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Our staff consists of experienced and dedicated professionals.









Bob Van Meter

Executive Director
(617) 410-4333

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Bob Van Meter has served as Executive Director of Boston LISC since March of 2008.  Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation from 1993 until 2008, and a project manager and real estate director at the Fenway Community Development Corporation before that. Bob served as a board member of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations for ten years and as board chair for two years.  He spent eight years as a community organizer in Chicago and Boston with Illinois Public Action, Massachusetts Fair Share and the Massachusetts Tenants Organization.


Bob is a graduate of the University of Chicago where he studied anthropology. He is also a graduate of the Development Training Institute and the Achieving Excellence in Community Development program sponsored by Neighborworks America in partnership with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He helped to develop the New View co-housing community outside of Boston where he has lived with his wife and two daughters for the last fourteen years.











Marizabel Benoit

Assistant Program Officer
(617) 410-4337

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Marizabel Benoit is Assistant Program Officer and manages the Boston LISC AmeriCorps program, grants portfolio and LISC NFL Grassroots Program. Before working at Boston LISC, she served as Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC) of Boston. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration.


Marizabel has served on the board of a number of organizations, including Latinos in Philanthropy, Malden School Council, Malden Cultural Arts Council and the parent council for the Children's Room in Arlington, a center for grieving children and teenagers.











Leah Bloom

Program Officer,

Communications & External Relations

(617) 410-4342

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Mike Davis

Senior Program Officer

(617) 410-4334

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Emily Jones

Program Officer,

Green Retrofit Initiative

(617) 410-4336

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Allentza Michel

Fairmount/Indigo Network Coordinator

(617) 410-4343

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Inés Palmarin

Senior Program Officer,

Resilient Communities/Resilient Families

(617) 410-4340

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Karleen Porcena

Program Officer,

Economic Opportunity

(617) 410-4339

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Marilyn Sanchez
Office Manager
(617) 338-0411 or (617) 410-4338
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Leah Bloom is the Program Officer for Communications and External Relations.  She has spent her career in nonprofit communications, and prior to joining the LISC team, spent seven years running a marketing and communications consultancy.  She has managed fundraising, media relations, design and production of collateral materials, and much more for a wide variety of mission-driven organizations, including those striving to end homelessness, prevent and treat addiction, and provide public health services to underserved populations. She is passionate about social justice, and loves telling the story of LISC's impact on individuals, communities, and beyond.

Leah has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College, and a B.A. in Comparative Literature and Translation from Brown University. She also studied at La Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador, and speaks fluent Spanish. She is a skilled writer, with bylines in the Boston Globe Magazine and other publications, extensive blogging experience, and a host of professional materials to her credit.



Mike Davis is the Senior Program Officer for LISC’s Green Retrofit Initiative. He joined LISC in 2012 and provides affordable housing owners across the state with technical assistance on energy efficiency, clean energy and healthy housing.  Additionally, Mike also does lending and asset management for LISC on community development projects. Previously, he worked for five years at New York City's Department of Housing Preservation & Development as a Director of Operations for the Division of Architecture + Engineering and as a Senior Planner for the Bronx Planning Unit.  Mike also spent three years as grassroots organizer on drinking water/watershed protection for Clean Water Action in MA and a year in AmeriCorps with MA Community Water Watch.

Mike has a Master of Urban Planning from New York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a BA in English and a BS in Earth Science from Pennsylvania State University.  He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a LEED Accredited Professional with a specialty in Building Design and Construction.  Mike currently serves on the Board of Directors for the US Green Building Council’s Massachusetts Chapter to represent the affordable housing sector and volunteers annually as a Tax Preparer for the Boston Tax Help Coalition. 



