Who We Are: Community Leaders, Local Experts, Neighbors

We are community leaders and local experts who have come together to share our wide variety of professional, academic, lived experience, and historical wisdom in order to help set the record straight when misinformation rears its head around Salem.  Our opinions may vary, but the facts do not.  We are people who care deeply for this community; we have invested our time, talent and treasure to move Salem forward, together, whether through serving as former elected officials, on boards and commissions, and as leaders of all sorts of organizations and businesses around the city.  We are thoughtful leaders in our professional fields, and in our neighborhoods.  Most importantly, we are neighbors from across the wards and precincts of our city.  Our kids play sports together with your kids.  We see each other in the neighborhood, walking our dogs.  We run into each other at Market Basket.  We volunteer together.  We care about each other, we care about Salem, and we care about the truth.

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LISA PETERSON

Executive Director

Lisa and her family are thrilled to be Salem residents.  She has served as the City Councillor for Salem's Ward 3, and recently ran for our Congressional seat. As a City Councillor, her passions were around bringing neighborhoods together, disability rights and accessibility, the climate crisis, and ensuring equity for all residents. Professionally, she ran a financial planning firm for years, and became well-known for her ability to help people have tough conversations around values; goals and priorities, which is a skill set she is excited to apply to her work here at Salem 4 All.  She is an active volunteer in the city, and is eager to help continue to advance Salem in this new role.

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JAMES DAVIS

Advisory Board Member

James loves living inside the history museum that is our community! He loves that we all see beauty and art wherever we look here in Salem and that Salem values diversity, has an eye on the future and makes it a priority to learn from its past.  James and his family are relatively new residents in Salem, but he is no stranger to community activism and service.  A professional cyber security engineer, he's also a Veteran of the Navy, and has lots of experience with community organizing.  Recently, he has stepped up to Co-Chair the Progressive Salem group, and has served as a Salem Delegate to the Democratic State Convention.  His wide variety of life experiences brings him a perspective and expertise that will be so meaningful to our work at Salem 4 All.

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ROSARIO UBIERA-MINAYA

Advisory Board Member

Rosario is extremely passionate and enthusiastic about advancing the people and the community we share in Salem.  Currently the Executive Director of Amplify Latinx, as well as the owner of Cojuelos' Productions, she has also held professional leadership positions over the years at North Shore CDC, North Shore Community Health, Salem Education Foundation, the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem State, and Telemundo.  Always eager to jump in to advance our community, her list of volunteer positions; board seats; and community projects is impressively extensive.  Rosario especially loves how we come together for what is right in Salem, no matter our backgrounds and perspectives.  Her wisdom, community involvement and wide variety of expertise will be so helpful in our efforts here at Salem 4 All.

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JOHN YOUNG

Advisory Board Member

John enjoys living in a safe and vibrant city that values inclusivity and diversity. As a dedicated athlete, he also appreciates the lively and active running and cycling community in Salem, with areas around the city for those who like to be outside and active.  John has spent his career as a high school math teacher in a variety of types of schools and communities throughout the world.  Over the last few years, John has brought his lived experience and advocacy work to his role on Salem's Commission on Disabilities.  His wide variety of expertise will be so meaningful to the efforts of our organization.

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DICK PABICH

Advisory Board Member

Dick is a very smart guy, with degrees in physics, engineering and math, but for the past nearly 40 years, it has been his love of the inclusive, progressive community of Salem that has kept he and his wife, Diane running the Salem Inn - a true community institution!  Along with their son, David, they have invested much of their expertise in restoring old buildings, and working to revitalize Salem and position it well for future generations.  Dick is proud of what he has been able to contribute to our community as a first generation American, and is an avid volunteer.  He helped found Destination Salem, and has been a leader on the boards of the Salem Partnership, the House of the Seven Gables, Salem's Chamber of Commerce, Salem Main Streets, as well as Bentley Academy.  He's passionate about all the work that goes into keeping Salem vibrant, and we are so fortunate he's joined our efforts at Salem 4 All.

