Our Board of Directors
The Breakthrough Greater Boston Board of Directors is comprised of highly motivated, talented, and dedicated professionals who are dedicated to Breakthrough’s work to create educational equity. The BTGB Board of Directors has approximately 20 members from a variety of backgrounds, all dedicated to shaping and supporting a highly successful organization by contributing individual skills and assets. Through membership on the Board of Directors, individuals provide leadership, governance, and management support to the organization. Board members have the opportunity to connect with other professionals and organizations in the community, support the academic achievement and college access of motivated middle school students, provide unique opportunities for young people to explore teaching as a profession, and contribute their individual skills, strengths, and creative thinking to further the impact of Breakthrough Greater Boston. To learn more about joining the BTGB Board of Directors, contact Emma Samler, Director of Development and Partnerships, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melanie Forbes Goins, Chair
General Counsel, 1stdibs.com
Melanie is General Counsel at 1stdibs.com. Prior to joining 1stdibs.com, Melanie was General Counsel at Care.com providing transactional and strategic advice to the largest online destination for finding and managing family care during the company’s growth from late-stage start-up to a public company. She was also previously General Counsel at Catalant Technologies, a company whose technology platform and programs enable companies to get mission-critical work done faster, and a Senior Associate at WilmerHale, practicing in the firm’s corporate group. While at WilmerHale, Melanie volunteered with the Citizen Schools’ Discovering Justice Apprenticeship program. Melanie received her JD from Harvard Law School and her AB in social studies from Harvard College.
Melanie is passionate about Breakthrough Greater Boston’s teacher training mission and believes that we are changing student outcomes on a broad scale by changing the face of urban education. Meeting the students, teachers, and staff who participate in Breakthrough always leaves her inspired by the excellence that is infused throughout the organization. She is excited by the proven success of the program and looks forward to seeing success as BTGB continues to grow.
Bio coming soon!
Co-Founder and CEO, PlaceMe Inc.
Clara Arroyave is the CEO and co-founder of PlaceMe, the biggest co-living company in Boston. With over 7 years of experience in the real estate industry, she launched her own company in 2016, prior to being a cofounder and a team member at other two RETECH startups. Clara graduated from gener8tor, a nationally ranked accelerator that invests in high-growth startups, and has since been an active member of the Boston start-up community where she serves as an advisor, board leader, and growth consultant and focuses on strengthening start-ups with solid value propositions. She works on strategy and performance improvement in the real estate tech space. She received an MBA from Hult International Business School, where she won two innovation awards in the consulting and entrepreneurship clubs.
Clara is also a first-cohort Fellow of Latinos for Education, a nonprofit that prepares Latino Leaders to serve on Education Boards nationwide. She is passionate about education and how we can change make an impact and bring meaningful change using education as a main tool.
Director, Portfolio Manager and Senior Research Analyst, Mellon
Jonathan is a Director, Senior Research Analyst in Financials, Fintech, and Payments and a Portfolio Manager of BNY Mellon Small Cap Value Fund. He has a decades-long career as an analyst and has previously worked at Commonfund Capital Inc. and UBS Investment Bank in investment banking, private equity, and venture capital investing.
Jonathan desires to improve educational outcomes through his service on Breakthrough’s Board of Directors. He received his B.A. in Economics from Dartmouth College and his MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Lili Palacios Baldwin
Lili Palacios-Baldwin joined the Breakthrough Board of Directors in the summer of 2021 and is excited to support Breakthrough’s mission of inspiring excitement for learning, creating pathways to college, and promoting careers in education. As Deputy General Counsel for Labor, Employment and Litigation at Tufts University, she has had the opportunity to work for almost a decade as part of a diverse, innovative and inspiring community of both students and teachers which has informed her interest in and support for Breakthrough. Lili was born in Caracas, Venezuela and raised in a bi-lingual, bi-cultural home in Massachusetts where the importance of education, community involvement and service were among the principal values instilled by her parents.
Lili has been a lawyer for over twenty years and has worked as an attorney in the law firms of Robinson & Cole, LLP and Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP, and as a Senior Trial Attorney with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where she litigated employment discrimination cases throughout New England, New York, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. She is also a daughter, a wife, a mother of two really awesome kiddos, a yoga teacher, and a lover of music, African drumming, and cooking (and eating) delicious foods. Lili looks forward to finding ways to bring her whole self, skills and experience to the Breakthrough Board and in further support of the success of the organization.
