Rachel Birkenthal

Program & Marketing Coordinator

Rachel Birkenthal is the Program and Marketing Coordinator at ESC of New England (ESC), unifying the messaging and logistics of ESC’s programs. Her passion for nonprofit organizations started at an early age when she became a Brownie Girl Scout, continuing on to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award in 2011. She eventually became the Marketing and Public Relations intern at Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts where she supported the marketing department in awareness and outreach efforts. She earned her BS in Marketing Communications at Emerson College. The highlight of her academic work was leading her senior capstone team in developing a winning fully integrated marketing campaign proposal to increase the number of women in executive roles at State Street Corporation.

David Guydan

Director of Discovering What’s Next Programs

David Guydan is Director of Discovering What’s Next Programs at ESC of New England (ESC), fostering awareness of ideas, resources and opportunities for social sector engagement at mid life and beyond. David also provides his substantial expertise as an ESC consultant to nonprofit clients in strategic planning, capacity building and marketing. Throughout his career, he has guided several successful mergers, business turnarounds and start-ups. He founded and served as Chief Executive Officer for Commonwealth Card Services, an innovative company that developed electronic and card-based payment solutions. He also held positions as Senior Vice President and Director for Fleet Boston Financial Corporation, and Vice President and General Manager of Pathways Plan Services for Wright Investors’ Service. At the Interactive Data subsidiary of Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, David led sales and consulting teams and was responsible for business management of a key division. He served as Board Member and Financial Officer of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and co-chaired the Annual Fund for The Winsor School, where he also was a Trustee and Corporation Member. David holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh

Donna A. Morelle

Director of Encore Fellowship Programs

Donna Morelle is the Director of Encore Fellowships at ESC of New England (ESC) providing a new source of talent to the nonprofit community. She brings over 25 years’ experience in executive leadership and program development to this role, partnering nonprofit organizations with mid-career professionals looking to serve the nonprofit community. A collaborative leader, Donna has significant expertise guiding school, community and government stakeholders in strategic planning to develop missions, visions and goals. In her primary career, she excelled in PK-12 education as a classroom teacher, school principal, curriculum leader and superintendent of schools and was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching. During her tenure as the first female superintendent in Cumberland, Rhode Island, she developed a student-centered decision-making framework characterized as “100% of the students, 100% of the time.” Donna has been a lifelong advocate for women and youth and serves as an adult literacy tutor and job search strategy group facilitator for women experiencing long-term unemployment. Since 2007, she has served as Chief Judge for the Rhode Island State Spelling Bee. Donna holds a Master’s in Education from Rhode Island College and a Doctorate in Education from Boston College’s Lynch School of Education.

Ulea Grace Lago

Director of Consulting Services

Ulea Lago directs ESC of New England’s (ESC) consulting practice of 150 consultants providing engagements to 100 nonprofits annually in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She has responsibility for client services, consultant recruitment, professional development and evaluation programs. An attorney and prior independent consultant, Ulea has over 15 years of experience working with non-profits, religious organizations and community groups. A veteran community organizer, she is the former director of the Truth and Reconciliation Project in Nashville, Tennessee, a grassroots nonprofit supporting food security and cultural diversity and previously served as Director of Formation at Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester, Massachusetts, Associate Director of Community Partnership and Service Learning at Sarah Lawrence College and Chair of the Political Action Network at Vanderbilt University, where she was instrumental in organizing educational panels, forums and fundraisers. In Boston, she has consulted on structure and strategy issues for a variety of non-profit organizations ranging from small educational start-ups to large established health and human service agencies. She earned a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and a Masters of Divinity and Law Degree from Vanderbilt University.

Julie Crockford

Executive Director

Julie Crockford is the Executive Director at ESC of New England (ESC), a role she sees as the opportunity of a lifetime. Prior, she was President of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy for eight years, where she grew the annual budget from $200k to $1m, completed restoration of the historic H.H. Richardson Gatehouse in the Conservancy’s Back Bay Fens to serve as the Shattuck Visitor Center and organization’s headquarters, and launched the organization’s first youth programs, Green Team and YLP (Youth Leadership Program). Crockford first worked with ESC while at the Conservancy, and saw first-hand how the consulting services ESC provides transform nonprofit organizations, and by extension improves the lives of community members. ESC’s consultants provided Crockford and her team with a roadmap for implementation of marketing and strategic planning projects that met the goals for increasing presence in the community and growing the volunteer base for the organization. A passion for mission-driven work led her to a career in the nonprofit sector. First as a fund raiser for National Public Radio, her recent positions include director of external affairs at the Museum of African American History, deputy director of the Boston History Collaborative, and executive director of the Boston Institute for Arts Therapy. A proud alumnus of Lead Boston, now a program of the YWCA, Crockford is currently on the Advisory Council of the National Association of Olmsted Parks and has served on the board of multiple organizations including Emerge Massachusetts, Piers Park Sailing Center in East Boston, and UNICEF. She earned a BA in psychology from George Washington University.