Meet the Board Members
Cara Stillings Candal, Ed.D, Chair
Dr. Cara Stillings Candal is Director of Educational Opportunity for the Foundation for Excellence in Education (Excelined). In this role, she conducts research and analysis on policies that foster better educational opportunities for all students and works with states to pass informed legislation. She is also a senior fellow in education policy at Pioneer Institute in Boston. Cara has worked in the field of education for twenty years as a high school teacher, a curriculum and large-scale assessment specialist for the Riverside Publishing Company, a research assistant professor at the Boston University School of Education, and a founding team member at a national, not-for-profit teacher training organization. In her role as researcher and educator at Boston University, her work focused on domestic and international policies affecting educational opportunities for low-income students. Cara is the author of numerous articles and several books. Her most recent book, The Fight for the Best Charter Public Schools in the Nation, is an analysis of the charter school movement in Massachusetts. Cara holds a B.A. in English literature from Indiana University, an M.A. in Social Science from the University of Chicago, and an Ed.D from the Boston University School of Education.
Member: Governance Committee, CEO Support Committee, Finance Committee
Jeff Jablow, Vice-Chair
As City Year’s Senior Vice President of Strategy & Operations, Jeff Jablow leads City Year’s national growth and impact planning. Jeff directs City Year’s school district relations, strategic analysis and Diplomas Now school turnaround collaboration work. Jeff has been with City Year since 2005 when he joined the organization to lead the creation of City Year’s five year strategic plan. Since then, Jeff has played a lead role in evolving City Year’s focus to strategically deploy to low performing schools to address the nation’s dropout crisis. Jeff has lead the growth and development of Diplomas Now since its founding in 2007 and helped to direct the effort to win an Investing in Innovations (i3) grant from the US Department of Education. Prior to joining City Year, Jeff worked as a strategy consultant with Cambridge Strategic Management Group, Ernst and Young Consulting, and The Bridgespan Group. Jeff also worked at Ma Afrika Tikkun, a community and youth development nonprofit in Cape Town, South Africa. Jeff has an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a Bachelors in Business Administration and Masters in Accounting from the University of Michigan. Jeff currently resides in Boston.
Member: Governance Committee, Academic Excellence Committee, Development Committee
Melisa Lemire, Clerk
Melisa Lemire is a Sr. Project Manager for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. She has been responsible for executing lean transformations across the entire organization and helping Senior Leaders achieve strategic objectives, engage employees, and increase customer satisfaction. Prior to this role, Melisa was a Financial Analysis Manager for the International Finance unit. She is multilingual and is a strong advocate of education as she believes that it’s a vital key to success. Melisa is a graduate of Framingham State University with a B.A. in French and International Management. She also holds a Masters of Science in Accounting from Southern New Hampshire University.
Chair: Governance Committee
Bio coming soon!
Chair: Development Committee
Lori Stevens is the Executive Director for Administration in the Harvard Chan School of Public Health’s Office of External Relations. Previously (2012-2017), she was the Senior Vice President for Growth Strategy and Development at The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit organization that empowers veterans to serve their communities in new ways as part of strong transitions back to civilian life. Prior to that, Lori was the Chief Development Officer at Citizen Schools for six years, helping to lead their expansion of middle school educational programs, and worked at Harvard for 11 years, including leading Harvard’s cross-university public service fundraising initiative. Lori has a Bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and a Master of Education focused on urban education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Member: CEO Support Committee, Finance Committee
Alexandra immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic. She attended City on a Hill Charter School, and founded a student government with the purpose of learning about and addressing some of the concerns of the student body. Alexandra attended Massachusetts Bay Community College for her first 2 years of college. During that time she served as the FunduArcu group’s youth director. Alexandra not only established a scholarship fund but also served as the voice for young people all over the City of Boston; from speaking to local youth to creating programing for the Latino youth. After graduating Mass Bay College, Alexandra began her last two years of college at Fitchburg State University where she was once again enmeshed in the service of her school, helping to revive the school’s Political Science Club where she created dialogue between the students and local politicians. She also served as an orientation leader for incoming students, as well as a peer mentor. Her involvement included Student Government, Chair/President of her class (2015), Student Alumni Liaison, among other programs. Currently Alexandra serves as the Latina Liaison for the City of Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh as well as The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Coordinator.
Member: Academic Excellence Committee
Greg Vasey, Treasurer
Greg is Managing Member of Hyde Park Ventures, LLC, a restaurant developer, operator, and franchisee group. Currently, Hyde Park owns Five Guys restaurants in Massachusetts and Vermont, Dunkin’ Donuts units in Arkansas, and is actively developing those regions as well as Tulsa, OK. Greg and a colleague from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business formed Hyde Park Ventures as an investment team focused on expanding into new brands and to strategically align with franchised concepts that present high structural cash flow opportunities. Greg was asked to join Five Guys Franchisee Council in 2012, was elected Vice Chairman in 2014, and was tapped by Five Guys management to be a charter member of their Marketing Task Force last year. Greg has also invested in the fast casual start up concept, The Taco Truck. Prior to forming Hyde Park Ventures, Greg worked on UN policy at the US Department of State. He received his MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA from Hamilton College. Greg lives in the South End of Boston with his wife, Whitney, and two children.
Chair: Finance Committee, Member: Development Committee
Karin Wall is a Clinical Supervisor in a school-based program at the Home for Little Wanderers in Roslindale, where she works with students in grades K-8 who are challenged with social emotional issues as well as adults with chronic mental health issues. A native New Yorker, Karin moved to Boston in the late 70’s to attend Boston University School of Social Work and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, earning a double masters degree in social work and African American History. In her career she as worked in a diverse set of roles, from policy analysis for the federal government to a teaching position at Gordon College. In the early 90’s Karin and her husband co-founded a faith-based non-profit, where she served as the founding executive director for 13 years before returning full time to social work. Karin is a member of the ministerial staff of Global Ministries Christian Church, where her husband serves as the pastor. Her first book, Is it Morning Yet, is due to be released in the summer of 2016. Karin resides in Boston with her husband and is the proud mother of two adult sons and Oare K. Wall, a 2014 graduate of City on a Hill Circuit Street and 2016 graduate of Dean College.
Chair: Academic Excellence Committee