Top (from left to right): Iris Gomez, Rahsaan Hall, Karen Mapp, Lucas Guerra, Penn Loh
Bottom (from left to right): Willma Davis, Lily Mendez, Martella Wilson-Taylor, Omar Simmons
Martella Wilson-Taylor, Chair
Marti Wilson-Taylor joined the board in 2006. She is an organizational development consultant and recent past Chief Administrative Officer of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund USA and former President and CEO of the YWCA Boston. Prior to joining the YWCA, Marti was a principal in the consulting firm, Wilson Taylor Associates, and served as President of Transitional Employment Enterprises, Inc. Marti currently serves on the board of the Cloud Foundation, is a graduate of Cheyney State University in Pennsylvania and has a Masters in Developmental Psychology from San Francisco State University. Marti serves on the Foundation’s Governance Committee as well as chairs the Hyams Foundation board.
Iris Gomez, Clerk
Iris Gomez joined the Hyams board in 2005. She currently works as an attorney at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, a statewide legal services support center where she focuses on immigration, immigrant rights and related poverty issues. She previously worked as an attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services and is a graduate of Boston University School of Law, where she taught immigration law for many years. Iris serves as the Immigration Section Co-chair for the Boston Bar Association and is an award-winning novelist and poet (www.irisgomez.com). Iris serves on the Foundation’s Program Committee.
Penn S. Loh, Assistant Clerk
Penn Loh became a trustee in 2010. He currently is the Director of the Master of Public Policy Program and Community Practice at Tufts University. His prior positions have been with Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE), the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security, and the Tellus Institute for Resource and Environmental Strategies. Penn received his M.S. from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has served on the Massachusetts’ Energy Facilities Siting Board, Energy Efficiency Advisory Council and Climate Protection and Green Economy Advisory Committee. Penn chairs the Foundation’s Governance Committee.
Willma H. Davis, Treasurer
Willma joined the Hyams board in 2013. She is retired from John Hancock Financial Services, Inc. where she had been employed for 26 years, most recently as a Senior Managing Director and as a member of the Bond Investment Committee, Ethics/Compliance Committee and as Chairperson of the Investment Committee of the Massachusetts Capital Resources Company. She held prior positions at the Bank of Boston and as an Allocations Manager at United Way of Massachusetts Bay. Willma is a graduate of the Boston Public Schools and has a B.S. from Ohio State University, a Master in Education from Boston University, and a Master of Business Administration from Northeastern University. She is on the board of the Handel + Haydn Society, serves on the Foundation's Investment/Finance Committee, and is a member of Womenade Boston.
Lucas H. Guerra
Lucas is the Founder, Principal and Creative Director for Argus, a Boston-based marketing and communications company he began in 1994 while still in college. Lucas currently serves on the Governor’s Human Trafficking Task Force, the Governor’s Advisory Council on Immigration and Refugees and the Lesley University President’s Advisory Council. He was a previous trustee of Lesley University and has served on the boards of a number of community-based organizations including Saint Francis House, South End Community Health Center, Martha Eliot Health Center, Whittier Street Health Center and Oi Ste. Lucas received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston. He serves on the Foundation's Program Committee.
Rahsaan D. Hall
Rahsaan Hall became a trustee in 2014. He is Director of the Racial Justice Program for the ACLU of Massachusetts. He previously served as Deputy Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice and as an Assistant District Attorney in the Suffolk County’s District Attorney’s office. Rahsaan serves on the board of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the Massachusetts IOLTA Committee, and the ministerial staff of St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Cambridge. He received his B.A. degree from Ohio State University, a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and his Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School. Rahsaan serves on the Program Committee.
Karen L. Mapp
Karen L. Mapp joined the board in 2006. She is a Senior Lecturer on Education and the Faculty Program Director of the Education Policy and Management Masters Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has held prior positions with the Boston Public Schools, Institute for Responsive Education at Northeastern University, Wellesley College and Trinity College. Karen is a graduate of Trinity College and has Master’s degrees from Southern Connecticut State University and Harvard University and an Ed.D. from Harvard. She serves on the boards of the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) and the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE). From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Mapp served as a consultant on family engagement to the United States Department of Education in the Office of Innovation and Improvement. Karen chairs the Foundation’s Program Committee.
Lily Mendez-Morgan joined the Hyams board in 2013. She is Chief Operating Officer at the American Red Cross of Massachusetts. Lily has held prior positions at the University of Massachusetts, Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Access Strategies Fund. She received a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts in Boston and a B.S. from Emerson College. She is currently on the board of the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club. Lily serves on the Foundation's Governance Committee.
Omar Simmons, Assistant Treasurer
Omar Simmons became a trustee in 2012. He is Managing Director and founder of Exaltare Capital Partners, a local private equity firm. Omar is also the founder, former CEO and executive Chairman of ECP PF, the largest Planet Fitness franchise in North America. Prior to Exaltare, and ECP PF, he was a director at Windjammer Capital Investors, managing director and co-founder of Reliant Equity Investors and an associate at McCown De Leeuw & Co. and Summit Partners. Omar is a graduate of the Boston Public Schools, has a B.A. from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He is the vice chair of the board at the Chestnut Hill School. Omar serves on the Foundation's Investment/Finance Committee.
Mike Givens joined the Hyams Foundation in September 2015. A trained journalist, Mike began his non-profit career as a communications specialist for the Service Employees International Union Local 1199, where he worked advocating for on-the-job protections for healthcare workers and socioeconomic equality for low-income communities. Most recently, Mike was the Communications Manager for MassEquality, an LGBTQ rights advocacy organization. He helped craft a comprehensive communications program and secure several statewide victories, from enhanced anti-bullying protections in public schools to electing pro-equality candidates to office. Mike originally hails from Virginia and holds undergraduate degrees in English Literature and Marketing Management and a Master's Degree in Investigative Journalism.
Shani Pankam came to the Foundation in 2002. In November, 2013, she was promoted to Grants Manager where she now facilitates the overall grants management process for the Foundation and provides support to applicants, grantees and the program staff in this work. She continues to assists all of the Foundation staff in various areas including administration, finance and technology. Prior to joining Hyams, Shani was part of the founding class of Year Up, Boston. She is a member of the Grants Managers Network, New England Region, part of a national association of foundation and corporation professionals responsible for grants management and an affinity group of the Council on Foundations.
Jocelyn V. Sargent, Executive Director
617-426-5600 ext. 301
Jocelyn Sargent became executive director of the Foundation on August 29, 2016. A co-founder of the Center for Social Inclusion, she has spent the bulk of her career devoted to social equity, leadership development, and advocacy. Her training as a social scientist combined with her impressive experience in philanthropy management and research coalesce perfectly with the Foundation’s strategic mission of impacting the racial landscape in Massachusetts and beyond. She brings a professional background in grant making, research and assessment, public policy, and community development that has honed her skills as a philanthropist and social justice advocate. Her most notable work has been with the Open Society Institute in New York, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Michigan, and the Hogg Foundation in Texas.