Generating ideas, connections, and action

Impact Brokers Boston: Member and Partner Biographies

Janice Epstein

Who we are: Consultants, Nonprofits & Investors

Our Consultants

Beth Beard and Janice M. Epstein provided the initial inspiration behind Impact Brokers and have been colleagues for over a decade. Their paths first crossed in 1998 while working together in an after-school hospital diversion and home-based family therapy program for adolescents in Fall River, MA. More recently, they have collaborated on network capacity building projects in the Boston youth development sector.

Beth Beard, M.Ed., is an independent consultant with 15 years of experience in nonprofit management, network capacity building, organizational development, research and evaluation. Since 2003 she has co-created a number of collaborative cross-sector ventures and is currently working with a variety clients in community development, organizational change, public/private partnerships and communities of practice. Beth holds an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy and a B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

Janice M. Epstein, MPA, is the founder of JME Consulting and brings 15 years of experience in nonprofit management, politics and public administration. Janice has used her B.A. in Psychology to design treatment programs for correctional facility inmates, to improve the mental health of children, adults and families in crisis, and to run leadership programs for troubled and promising youth. Her MPA serves her well as a strategic planner that places high value on relationships. She now lives in family-friendly Beaverton, OR with her husband and two children.

Ville O’Dell has served for the past seven years as the Director of Technology for Action for Results, Inc., an international management consulting company specializing in the healthcare and biotechnology industries. Ville also has a thriving nonprofit information technology (IT) consulting practice in Greater Boston and specializes in working with youth organizations. He brings extensive hands-on experience with state of the art networking technologies, technology selection and planning, and online community development and facilitation. Ville is a Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) and Microsoft Certified Desktop Technician (MCDT).

Laurisa Sellers, MBA, is a consultant with over 25 years of experience in business, philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. Early in her career Laurisa led the innovative Young Women’s Resource Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Later as the Director of the Honeywell Foundation she developed and implemented a major restructuring of the Foundation, instituting a socially responsible, locally based giving program across the nation. Laurisa also spent a decade in consultation with a particular emphasis on fundraising and evaluating national leadership development initiatives for a variety of clients including: W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Northwest Area Foundation, Zero to Three, The Rhode Island Foundation, Women and Philanthropy and the Pillsbury Foundation. Most recently she has worked in academia, raising money through the Offices of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Brandeis University and Simmons College. Laurisa holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from Drake University.

Our Nonprofits and Investors

The Boston Youth Sports Initiative (BYSI) mission is to promote youth sports as a positive youth development and physical fitness approach. Under the direction of Youth Sports Coordinator Chris Lynch, the BYSI encourages, strengthens, and builds network connections, with the goals of improved information sharing, quality, scale and sustainability in the sector by working with and for Boston’s urban youth sports programs and supporters.

Brookview House is an 18 year old nonprofit that assists homeless families and those at risk of homelessness in the development of skills necessary to break the cycle of poverty. What sets Brookview apart is the long-term housing continuum available for families (transitional, rental, homeownership), a solid commitment to an empowerment model, and a holistic approach to eliminating barriers to self-sufficiency through a continuum of tailored training, education, child/youth development, relationship building, and employment offerings augmented by dozens of community partners. Founding President and CEO Deborah Hughes and Director of Finance and Administration Jayne Murphy participate in the learning community.

Building Impact is a young nonprofit pioneering an innovative model for significantly increasing volunteerism, philanthropy and civic participation in Greater Boston. With Lisa Guyon as Executive Director, they partner with dozens of building managers, real estate companies and community organizations to create a large-scale network that connects nonprofits offering volunteer and giving opportunities to companies, individuals and families in the buildings where they live and work. Through “Community Connectors” working in 60 sites they are mobilizing a new wave of civic leadership to address pressing community issues.

The Latino After School Network (LASI) is a network of nine after-school programs that serve Latino communities within Greater Boston. LASI providers aim to build on the talents and skills found within the Latino community so that students have both the academic skills and character competencies to succeed. LASI Central provides hands-on and financial support to all programs and collaborates with other organizations that reach out to Latino youth. Learning Community participants include Director Marcelo Juica and Program Coordinator Deyanira Colón.

The Leadership Learning Community (LLC) is a national organization of people who run, fund, study and provide services to leadership development programs and are united in their belief that leadership can change our communities, organizations, and the world. LLC's aim is to strengthen our collective and individual capacity to transform society by connecting the learning, practice and resources of those committed to leadership development. LLC's Research and Evaluation Director, Claire Reinelt, represents LLC in the IB learning community.

Youth Enrichment Services (YES) is a 39 year-old Boston-area nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for youth to build strong relationships with positive role models and in-depth apprenticeship, leadership, and environmental education programming through outdoor sports such as skiing and hiking. YES boasts an international alumni network of over 20,000 former “YES kids” and relies on 150 volunteers and more than 100 community partners annually to accomplish their mission. Learning community participants include founding Executive Director Mary Williams and Operations Director Will Morales.