Board of Trustees

The ILC Board of Trustees is comprised of business and community leaders, staff and student representatives who reflect the school’s constituents. They have demonstrated their deep commitment to The ILC’s mission through their expertise, time and financial support. The Board meets four times a year.

The ILC Founder and CEO

Diane Portnoy

Diane founded The Immigrant Learning Center in 1992 after a distinguished career in education. She oversees all of the organization’s operations and partnerships.


Honorable Frank J. Bailey

The ILC Board Chair, U. S. Bankruptcy Judge

Frank was appointed United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Massachusetts January 30, 2009. Previously, he was a partner at the firm of Sherin and Lodgen LLP and practiced litigation and corporate restructuring with Sullivan & Worcester LLP. He is currently the Chair Elect for the National Conference of Federal Trial Judges of the American Bar Association and is a member of the Board of Governors of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. Frank received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, and his JD from Suffolk University School of Law.

Sandra Bornstein


Karen Cangiano

Former Trustee, Proctor Academy

Karen was a member of the Board of Directors of Proctor Academy in Andover, NH, between 2003 and 2012 and remains an active member of the Proctor community. Prior to that, she worked as a money manager at Tucker Anthony Management for wealthy individuals and institutions. There, she was honored to be the first woman elected as an officer of the Corporation. Karen holds a BA in English and History from Bowling Green University.

Fatima Chibane


Fatima joined The Immigrant Learning Center in 2005 and teaches the Literacy 2 English class. Prior to joining The ILC, she was a high school math teacher in Algeria for 23 years. Fatima has a bachelor’s degree in math and education from Algeria.

Beth Conway

EVP & Chief People Officer, Nuance Communications

Dr. Saima Firdoos

Attending Physician, Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Portsmouth, NH

Nereyda F. Garcia

Head of Compliance, Rare Disease and Rare Blood Disorders at Sanofi

Nereyda is the Head of Compliance for Rare Disease and Blood Disorders at Sanofi. Previously, she was with Alnylam Pharamceuticals, Biogen, PerkinsElmer, Haemonetics Corporation, and Sherin and Lodgen. Nereyda has a BA in History from Brown University and a JD from Northeastern School of Law.

Penny Garver

Retired, Senior Vice President, Santander Bank, New England

Penny worked in the banking industry for 30 years before retiring from Santander. She is also a trustee of Jewish Vocational Services.

Warren M. Heilbronner

Partner, Sullivan & Worcester LLP

Warren Heilbronner has been an attorney at the Boston office of Sullivan & Worcester since 1985, focusing on real estate transactions. While obtaining his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and his law degree from Boston University, he was a cameraman for NBC-affiliated TV stations in Detroit and Boston.

Mahmud Jafri

CEO, Dover Rug & Home

Mahmud has grown Dover Rug & Home from a storefront in 1989 to a 36,000 square-foot showroom with two additional locations in Greater Boston. He is also the founder of Dover Squash and Fitness in Natick and co-founder of the Islamic Masumeen Center of New England in Hopkinton. Mahmud has an MBA from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

Esther N. Karinge

Teacher’s Aide, Medford Public Schools

Prior to her current position with Medford Public Schools, Esther served as referrals coordinator for immigrants and refugees at the Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM) in Malden and as a RIM case manager and coordinator of the African Women’s Program.

Gerard M. Martin

Director, North Atlantic Medical Services, Inc.

Gerard is director of North Atlantic Medical Services, Inc. He is the owner and treasurer of North Atlantic Regional Home Care and is the former chairman and CEO of Greenery Rehabilitation.

Director of the Public Education Institute Denzil Mohammed

Denzil Mohammed

Director, The ILC Public Education Institute

Denzil joined The ILC in 2011 and directs the work of The ILC Public Education Institute including specialized online education, research initiatives with the Institute for Immigration Research, conference presentations and collaborative events that promote immigrants as assets to America. He has a decade of experience in journalism and previously worked for swissnex Boston/Consulate of Switzerland. Denzil has an MS in Global Communications from Northeastern University and a BA in Communication Studies/Literatures in English from University of the West Indies.

Karen Oakley

Director of English Language Programs

Karen joined The Immigrant Learning Center in 1996 and manages enrollment for all ILC classes, develops curriculum, oversees professional development for teaching staff and spearheads program improvement projects. Prior to joining The ILC, Karen taught at Bunker Hill Community College and several adult education learning centers in the Boston area. She has a BA in classical studies from University of Massachusetts Boston and an MA in ESL studies from University of Massachusetts Boston.

Lise Revers

Owner and Manager, Beechwood Stables

Lise previously practiced corporate and tax law with the firm of Testa, Hurwitz and Thibeault. She has a degree in Economics from Carleton College and a JD from Boston College Law School. In addition to The Immigrant Learning Center, she currently serves on the Board of Carleton College and has been a past Board member of the Weston Community Children’s Association.

Vince J. Rivers

Senior Portfolio Manager, JO Hambro Capital Management Group

Vince has been a Senior Portfolio Manager with JO Hambro Capital Management Group since 2014. Previously, he was with Fidelity Investments, Wellington Management and Fleet Bank. He has a BS in Finance from Boston College and an MBA from University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Saritin Rizzuto

Assistant Vice President, Metro Credit Union

Saritin incorporates community organizing and building partnerships to benefit low-income and emerging populations to her role as the assistant vice president of community relations at Metro Credit Union. She has worked in a variety of settings that reflect her passion and commitment to improving the lives of others: as a teen health educator, an advocate for the disabled, in support of AIDS advocacy and combating domestic violence.

Jason Silverman

Senior Financial Advisor, The Silverman Group/Merrill Lynch

Jason previously worked as an analyst for Ernst & Young LLP, for Sun Trust Securities and for himself as an entrepreneur. He was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, and speaks Spanish fluently. Jason received a master’s in hospitality management from Florida International University, summa cum laude, and a bachelor’s in English literature from the University of Florida, where he graduated with honors.

Kathy Smith

Retired, The ILC Assistant Director and Director of Development

Kathy joined The ILC in 2002 and was responsible for raising an annual agency budget of more than $2 million from the private and public sectors and fundraising events. She brings more than 30 years of experience in public relations, fundraising, event planning, speech writing and program administration within the corporate, not-for-profit and political arenas in Greater Boston and in Washington, D.C. Kathy has a BS in business administration from Lincoln University.

Diane Stern

Retired, Co-Anchor, WBZ Radio Afternoon News, The ILC Volunteer

Diane, an inductee in The Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame, anchored news at WBZ NewsRadio from 1983 until retirement in 2016. She is a tutor at The Immigrant Learning Center and emcees events for charitable groups including The Arthritis Foundation and the Preeclampsia Foundation. Diane received a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and studied at Schiller College in Heidelberg, Germany.

Anne Walsh

Teacher/Tutor, Winthrop Elementary School

Anne has been teaching at Winthrop Elementary School since 2014. Previously, she was with Triton Regional Middle School, Newburyport Adult Education and One with One, Brighton. Anne has also served as an assistant teacher and substitute teacher at The ILC. She has a BA in English and Journalism from Stonehill College, an MS in Business and Intercultural Communication from New York University, and an ESOL Certificate from Salem State University.

Jane Willis

Partner at Ropes & Gray, LLP

Jane has been a partner at Ropes & Gray, LLP, since 2003. Previously, she was with Rope & Gray, LLP, as an associate. She graduated from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, in 1994.

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