BOARD OF DIRECTORS
To learn more about the Role of being a Board Member at NEACOL, please CLICK HERE
+ Marcela M. Danesh
I am running for re-election to the NEACOL board of directors because I fully identify with the organization’s mission of improving the lives of Colombian children in need. NEACOL has a critical impact on the community and I would like to continue to help drive its success. I was part of NEACOL’s co-founding team, and in its first year served as vice president, helping to establish the organization and creating a foundation for growth.
I have over 20 years of experience in auditing, budget and planning, costs, tax and accounting with for profit and nonprofit organizations, including international experience with Colgate Palmolive, a Fortune 500 Company. I am currently working as a finance consultant with Surfside Capital, serving a variety of clients.
I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Masters of Business Administration from the Babson College Olin School of Management. I earned my Business Administration and Finance degree from Universidad ICESI (Cali, Colombia). I have also served on the boards of Conexión Advancing Latino Leadership, FriendshipWorks, ALPFA Boston, and Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts.
Marcela has over 10 years of experience in auditing, budget & planning, costs, tax, and accounting within For-Profit and Not-for-Profit organizations including international experience with a Fortune 500 Company, Colgate Palmolive. Currently she works as an independent Finance Consultant serving a variety of clients.
Marcela deep expertise spans assets of all classes, in her practice she oversees all accounting operations, preparation and analysis of financial statements; budgets, forecast, and variance analysis; managing audits schedules, and providing recommendations and strategies on all strategic and tactical matters, as they relate to budget management, cost benefit analysis, and forecasting needs.
Marcela graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Masters of Business Administration from Babson College's Olin School of Management; she earned her Business Administration and Finance degree from Universidad ICESI (Cali – Colombia). Marcela is an avid volunteer and serves on the Board of Directors of NEACOL (New England Association for Colombian Children). She also served as board member at Conexión Advancing Latino Leadership, at the GSEMA (Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, at FriendshipWorks and at ALPFA Boston.
+ Agustin Fernandez
I would like to be nominated to be part of the Board of Directors of NEACOL because I can share my expertise in the business world to help the NEACOL cause.
Agustin is the President and CEO of MicroCAD Training & Consulting, a company created in 1987, specializing in CAD training & implementation. He Personally developed over eight different training courses for Autodesk products and grew the organization from a startup to a 27 employee corporation with annual sales of 14 Million in product and Autodesk related services.
On earlier years, he was the Program director for the Greater Boston AutoCAD users group during 1994-1996. He is experienced in the management, implementation and Customization of CAD standards in various platforms.
Agustin received his Bachelor in Architecture from Universidad Bolivariana (Colombia) in 1983, and completed his Masters in Architecture at the Universiy of Illinois (Champaign, IL) in 1986. In adddition he received a graduate certificate in Administration and Management from Harvard University Extension in 1985.
+ Gloria Lara
I am interested in serving as member of the board of NEACOL because I believe that I can provide NEACOL with the strategic direction and structure that a young organization like NEACOL needs. Having been Chair and member of the Board of Directors for 3 years, as well as Chair of the membership committee and founding member of NEACOL, I believe I have a good working knowledge of the organization and a good sense of the support needs it has, which I believe are integral to the operation of the organization as well as to its continuous improvement and progress. I have also been very active in the searching for donors.
I believe I am well qualified to help NEACOL with guidance because of my entrepreneurial experience in building and managing a small Boston business from the ground up, as well as having worked for other local technology start up companies. This experience has provided me the interdisciplinary exposure to many management areas such as operations, marketing, finance, HR, technology, etc. and has taught me the importance of looking at issues from different perspectives and to take a holistic approach to problem solving. Having worked most of my life for small businesses, has also prepared me to manage different functions and tackle any task necessary to make things happen in an organization. I also have the experience of having served in the executive committees of earlier Colombian organizations in the Boston area (The Colombian Cultural Exchange and Colombianamente), as well as participated in committees of the Association of Legal Administrators, which gives me a good insight as to what makes this type of membership non-profit organizations both flourish and fail, and I can bring this to the table.
In addition, my prior experience as marketing director of different technology start ups (New Deal and Espanol.com), together with my business educational background, my experience in management consulting (Arthur D. Little and Monitor Company) and sales make me a well rounded person for the position.
Finally, I firmly believe a position on the NEACOL board will allow me the opportunity to utilize the best of my experience and capabilities to continue working for a better life for Colombian children in need.
Gloria Lara is a founding member of NEACOL, who helped with the creation of the organization bylaws, and served during 2015 as the chair of the Membership Committee. Born in Bogotá but raised in Neiva, Huila, Gloria has been living in Boston since she came in 1987 to do her undergraduate studies in Communications and International Studies at Boston College. She worked for Prudential Financial as a Financial Planner and Insurance Salesperson and later went on to complete an MBA with concentrations in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, and an MA in International Relations at Boston University. Gloria currently manages her husband’s Immigration, Criminal Defense, and Personal Injury Law Firm in Boston, FitzGerald Law Company, where she is in charge of strategic planning, marketing, operations, IT, HR and finance.
