputation for her leadership in several grassroots youth community-organizing campaigns. She graduated from Bentley University with a B.S. in Economics and Finance and minored in International Studies.
Philanthropy Disrupted: The New Generation Wants a Seat at the Table
Elizabeth Walczak, Moderator
Donor Services Officer, The Boston Foundation
Liz Walczak serves as Donor Services Officer at The Boston Foundation, where she advises individuals, families, and institutions on philanthropy, supports giving priorities, and assists with grant making in diverse fields. She earlier served as Program Officer in Education at TBF, focusing on education grant making, strategies, and initiatives, particularly in postsecondary pathways. Liz had a leadership role with Success Boston, a collaborative initiative dedicated to college completion for students who are first-generation, low-income, and/or of color. Prior to TBF, she was Director of Partnerships at Boston After School and Beyond, a public-private partnership dedicated to expanding learning and skill development in Boston students; Policy Advisor to Boston Mayor Menino, where she worked on initiatives in education, health, and human services; and a Public Relations and Policy Specialist at Citizen Schools, providing media and marketing support to national staff and managing state budget and advocacy efforts. She received her M.P.A. in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from NYU, where she received its President’s Service Award, and her BA from Hamilton College, where she was a Posse Scholar.
Associate Director, The Lenny Zakim Fund
Jeannette Andre serves as the Associate Director for The Lenny Zakim Fund where she manages the Fund’s grantmaking processes and coordinates trainings for its grantees. Since 2009, Jeannette has held a variety of positions in the philanthropic sector that has allowed her to criss-cross the country — from interning in Washington, DC at the Philanthropy Roundtable to serving as an Americorps VISTA and VISTA coordinator at Social Venture Partners in Seattle, Washington. Jeannette received her bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in Asian studies from the University of Florida and is attending Tuft’s Institute of Nonprofit Management and Leadership. In her free time, Jeannette volunteers with the Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association and The Philanthropy Connection. Jeannette lives in Jamaica Plain with her fiancée and their two dogs.
Executive Director, Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership (CPL)
Patricia Bellinger is Executive Director and Adjunct Lecturer at the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. Beforehand, Patricia served as Executive Director of Executive Education at Harvard Business School. She has enjoyed a rich and varied career spanning multiple countries and disciplines, including the pharmaceutical industry, theatre, the energy sector, global corporations and start-up enterprises. During her job as Group VP of Global Diversity and Inclusion at BP PLC, it was awarded the coveted Catalyst award for the advancement of women and progress in global diversity. Patricia is a non-executive director of Paris–based Sodexo SA and of Pattern Energy Inc., a wind energy company based in San Francisco. She devotes considerable time to the national and local non-profit sector, where her areas of interest center on youth development and education. She serves on the Board of Directors of Facing History and Ourselves; the advisory board of the Program in Education, Afterschool and Resiliency (PEAR) at McLean Hospital; Harvard Medical School; and on the Board of Trustees of uAspire. She holds an A.B. from Harvard College, where she received the Benjamin A. Trustman Fellowship and the Pulliam Journalism Fellowship.
Director, Grassroots Programs, The Boston Foundation
Rules of Engagement: Going from a Volunteer in the Field to an Advisor in the Board Room
Catherine A. West, Moderator
CEO, Beacon Properties
With over 10 years of experience, Catherine is known for her creative, innovative approach to home buying, selling and investing. Catherine brings strong cross-sector and cross-functional experience. She has worked in the non-profit, philanthropic, research, business and government sectors. As a connector across industries and stakeholders, her strengths include partnership development, managing through challenging times, and operational excellence. Catherine is licensed in the State of Massachusetts as a Real Estate Agent. She has helped create two non-profits and has started two of her own businesses. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and as an Advisory Board member for Health Careers Connection. Catherine graduated from Baruch College in NYC with her Masters in Public Administration and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Health from Brown University. She is a National Urban Fellow and a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow for “Emerging Leaders in Public Health: Managing in Turbulent Times”. Recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2015 with a “Citation for Outstanding Performance,” Catherine is committed to delivering excellence with a smile.
Megan A. Costello
Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement, City of Boston
Megan Costello is passionate about politics and government, and ensuring that women’s voices are heard and included. She worked on several political campaigns, including President Obama’s reelection campaign as a regional field director in Iowa, and as Boston mayoral candidate Marty Walsh’s campaign manager. She joined the Walsh administration as executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement. The office is a voice for women and girls on many issues, focusing on economic equity, health and safety, and providing research and data to inform policies that impact women and families in Boston. Megan is a senior advisor for the Boston Women’s Workforce Council, and she chairs the Boston Women’s Commission. She sits on the board of NARAL Pro-Choice America’s PAC, and the External Advisory Board of UMass Boston’s Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy. Megan is a graduate of Suffolk University and lives in Dorchester.
Senior Manager, John Hancock
Currently in her ninth year at John Hancock, Yasmin’s responsibilities as Senior Manager, Corporate Responsibility focus on John Hancock’s community investment strategy and strategic initiatives. She manages its two signature philanthropic programs: the MLK Summer Scholars Program and the Boston Marathon Non-Profit Program. Prior to corporate philanthropy, Ms. Cruz was an equity and fixed income analyst, working primarily on the Small Cap Intrinsic Value Fund. Ms. Cruz serves as Board Director at the Lenny Zakim Fund; as Corporator at Eastern Bank; as a Steering Committee Member at the JFK Library and Museum; as External Relations Advisor at the MFA, Boston; as Graduates Council Member at Noble and Greenough School; and as Co-Chair of Young Philanthropist Initiatives at The Philanthropy Connection. Yasmin earned her B.S. in Finance from Babson College and is an MBA Candidate at Boston College.
Director of Programs at Liberty Mutual Foundation, Liberty Mutual Insurance
Ms. Shaw is currently the Director of Programs for the Liberty Mutual Foundation. Prior to this position, Shaw was the Executive Director of the Office of Expanded Learning, Advancement and Partnerships at The Boston Public Schools. Shaw brings expertise from her various Director-level roles in the nonprofit arena and community experiences with Action for Boston Community Development, the Boston Children’s Museum, and the YWCA-Aswalos House. She is the proud parent of two adult offspring, and is the doting grandmother of a BPS student.