Growing our Board of Directors - Somos Amigos

Growing our Board of Directors

July 1 marks the changing of our Board’s leadership. Dr. Jim McCann, whose term as Board Chair overlapped the pandemic, oversaw a period of remarkable challenge, but also incredible growth. Jim’s astute, mission-focused guidance resulted not only in our literal survival when other small nonprofits did not fare as well, but also has left us poised to confidently meet the future. Jim’s legacy is that we continue to evolve to serve more patients and with even higher levels of care. Our Board reflects the cohesion and commitment he has instilled, and our robust financial position reflects the determination and confidence our Board has in turn invested in our governance. Jim will remain on our Board, but we take this opportunity to thank him for all that he has done for and with Somos Amigos as Chair. ¡Muchas gracias, Jim!

As of July 1, Sheila Cullen takes the helm as Chair of our Board. Sheila joined our Board several years ago and most recently served as our Vice-chair and Chair of our Governance committee. She has volunteered with us even longer, usually on our October trips. Sheila assumes leadership at a momentous time. As Somos Amigos continues to evolve, we will soon revisit the long-range plan we developed prior to the pandemic. With a quarter century of service behind us, under Sheila’s leadership, we will continue to define our next chapter. Sheila will ensure that we embark on that journey strategically, sensitively and sensibly. Thank you, Sheila! 

¡Bienvenida! This month, we also welcome Dr. Chantal Tavarez to our Board. Chantal is a general dentist originally from Santiago, Dominican Republic. It was there in Santiago that she first graduated from dental school, and then afterwards she migrated to United States to obtain her dental license from Columbia University. Chantal lives and works in New York City and has volunteered with Somos Amigos for several years. “To be able to help my Spanish-speaking community in a foreign country with their oral health and to be able to return to my country and help those in need is one of the biggest joys that fills my heart and soul,” Chantal told our Board. We are so excited to have her join us on the Board.