Carmen Arce is the Chief Operating Officer of The Partnership, Inc. a Boston based organization focused on attracting, developing, and retaining professionals of color in the region. She also co-chairs the organization’s Executive Council a group of nearly 80 heads of HR and D&I that convene to share best practices, tackle challenges in the field and serve as a sounding board to each other.
Prior to joining The Partnership, Arce served for over three years as Director of Personnel and Administration in the office of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick overseeing and managing all matters related to high-level personnel transactions in the executive branch. Prior to this role, she served as Project Director of ONE Massachusetts at the Public Policy Institute and trained more than 250 community leaders on issues related to community empowerment and public policy strategy.
Arce currently serves as a trustee of Buckingham Browne and Nichols School and chairs its newly created Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee. She also serves on the board of WBUR, Boston NPR news station, on the leadership board of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and on the newly created Governor’s Council on Latino Empowerment. Arce also served on the boards of MassVote, the Chelsea Collaborative, Emerge Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.
In 2022, Tufts University recognized Arce with a 2021 Distinguished Achievement Award – one the highest recognitions the university awards every year to its alumni. The Boston Business Journal named Arce as one of its 2018 40 Under 40 honorees, a competitive awards program that recognizes Boston’s most promising young professionals. In 2019, Boston executives selected Arce to be part of a 10-member cohort representing Boston at the Harvard Business School “Young American Leaders Program” around issues of cross-sector collaboration in the US.
Originally from Mexico, Arce graduated with a LL.B from Universidad Panamericana Law School in Guadalajara Mexico, a LL.M from Suffolk University Law School and a MALD degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy focusing on International Development – Social and Political Change.
Arce is the proud mom of 12-year old Pilar.
Chief Transformation Officer
Anjali Worah is driving the Digital Transformation changes at The Partnership, Inc. She has 20 years of experience delivering product and technology solutions across multiple industries, including eCommerce, Financial Services, Higher Education, and multiple early stage startups.
Senior Executive Assistant to the President and CEO
Roseann Carbone is the Senior Executive Assistant to the President and CEO, Pratt Wiley, and liaison to the Board of Directors. Roseann provides administrative and scheduling support to Pratt Wiley. Roseann is also the liaison to the C-Suite Program and is responsible for the execution of all of The Partnership’s C-Suite events.
Prior to joining The Partnership Inc., Roseann was at John Hancock for 22 years holding various administrative positions in areas such as Group Insurance, Real Estate Law, IT and Community Relations.
Vice President, Business Development
Claire Cooper is the Vice President of Business Development at The Partnership where she works to build and support relationships with employers, business partners, and DEI practitioners and connects organizations and individuals to The Partnership’s programs and services.
Claire has nearly fifteen years of experience in partnerships, programs, and community engagement in both the public and non-profit sectors. She has spent the last three years in the business community, serving most recently for the last two years as Vice President of Public Policy and Operations at the Massachusetts Business Roundtable and previously as Director of Partnerships and Programs at the Alliance for Business Leadership. She previously spent three years at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate where she served as Director of Community Engagement and produced dozens of programs with national political leaders and deepened partnerships with youth and educational organizations within Columbia Point. She also worked as a founding staff member at HubWeek where she launched and grew the organization’s partnership network citywide. She also served in the administration of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, where she advanced community relations on health care issues. She started her career working in legislative advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights and ACLU of Maine.
Claire has a Bachelor’s Degree in Government & Legal Studies and Religion from Bowdoin College. She is also an alum of The Partnership’s Next Generation Executive Program, Class of 2023. She serves on the boards of Reproductive Equity Now and Health Care for All. She is based in Greater Boston and she lives with her husband, daughter, and rescue dog in Arlington.
Karen L. James
Vice President, Leadership Development
Karen L. James is the Vice President, Leadership Development at The Partnership, Inc. Karen is responsible for program content and the execution of the Next Generation Executive (NGE), Fellows and Associates Programs. She also manages the BoardLink Initiative, an extension of The Partnership’s executive leadership development offerings that support board diversity and development needs of key nonprofits.
Karen has more than 20 years of corporate management experience with notable accomplishments in community and public relations, corporate philanthropy, program development, human resources and project management. Additionally, Ms. James has extensive background in corporate human resources, where she was responsible for developing and managing workplace diversity initiatives.
Prior to joining The Partnership, Karen directed Verizon Foundation’s investments in community and education programs in Greater Boston. She had oversight of all programs related to corporate grant-making, employee volunteerism initiatives as well as corporate membership programs. Karen had responsibility for an exemplary school partnership program with Verizon and Boston Public Schools as well as the corporate annual summer jobs program.
A Boston native, Karen L. James graduated from Simmons College and has completed numerous executive education programs at Cornell University, Boston College Center for Community Relations and Babson College. She has served on numerous boards and in volunteer activities including with the Grimes King Foundation, Simmons College, Urban League of Eastern Mass., Associated Grantmakers of New England, Posse Foundation, Jack and Jill of America and Big Sister Association.
