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.

Gabriel Casasanta

Career Coach

Gabriel is a Lesley University intern and career coach at BEST. In his role, Gabriel assists job seekers reach their career goals by assisting with resume building, 
the application process, and coaching for success.

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.

Ceren Ege

AmeriCorps Member

Ceren is an AmeriCorps member serving on BEST’s Education Team. She teaches English and US Citizenship Test Preparation, and helps BEST clients obtain better educational, vocational, and social opportunities in their communities.

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.

Jeff Kaneb

MSW Intern, Boston College School of Social Work

As BEST’s Boston College MSW intern, Jeff assists clients and staff across all departments.

Rose London

AmeriCorps Member

Rose is an AmeriCorps member serving at BEST. As part of the Education Team, she teaches English and helps manage the volunteer program. 

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.

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.

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.

Mallory Wheeler

AmeriCorps Member

Mallory is an AmeriCorps member for the New American Integration Program (NAIP). She serves with the BEST Job Seeker team as a Career Coach.

Jerry Wheelock

Data 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.

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.”