Staff

Executive Team

  • Kimberly R. Lyle
    Kimberly R. Lyle
    Chief Executive Officer
  • Helena Pimentel
    Helena Pimentel
    Executive Assistant, Facilities Manager
  • Rho Singletary
    Rho Singletary
    Chief of Staff

Senior Leadership

  • Samariah Batts-Speller
    Samariah Batts-Speller
    Director of People and Culture
  • Brenda Bobadilla
    Brenda Bobadilla
    Director of Small Business
  • Susan Chu
    Susan Chu
    Director of Real Estate
  • Carolina Leins-Sultan
    Carolina Leins-Sultan
    Director of Workforce Development
  • Samantha Menard
    Samantha Menard
    Director of Resource Development
  • Angie Peguero
    Angie Peguero
    Director of Resident and Community Engagement
  • Paola Pelletier-Ozuna
    Paola Pelletier-Ozuna
    Director of Operations
  • Sharat Somashekara
    Sharat Somashekara
    Director of Finance

Finance

  • Sharat Somashekara
    Sharat Somashekara
    Director of Finance
  • Shermaine Thompson
    Shermaine Thompson
    Associate Director of Accounting
  • Jessica Melo
    Jessica Melo
    Accountant
  • William Riordan
    William Riordan
    Accounting Manager
  • Kimberly Williams-Etienne
    Kimberly Williams-Etienne
    Asset Manager

Operations

  • Paola Pelletier-Ozuna
    Paola Pelletier-Ozuna
    Director of Operations
  • Shira Burns
    Shira Burns
    Communications Manager
  • David Nardelli
    David Nardelli
    Data and Evaluation Manager

Real Estate

  • Susan Chu
    Susan Chu
    Director of Real Estate
  • Alex Bob
    Alex Bob
    Real Estate Senior Project Manager
  • Lanette Johnson
    Lanette Johnson
    Real Estate Associate (OppCo Fellow)
  • Briana Kan
    Briana Kan
    Real Estate Project Manager
  • Tim Kardatzke
    Tim Kardatzke
    Real Estate Project Manager

Resident and Community Engagement

  • Angie Peguero
    Angie Peguero
    Director of Resident and Community Engagement
  • WaWa Leviner
    WaWa Leviner
    Resident and Community Engagement Coordinator
  • Felicia Richard
    Felicia Richard
    Resident and Community Engagement Coordinator
  • Karen “Cookie” Sheers
    Karen “Cookie” Sheers
    Resident and Community Engagement Coordinator

Resource Development

  • Samantha Menard
    Samantha Menard
    Director of Resource Development
  • Laurene DaRosa
    Laurene DaRosa
    Donor Relations Manager
  • Allison McGovern
    Allison McGovern
    Grants Manager

Small Business

  • Brenda Bobadilla
    Brenda Bobadilla
    Director of Small Business
  • Cesar J. Camacho
    Cesar J. Camacho
    Lending and Outreach Officer
  • Nicholas Fernandes
    Nicholas Fernandes
    Lending and Outreach Officer

Workforce Development

  • Carolina Leins-Sultan
    Carolina Leins-Sultan
    Director of Workforce Development
  • Linda Mello
    Linda Mello
    Reentry Case Manager

Dorchester Bay EDC is proud to host staff from the Fairmount Indigo CDC Collaborative:

  • Kendra Beaver
    Kendra Beaver
    Climate Justice Coordinator
  • Lara Cardoso
    Lara Cardoso
    Climate Justice Community Organizer
  • Andrealis Martinez
    Andrealis Martinez
    Climate Justice Community Organizer
Kimberly R. Lyle
Chief Executive Officer

Kimberly R. Lyle is a spirited and visionary executive who strives to create positive social and economic change in underserved communities. A compassionate, strategic, and agile leader, she provides vision and leadership concerning issues vital to community and economic development.

As the Chief Executive Officer at Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation– a community development corporation (CDC) and a community development financial institution (CDFI) in Boston, Massachusetts – Kimberly oversees a portfolio of total assets of approximately $229 million, including 1000+ units of rental housing, 40,000 sq ft of commercial space, a $4 million microenterprise loan fund, and operating revenue of $11 million (exclusive of rental property operations).

Kimberly has a track record of championing fairness and transparency within organizational cultures. Integrity, service, the pursuit of excellence, and a strong orientation toward justice are hallmarks of her leadership.