Jacquetta Van Zandt
Vice President, Engagement
Jacquetta Van Zandt is the Vice President of Engagement at the Partnership, Inc. Jacquetta is responsible for building, coordinating, and maintaining strategic relationships across the civic, political and business sectors. In this role, The Vice President manages long-term strategic thinking regarding the Partnership’s relationships to build systemic and sustainable influence in furtherance of the organization’s mission.
Prior to joining The Partnership, Inc, Van Zandt honed a political skill set on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as well as various state and federal campaigns, Jacquetta has been a respected voice at the table to aid in making significant decisions that impact communities of color.
A highly sought-after political strategist, with a special focus on public policy and diversity initiatives, her desire to bring about equal opportunities for women of color has brought her back to Massachusetts. Her goal towards making an impact on her community and to bring important issues to light such as pay equity, financial literacy, socioeconomic development, women’s empowerment, and diversifying the legislature are at the heart of today’s most important issues. She was instrumental force on many campaigns including the successful campaign of Framingham’s first Mayor and only popularly elected woman of color to that post.
Van Zandt along with Lori Lennon launched a growing and popular zoom-cast/podcast called “Politics and Prosecco.” Politics and Prosecco is a one-hour show where guests and hosts engage in topics surrounding current events and its impact on everyday life. In addition to hosting “Politics and Prosecco,” Van Zandt currently serves on the board of directors for the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts.
Born and raised in Boston, MA, Van Zandt graduated from Mount Ida College (now part of the UMASS education system) with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. She resides in Quincy, MA.
Director of Marketing
Stephanie is the Director of Marketing at The Partnership, Inc. She is responsible for elevating The Partnership’s brand, expanding the organization’s reach, and creating lasting connections within The Partnership community. As a Marketer and Project Management professional, she integrates tech solutions into all aspects of her work. She has a background in communications, graphic design, business development, people management and process improvement and is a convener, facilitator and thought leader in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space.
Sharing in The Partnership’s three-prong approach, a commitment to community is one of Stephanie’s core values and her most recent service to her community include: served as the Director of Marketing for ALPFA New York, served on the Women of ALPFA National Strategic Development Committee, Executive Committee Member At-Large of the NAACP Islip Town Branch and as a Big (Mentor) for Big Brothers, Big Sisters; she has also had the privilege to serve on both the 2022 and 2023 Boston Juneteenth at Franklin Park committee.
Stephanie is a first-generation higher education graduate who holds a B.A. from Stony Brook University and an M.A. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. As a proud Puerto Rican woman from New York, her life is committed to the advancement, success, and prosperity of all people of Color in every space and place we inhabit.
Leadership Development Associate
Sebastian Patino is the Leadership Development Program Associate at The Partnership, Inc. Sebastian works with the Assistant Vice President of Leadership Development to draft program correspondence, engage as the producer for Zoom meetings, and provide support all Partnership programming. He actively monitors online engagement, and supports all current participants.
Sebastian worked for Teach for America in Charlotte, North Carolina focused on an intensive summer program developing skills to prepare for the upcoming school year. Sebastian focused on integrating diversity and inclusion as a priority through curriculum trainings and class management, as well as outside the classroom through his engagement with community partners. Prior to that, Sebastian served as a Policy Intern to Senator Elizabeth Warren. He managed constituent calls, researched issues, oversaw office administrative responsibilities, and supported special projects as assigned.
Sebastian volunteers for the Elliot Family Resource Center in Everett, MA supporting staff during special events and supporting daily needs such as stocking the food pantry, and providing front desk responsibilities. He also had volunteered at Horizons for Homeless Children in Brockton, MA by engaging with children 0-5 years old by creating a fun and positive environment.
Born in Passaic, NJ, and raised in Malden, MA, Sebastian has his B.A. from Stonehill College, and has studied abroad in Argentina, Vietnam and South Africa. Sebastian is proud of his Colombian heritage. He enjoys to travel, is a movie buff, foodie, passionate about musical theatre, and loves playing with his mixed dog, Dante.
Clare Oumou Verbeten
Minnesota State Director
Clare Oumou Verbeten is a lifelong Minnesotan, racial equity practitioner, political operative and current candidate for the Minnesota Senate. Prior to joining the Partnership, Clare led the City of Saint Paul’s racial equity policies and programs as their Equity Manager. She has an extensive background in electoral politics and organizing, previously serving as a senior director for Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters and Walz Flanagan gubernatorial campaign.
As Minnesota State Director, Clare is leading The Partnership’s expansion to Minnesota, partnering with companies, organizations and leaders in the region to build a racially diverse workforce and bring our world-class leadership development programs to our first-ever Minnesota cohort.
Clare was born and raised in Roseville, Minnesota. She is the proud daughter of Rama and Hans, a Senegalese immigrant and second generation Dutch American. Clare lives in the Como neighborhood in Saint Paul with her husband, Garrison, and their Goldendoodle, Honey. As a foodie, Clare enjoys cooking, baking and trying out the latest restaurants. She loves RuPaul’s Drag Race and everything yellow.