Director of Children’s Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships (CHNP) at Children’s Hospital Boston
Shella Dennery, PhD, LICSW, is the director of the Boston Children’s Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships Program (BCHNP), the community behavioral health program in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Dennery directs a comprehensive school-based program in partnership with the Boston Public Schools. The program provides culturally responsive services and supports to students and families in their educational home. The program also provides professional development and consultation to educators, school administrators, and school staff.
Dr. Dennery has spent her career working as a school social worker in the Boston Public Schools and teaching and consulting on behavioral health-related topics in community settings. She partners with the Children’s Mental Health Campaign to advocate for increased access to care and systemic change in behavioral healthcare for youth across Massachusetts.
She earned her PhD from Smith College, MSW from Simmons University, and BS from Lesley University. She holds two post-master’s certificates in child and adolescent therapy and advanced clinical supervision from Smith College.
Dr. Dennery is adjunct faculty in social work at both Simmons University, Smith College, and Boston College, and is an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Jeff Davis, Treasurer
Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
Jeff has been a Partner in Ernst & Young LLP’s Financial Services Practice for 20 years. He is the Financial Services Office New England D&! Leader.
Jeff is passionate about Breakthrough’s dual mission to prepare low-income students for success in college and train the next generation of urban teachers using a unique Students Teaching Students model.
Anne has a career in educational testing for learning and neurological issues in children and adults. She is also a dedicated community volunteer with a long history of service in schools and children-centered non-profits.
Over the years, Anne has seen first-hand the impact of Breakthrough’s mission to promote careers in education using a unique Students Teaching Students model. Two of Anne’s children and one of her nieces were Summerbridge/Breakthrough teachers; all have gone on to careers in education.
Rector-Elect, St. James Church
Rev. Edwin Johnson offers spiritual and missional leadership to his faith community in Dorchester as the Assistant Rector at St. James’s Episcopal Church in Cambridge where he coordinates and grows their efforts to improve the surrounding community through social justice and service. He seeks to improve the ways that schools, community centers, nonprofits, and places of worship collaborate to support the growth and safety of young people. His connection to Cambridge and its young people began the summer of 2001 when he began working for BTGB as a Teaching Fellow after his first year at Tufts University. Edwin went on to join the full-time staff as the Alumni coordinator in 2004 and worked through the summer of 2007 before leaving to enter the Priesthood.
As a first-generation college student himself, Edwin’s passion for creating paths to college keeps him involved in Breakthrough and he is overjoyed at how much the program has grown in its ability to support young people through college entry. A native of Dorchester, he has always loved children and deeply valued education. He is excited about the role he played in launching Breakthrough’s high school program as well as BTGB’s continued growth and looks forward to being part of BTGB’s continued success.
As a first-generation college student himself, Edwin’s passion for creating paths to college keeps him involved in Breakthrough and he is overjoyed at how much the program has grown in its ability to support young people through college entry. A native of Dorchester, he is excited about BTGB’s expansion into Boston and looks forward to being part of BTGB’s continued success.
Chief of Staff, Neuroscience Discovery at AbbVie
Bio coming soon!
Executive Director Biologics, AbbVie Bioresearch Center
Trudi Veldman Ph.D. is Executive Director Biologics at AbbVie in Worcester, MA heading up a group of 40+ scientists responsible for the production of therapeutic antibodies and protein reagents in support of biologics drug discovery across all therapeutic areas of AbbVie. Prior to joining AbbVie/Abbott in 2003, Trudi worked for 20 years at Genetics Institute/Wyeth (now Pfizer) in Cambridge. At AbbVie and Genetics Institute she has coordinated science outreach programs for elementary and middle school students. Trudi was born and raised in The Netherlands where she earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the Free University in Amsterdam. She moved to Boston in 1982 to join the biotechnology industry.
Trudi is passionate about education and hunger issues. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Boston Food Bank for many years. She first learned about Breakthrough Greater Boston through her son Daniel, who was a teacher in the program in 2005; Trudi joined the BTGB Board in 2014 and is proud to be part of a program that prepares students not only for academic success but also for life.
Yolanda Kodrzycki, Vice Chair
VP and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (retired)
Yolanda Kodrzycki is a retired vice president and senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Capping her extensive career at the Boston Fed, she served as the director of its New England Public Policy Center. The Center conducts research on key economic and policy issues in New England and engages with regional partners in advancing identified policy options. Among her past positions, Yolanda served as a resident representative of the U.S. Treasury Central and Eastern Europe Advisory Program in Warsaw, Poland. She has taught at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Training Center in Budapest, Hungary, and at Amherst College. While at the Boston Fed, Yolanda volunteered as president and board member of the New England Economic Partnership and as the Bank’s liaison to the American Economic Association Summer Training Program and Pipeline Conference.