Emily Jones is the Program Officer for LISC Boston’s Green Retrofit Initiative, where she is responsible for helping affordable housing owners understand energy use in their buildings, implement energy-saving measures, and incorporate renewable technologies. Before joining LISC in 2016, Emily worked as an Ash Center Fellow for the City of Lawrence, Massachusetts, where she helped city officials create a strategy to revitalize physically distressed properties; as Director of Partnerships for Union Capital Boston; and as Service Impact Coordinator for City Year Boston. Emily also served as a Girls’ Education and Empowerment Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, and for two years as a City Year AmeriCorps Member in Boston. A proud native of Dedham, Massachusetts, Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography from Dartmouth College, and a master’s degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Allentza Michel is a policy advocate and urban planner with a background in community organizing and program design and implementation. She has 15 years of experience in the non-profit and public sectors at the local, national and international levels in community development, education, economic & workforce development, organizational development, food security, and programs serving children, youth and families. Allentza has an extensive background in the Fairmount Corridor, having grown up and worked in the communities. Previously, she worked at the Dudly Street Neighborhood Initiative, mytown Inc, and the City of Cambridge. During her time at the Metropolitan Are Planning Council (MAPC), she served as an advisor to the Boston Redevelopment Authority's Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative process. 

Allentza received a Master’s in Public Policy from Tufts University’s Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning as a Neighborhood Fellow. She also holds a graduate certificate in Non-profit Management from Boston University’s Questrom School of Management and B.A.s in English and Social and Political Systems from Pine Manor College. She speaks Haitian Creole (fluent), Spanish (working proficiency), French (intermediate) and Japanese (limited).


Inés Palmarin is the Program Officer for Resilient Communities/Resilient Families. She recently worked as a Senior Planner/ Project Director for the Boston Redevelopment Authority where she managed the Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative. For the past 13 years, Inés has worked on numerous neighborhood planning initiatives. Inés was a board member of Sociedad Latina a youth service agency in Mission Hill, coached for the South End Astros girls softball youth division, served on the Community Advisory Board of WGBH, the South End Lower Roxbury Youth Workers Alliance, and recently served as an advisor to Global Potential. Inés began consulting and focusing her work on strategic planning, network building, and community investment.

Inés was born and raised in Hartford, CT, and arrived in Boston 20 years ago to attend Wheelock College. Once in Boston she fell in love with its neighborhoods and the network of nonprofits. In 1999, she received her Masters in City Planning from MIT, where she attended on a full scholarship She is the cofounder of Boston Mothers Care, a non profit organization working to eradicate poverty serving children and their families in Haiti and Boston. She is passionate about civic engagement, women empowerment, and youth especially in urban neighborhoods.


Karleen Porcena is the Economic Opportunity Program Officer. In her role, she manages the expansion of all income, asset building, entrepreneurship, and neighborhood economic development activities.

Karleen is the former Director of the Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) Mattapan Family Service Center (MFSC). ABCD is Boston's largest antipoverty agency, serving clients through its city-wide network of neighborhood-based organizations. Karleen has worked in all three Resilient Communities, Resilient Families communities (Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan) assisting families through innovative, comprehensive programs that promote upward mobility and a higher quality of life. The scope of services afford Karleen a unique lens into the challenges that effect low-income communities and families in Boston.

Karleen received her Bachelor’s of Arts in both Government/International Relations and Spanish from Clark University in Worcester, MA. She has lived in Roxbury for the past 13 years and outside of work enjoys traveling and playing volleyball.



Marilyn Sanchez is the Office Manager of LISC Boston and provides operational support to Boston LISC Staff. She also supports national LISC staff including Housing and Economic Development (LISC National). Marilyn serves on the board of the Alliance (Advancing Community Development by Confronting Racism), a joint initiative launched by LISC Boston and MACDC. For the last few years she has been part of Mission 180 part of the Resilient Communities/Resilient Families of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. She has been a champion of the Community Safety group from Mission 180. For the last couple of years she has served as a board member of Nuestra Comunidad.

Prior to joining LISC Boston, Marilyn worked at the Quincy-Geneva Housing Corporation and Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative.

A long time resident of Boston's Roxbury neighborhood, Marilyn was part of the Academy 1 Tenants' Association that partnered with Urban Edge to renovate Academy 1 property in 1997. She holds an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts.















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