Before joining DBEDC, Ms. Lyle held leadership roles in financial tech, financial services, and higher education. Kimberly is skilled in business operations, organizational development, strategic communications, and policy advocacy.

Ms. Lyle serves as the President of the Board of Trustees of the Co-op Fund of the Northeast, a CDFI that lends capital to socially responsible ventures and organizations. She is also the Vice President of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations board of directors, where she is on the policy committee. Kimberly also serves on the board of directors for the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, the state’s quasi-government small business financier.

Ms. Lyle received a Master of Public Policy from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Rutgers University. She completed graduate coursework in social anthropology at Harvard University.

Kimberly’s policy interests lie at the intersections of race, social policy, housing, and economic development. Ms. Lyle is particularly interested in social housing, equitable business models, and economic reparations for Black Americans.

Kimberly is a proud native of the historically significant Roxbury neighborhood in Boston, where she currently resides. She is an avid traveler, a lover of the arts, and a mentor to young adults.

Helena Pimentel
Executive Assistant, Facilities Manager

Helena is the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer and Facilities Manager for the Pierce Building. As a career office administrator, Helena has worked in multiple sectors supporting level C management in the field of manufacturing, finance and Real Estate. It has been her pleasure for the last 15 years to be supporting Dorchester Bay, a non-profit community organization. Helena loves to be anywhere that gives her a view of the sea. Traveling and being creative makes her the happiest.

[email protected]
617-533-9552

Rho Singletary
Chief of Staff

As the Chief of Staff, Rho provides executive assistance to the chief executive officer, while also serving as a strategic thought partner. She uses her extensive background in
administrative operations to create and maintain cross-departmental relationships and assists in managing large-scale initiatives and special projects.

Prior to joining the Dorchester Bay EDC team, Rho spent several years in administrative operations in Corporate Banking. She oversaw the daily operations, budget management, and personnel administration for multiple locations. Rho implemented policies and procedures to ensure compliance, efficiency, and safety, enhancing employee satisfaction and engagement. She also served as the point person for the DEI Committee in the Boston region, was a Volunteer Ambassador, and facilitated financial literacy programming for several years.

With a BA in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Rho has a strong background in human behavior, motivation, and communication, which she leveraged to develop and execute strategic initiatives, such as community outreach, business development, and customer service. She also has proven skills in executive administrative assistance, program and project management, and problem-solving, which enabled her to support senior management and stakeholders, deliver high-quality results, and resolve complex issues.

Rho is a Bostonian at heart and is passionate about pouring back into her community. She attended Boston Public Schools and went to camp at the Shelburne Center in Roxbury every summer as a child. In her spare time Rho enjoys working out at the gym, traveling, spending time with family and friends.

[email protected]

(617) 533-9559

Samariah Batts-Speller
Director of People and Culture

At Dorchester Bay EDC, Samariah works to define and cultivate an organizational culture that is collaborative, inclusive, empowering, and culturally sensitive, while administering all human resources functions. Prior to this role, Samariah worked in many HR leadership roles with a focus in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Samariah’s career in human resources began in 2011 with Upham’s Community Care (previously Upham’s Community Health Center). Previously, she was the HR Director for the Department of Transitional Assistance where she supported a staff of over 1,600 employees. She also served as the Employee Relations Specialist for the Massachusetts Teachers Association. Samariah is currently enrolled in the MBA HR Management accelerated program with Fitchburg State University and is expected to graduate in 2024.

[email protected]
617-533-9551

Brenda Bobadilla
Director of Small Business

As Director of Small Business, Brenda leads the Small Business team in providing clients with loans, grants, and technical assistance. Brenda is bilingual and worked for two small businesses in California before joining Dorchester Bay. Brenda started as in admin here at Dorchester Bay back in 2017 and transitioned into small business in 2018. She attended Cambridge College for her Business Development Certification and also participated in the NALCAB Pete Garcia Community Economic Development Fellowship and got her certificate.

[email protected]
617-533-9578

Susan Chu
Director of Real Estate

Susan is the Director of Real Estate. Prior to DBEDC, Susan worked at a Chinatown nonprofit where she led the organization through several affordable housing development initiatives and projects, including the development of 85 new units of affordable rental housing. Before entering the world of affordable housing, Susan practiced law for several years, representing individuals, private companies, and nonprofit organizations in various civil and transactional matters, including zoning appeals.

