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CBA Staff




Yun-Ju Choi - Executive Director 

Michele Witts - Director of Finance

Marc Horne - Director of Real Estate

Sako Long - Director of Programming

Pam Miller - Office Manager 

Julia Gavin - Resource Development and Communications Manager

Thomas Emery - Real Estate Project Manager 

Russell Pandres - Real Estate Project Manager

Will Ren - Workforce Development Program Manager 

Aurora Erickson - Program Coodinator 

Dolores Sierra - Program Coordinator 

Jennifer Balala - Afterschool Program Associate  

Yun-Ju Choi - Executive Director

Yun-Ju Choi, who joins CBA as Executive Director in May 2014, brings over 20 years of experience impacting for-profit and nonprofit organizations in the Greater Boston area, most recently at Madison Park Development Corporation as their Managing Director of Programs and Operations. She previously served as the Chief Program Officer at Lena Park Community Development Corporation. Yun-Ju holds a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Bowdoin College and a master’s degree in Management from Cambridge College.

In addition to her work with CDCs, Yun-Ju has experience in the philanthropic sector as Director of Donor Services with The Boston Foundation, as well as senior leadership positions with other nonprofits. She started her professional career as a financial analyst and after seven years in the corporate world, she decided to use her skills to have an impact in the nonprofit sector. 


 Yun-Ju Choi

Michele Witts - Director of Finance

Michele Witts is CBA’s Director of Finance. Michele has lived in the Lowell area her entire life, growing up in the Back Central Street neighborhood. She attended St. Peter’s School, Lowell High School, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Bentley College. After a long career in corporate finance, Michele came to CBA because she felt it was time for her to give something back to her community. She likes knowing that her work gives people a chance at a better life.

Michele is married and has two children. In her spare time she loves to spend time with her family and travel. Michele also makes one of the best (if not the best) rum cake that CBA’s staff has ever eaten!

E-mail Michelle at: michele.witts@cbacre.org

Michelle Witts

Craig Thomas - Director of Real Estate

Email Craig at: craig.thomas@cbacre.org


Julia Gavin - Director of Programming


E-mail Julia at: julia.gavin@cbacre.org


Marc Horne - Real Estate Project Manager

Marc was born in Lowell, and continues to call Lowell home to this day. He originally set out on a career in the construction trades, building housing, while pursuing a college education part-time. Marc attended UMass Lowell and earned a B.A. in Philosophy (2005) and M.A. in Regional Economic and Social Development. (2009). After college Marc was offered a position at the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, at Northeastern University. There Marc undertook research projects and authored papers relating to local development, affordable housing, and transportation , as well as providing consulting services to local governments across New England on local economic development policy. Most recently Marc was employed by the City of Worcester, in the Executive Office of Economic Development, as the Affordable Housing Program Manager. In Worcester Marc worked to provide planning services, and financing, to developers seeking to provide decent, safe and affordable housing to Worcester residents. At CBA Marc will be managing development projects in the Real Estate department. Marc also has significant community service experience on various boards and commissions, and is hoping to become more involved with grass-roots community development efforts while at CBA. Personally Marc is interested in any outdoor physical activity, home cooked meals with friends and family, as well as art and design.

E-mail Marc at: marc.horne@cbacre.org


Thomas Emery - Project Associate

Thomas Emery joined the CBA in 2015 as a Project Associate in the Real Estate Department. He is a graduate of University of Massachusetts Lowell, with a degree in Sociology and has lived in Lowell the passed four years. While in school he was able to intern at the CBA starting in 2013. Thomas believes in the mission of the CBA and its goal to help families in Lowell attain economic literacy and independence through the availability of affordable housing.

E-mail Thomas at: thomas.emery@cbacre.org


Ken Berard - Home Preservation Center Director  

Ken Berard joined CBA as the Director of the Home Preservation Center bringing more than 20 years of experience in banking, lending and finance. Ken was born, raised and still lives in Lowell’s Centralville neighborhood. He attended St Louis Elementary, St Joseph Regional High School and graduated from University of Massachusetts Lowell. During his career he has worked for several banks including Central Savings Bank, MASSBANK and Eastern Bank in various capacities and locales mostly in and around the Merrimack Valley. Ken enjoys the opportunity to get involved with many community events both as a member of the Merrimack Valley Rotary Club and individually. The chance to work with a well respected non-profit like CBA after being in the private sector for so long is a challenge he welcomes and embraces. The mission of the Home Preservation Center and its ability to directly impact so many people’s lives in a positive manner is one he looks forward to continuing and enhancing.

E-mail Ken at: ken.berard@cbacre.org





Sako Long - Workforce Develoment Program Manager


Email Sako at sako.long@cbacre.org.





Dolores Sierra - Program Coordinator    

Dolores Sierra serves as a Program Coordinator at CBA. A lifelong resident of the Acre neighborhood of Lowell, she attended the Murkland School and Greater Lowell Regional Technical High School, and graduated from Middlesex Community College with an associate's degree in Psychology and from Southern New Hampshire University with a bachelor's in Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Dolores has been involved in the community as a community leader and activist since the age of 10. In 2011 she worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer at CBA for the summer.

E-mail Dolores at: dolores.sierra@cbacre.org

Aurora Erickson - Program Coordinator


E-mail Aurora at: aurora.erickson@cbacre.org



Pam Miller - Office Manager

As CBA’s Office Manager, Pam Miller is truly the glue that holds the office together. Pam has lived in Lowell her entire life and has raised four children here. She is also the proud grandmother to four grandchildren. Pam believes that in the world, people are “part of the solution or part of the problem”. She enjoys working at CBA because she feels good giving back to her community and knowing that she is part of the solution. Pam likes spending time with her family and playing with her grandchildren.

E-mail Pam at: pamela.miller@cbacre.org

Pam Miller