Marie Downey

Executive Director

Marie is the Founder and Executive Director of BEST.

Joan Abbot

Assistant Director

Joan works closely with the Executive Director on new initiatives and oversees data management, the incumbent worker education program, and outreach and marketing for BEST.

Katherine Bailey

Data Manager

Katherine is BEST’s Data manager. She manages BEST’s Salesforce for Nonprofits database and is responsible for data quality, data security, reporting and process improvement.

Jenna Brooks

AmeriCorps Member

Nelly Chan

Career Coach

Nelly is tri-lingual (English, Mandarin and Cantonese) so she is particularly valuable on the coaching team. Since 1997, she has also worked at Modern Assistance Program, the employee assistance program for Local 26 hotel workers.

Huiling Chen

Program Manager

Huiling started at BEST as a job seeker student and then BEST hired her before any of the hotels could. Now she manages BEST’s English for Hospitality program and the volunteer program and she teaches an English class.

Joe Coughlin

Financial Controller

Joe Coughlin is responsible for BEST’s financial operations including payroll, benefits, annual audit, and associated schedules.

Mary Cronin

Skills Training & Operations Director

Mary oversees BEST’s skills training programs including On-Call Banquet Server, the Introduction to Hospitality Training Program and certification courses. She designed and teaches BEST’s culinary classes. Mary is responsible for oversight of the skills training team and facilities management.

Hallie D’Angelo

Boston College Intern

Hallie is interning with BEST as part of her MSW program at Boston College School of Social Work. She splits her time between the incumbent and the job seeker programs, helping clients advance in their personal and professional lives.

Edwin Gonzalez

Intake Coordinator

Edwin is BEST’s Intake Coordinator for the Local 26 classes. He does outreach to Local 26 properties, greets guests of the Medford office, and teaches CPR.

Lauren Greenwood

Career Coach

Lauren works as a Career Coach primarily in BEST’s Dudley Square office. She helps individuals from the community secure employment and gain financial stability.

Lauryn Hart

AmeriCorps Member

Lauryn is BEST’s AmeriCorps Career Coach, serving in our Dudley Square office. She helps students gain the necessary skills to be successful in their future hospitality careers as well as in their personal lives. 

Alexis Kubana

Computer Instructor

Alexis first came to BEST in 2017 as a Massachusetts Service Alliance Commonwealth Corps Volunteer Management Specialist. He continues at BEST as a computer teacher.

Shery Murphy

Employment Services Director

Shery oversees the development, implementation, and management of BEST’s employment services. She leads and supports BEST’s career counselors and helps job seeker clients reach their personal and professional goals.

Lauren Murtagh

AmeriCorps Member

Aisha Necoechea

Workforce Development Strategist

Aisha is responsible for grant development and management, funding procurement, and strategic planning.

Mei Ngo

Technology Manager

Mei teaches classes in computers and English for Hospitality at BEST. She oversees technology in both our Medford and Roxbury sites. Mei also contributes to BEST’s social media presence.

Dorrie Nord

Lead Skills Instructor

Dorrie is BEST’s Lead Skills Instructor, teaching the Intro to Hospitality/Housekeeping Pre-Apprenticeship class. She also is part of BEST’s incumbent program team where she creates new programs, teaches workshops, and otherwise supports the education team.

Bill O’Brien

Skills Instructor

Bill teaches BEST’s very popular “On-Call Banquet Server” class which prepares people to serve at large events at hotels and conference centers.

Luther Pinckney

Community Engagement Specialist

Luther is BEST’s Community Engagement Specialist. He runs BEST’s weekly job seeker information sessions and spends much of his time doing outreach in the community, raising the visibility of hospitality careers as a viable pathway into the middle class.

Brenda Richardson

Program Coordinator

Brenda is responsible for front office management of the Dudley Square office where she provides support to our students as well as to those seeking training. She manages all administrative aspects of the job seeker intake process.

Peter Swank

Skills Instructor

Peter Swank helps teach the On-Call Banquet Server class. He also designed and teaches BEST’s Barista Class.

Lori Sylvia

Apprenticeship Director

Lori handles all apprenticeship requirements for BEST’s Introduction to Hospitality Housekeeping Pre-apprenticeship program, including strengthening employer partnerships, acting as a liaison with partners such as the MA Department of Labor and Bunker Hill Community College, and developing relevant curriculum for job seekers.

Joycelyn Wang

Career Coach

Joycelyn is on the BEST coaching team as a part of Northeastern’s co-op program. She helps guide students to maximize their personal and professional potential for a rewarding career.

Jerry Wheelock

IT Manager

Jerry has been managing the implementation of BEST’s SalesForce for NonProfits database since February 2013. He is responsible for data integrity, reporting, and processes.

Marsha Wise

Career Coach

Marsha helps BEST’s job seeker students identify and assess their own transferable job skills so they can excel in their chosen careers.

Lifen Yang

Office Assistant & Tutor

Lifen performs a range of administrative duties, assists in a computer class, and tutors individuals to help them improve their language skills.

Patrick Yu

Office Assistant

Patrick takes care of BEST most evenings – answering the phone, assisting visitors, doing administrative tasks and overall “holding down the fort.”