Advisory Board

Bios

Jennifer Aradhya, of Groton, is the VP for Marketing & Programs at the Greater Lowell Community Foundation. Previously, Jennifer worked for two decades in higher education and received numerous national awards and recognitions for marketing and design. Additionally, she is a mixed media artist with a studio at Western Ave Studios.

Diana Jaye Coluntino is the Founder of New Vestures; a fashion makerspace and Full Stitch; product development consulting/design service. New Vestures (NV), founded in 2012, is the first of its kind fashion makers’ co-working spaces, specializing in memberships for design entrepreneurs, brand development, workforce training and classes.

Naychelle Gandia is a dedicated Project and Event Manager experienced in full service pre-event and on-site customer service-focused production management. Demonstrated expertise in planning, managing, and executing conferences, networking events, executive meetings, and internal and external seminars throughout North America and Europe.

Robert J. Gignac, of Lowell, is the Chief Operating Officer of the Lowell Community Charter Public School. Prior to his current role, he served as a member of Lowell School Committee and was one of the youngest elected officials in the City’s history. He also serves as Chairman of the Board for The Megan House Foundation, a foundation that operates substance abuse treatment facilities for young women in recovery. In 2019, Robert was recognized as a “Hero Among Us” by the Boston Celtics, for his work fighting the opiate epidemic.

Belinda Juran, of Lowell, is a Senior Fellow in the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative. After graduating from college, she moved to Massachusetts to work in the high-tech industry as a software engineer, manager, and consultant. While working, she earned an MBA from Boston University. She next went to Harvard Law School and joined the Boston firm WilmerHale.

Thaddeus Miles, of Lowell, is an author and internationally recognized, award-winning photographer. Thaddeus is currently The Director of Community Services at MassHousing, where he is responsible for three impact areas: housing stability, knowledge & capacity building, and strengthening families & communities across Massachusetts.

Nändi Munson, of Acton, is a proud Lowell native and Community Outreach Manager for Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore. She is a Licensed Social Worker, Certified Dementia Practitioner and founder of the Merrimack Valley Veterans Collaborative, as well as a graduate of both the Cultural Inclusion Program for Nonprofit Boards and the Mill Cities Leadership Institute.

Francey Slater is the co-founder of Mill City Grows, Mill City Grows fosters food justice by improving physical health, economic independence, and environmental sustainability in Lowell through increased access to land, locally-grown food, and education. Francey is also the Farm Manager of Red Antler Apothecary and a Food System Consultant. 

Lura Smith, a graduate of the School of Management, Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lura retired from Middlesex Community College in the summer of 2017 after serving 23 years as Assistant to the President.  In her position at Middlesex, Lura served as a representative of the Office of the President at internal/external meetings, conferences and public events while providing consultation support to the President on college issues, strategic goals and mission.  

Prior to joining Middlesex, Lura served for eleven years as Sr. Marketing Manager, Wang Laboratories, Inc.

Ani Vong, of Lowell is the owner of Humanity Boutique, a women’s clothing store in Downtown Lowell. After 6 years, Humanity has closed it’s storefront and evolved into an online shopping model and pop-up shops. Ani is Khmer American, a community activist, entrepreneur and supports revitalization through her entrepreneurship and advocating for small businesses and the art community. She’s landed in boardrooms of vibrant area nonprofits, and sits on several of those boards. The trials of running her own business has made her a more confident, successful entrepreneur, and – perhaps most surprisingly – a community leader. She is currently helping small businesses struggling through COVID-19, as The STAT Program Coordinator at The Entrepreneurship Center at CTI.

Anthony Nganga, of Dracut, is the founder of Studio 26 Associates LLC, an architectural firm working with commercial building owners and tenants in the North Shore region, giving them the capacity to renovate and re-use existing buildings. Originally from Kenya, When he is not wearing his architect’s hat or serving in the community, Anthony likes to cycle and run, recently completing his second half-marathon.