[email protected]
617-533-9561

Carolina Leins-Sultan
Director of Workforce Development

As the Director of Workforce Development at Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (DBEDC), Carolina Leins-Sultan leads the strategic planning, design, and execution of the Dorchester Bay Workforce Development Program. With over 15 years of dedicated experience as a Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW), Carolina has transitioned from direct service roles to impactful program management, driving systemic change and enhancing community well-being.

Carolina holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with minors in Sociology and Spanish from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her expertise is further enhanced by certifications in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Trauma-Informed Child Welfare, Multi-Contextual Trauma Treatment, and Forensic Services. These credentials support her comprehensive approach to workforce development.

In her previous role as Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Development Program Manager, Carolina managed grants and spearheaded initiatives to engage diverse stakeholders, promote supplier diversity, and increase and diversify the energy efficiency workforce. Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to serving marginalized communities, advocating for others, and empowering individuals to enhance their skills and achieve self-sufficiency.

Fluent in Spanish, Carolina effectively engages and supports diverse communities. Her strategic leadership and commitment to equity drive sustainable solutions and foster long-term societal impact. Carolina is a Boston-native and is committed to serving her community.

[email protected]
(617) 533-9573

Samantha Menard
Director of Resource Development

Samantha Menard is the Resource Development Manager at Dorchester Bay EDC. She is a visionary strategist expertly devising tactical action plans to support and raise vital funds for programs that promote economically equitable outcomes. She oversees the Resource Development team, responsible for fundraising, grant direction, and donor relations.

For the last 15 years, Samantha has been amplifying resources, power, and collaboration in nonprofit spaces committed to social justice. Before DBEDC, she served as a Chief Operating Officer for an organization that supports non-violent, mother-tongue education in rural communities of Haiti.

Samantha holds a Master of Media Management and a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University. She is an avid traveler currently DIY-ing a zen backyard space, struggling to discover her green thumb, and experimenting in the kitchen with her two spirited preschoolers.

[email protected]

Angie Peguero
Director of Resident and Community Engagement

Angie is an outgoing and passionate person who strongly believes everyone deserves a place to call home! She has worked in different departments throughout her time in affordable housing, such as inspections, compliance, and of course resident services. Throughout her experience, she has learned that being out in her community and serving the residents is exactly where she is supposed to be.

As a member of the community and having over 10 years of housing experience, she looks forward to being an advocate for residents, and a support system for the management team. Angie encourages the community to advocate for the changes that they want to see. Her number one goal is to reassure them that they are living and working in the safest and most enjoyable community, all while staying in compliance with their lease.

[email protected]
617-533-9576

Paola Pelletier-Ozuna
Director of Operations

Paola Pelletier-Ozuna is the Director of Operations at Dorchester Bay EDC. She serves as a thought partner for executive leadership, overseeing the organization’s strategic planning, communications strategy, organizational impact, and systems development. She heads our Operations Department, which serves as the central hub for our organization’s vital functions. Under her guidance, the department oversees multiple critical teams, including Communications, Data and Evaluations, and Office Operations.

Paola is a proud Dominican-American and Bostonian. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she earned a degree in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and Latin American Studies. Upon graduation, Paola pursued her passion for social justice and became a labor union organizer with UNITE HERE Local 26, where she represented 400 hotel and food service workers in the city of Boston. She then went on to work as a paralegal at the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, where she coordinated intake to help identify potential civil rights violations. Paola also brings ample experience in project management and development from her experience at nonprofits such as Be The Change, Inc., and Artists For Humanity.

Prior to arriving at Dorchester Bay EDC, Paola worked as Program Director at Enroot, where she led the program development and strategic initiatives for immigrant high school youth in Cambridge. She holds a Master of Public Policy from Tufts University where she was awarded Neighborhood Fellow and the City of Boston’s New Urban Mechanics Summer Fellowship. Her primary areas of focus were urban planning, economic development, racial equity, and public policy analysis.

She lives in Jamaica Plain with her husband and two cats and teaches yoga in Dorchester and Jamaica Plain.

