Presenter Biographies for April 10, 2009

Bill Traynor, Executive Director, is a nationally known community development consultant specializing in neighborhood planning, real estate development, and strategic planning. Prior to consulting, he was the Director of Community Development for the Boston Community Training and Assistance Center and the Executive Director of the Coalition for a Better Acre in Lowell, where he quadrupled the staff and raised over a million dollars to support organizational growth and implement a variety of housing and economic development projects. The author of numerous articles on community development and community organizing, Traynor received a Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University in 1998. During his tenure with LCW, Traynor has grown the organization from a staff of two and a deficit to a staff of 45 and an operating budget of over $2 million.

Nelson Buttén, Director of Collective Action and Mobilization (CAM), brings eight years of community development work with youth and adults to CommunityWorks. Nelson immigrated to Lawrence from the Dominican Republic in 1993, and since then has worked for the Lawrence Youth Commission, the Seton Asian Center, and the Lawrence Teen Coalition. His work has included training and supervising AmeriCorps members and other volunteers, developing and implementing educational and community service workshops, recruiting participants, and developing and implementing leadership training for youth and adults. Nelson is bilingual in English and Spanish and is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration at Cambridge College, and has served on the Boards of several local youth organizations.

Alma Couverthié, Director of the Network Organizing Forum, received her Bachelor’s degree in Labor Relations from the University of Puerto Rico and was a founding member of the Association of Students of Labor Relations there. She has four years of professional experience in the field of labor organizing and first contract negotiations with the Union of Needletrade, Industrial and Textile Employees and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, and eight years of experience in the field of community and multi-ethnic organizing through CommunityWorks. She also helped organize the Maverick Square Neighborhood Association in East Boston. In 2002, Alma was awarded the Ricanne Hadrian Award for Community Organizing by the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations. She is is a Steering Committee Member of ONE Massachusetts Network. Alma is bi-cultural and bilingual in English and Spanish.

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