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PATRICIA A. GOZEMBA

Advisory Board Member

Pat is a powerhouse here in Salem, and, as far as we can tell, in any efforts she attempts.  Here in Salem, she has served as Founder and Co-Chair of Salem Alliance for the Environment (SAFE); as well as Chair of North Shore Gay and Lesbian Alliance. Justice is her passion, and she has spent her career as a Professor of English and Women's Studies at Salem State University.  Pat is the Co-Author of Pockets of Hope: How Students and Teachers Change the World and of Courting Equality: A Documentary History of America's First Legal Same-Sex Marriages.  She loves living in such a diverse community and she is so inspired by our rich, immigrant history.  We are inspired by Pat, and so honored that she has joined our efforts.

MATT VENO

Advisory Board Member

Matt is an extremely engaged member of the Salem community.  Probably best known in Salem for his past service as the Ward 5 City Councillor, he has stayed very involved ever since that time.  He has lent his leadership to the Salem Senior Center Search Committee; the North Shore Community Health Center; the Salem Redevelopment Authority; the Salem Planning Board and the Salem Contributory Retirement Board.  Professionally, his background is in government; health care policy; health insurance; and early childhood education policy.  He currently serves as the Executive Director for the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission.  Matt is an especially proud dad to two Salem Public Schools Alumna; and a proud husband to a Salem Public Schools teacher.  Never shy around the toughest conversations and the most challenging problems, we are so honored that Matt brings his extensive expertise to help us think through challenges here at Salem 4 All.

KRIS WILSON

Advisory Board Member

Kris has dedicated her life and professional activities to education in Salem.  She taught music and drama for 37 years in the Salem Public Schools, and not too long after retirement, applied her professional experience to elected office on the Salem School Committee as well as on the Bentley School Board.  She has also given back through the Community Advisory Board; the Council on Aging; and the Juniper Community Club.  She is so proud of the current direction Salem is heading, and the diversity of our community - a primary factor in her love of teaching here over the years.  We are so honored to be able to draw on her expertise here at Salem 4 All.

ROSA ORDAZ

Advisory Board Member

Rosa is dedicated to her professional career of service, and her role as an active member of the Salem community.  Currently working in resident services and community engagement for Harborlight Community Partners, a local organization dedicated to the creation of affordable homes and the strengthening of our community.  Prior to her position at Harborlight, she worked for Triangle, Inc, where she oversaw day and employment programs for people with disabilities.  She began dedicating her free time and her expertise to the Salem community as soon as she became a resident a few years ago, and has served as a member of the Zoning Appeals Board, as well as a Salem Housing Subcommittee member for Salem for All Ages.  Beyond the diversity of backgrounds she's found among Salem residents, Rosa especially loves the energy and personality we can feel on every city block.  She feels so fortunate that we get to enjoy such an incredible array of restaurants, unique coffee shops and watering holes, in a walkable city, with waterfront views.  We are so honored that Rosa is committing to share her expertise with us here at Salem 4 All.

DR. NATE BRYANT

Advisory Board Member

Dedicated to education and to advancing the city of Salem, Nate has been an involved member of our community for years.  Currently the Vice President of Student Success at Salem State University, his areas of expertise and research include higher education, crisis management, employee relations, and strategic planning. He gives back extensively in Salem, and that has included serving two terms on the School Committee, as well as on the boards of the Salem Boys and Girls Club, the Salem Partnership, and the Chamber of Commerce.  Currently, he is a member of the Salem Race Equity Task Force, and serves as a Trustee of the Salem Hospital and of Essex Heritage.  Nate especially loves the rich history, culture, diversity, tourism, and progressiveness that Salem provides all of us, and he sees it a small city with a big city feel.  We are thrilled that Nate has joined our efforts and we really look forward to turning to his extensive expertise moving forward.

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SHAWN NEWTON

Advisory Board Member

Shawn has been a long-time resident and volunteer in our community and beyond.  Having chaired Salem's No Place for Hate Committee and the city's Race Equity Task Force, served as an Associate Dean of Students in higher education, and more recently as Co-Founder of Newton Consultancy Group, he's spent lots of time helping communities engage in challenging conversations, and we are thrilled that he brings that expertise to his role with Salem 4 All.