[email protected]
617-533-9553

Sharat Somashekara
Director of Finance

Sharat has spent over two decades working with nonprofits in Philadelphia and Boston. He takes pride in bringing sound financial management and governance to the organizations he supports as an employee, volunteer and board member. His career has involved diverse issue areas including:  sustainable agriculture, food sovereignty, re-entry, special education and mental health. Sharat holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a BA from New York University. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the saxophone, guitar, piano and singing. He is also an active member of the Merrimack River Rowing Association.

[email protected]

Sharat Somashekara
Director of Finance

Sharat has spent over two decades working with nonprofits in Philadelphia and Boston. He takes pride in bringing sound financial management and governance to the organizations he supports as an employee, volunteer and board member. His career has involved diverse issue areas including:  sustainable agriculture, food sovereignty, re-entry, special education and mental health. Sharat holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a BA from New York University. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the saxophone, guitar, piano and singing. He is also an active member of the Merrimack River Rowing Association.

[email protected]

Shermaine Thompson
Associate Director of Accounting

Shermaine volunteers with African Bridge Network which is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting new immigrants navigate the and overcome the obstacles which foreign trained professionals often come upon when they relocate to the USA and try to find jobs in their area of training and experience. ABN partners with a number of organizations to place new immigrants in fellowship roles, which often lead to permanent employment or at least relevant work experience gained within the USA. Outside of work, Shermaine is an avid traveler and nature enthusiast. On the weekends you will often find her in the Middlesex Fells, Breakheart Reservation, the Blue Hills, or exploring one of the many seaside towns on Boston’s north shore. Shermaine has been to over 22 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Botswana.

Jessica Melo
Accountant

With over 20 years of diverse financial and administrative experience, Jessica currently serves as an Accountant at Dorchester Bay EDC.

Jessica’s background includes over 10 years as an Accountant Assistant in the retail food & beverage industry with The Briar Group, one of Boston’s leading and longest standing independently owned restaurant groups. Jessica’s career journey also includes roles as a Medical Billing Supervisor and Administrative Coordinator, demonstrating expertise in invoicing, vendor relations, tax compliance, office operations, and internal controls. She holds a foundation in Business Administration/Accounting from Massasoit Community College, with a Bookkeeping I & II certification from Miami Dade College.

A proud Dominican-American, Boston native, Jessica currently resides in Roxbury with her 13-year-old son and maintains strong ties to the Hispanic community and local family-owned small businesses. Beyond her professional life, Jessica enjoys travel, all Boston sports, is an avid reader, and embraces a diverse taste in music.

[email protected]

William Riordan
Accounting Manager

Bill helps to lead all that is Finance, including financial reporting, compliance, Audit , Tax, G/L, P/R, A/R ,& A/P and program support. He is a Graduate of Belmont High School, Belmont, MA and Suffolk University, Boston, MA. Previously Bill worked at Schepens Retina Associates, Boston Medical Center, Greater Boston YMCA, Society for Organizational Learning, and The Boston Conservatory. Bill lives in Arlington, MA with his wife Maggie and son Liam, a Junior at Arlington High School.

[email protected]
617-533-9557

Kimberly Williams-Etienne
Asset Manager

Kim oversees DBEDC’s 1200-unit portfolio of affordable housing and commercial real estate. She has over a decade of Asset Management experience and has overseen many communities including Rural Development, Tax Credit and Section 8 properties in both non-profit and for-profit sectors. She began her journey as an Asset Manager at Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation. She has over a decade of experience in Asset Management primarily in affordable housing in both non- profit and for- profit sectors. She began her journey as an Asset Manager at Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, a Boston based non-profit syndicator, where she managed a Low Income Housing Tax Credits and New Market Tax Credits portfolio and worked with various investors, developers and management companies throughout the New England area. While at Boston Financial, a Boston based syndicator, she managed a national portfolio consisting of Metro and Rural residential developments with various layers of subsidies. Kim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Emmanuel College. Outside of work, Kim enjoys crafting, Caribbean cultural arts and spending time with her family.

[email protected]

Paola Pelletier-Ozuna
Director of Operations

Paola Pelletier-Ozuna is the Director of Operations at Dorchester Bay EDC. She serves as a thought partner for executive leadership, overseeing the organization’s strategic planning, communications strategy, organizational impact, and systems development. She heads our Operations Department, which serves as the central hub for our organization’s vital functions. Under her guidance, the department oversees multiple critical teams, including Communications, Data and Evaluations, and Office Operations.