Gloria’s interest in helping the poor of her beloved Colombia has been a constant and an enduring one since childhood and all throughout her college and graduate studies. For her master’s thesis, Gloria studied ways for government to support and encourage sustainable poverty alleviation programs and she wrote her master’s thesis on Microenterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation in Latin America. Formerly, Gloria worked as Marketing Director at NewDeal Inc. and Espanol.com, and as an Internet and management consultant at AGENCY.COM, DIGITAS, Arthur D. Little, and Monitor Company. She is an active member of the Association of Legal Administrators and ALPFA (Association of Latin American Professionals in Finance and Accounting), and in the past, served as secretary for both The Colombian Cultural Exchange and Colombianamente, two Colombian organizations out of Boston. She is very exited about NEACOL’s mission and potential and she is happy in her new role within the NEACOL board to be able to help the organization continue to develop and grow.
+ Gustavo Olano
NEACOL 's mission is about our Colombian Children, their wellbeing and thus the future of our society. During my past 5 years, as a member of the Board of Director, I have witnessed the many doors that the organization has open to more than 5,000+ kids, the support provided to families in need and many other projects that NEACOL has championed within the nutrition, education and healthcare areas... our pillars to cofocus on. It has not only been the dedication of an excellent group of people with the highest qualifications and values but the perseverance of an organization devoted to grow and to make a difference for those in need.
That is in full alignment with my personal interest. To collaborate and work for those less fortunate, who do not have access to basic resources and for those who have hope that they will find a hand that will make a difference in their lives. My professional experience in strategy, developing sustainable models for growth, can help and support to achieve the organization's long term goal, with a solid infrastructure and foundation that will enable growth. We have gone through 6 prosperous years building a solid organization and this is only the beginning of a long term commitment. There much to do and I feel confident that my experience and expertise substantially contribute to build that future under ONE VISION...OUR KIDS! The Board of Directors will be an important piece, in collaboration with the executive team, committees and I am confident that I can positively contribute as a member of the team.
"Our children are the rock to which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation. They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth, those who care for and protect our people”. Nelson Mandela
Gustavo Olano is actually the Director of Marketing–Connectivity in Residential Access Solutions for The Chamberlain Group. Within his role, Gustavo has responsibility for strategic and marketing activities related to IoT access solutions for homeowners across the world. His focus resides primarily in creating and executing sustainable growth plans in addition to perform services, product and channel management. He is based in Naperville, Illinois.
Prior to this role, he worked as a consultant for MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Global Marketing Leader for Dwyer Instruments where he had responsibility over all related marketing activities worldwide.
Before moving to Illinois, Gustavo served as Global Market Development for Phoenix Controls, Marketing leader for Latin America and the Caribbean region and Country Manager for Mexico within the Environmental and Combustion Control business in Honeywell. Previously, he also served as Marketing Director for Latin America for the Security business for Honeywell , based in Miami, FL. In this role, he was responsible to drive all efforts in regards to marketing strategy, product management , channel development and market penetration, among others.
Gustavo began his career as an Army officer in Colombia for more than 5 years, then ITI Seguridad where he spent 3 years as Operation Manager, 3 years as a Commercial Manager and 1 as a partner. He joined Honeywell in 2000 and has held roles mainly in marketing , sales, management, and business development.
Gustavo holds bachelors degree in Marketing and Advertising from Politecnico Grancolombiano University of Bogota, Colombia and an MBA in international business from Hult International Business School in Cambridge, MA. He is Six Sigma Green Belt certified and fluent in four languages.
+ Javier Romero
Being a board member of NEACOL is not only a great responsibility, but most importantly, an immense honor to represent a community who’s noble dream is to fulfill the gap Colombian children confront in the areas of nutrition, education, and health. I have been an active member of NEACOL for the last five years, and I truly enjoy every one of our reunions and, meetings but overall looking at the impact that NEACOL makes in Colombia.
During my last visit to one of NEACOL’s projects in Comuna 9 in Medellin, I realized the importance of NEACOL’s work. I could not imagine the human suffering when as a child your parents are displaced from violent areas of Colombia and need to live in a new environment where the authority is a drug gang. In that precise moment, I knew that NEACOL was giving these childs a true oasis of peace and food security. Moments like these have only fortified my will to help Colombian Children.
As Board member, I was able to bring into NEACOL donations and collaborative agreements with the Revolution Soccer Team, Angelica, Tailur, Atunes Van Camps, Aquabella, Berkley College of Music, Longy School of Music, MGH development and Boston conservatory.
Another fact that motivates me every day to be a board member is to see how generous are the members of Neacol with their time, expertise and resources. You are the true pillar of this organization.
It would be a true honor to be elected as a Board member of NEACOL. Thank you
Javier M. Romero M.D. is a neurologist and neuroradiologist currently a staff member of the radiology department at Massachusetts General Hospital, assistant professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Romero serves as a board member for multiple pharmaceutical companies (Lundbeck, Synark EMD-serono) and nonprofit organizations (OEPP).