Yolanda serves on the editorial board of MassBenchmarks, an economics magazine issued jointly by the University of Massachusetts and the Boston Fed. She received her undergraduate degree at Radcliffe College (Harvard University) and her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Yolanda is the daughter of political refugees, a naturalized U.S. citizen, a graduate of the Boston Public Schools, and a first-generation four-year college graduate.
Managing Partner, MC2 Advisory
Caroline Carmichael is a Managing Partner at MC2 Advisory. Previously, she was a Senior Vice President and Head of Operations for Sector Solutions Americas, Global Alternatives, and Global Relationship Management where she led the Consultant Relations, Market Entry Solutions, Salesforce.com, and Request for Proposal teams.
Caroline has more than 25 years of experience in international banking, finance, and investing. Prior to her current role, she headed up State Street’s Global Relationship Management program. She joined State Street in 2007 from Brown Brothers Harriman where she spent 13 years as a Global Sales and Relationship Manager and Subcustodian Network Manager. Her experience also includes positions as Investment Officer and Financial Officer for the Czech and Slovak American Enterprise Fund in both Prague and Bratislava, Relationship Manager and Financial Analyst for Citibank’s World Corporate Group in Paris, and Corporate Trader for ABN Bank in Atlanta.
Caroline is excited to be on BTBG’s Board as she cares about children and educational equity. She holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from Clemson University and a Master of Business Administration in finance and international business from New York University. She also completed the International Management Program at ESADE Business School in Barcelona and the International Women’s Forum Fellows Leadership Program at Harvard Business School and INSEAD.
Fred Tung teaches, researches, and consults in the areas of bankruptcy, corporate and securities law, and the governance of financial institutions. He has also taught at Harvard Law School, Emory University School of Law, and the law department at Peking University. Fred is a member of the American Law Institute. He has testified in Congress before the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), has served as a consultant on law reform for the Ministry of Justice in Ethiopia, the Center for Commercial Law and Economics in Indonesia, and the California Law Revision Commission, and has been a permanent blogger with the popular corporate law blog Conglomerate. He has served on the Consumer Law Task Force of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. Proficient in Mandarin, he worked as an interpreter for ABC News covering the Democracy Movement in Beijing. He has also worked as a software engineer in Silicon Valley.
Fred is pleased to be able to help with the great work that Breakthrough does in pursuit of educational equity and excellence.
Kara Bixby, Clerk
Owner and Evaluation Director, WithInsight
Kara is the Owner and Evaluation Director at WithInsight working to develop strategic evaluation systems, create capacity-building structures, and provide instructional and facilitative support to nonprofits, foundations, and schools. Before joining WithInsight, Kara worked as the Director of Research & Evaluation at Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation and a Senior Evaluation Specialist with Minneapolis Public Schools. She received her B.A. in International Political Economy and German from Fordham University and completed a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Germany after graduation. She received her Master of Public Policy in Education Policy Analysis from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Kara is passionate about educational equity and ensuring all young people have opportunities and access to realize their dreams. She believes Breakthrough has an innovative, high-quality program model that helps young people access opportunities they would not otherwise have and realize those dreams.
Rutherford began his pharmaceutical career in 1993 at Westwood Squibb in the Dermatology Division where he launched Dovonex for Psoriasis. He was promoted to the National Sales Training lead and 10 months later he became a District Manager in the San Francisco bay area covering 11 states. He then moved to Novartis and Bone Care International where he held positions with increasing leadership responsibilities.
Rutherford joined Sanofi Genzyme in 2005 as Senior Regional Business Director in the Northwest Region with the renal team. He was then appointed the National Field Sales Director for the Hectorol IV/PD team and then in 2017 was appointed as the Head of Sales for Dupixent where he is in charge of three separate sales teams.
Rutherford and his wife, Laura, have four children (two sets of twins) and Laura’s dog Simba.
Senior Vice President of Strategy and Execution at Voya Financial (retired)
Terry is a senior finance executive with strong operational background and demonstrated success in driving change within large, complex organizations. Terry is currently the Chair of the Finance Committee at Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School. Previously, he was the Senior Vice President and Group Chief Financial Officer at Fidelity Investments and the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Execution at Voya Financial.
Terry received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Northeastern University and his MBA from Harvard Business School. He believes in the transformational impact of education for everyone.