Paola is a proud Dominican-American and Bostonian. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she earned a degree in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and Latin American Studies. Upon graduation, Paola pursued her passion for social justice and became a labor union organizer with UNITE HERE Local 26, where she represented 400 hotel and food service workers in the city of Boston. She then went on to work as a paralegal at the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, where she coordinated intake to help identify potential civil rights violations. Paola also brings ample experience in project management and development from her experience at nonprofits such as Be The Change, Inc., and Artists For Humanity.

Prior to arriving at Dorchester Bay EDC, Paola worked as Program Director at Enroot, where she led the program development and strategic initiatives for immigrant high school youth in Cambridge. She holds a Master of Public Policy from Tufts University where she was awarded Neighborhood Fellow and the City of Boston’s New Urban Mechanics Summer Fellowship. Her primary areas of focus were urban planning, economic development, racial equity, and public policy analysis.

She lives in Jamaica Plain with her husband and two cats and teaches yoga in Dorchester and Jamaica Plain.

[email protected]
617-533-9553

Shira Burns
Communications Manager

Shira Burns is the Communications Manager. She oversees public relations and communications to DBEDC constituents, and the organization’s print and digital marketing.

Shira is passionate about nonprofit communications and storytelling. She recently managed communications for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston and prior to that handled communications for the nonprofit Keshet. Shira holds an MA in Communication from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in English Literature from Smith College.

In her free time Shira enjoys singing in a choir, volunteering with Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, and playing with her cat at home in Jamaica Plain.

[email protected]

David Nardelli
Data and Evaluation Manager

David Nardelli is the Data and Evaluations Manager. They oversee DBEDC’s transition and utilization of a unified data management software across the organization.

David Nardelli deeply cares about the impacts of affordable housing for vulnerable populations, and how data can be utilized to empower marginalized communities. Prior to working at DBEDC, they oversaw the transition to a digital HMIS at Commonwealth Land Trust, a permanent supportive housing provider in Boston. David graduated from Northeastern with an MS in Urban Planning and Policy.

David lives in Dorchester with his two roommates and cat, and spends his time biking and rock climbing in his neighborhood.

[email protected]

Susan Chu
Director of Real Estate

Susan is the Director of Real Estate. Prior to DBEDC, Susan worked at a Chinatown nonprofit where she led the organization through several affordable housing development initiatives and projects, including the development of 85 new units of affordable rental housing. Before entering the world of affordable housing, Susan practiced law for several years, representing individuals, private companies, and nonprofit organizations in various civil and transactional matters, including zoning appeals.

[email protected]
617-533-9561

Alex Bob
Real Estate Senior Project Manager

Alex is the Senior Project Manager on the Real Estate team. He manages the Columbia Crossing project in Upham’s Corner and supports other real estate projects and initiatives.

Alex is passionate about developing high-quality, affordable housing in the Greater Boston Area and advocating for policy that supports households struggling to afford rising housing costs.

Before Dorchester Bay, Alex worked at the Somerville Community Corporation where he managed the “100 Homes” scattered site affordable housing program that acquired and converted existing multifamily housing to deed-restricted affordable homes. He has also previously worked at the City of Somerville’s Housing Division developing new anti-displacement and affordable housing production policies.

[email protected]
617-533-9566

Lanette Johnson
Real Estate Associate (OppCo Fellow)

Lanette Johnson is a HBCU graduate from Virginian Union University with 10+ years experience in the education field, ranging from preschool to kindergarten. Lanette’s most recent job was at the Boston Renaissance Charter School in Hyde Park. Lanette is currently serving her fellowship at Dorchester Bay through the Fellowship for Equitable Affordable Housing Development, a two-year program from Urban Edge, The Neighborhood Developers, and OppCo designed to bring more People of Color into the field of affordable housing development. In her free time, she likes to spend time with my family, especially her daughter. She loves plants and likes to cook. She also started a small juice business this year.

“I believe everyone deserves to have a place to call home and the affordable housing developments will help eliminate those housing insecurities. This fellowship is breaking barriers and giving women or color an opportunity to make a change and I am grateful to be an inaugural member of such an amazing opportunity.”