He is the founder of the Manuel Romero foundation dedicated to bring better care and quality of life for underserved communities affected by cancer in his hometown state Cordoba, Colombia. He is member of the center of Global health of MGH, committed to expanding the capacity of Mass General to respond to humanitarian crises and defining the "science" of disaster response. This center is committed to send radiological equipment to Colombia that will help early detection of cancer.
During his early professional years Dr. Romero was the head physician for the Embera- katio indigenous tribe in the southern border of Cordoba, Colombia. Here he initiated his charity and humanitarian help for underserved populations. He established first aid training and child health training program for local indigenous communities, with more than 20 caregivers in the region. In the last 15 years he has trained more than 20 Colombian physicians which are active in helping cancer patients with cancer.
+ Beatriz Stein
I am very interested to continue to be part of the Board of NEACOL because of the enjoyable professional interaction and the knowledge that our efforts are benefiting the poor under privileged children of Colombia. The goals of the organization are worthwhile and I find that we are stimulating discussion about positive change for the future. The high standards of the Board are very positive and they are something that makes me proud to be an active participant. Each meeting is very professionally organized so that I am always learning more about how meetings should be run. The members of the Board are very kind and willing to share their professional experience so that I look forward to each event.
Since 2002, Beatriz has served as the Consul General of Ecuador in Massachusetts. She manages and coordinates activities on behalf of the Government of Ecuador. Projects include working with area universities to facilitate study abroad programs and participation in numerous consular events with other member of the Boston Consular Corps. In addition, she is the Founder of the Association of Ecuadorians of New England (AENI) a nonprofit organization to help poor and needy children of Ecuador. She meets regularly with the Ibero-American Consuls in Boston and works closely with Federal, State and local government agencies and institutions to facilitate cultural, humanitarian and social programs.
Since 1991, she has worked with Martin Stein Associates as Vice President of International and Educational programs. She directs business development and client relations for international projects. Countries involved include Italy, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela and Spain. Beatriz Stein graduated from high school with the Highest Honors at the Stella Maris Collegio in Ecuador. She studied business accounting in Milan, Italy and Montgomery College, Maryland, She attended classes in English, Business and Banking at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She is Multilingual in English, Spanish and Italian. She is married to Dr. Martin Stein, lives in Needham, Massachusetts and has four children. William Giovanni is a sales executive with IDG in Framingham and has three children, Sebastian, Christian and Martina. Joshua is attending Yale Law School in New Haven, CT. Michelle is a Sales Associate with Credit Suisse in New York City and Claudia works with Puma as a Merchandising Analyst .
+ Isabel Wright
It’s my privilege to write this note and share with you about my passion for the mission of NEACOL.
Being part of NEACOL have been a rewarding experience, I have been involved with the organization in different capacities-- as a founding member, a member of the first executive team and most recently, as President, a role that I performanced successfully for three terms, thanks to the support of NEACOL’s team and supporters like you. These different roles have allowed me to get to know the organization strengths, areas of improvements and opportunities as well as develop a continue compromise for its mission.
My compromise with NEACOL goes behind a role, and it’s defined by a personal passion for serving Colombian children. Born in La Guajira (Colombia), a region that lacked basic public services as clean water, access to quality health services and education, gave me the opportunity to understand first hand the need to create better conditions for underserved children.
Under my leadership as past president, we took big steps toward strengthening the organization’s mission-- We built our first partnership with a global organization, created key partnerships with nonprofits in Colombia, supported 9 projects, benefited more than 5,000 children, gave over $100,000 in charity contributions, successfully hosted three annual Galas, which have become the organization’s major fundraising event, raised awareness among the Colombian community in Massachusetts of the need to get involved with our mission and brought a significant number of sponsors to support our work. Seeing the change we are making in the lives of thousands of Colombian children, made me realize that the time I have served our mission has been worthwhile.
There is a lot of work still to be done, but I’m confident that together we can impact many more lives. I humbly ask you for your support to become part of NEACOL Board of Directors and from there to continue with this passion of working toward improving the living conditions of these children.
Thank you in advance for your support!
Isabel Wright was the President of NEACOL. She comes with great knowledge of the organization, as she is a founding member and past president. Isabel was born and raised in Colombia and has a deep passion for working toward improving conditions for underserved children.
Earlier in her career, Isabel was a project associate at the Ford Foundation, under the umbrella of NYU Wagner's school, in which she analyzed the effectiveness of Ford’s PRI portfolio and exit strategies in the microfinance field. She did her internship with the United Nations focusing on researching and mapping diverse international funding agencies for microfinance. At the United Nations, she was a member of the UN international Year of Microcredit. Isabel started her professional career in the academic field, she was the Academic Coordinator for the Business School at Universidad Iberoamericana and a professor of Financial Analysis and Budget Management at Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano in Colombia.
Isabel holds a Bachelor‘s degree in Business from Universidad Jorge Lozano and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University. Isabel enjoys spending time with her family and friends, wine tasting and running.
(For a complete description of the Role of our Board members, please click here)