David A. Silva, Executive Director
David was born in Brooklyn, New York and his parents were from Arecibo, Puerto Rico. David was raised and educated in Hampden County. David is an alumnae of STCC, Westfield State University and Elms College. He’s a Psi Chi National Honor Society member, honored as “Who’s Who Among Students”. David earned his MBA from Our Lady of the Elms College. David is a board member of Holyoke Health Center. David is employed at Health New England as the Medicaid Community Leader. He’s an adjunct professor at Our Lady of the Elms College teaching Health Care Operations Management and Global Business. David is co-owner of Nardi Silva Permanent Cosmetics and owner of Silva Property Services. David is married to Donna M. Silva, has two daughters named Ava and Mia, and a dog named Willie Colón. David is an avid biker, plays different musical instruments, and self defense practitioner. David is a Master Mason at the Mt. Tom Lodge in Holyoke.
Julio M. Toledo, Chairman
Julio is a graduate of the University of Massachusets (Masters Degree in Criminal Justice/Graduate Certificate in Forensic Criminology), graduate of Westfied State University (Undergrad- Bachelors C.J.), graduate of Holyoke Community College (Associates- C.J.). Julio is an adjunct professor at Holyoke Community College teaching Criminal Justice. He is an academic advisor and G.E.D. Test Administrator at Holyoke Community College. Julio is the former president and co-founder of Minorities In Law Enforcement Inc. (M.I.L.E.). Julio is the police sergeant of the city of Springfield’s Police Department and serves as a leader of the North End C3 Policing Unit. Julio is a lifelong resident of the city of Springfield.
Jomarie Ramirez, Treasurer
Jomarie was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She lived in Levittown, Toa Baja, until she moved to Massachusetts in January, 2005. Jomarie attended the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, where she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a specialty in Office Administration. Jomarie attended Bay Path College and graduated from the Masters of Science in Communications and Information Management. Jomarie is passionate about Puerto Rico’s history. Jomarie can be found reading and researching information about the island and keeping up to date with the island’s current events.
Ana Sánchez, Clerk
Ana was born in Bronx, NY and grew up in Arroyo, Puerto Rico. Ana swam for the Puerto Rico swimming team at the Albergue Olímpico in Salinas, Puerto Rico. Ana studied Pre-Medical/Biology at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez. She graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Science in Biology with Biomedical from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. She attained academic success and made the Dean’s List in 1995. In 1996, Ana moved to Springfield, MA. Her first job in Springfield was in packaging plastics. Ana earned a Master Degree in Sciences in Human Services in Organizational Management and Leadership from Springfield College. Ana is employed at STCC as a College and Career Navigator. Ana loves to read and is learning to play guitar. Ana is a breast cancer survivor.
José Saavedra, Advisory Member
José D. Saavedra was born in Guaynabo, PR. At the age of two, his family move to Washington, DC, where he grew-up with his Colombian father, Puerto Rican mother, and two brothers. Jose is an avid guitarist, and plays various percussion instruments like the barril and congas, and loves to sing.
José moved to South-End Springfield in June 2014, after his wife Lissa Berroa García matched, to start a career in internal medicine, at Baystate.
José coordinates the Springfield Latino Education Institute, an after school bilingual enrichment at the South End Middle School, that empowers students to achieve academic success and also supports parents so that they engage more in their child’s education. He is also a Coordinator of the Mauricio Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy’s Springfield public health initiatives. Jose recently joined the Leadership Pioneer Valley Class of 2016 and was also nominated Finalist for the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts’ “Man of the Year” Award. José has extensive experience in non-profit and community organizing. Before arriving to Springfield, Jose monitored juvenile detention centers in the state of Maryland for four years and coordinated the juvenile justice reform advocacy project at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the US’s largest civil rights non-profit focusing on Latino issues, for two years. In 2005 and 2006, he was selected to serve as Staff for the NCLR Lideres youth Summit to build the capacity of over 400 young Latinos annually. From 13 years of age, in his hometown, Mr. Saavedra served for more than 10 years as a local community organizer serving mainly low-income children, youth, and families in various capacities. José holds a Master’s in Public Policy from American University (Washington, DC) and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of the District of Columbia.
Natalia founded Verdant Multicultural Media to promote inclusiveness of communities of color, LGBTQ, women and the elderly by institutions and policy makers to move forward with positive social change. For more than two decades Natalia has been a journalist in her native Puerto Rico, United States, and Spain. Natalia has interviewed the likes of: Nelson Mandela, Rubén Berríos, Maya Angelou and many others whose names do not ring a bell for the majority of the world but whose stories are also compelling. Natalia has reviewed movies, art exhibits, concerts, books, restaurants and penned columns on art, culture and politics. Natalia’s mission is to bear witness, complain, and do something about it to make a positive change.