[email protected]

Briana Kan
Real Estate Project Manager

Briana is a Real Estate Project Manager who supports various housing and mixed-use development projects. Briana has an academic background in political science and urban planning and is deeply passionate about affordable housing, urban design, and community outreach. With a diverse background in real estate, encompassing affordable housing development and commercial real estate acquisitions, development, and property management, she is dedicated to advancing community and economic development through the built environment.

Briana loves outdoor activities including hiking, climbing, and backpacking, and also enjoys knitting and crocheting. For the past few years, she has been a volunteer and facilitator for the City of Cambridge’s Participatory Budgeting initiative and hopes to make participating in local government more accessible and engaging for all.

[email protected]
617-533-9586

Tim Kardatzke
Real Estate Project Manager

Tim assists the Real Estate team in the development of new housing projects for the Dorchester/Upham’s Corner community. For the last 5+ years, Tim worked as a Rehabilitation Specialist at Just A Start in Cambridge, providing logistical and technical assistance to low/moderate income homeowners with their home improvement projects. Tim also worked with the Community Development Dept. for the City of Cambridge, to refurbish first-time homebuyer units for the resale market.

“Even though I am not native to New England, for 25+ years now I still enjoy finding new places and activities to explore. Recently, I volunteered for a nearby elementary school to help 1st and 2nd graders with reading and comprehension. I also volunteered as a grant writer for the West End Museum to help with major renovation projects and exhibit construction.”

[email protected]
617-533-9564

Angie Peguero
Director of Resident and Community Engagement

Angie is an outgoing and passionate person who strongly believes everyone deserves a place to call home! She has worked in different departments throughout her time in affordable housing, such as inspections, compliance, and of course resident services. Throughout her experience, she has learned that being out in her community and serving the residents is exactly where she is supposed to be.

As a member of the community and having over 10 years of housing experience, she looks forward to being an advocate for residents, and a support system for the management team. Angie encourages the community to advocate for the changes that they want to see. Her number one goal is to reassure them that they are living and working in the safest and most enjoyable community, all while staying in compliance with their lease.

[email protected]
617-533-9576

WaWa Leviner
Resident and Community Engagement Coordinator

WaWa is a mission-oriented professional with five years of experience building intentional relationships while inspiring positive behavioral change among at-risk, proven-risk, and gang-involved youths. He is a proactive leader combining passion for social justice with proven ability to identify, resolve, and de-escalate violent conflicts. Expertise includes designing employment and re-entry programs, anti-violence initiatives, staff trainings, and securing network of community partners. He was named 2022 Volunteer of the Year by Three Squares Main Street, City of Boston. Previously, he has worked for the City of Boston, directly engaging with families, individuals, at-risk youths, gang-involved youths, and young adults to build trust, develop relationships, and promote/support behavioral change away from gang-related and self-destructive activities. He also worked Community Outreach Coordinator for the Boston Job Coalition, educating and organizing residents to serve as advocates for equal access to economic and housing justice, as an Outreach Coordinator for MissionSAFE, and is Co-Founder and Vice President of the Nubian Square Foundation. WaWa a father of three, grew up in Roxbury, and plays the drums.

[email protected]
617-533-9581

Felicia Richard
Resident and Community Engagement Coordinator

Felicia is a Resident and Community Engagement Coordinator, and previously served as a climate justice community organizer for the Fairmount Indigo CDC Collaborative (FICC), organizing for climate justice and health equity. Felicia was born and raised in Boston, MA in the Dorchester neighborhood. In her free time, Felicia enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading and cooking.

“Getting involved with community advocacy comes very naturally for me; My parents have always been involved with community advocacy, so I have learned by example. I have been a volunteer for over 20 years with the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA), advocating for affordable homeownership in the City of Boston and the State of Massachusetts.” – Felicia Richard

[email protected]
617-533-9560

Karen “Cookie” Sheers
Resident and Community Engagement Coordinator

Karen “Cookie” Sheers works closely with our residents and teaches the Technology Goes Home computer class. Cookie has successfully graduated over 650 students in or around the Dorchester area. 15 years ago, Cookie started at Dorchester Bay as an AmeriCorps VISTA member then became the Administrative Assistant/ Building Manager to Resident Service Coordinator for Dudley Village N&S.

Cookie is professionally trained in Early Childhood Education and School Age Child Care. With over 12 years of experience, Cookie has worked at several youth programs that include the Dorchester YMCA and Bird Street Community Center.

