The Women Who Built and Sustain IBA

The Women Who Built and Sustain IBA

This Women’s History Month, we’d like to pay tribute to the successful, strong, and smart women who have led our organization. Throughout IBA’s history, we’ve been fortunate to have exceptional women leaders, including our current CEO, Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, Ph.D., and COO, Mayra Negron-Roche. Since Vanessa and Mayra joined IBA over 20 years ago, they’ve grown the organization to be the largest Latino-led nonprofit in Eastern Massachusetts, and significantly deepened our impact and reach.

Dr. Vanessa Calderón-Rosado

Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, Ph.D., has been the Chief Executive Officer of IBA since 2003. Under Vanessa’s steady leadership, IBA has continued to innovate and lead in the affordable housing marketplace, expanding our portfolio to 667 units. She has also overseen the rehabilitation and restoration of Villa Victoria apartments and West Newton/Rutland units, modernizing the existing housing. Vanessa continues to push for the development of diverse arts programming in our community, and for increased access to high quality education because it improves economic mobility. IBA’s licensed and accredited Early Education Program is the first bilingual program of its kind in the Commonwealth. In 2017, IBA reimagined and relaunched its economic empowerment program, to support the community in achieving financial stability by providing accessible, bilingual financial education and personalized financial coaching.

Mayra Negrón-Roche

Mayra has held various roles at IBA, and for the past eight years, she has served as Chief Operating Officer, overseeing IBA’s Property Management, Real Estate Development, and Asset Management functions. Mayra supervises all the backbone operations and infrastructure, as well as oversees IBA’s programs to make our organization a successful and highly performing community development corporation. A strategic leader, Mayra also provides guidance to IBA senior staff and employees and has established herself as an expert in the fields of real estate development and finance.

IBA’s success today would not be possible without the exceptional leadership of women throughout the organization’s history. They leave a legacy that encompasses safe and affordable housing, community programs serving young children to seniors, and wonderful cultural celebrations. We thank them for their passion, determination, and innovative ideas, and for building the solid foundation on which our organization continues to grow and thrive.

Luz Enelda Cuadrado

As our first Executive Director, Luz Enelda (Lucy) Cuadrado spearheaded IBA’s formation as an agency dedicated to the development and preservation of our community and its residents. During this time, IBA grew from five staff members to 30, and its Human Services resources grew from limited, short-term, emergency assistance to more comprehensive and dependable aid for our families. Lucy oversaw the early phase of construction of Villa Victoria—an innovative and nationally recognized community development plan for affordable housing—completing more than 270 housing units and the tree-lined Plaza Betances. After a fire left IBA’s administration without office space in the early 1970s, she quickly and seamlessly reorganized IBA’s staff to work from a basement community room and staff members’ apartments while the agency renovated its headquarters. It was during Lucy’s tenure that IBA proudly became, as the organization is known today, “Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción.”

Clara Garcia

Leading IBA from 1986 to 1994, Clara Garcia oversaw the development of Residencia Betances, a five-story brownstone row house in Boston’s South End, through an unprecedented collaboration with the Massachusetts Housing Partnership Fund. As part of this joint venture, IBA established an 11-room house for Latinos with mental health needs, the first housing dedicated to serving this community. Clara also oversaw the construction of the Taino Tower and the renovation of the Jorge Hernandez Cultural Center.
Amy Yang

In the late 1980s, Amy Yang began leading IBA’s Comprehensive Elder Care Program. With her background as a caseworker focused on the needs of seniors, and her fluency in four Chinese dialects, Amy was well-qualified to serve IBA’s diverse, aging residents. Thanks to the success of this program, which offered home visits, medical care referrals, legal advocacy, recreational activities, social events, and outings, IBA has become known for our robust and comprehensive Resident Services Program, which combines recreation, culture, health, educational and case management services to promote a better quality of life.

Learn more about IBA’s leaders and the impactful work they accomplish, here!