LUCY CORCHADO

Advisory Board Member

As a very active and involved Salem resident, Lucy has dedicated so much of her life here in Salem to advancing our community, with a particular focus on Latinx community issues.  This former Ward 1 City Councillor followed her experience in City Hall with creating and serving as the President of the Point Neighborhood Association.  She has been an officer and member of the No Place for Hate Committee, and sits on a variety of boards and commissions.  She loves living in the vibrant, welcoming community we share here in Salem, with its rich history and so much to see and do.  Lucy's historical knowledge and expertise will be so valuable to our efforts here at Salem 4 All.

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CYNTHIA NINA-SOTO

Advisory Board Member

Cynthia is a strong and consistent advocate for encouraging the creation of housing, and preserving private property rights here in Salem. As the owner and managing broker of Nina-Soto Realty, her leadership and advocacy efforts have taken her from providing public testimony at local meetings to meeting with state and federal elected officials to encourage support for housing, education, climate resiliency, and so much more.  Over recent years, especially, her passion for advancing our community has found her serving generously at the city level, from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board, the Scholarship and Education Committee and also on the Salem Redevelopment Authority, as well as on the Board of Directors for Harborlight Community Development, and we are thrilled to learn from her expertise here at Salem 4 All.

CHRISTINE MADORE

Advisory Board Member

Christine loves living in an amenity- and mobility-rich walkable neighborhood.  She has dedicated her career to urban and environmental policy and planning, as well as improving affordable housing. We are so fortunate here in Salem that beyond her day job and caring for her family, she dedicates so much of her free time to helping our community thrive in so many ways.  This year, she is retiring from her service as the Ward 2 City Councillor, where she is currently serving as Council President.  We are so excited that she brings her expertise to our efforts here at Salem 4 All.

GWENDOLYN L. ROSEMOND

Advisory Board Member

It was the vibrant community of people, the history and the ocean that drew Gwendolyn to Salem more than 30 years ago.  As a now retired academic dean; and adjunct faculty member at Salem State University she has made significant academic impact in our community.  She has been engaged and involved in Salem in a variety of ways over the years, and most recently has served as a member of the Race Equity Task Force.  She always works hard to educate us all and elevate our community conversations, especially on the most challenging of topics, to ensure that we are thinking inclusively and truthfully as we move forward.  Her perspective adds so much to our efforts here at Salem 4 All, and we are so fortunate she has joined us.

GRACE DURAN

Advisory Board Member

Grace is so proud to have attended Salem Public Schools throughout her childhood and teen years, and is a proud graduate of Salem State University.  She is a regular volunteer throughout the city, and even spends her day job giving back to our community, as the Chief of Operations for a popular local youth program.  She is the President of the Latino Leadership Coalition; has served on the Superintendent Search Committee; and was an active volunteer and supporter of the Sanctuary for Peace initiative several years ago.  Grace is bilingual and often volunteers to translate between English and Spanish in Salem in a variety of contexts.  We are thrilled that Grace is bringing her impressive background and deep expertise to help our organization.

BETH GERARD

Advisory Board Member

Beth recently retired from the Salem City Council as our Ward 6 Councillor.  In that role, she served as Council President; as well as chairing the Administration & Finance and Public Health, Safety & the Environment subcommittees. She currently serves as the Chair of Salem's Cemetery Commission. Professionally, she has a background in health policy, and works as a Project Analyst at Salem Hospital.  Beth feels grateful to live in Salem (nearly) every day. She loves being on the water; running through the city; eating at phenomenal restaurants; volunteering for great organizations that breathe so much life into our city and working for the local hospital that provides care for our community. She believes that Salem is a great place to connect to people from a variety of backgrounds and make positive contributions to our world.  We are thrilled to have Beth, a self-described data and facts enthusiast, bringing her background and her love of Salem to help with our efforts here in our organization.

RACHEL PERITORE

Advisory Board Member

Rachel is an Administrator of the very popular Salem Mamas group as well as of the North Shore Babywearing group.  A certified teacher, these days she splits her time between tutoring at Lasell University and caring for her three small children.  She is passionate about advocating for education and women's rights, and especially loves working to address issues around motherhood.  She and her family bought a home in Witchcraft Heights seven years ago, where you can find her and her husband, Tony, watching Jeopardy most evenings.  She is thrilled to be putting down roots in the wonderfully supportive community of families that is Salem, and we are so honored to have her join our efforts here at Salem 4 All.