[email protected]
617-533-9554

Samantha Menard
Director of Resource Development

Samantha Menard is the Resource Development Manager at Dorchester Bay EDC. She is a visionary strategist expertly devising tactical action plans to support and raise vital funds for programs that promote economically equitable outcomes. She oversees the Resource Development team, responsible for fundraising, grant direction, and donor relations.

For the last 15 years, Samantha has been amplifying resources, power, and collaboration in nonprofit spaces committed to social justice. Before DBEDC, she served as a Chief Operating Officer for an organization that supports non-violent, mother-tongue education in rural communities of Haiti.

Samantha holds a Master of Media Management and a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University. She is an avid traveler currently DIY-ing a zen backyard space, struggling to discover her green thumb, and experimenting in the kitchen with her two spirited preschoolers.

[email protected]

Laurene DaRosa
Donor Relations Manager

As the Donor Relations Manager (DRM), Laurene collaborates with the Resource Development Director to develop, plan, implement and evaluate fundraising approaches, including sponsorships and annual giving, to sustain and grow revenue and the donor base. Laurene started her career in the Non-Profit world in 2020 at Codman Square NDC as the Executive Assistant/Special Projects manager. While there she worked on various projects that focused on improving the quality of life and economic stability in the Dorchester community. Prior to working at CSNDC she worked as a Program Coordinator at Mass General Hospital in the Telehealth Department. Laurene holds a BS in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. She lives in Dorchester and enjoys volunteering at different community events and organizations, as well as reading and traveling.

[email protected]
617-250-0711

Allison McGovern
Grants Manager

As Grants Manager, Allison identifies and leads new business development initiatives, builds relationships with donors and strategic partners, and manages the implementation of DBEDC’s contracts and grants.

Allison holds a professional and educational background in economic development, equality, and human rights. She has worked previously as a Senior Program Officer with Partners of the Americas, supporting the implementation of projects to promote human and labor rights and gender equality. She has also worked in the Multi-Agency Coordination Unit of Standing Together Against Domestic Violence, helping to coordinate the efforts of local service providers to protect high-risk victims of abuse. She additionally worked in resource development at Women for Women International, identifying and engaging sources of funding for the organization. Allison has a master’s degree in Gender, Development, and Globalization from The London School of Economics, and a bachelor’s degree in International Development and Latin American Studies from The George Washington University.

In her free time, Allison enjoys going for hikes, baking, and growing her houseplant collection. She is a native English speaker and fluent in Spanish.

[email protected]

Brenda Bobadilla
Director of Small Business

As Director of Small Business, Brenda leads the Small Business team in providing clients with loans, grants, and technical assistance. Brenda is bilingual and worked for two small businesses in California before joining Dorchester Bay. Brenda started as in admin here at Dorchester Bay back in 2017 and transitioned into small business in 2018. She attended Cambridge College for her Business Development Certification and also participated in the NALCAB Pete Garcia Community Economic Development Fellowship and got her certificate.

[email protected]
617-533-9578

Cesar J. Camacho
Lending and Outreach Officer

As the Lending and Outreach Officer Cesar is committed to promoting loan products, cultivating relationships, performing financial analyses, and providing credit recommendations to underserved small businesses in Boston, with a focus on Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan, while actively engaging in business development efforts to grow the loan portfolio and support Dorchester Bay’s mission of serving diverse communities predominantly of color.

Cesar is a passionate and results-driven professional committed to community development. With a proven track record in relationship management and business development, he specializes in supporting underserved small businesses and driving economic growth in diverse communities. Beyond his lending experience, Cesar brings a deep understanding of racial equity and a commitment to serving under-resourced small businesses represented by minority, immigrant, and women-owned clientele. His ability to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds has been instrumental in fostering trust, building strong client relationships, and providing an exceptional client experience.

In his spare time, Cesar finds joy in exploring nature with his partner and their two children through running, hiking, and fishing, while also embracing his inner coach as he guides K1 students in soccer and unleashes his creativity through DIY projects at home.