Director of Digital Transformation
Rashi Shyam is managing the organizational changes within The Partnership, Inc. that revolve around digital technology. She assists the employees in adopting digital technologies, upgrading processes and procedures using new digital technology, and communicating needs of the organization to consulting developers. She also works to streamline communication to The Partnership, Inc. audience. Prior to working at The Partnership, Rashi has held positions managing communities and events at non-profits, and in Human Resources. Rashi has both her BA and MBA at Rutgers University. Rashi works remotely for The Partnership, Inc. and lives in New Jersey with her husband and 2 daughters.
Director of Leadership Development Programs
Lesley is the Senior Manager, Leadership Development Programs at The Partnership, Inc. Lesley works with the Vice President of Leadership Development and is responsible for oversight of the day-to-day requirements related to the execution of the Partnership’s signature leadership development programs.
Lesley is an accomplished professional who has spent most of her career employed in both the hotel and destination marketing industries.
She relocated to New England in 2000 to begin working for the Bermuda Department of Tourism as a Business Development Manager, encouraging travel to Bermuda. She has also worked at the Massachusetts Office of Travel Tourism, Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, and the Massachusetts State Auditor’s Office.
Lesley’s interests include cooking, reading and wine tasting. Community Service has long been a part of her life. She has served the Boston community as a mentor with Big Sister of Greater Boston for 6 years and continued to serve the organization for a further ten years as a member of the Diversity Board, ending her service as Vice President. Lesley is a member of the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda and volunteers at The Eliza Dolittle Society. Lesley earned a Certificate in Women’s Entrepreneurship at Cornell University in conjunction with Bank of America and is a META Certified Community Manager.
Lesley’s greatest passion is travel – favorite destinations include St. Lucia, London and South Africa.
Deputy Director of Business Development
As the Deputy Director of Business Development, Tiana is responsible for managing and executing the Partnership’s expansion into Minnesota. This includes recruiting high potential professionals of color in Minnesota to The Partnership’s Leadership Development programs, helping design programming to best build and sustain the Minnesota Partnership Community, and facilitating forums for HR and DEI leaders to share best practices and stay abreast of thought leadership within the field.
Tiana is a lifelong Twin Cities resident, DEI practitioner, Youth Advocate, and Innovation Leader. Prior to the Partnership, Tiana served her community as the first Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism Coordinator for the Saint Paul Public Library System. Tiana brings a focus on human centered design and collectivism to her work, and is dedicated to supporting anti-racist interventions in systems and institutions that serve the people of Minnesota.
Tiana is a 2022 Josie R. Johnson Leadership Academy Fellow and an African American Leadership Forum network member. Tiana has had the opportunity to share her professional expertise at multiple professional conferences. Most recently, she presented on racial healing and community engagement strategies at the 2021 Governmental Alliance for Racial Equity’s Annual Membership Meeting and the 2022 Minnesota Library Association Conference.
In her free time, Tiana can be found attending art and music shows, spending time outdoors, and trying new fitness classes. Tiana lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with her sister and her cat Bubblegum.
Senior Manager, Operations
Shivani Sheth is the Operations Associate at The Partnership. Inc. Shivani works with the President and Chief Operating Officer of The Partnership. Inc. to generate and maintain monthly, quarterly, and annual financial reports. She is responsible for maintaining the books of accounts, invoicing, coordinating with annual audit and matters related to board convenings.
She has excellent attention to detail and analysis skills that has increased the accuracy of our books.
Originally from India and prior to working at The Partnership. Inc., Shivani has held position as a corporate legal executive at a multinational corporation.
Shivani graduated from Mumbai University with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce and has a professional degree as a Company Secretary from the Institute of Company Secretaries of India. She resides in Boston, MA with her husband.
Leadership Development Program Associate
Alex Bernard is a Leadership Development Program Associate at The Partnership, Inc. He works with the Assistant Vice President of Leadership Development to draft program correspondence, engage as the producer for Zoom meetings, and provide support for all Partnership programming. He actively monitors online engagement, and supports all current participants. He also helps oversee The Partnership’s Boardlink, Digital Badging & Pilot Mentoring initiatives. Alex graduated from Babson College in May 2020. Prior to working at The Partnership he was an intern at Steward Healthcare & an analyst intern at Media Shower, a blockchain media company. He currently resides in Duxbury, Massachusetts. Outside of work he enjoys creating digital art & audio engineering.
Leadership Development Program Associate
Isaiah Fontaine is a Leadership Development Program Associate at The Partnership, Inc. He works with the Assistant Vice President of Leadership Development to draft program correspondence, engage as the producer for Zoom meetings, and provide support for all Partnership programming. He actively monitors online engagement and supports all current participants. He is also involved in providing accessibility to Partnership programming for all individuals of all abilities.
Prior to joining The Partnership, his background was in digital marketing and brand management. Most recently, he was a digital marketing manager for Kreyol, a women’s high fashion brand founded in Boston.
Born in Worcester, MA, and raised in Randolph, MA, Isaiah has his B.A. from Babson College. Outside of work, he has interests in foreign affairs, investments, music, and basketball.