Director, Organizational & Community Solutions
Sharon Vardatira brings over three decades of experience in nonprofit management and fund development. She has served in a wide variety of leadership roles including as development director and executive director of several Boston-area nonprofits and convener and president of statewide and national partnerships and coalitions. She is a national expert in community mobilization and sustainability; she created an approach known as Accelerated Sustainability Planning and is one of the principal architects of the Nonprofit Sustainability Center. She also has deep expertise in nonprofit capacity building, strategic planning, board development, community-based asset mapping, convening public- and private-sector partnerships, and grant development.
Ms. Vardatira holds a master of theological studies from Harvard Divinity School and a bachelor's degree from Smith College.
Senior Project Manager
Sonia Bouvier, M.P.H. has over 25 years of experience working with federal, state and local public health programs and coalitions in the areas of planning, community engagement, program implementation, and evaluation. Prior to joining the Institute, she was the founding director of a nationally-recognized health-access program for uninsured individuals. She has also served in the roles of evaluator, educator, consultant and non-profit board member with programs addressing school health and safety, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, and child sexual abuse prevention.
Ms. Bouvier earned a master's in public health with a concentration in community health education from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor's of arts from Vassar College.
Finance and Administration Manager
Alyssa Flemati, MBA has several years of experience in higher education administration and finance. Prior to the institute, she was an administrative and fiscal support specialist for the UMass Center at Springfield. Ms. Flemati brings over ten years of customer service background to better assist all clients. In her current position, she focuses on procurement, creating and maintaining budgets, financial reporting and personnel management.
Ms. Flemati earned her master's of business administration from American International College, her bachelor's in business administration from Westfield State University and an associate’s in business administration from Springfield Technical Community College.
Project Management & Research Specialist
Yaritza Perez has a background in both social science research and academic administration. Prior to joining the institute, she worked at Columbia University as the Business School’s Behavioral Research Lab Manager and assisted New York University School of Professional Studies' Center for Academic Excellence and Support. She has also worked in numerous labs conducting infant, adolescent, marital, family, and cognitive research. In addition, she is an active volunteer at an international nonprofit organization that focuses on environmental, education, health, and emergency relief initiatives, and has experience with nonprofit grant development.
Ms. Perez holds a master’s in psychology and social policy from Princeton University and a bachelor’s of arts from the University of Rochester.
Senior Instructional Designer
Dana Remian assists in the design and development of instructional content, including eLearning, video, and printed materials. A recent addition to the team, Mr. Remian brings several years of experience as a corporate trainer and a wealth of experience working for both public sector and non-profit entities. He applies a creative and critical eye to designing attractive and evidence-based approaches to learning. His broad interests and knowledge make him well suited for consulting with subject-matter experts to capture and share their expertise with others.
Mr. Remian received his bachelor's of arts in English literature from Worcester State University and a master's of education in instructional design from the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Finance & Administration Manager
Kelley Smith supports the finance and administrative functions for the Connected Beginnings, Civic Initiative, and Nonprofit Funding & Fiscal Solutions business groups. She also works closely with the central administrative services unit. She brings a wealth of accounting and business administration knowledge from her many years of experience in both the public and private sectors. Her areas of expertise include budgeting, contracts, financial reporting, payroll and human resources.
She received her bachelor’s in accounting from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Senior Program Manager for Online, Collaborative & Virtual Learning Solutions
Kathryn Swaim, M.S. manages the Institute's rapidly developing expertise in online learning solutions and virtual collaboration. She brings expertise in positive organizational communication and collaborative program development along with an entrepreneurial spirit. Ms. Swaim creates affordable, cutting-edge and impactful technological solutions for clients and programs ranging across all sectors: state, non-profit, and corporate.
Ms. Swaim received her master's of science in organizational management from Antioch University New England and bachelor's of arts from the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s University Without Walls.