Worcester Common Ground Staff and Board Members


WCG Staff

Our staff is highly qualified in each of their specialties and frequently collaborates to implement events or to get out a grant or project application on deadline. The stability that is reflected in the length of service has helped us manage even with the reduction in staff that was required in past years due to the financial challenges facing CDCs.

Jeshenia Luyando, WCG Rental Manager and Tenant Relations

Jeshenia joined us in March 2006. Her bilingual (English-Spanish) capability is complimented by her experience as a legal secretary and in social services for 10 years prior to her placement. She has expanded her responsibilities and, with equal proficiency, handles the function of office manager as well as her primary responsibility to keep our apartments in excellent condition and fully occupied. Her verification of income and status reporting to the state and city has secured us recognition as a 100% complete compliance organization - no small feat.

Ron Germain, WCG Facilities Manager

Ron joined us in April 2004. He is responsible for the upkeep of all of our properties. With 13 buildings to keep under control he has achieved our goal of maintaining the best homes in the neighborhood. He also handles all inspections, move-in, and move-outs and annual inspection of Section 8 apartments. Ron has over 20 years of construction and property management experience. He was the manager from one of our contractors on several WCG development projects before joining us.

Ryan Rios, Marketing Manager 

A second-year at Mount Wachusetts Community College, Ryan is our resident artist and marketing manager.  He has a keen eye for photography, and is currently learning other art forms such as cartooning, water color, spray painting, and graphic design.  He incorporates these skills into the designs for his community-building signs for our gardens, our building murals, and all of our publicity materials.  He is also taking a leadership role in the creation of our new youth artist group, Urban Revival BlaQ Ink'D.  This group is playing an active role in building positive perceptions of our Piedmont neighborhood, and empowering youth to make their communities more beautiful. 

Charise Canales, Community Organizer

Charise joined us in August 2014. She is responsible for door-to-door outreach in the Greater Piedmont neighborhoods, increasing the organization’s engagement with residents and businesses and building leadership opportunities for members within WCG. Charise supports WCG’s Community Land Trust leaseholders and rental tenants, manages the membership pool and supports a wide range of communication and marketing activities. A recent graduate of Clark University’s Master’s program in Community Development and Planning, Charise has been living and working in Worcester since 2009. Her past work includes a variety of projects in public health, social enterprise, community outreach and event planning.

Jonathan B. Wright, Real Estate Development Director 

Jon joined us in January 2015.  He will lead WCG’s real estate development activities and support management of its diverse asset portfolio.  Coming in with 22 years of experience as a Project Director of a Boston low-income housing organization, Jon knows how to skillfully navigate affordable housing development projects.  He will guide WCG’s new projects from inception through close out.  His strong communication skills and attention to detail will surely come as an asset when negotiating and driving new real estate projects for our Piedmont community.  

Yvette Dyson, WCG Executive Director

Yvette joined us in April of 2001; her work here has been described by our funders as among the best in the state. She handles construction management, project development and everything involved in getting our projects from conception to completion. After graduation from Simmons College, she continued her training as an architect at the Boston Architectural Center and as a licensed construction manager. Her attention to detail and broad understanding of construction and financing has resulted in the outstanding projects we have completed and are planning. Yvette was the Director of Development until becoming Worcester Common Ground's Interim Executive Director in 2012. She was formally appointed Executive Director in July 2013.

Worcester Common Ground Board of Directors

     Front row from left to right: Eddie Jimenez, Phil Stone, Lisa Stewart; Back row from left to right: John True, Robb Zarges, Jono O'Sullivan, Jeff Ortiz, Jose Reyes, Marge Purves; Not pictured: Arline Rosario, Ramon Borges-Mendez

WCG-CDC is governed by a Board of Directors of up to (18) individuals, 51% of whom must be neighborhood residents and all of whom are elected at the annual meeting. The composition of the board reflects the organization's commitment to developing resident leaders in the neighborhoods it serves.

  Jono O'Sullivan, President - Piedmont Neighborhood Resident & Business

  Marge Purves, Clerk - Piedmont Neighborhood Resident

  John True, Treasurer - Central MA AHEC

  Jeffrey Ortiz - Piedmont Neighborhood Resident

  Phil Stone - Attorney / Activist

  Eduardo Jimenez - Piedmont Neighborhood Resident & Business

  Lisa Stewart - Piedmont Neighborhood Resident

  Ramon Borgés-Méndez - Piedmont Neighborhood Resident & Business

  Robb Zarges - Kainos Coaching and Consulting LLC

  Alvara Giylapi - Finance Committee Member
  Arline Rosario - Piedmont Neighborhood Resident

Contact Us

Worcester Common Ground, Inc.
5 Piedmont Street
Worcester, MA 01610 USA
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Connect with Us