[email protected]

Nicholas Fernandes
Lending and Outreach Officer

Nicholas “Nick” Fernandes is a Lending and Outreach Officer with the Small Business team. Nick is a strong believer and proponent of economic empowerment and equity. In his most recent role as an owner/operator of the award-winning JJ’s Caffe in Brockton, MA, Nick has been in the shoes of Dorchester Bay small business clients. At JJ’s, Nick, along with his family strived to create a warm and welcoming environment for everyone, living by the motto “Enter as Strangers, Leave as Friends.”

Nick was born and raised in Brockton, Massachusetts. He is an alumnus of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and earned his MBA from Babson College.

Nick brings this vision of servant leadership to Dorchester Bay EDC. He loves to help people and their businesses grow and flourish.

[email protected]

Carolina Leins-Sultan
Director of Workforce Development

As the Director of Workforce Development at Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (DBEDC), Carolina Leins-Sultan leads the strategic planning, design, and execution of the Dorchester Bay Workforce Development Program. With over 15 years of dedicated experience as a Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW), Carolina has transitioned from direct service roles to impactful program management, driving systemic change and enhancing community well-being.

Carolina holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with minors in Sociology and Spanish from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her expertise is further enhanced by certifications in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Trauma-Informed Child Welfare, Multi-Contextual Trauma Treatment, and Forensic Services. These credentials support her comprehensive approach to workforce development.

In her previous role as Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Development Program Manager, Carolina managed grants and spearheaded initiatives to engage diverse stakeholders, promote supplier diversity, and increase and diversify the energy efficiency workforce. Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to serving marginalized communities, advocating for others, and empowering individuals to enhance their skills and achieve self-sufficiency.

Fluent in Spanish, Carolina effectively engages and supports diverse communities. Her strategic leadership and commitment to equity drive sustainable solutions and foster long-term societal impact. Carolina is a Boston-native and is committed to serving her community.

[email protected]
(617) 533-9573

Linda Mello
Reentry Case Manager

Linda holds a Master’s degree in Industrial and Career Counseling and has 15 years of counseling experience. She has an uncanny knack for building a relationship that leads to jobs for the hard to employ. Linda served as a Human Resources and Job Placement Manager for Inner City, a subsidiary of the Polaroid. She was responsible for making over 700 job placements over a ten year time period. She was also the Regional Human Resources Manager for Polaroid’s New Bedford and Norwood Manufacturing Organization.

[email protected]
617-533-9575

Kendra Beaver
Climate Justice Coordinator

Kendra Beaver is the Climate Justice Coordinator for the Fairmount Indigo CDC Collaborative (FICC), an umbrella organization of which DBEDC is a member along with Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation and Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation. FICC works to bring climate justice and health equity to the communities united by the Fairmount Rail Line.

Kendra holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a minor in Political Science from Dickinson College. Prior to joining FICC, Kendra worked in philanthropy, urban agriculture, sustainability in higher education, regional government, and watershed conservation.

Kendra is a proud resident of Dorchester and served on the board as Secretary of the St. Marks Area Civic Association for two years. She is also a member-owner of the Dorchester Food Co-op and a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts program.

[email protected]
617-533-9565

Lara Cardoso
Climate Justice Community Organizer

Lara Cardoso is one of two Climate Justice Community Organizers for the Fairmount Indigo CDC Collaborative. She grew up in Brockton, a large city South of Boston, where she attended school and still resides today. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability from the University of Massachusetts Boston – located in Dorchester- and is currently pursuing her Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Environmental Management.

Prior to joining FICC, she held several positions in environmental advocacy organizations, including the Environmental League of Massachusetts, and more recently, the Massachusetts Climate Action Network. She is very excited to work with and learn from residents in the Boston area, and looks forward to continuing to advocate for climate justice and health equity.

[email protected]
617-344-3695

Andrealis Martinez
Climate Justice Community Organizer

Andrealis Martinez Padilla is one of the two Climate Justice Community Organizers for the Fairmount Indigo CDC Collaborative. She’s originally from Puerto Rico, and her first language is Spanish. Andrealis traveled all the way to Springfield, Massachusetts to get her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from Bay Path University! After working, studying, understanding, and connecting with the earth, she understood the importance of taking care of what provides us with basic human needs. She enjoys volunteering at OASIS on Ballou Urban Community Farm right in Dorchester, MA. Andrealis enjoys empowering the community to learn and understand the importance of climate change, and connecting and networking with members interested in being part of the change. She is loves her role at FICC since it’s been an amazing learning experience.

[email protected]
617-533-9572

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