Meet the Team

 
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Shereen Shermak, Executive Director

Shereen has been a resident of Boston's South End for 20 years, and is focused on improving the local Boston economy through ensuring that Boston leverages 100% of the talent that lives and works here. She was previously a Boston-based venture capitalist, entrepreneur and active angel investor. Previously, Shereen served as a Fund Manager and CEO at Launch Angels, a Boston-based seed stage VC firm, where she managed the Where Fund’s investments in 13 early stage companies. She co-founded BuysideFX, where she led Product and was a member of the management team, and held a similar role at Boston-based Currensee (acq. Oanda). 

Her earlier career consisted of launching internal fintech ventures for large financial services firms, after joining the technology strategy firm DiamondCluster (acq. PWC) in its early days. Shereen also spent six years working as an environmental engineer after graduating from Duke University. 

Shereen received her M.B.A. from MIT’s Sloan School and holds an M.P.A. from Harvard’s Kennedy School. She currently serves on the Board of Overseers of Big Brothers Big Sisters Massachusetts Bay. Outside of work, Shereen pursues distance running and is a baker of old school breads.

Joana Ortiz, Marketing & Events Manager

Originally from Austin, TX, Joana has over 7 years of professional experience in the nonprofit, public and private sectors.

Previously, Joana served as the Manager of Marketing and Communications at Mass Mentoring Partnership where she managed brand strategy, media relations, and developing digital campaigns for public policy initiatives. She also served with the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy as a social media strategist.

With a diverse background in education policy, workforce development, youth development, and tech, Joana is driven by her belief that women’s rights is an economic imperative for the prosperity of nations. Joana received her B.A. in International Relations from St. Edward’s University.

Outside of work, you can find Joana on Twitter, listening to all kinds of music, and drinking way too much coffee.  

Renee Lucas, Community Coordinator

Renee is from Millis, MA. She attended Bryant University and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Sociology Social Research. While attending Bryant, she completed research on the gender wage gap and organized a focus group of other seniors in college on their knowledge of the wage gap and how it will affect them after graduation. 

Renee completed an internship in 2017 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the Diversity and Inclusion Office. During that time she updated the Diversity Toolkit, wrote blog posts for ERGs and CEOD groups, and compiled research. She continued her work at UMass Medical by becoming a Research Assistant for the Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion to aid her research efforts for a publication on cross racial friendships. 

Outside of work, she spends her free time working out, riding horses, reading, and playing with her two dogs, Ruger and Tula.


2019 Data FelloW

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Colette Howell

Colette has worked in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Portland Oregon, and the San Francisco Bay Area but now lives in her home state of Maine. Trained in computer science, Colette has spent her career in Human Resource Information Systems. Presently, she provides contact consulting services for large corporations Recent corporate clients include Bayer/Monsanto and Liberty Mutual. Sometimes she finds herself collaborating with far-flung sites (Thailand comes to mind as particularly challenging in terms of time zones).

Colette has been a key member of a number of large projects including merger/acquisition events that necessitate finding ways to accurately dovetail HR data from disparate systems. In the case of the Bayer/Monsanto merger, Colette started with analysis and from that implemented customized conversion programs (TOAD/SQL) to achieve the desired translation of Monsanto’s data into the Bayer SAP system via lineage study and ETL. Colette deals regularly with the myriad primary and derived data elements associated with HRIS, including EEO reporting, turnover, reporting chains and of course direct employment data such as salaries, time of incumbency, payroll interfacing and so on.

When she isn’t whipping up an SQL driven database, Colette enjoys gardening, attempting the latest VR game with her daughter Ellie, or cooking in the French style. Email Colette.


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