Board of Directors

Sandra Harris, Chair

Sandra Harris is the Assistant Vice President of Government & Community Affairs at Columbia University Medical Center. In her role, she is responsible for maintaining community and institutional relations, developing partnerships and promoting university and community programs that impact the health and well-being of the northern Manhattan community. Ms. Harris's work in the community began 23 years ago, as a Constituent Services Liaison for State Senator Franz Leichter, where she developed a keen understanding of the needs of her community. This led to a career change, which resulted in her working at Alianza Dominicana and later becoming Executive Director of the Northern Manhattan Community Voices Collaborative. Ms. Harris currently serves as a member of the American Public Health Association, National Association of Social Workers and the NJ Mental Health Counselor’s Association.

Ms. Harris has a master's degree in Social Work from City University of New York-Hunter College and bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the College of Human Services- Metropolitan College of New York. 

John Lyons, Treasurer

John Lyons is a Research Assistant in the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education at New York University Steinhardt School of Culture Education & Human Development. In his role, he manages research projects and is responsible for qualitative and quantitative analyses. Prior to Mr. Lyons’ work at the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, he was part of the NMIC staff from 2002 through 2009, first as an English Language Instructor and later promoted to Director of the Adult Education Program. In his English Language Instructor position, Mr. Lyons developed numerous courses and workshops as part of the English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) curriculum. As the Adult Education Program Director, he managed the program’s funding and assisted with agency-wide strategy. Mr. Lyons’ English Instructor path began at BKC International House in Moscow, Russia where he taught grammar and communicative English at all levels from children to adult professionals.

Mr. Lyons has a Ph.D. in English Education from New York University-Steinhardt and a master's degree in Language and Literacy from the City University of New York-City College.

 

Evelyn De La Rosa, Secretary

Evelyn De La Rosa is an active community member who has also served as Account Manager at AT&T Interactive where she was responsible for technology-related customer service issues and delivered expertise in redesigning and updating clients’ websites. Prior to her position at AT&T Interactive, Ms. De La Rosa served as a Workforce Management Analyst/Project Manager at Washington Post, Kaplan Higher Education where she administered change order processes and implemented systematic plans in restructuring IT to work more efficiently. Preceding her work at Kaplan Higher Education, she was a Marketing Manager, Team Leader and Senior Loan Officer at Newbridge Mortgage Corporation where she provided training for new loan officers.

Evelyn has a master's degree in Organizational Leadership/Management from Mercy College and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information System and Business Administration from Manhattan College.

 

Edward Cuesta, Member

Edward "Eddie" Cuesta is the National Executive Director at Dominicanos USA. In his role, Mr. Cuesta provides management and supervision of an on-the-ground, civic engagement operation situated in Hostos Community College. Prior to joining Dominicanos USA, Mr. Cuesta served as Recruitment Strategist at the City University of New York- Murphy Institute School of Professional Studies where he was responsible for the development of successful recruitment for certificate and academic degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Earlier in his career, Mr. Cuesta worked in the money remittance industry in roles ranging from General Manger at Envios Abreu y Collado, Ltd. to Corporate Account and Area Development Manager for the Northeast Region at Sigue Corporation.

Mr. Cuesta has a master's degree in Urban Studies from the City University of New York-Murphy Institute School of Professional Studies and a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the City University of New York-City College.

Nathalie Tejada, Member

Nathalie Tejada is the Director of Corporate Sponsorship at the Dominican Film Festival of NYC. In her role, she is responsible for securing financial support from corporations and the government as well as increasing levels of involvement and support among donors and prospects. Prior to her current role, Ms. Tejada served as Director of Development, Public, and Government Relations at Astor Services for Children & Families where she developed and executed an annual fundraising plan, led events and managed the Bronx Committee of the Board and the Young Professionals Board. Previously, Ms. Tejada was the Development Coordinator at the City College of New York where she researched potential funding programs, developed strategies for crowdfunding campaigns, and coordinated fundraising events. She began her development career at Dominican Women’s Development Center (DWDC) where she first held the title of Development Officer and then Grant Writer and Special Event Consultant. Ms. Tejada is currently a member of the Committee for the Future, New York Women's Foundation, and DWDC's Gala Benefit Committee.

Ms. Tejada has a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Latin American Studies and a master's degree in Public Affairs from the City University of New York-John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

 

Cheryl Kallem, Member

Cheryl Kallem is a Senior Managing Director at First Manhattan Co., where she has also served as the firm’s Chief Financial & Operations Officer. In those roles, she directed all financial and operational activities and in 2011, she was asked to assume responsibility for information technology. Ms. Kallem was a member of the committee charged with establishing strategic direction, managing all business activities and overseeing operations and administrative matters. Additionally, she has had significant involvement in compliance and corporate governance matters and served as the firm’s Co-Chief Compliance Officer. Prior to joining First Manhattan Co., Ms. Kallem served as Managing Director and Assistant Controller of Bear, Stearns & Co., with responsibility for both regulatory reporting and the international accounting group. She has also served as the Managing Director of Internal Audit at Kidder, Peabody & Co. as well as the Chief Financial & Administrative Officer of J. J. Kenny & Co. Ms. Kallem previously served as Treasurer, and later, Co-President, of the New York City Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Ms. Kallem has a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Colgate University and an MBA in Accounting from Rutgers University. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Seny Taveras, Member

Seny Taveras is the Executive Director of CUNY in the Heights- Hostos Community College, Department of Continuing Education and Workforce Development. In this role, she oversees a broad range of fiscal and program responsibilities for continuing education and related external programs. Ms. Taveras previously served as Chief of Staff to New York City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, where she managed budgets, legislation, and day-to-day operations. Before obtaining her position with the Councilmember, Ms. Taveras worked in the private sector serving as Chief of Staff for DAP Strategies, LLC where she was responsible for strategic planning for a segment of the company’s international portfolio. Prior to her experience in the private sector, she worked as Special Assistant to New York State Deputy Secretary for Public Safety and Homeland Security, Denise O’Donnell. In her role, she influenced policies and operations for the state’s homeland security, emergency preparedness, and criminal justice agencies. Before rising to the special assistant position, she also served as Senior Policy Advisor to Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson.

Ms. Taveras has a bachelor's degree in Legal Studies from City University of New York-John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a JD from Hofstra University School of Law.