BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Arthur L. Johnson, Board Chair
Arthur Johnson is a community development lawyer with an extensive litigation and transactional background. He has served as a director at Commonwealth Land Trust since its creation and currently serves as its chairman. He has over eighteen years of experience as a clinical law teacher in the area of community economic development. Mr. Johnson specializes in the creative use of the legal process to facilitate the development of healthy and stable urban communities. He has taught courses in real estate law and community economic development at numerous institutions, including Harvard Law School, Boston College Law School, Northeastern Law School, Suffolk University Law School, and the New Hampshire College Graduate School of Business.
Mr. Johnson received an AB in Philosophy from the College of the Holy Cross and a JD from Northeastern University Law School. He runs the Law Office of Arthur L. Johnson, a law practice concentrating in real estate, community economic development, and land use/zoning. He also serves as a director at the Neighborhood Development Corporation of Jamaica Plain.
Dan Bancroft, Vice Chair
Dan Bancroft is a trial partner in the Newton firm of Broderick Bancroft. He represents owners and managers of subsidized housing in the trial and appellate courts of Massachusetts, as well as administrative agencies, including the MCAD and Boston Fair Housing Commission. In addition to litigation matters, he advises clients on policies for non-discriminatory tenant selection management and matters pertaining to disabled applicants and tenants, including requests for reasonable accommodation. He conducts ongoing training on Fair Housing for management companies and has been a trainer and lecturer on Fair Housing issues for more than 25 years.
Ellen M. Tan, President & CEO (Ex Officio)
Ellen Tan came to Commonwealth Land Trust in 1994 with a background in counseling and real estate law. After graduating from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut with a bachelor of arts in sociology, Ellen worked as a case manager at a residential drug and alcohol treatment center in Roxbury. She then worked in a community-oriented law firm before joining Commonwealth Land Trust as the coordinator of supportive housing management.
In 1999, Ellen was promoted to president of Commonwealth Land Trust and oversaw our expansion from a staff of five to a team of over thirty-five professionals. Ellen led the establishment of our case management, supportive housing, administration, and maintenance departments, and remains heavily involved in the daily operations of each branch. Under Ellen’s leadership, Commonwealth Land Trust has provided permanent housing and vital supportive services to thousands of homeless individuals and families.
Kate Elliott Smith, Treasurer
Kate is President of Elliott Smith Associates, a holistic, comprehensive, fee-only financial planning firm and Registered Investment Advisor in Boston. Previously she worked for Del Monte, Nestle, and General Foods. She currently serves as Treasurer of Commonwealth Land Trust and as Treasurer of BSA Troop/Crew/Post 56 in Cambridge, a youth-led, co-ed, high adventure scouting group. Previously she has volunteered with various church, school, and co-op boards, serving as Senior Warden, VP Membership, Treasurer, and President. Kate has a Certificate in Financial Planning from Boston University, an MBA from Stanford University, and an AB in History from Harvard.
Daniel Janey, Clerk
Daniel Janey, LICSW, is in private practice, training social workers for community non-profits and private clients. Previously, he worked for 35 years with the Forensics Services Division of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, conducting intake evaluations and working with inmates while they were in custody and as they prepared for release. He has been a support leader for Young Men of Color at Phillips Exeter Academy and an Adjunct Professor in Social Work at Lesley University and Bunker Hill Community College. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Hawthorne Community Center and after-school program in Roxbury’s Fort Hill neighborhood. He has an MSW from Boston College, a BS in Social Work from Gordon College, and an associate’s degree from UMass Amherst.
Richard Brown, Lower Roxbury Residents’ Association
Mr. Brown has served on the Commonwealth Land Trust Board of Directors and chaired the Lower Roxbury Residents’ Association since 1989. He is a United States veteran having served in World War II and Korea. Mr. Brown earned a bachelor of arts and master’s degree in mathematics from Boston University. He taught mathematics at the elementary through college level at several institutions, including Tuskegee University, Boston Latin Academy, The Lewis School, and Boston Technical High School. He chaired the math departments of Wayland Junior High School and John D. O’Bryant School. During the desegregation of Boston’s public schools in the 1970s, he served as the director of minority recruitment for the Boston Public School System.
He has served in a leadership capacity in the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post of African Americans. He is the co-founder and first President of RUFC (Roxbury Unites for Families and Children), an agency designed to enhance the well-being and mental health of families in Roxbury. He served as the District 9 Coordinator for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the Council of Elders. Mr. Brown is a lifelong member of the Peoples Baptist Church and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He is a past president of the Boston Baptist Social Union and a past member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Vocational and Technical Education.
Syvalia Hyman III
Syvalia Hyman has served as a director of Commonwealth Land Trust since its creation. He is president and chief executive officer of the United South End/Lower Roxbury Development Corporation (UDC) and its subsidiaries, UDC Real Property Corporation and UDC Housing Development Corporation. His areas of experience include general management, commercial and residential real estate development, construction management, business financing, organizational development, and planning.
He is a member of the Tent City Corporation Board of Directors and TCC Developers Inc., the managing general partner of the Leighton Park Limited Partnership, which developed, built, and owns Tent City Housing Development in the South End. He also serves as chairman of the board at Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) and Central Boston Elder Services.
Bruce Henderson is President of Matrix USA, Inc., an international consulting firm of 25+ years building bridges between information-technology markets in the U.S. and Japan. He is chair and co-founder of NewtonSTEM, has served on the boards of the First Unitarian Society in Newton and Newton Community Education, and has served as president of two parent-teacher organizations. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB in Economics from Princeton University.
Jon Kaufman graduated from UMass Amherst with a BS in Computer Science. After graduation, he worked as a software developer at an investment management firm in Boston, where he was introduced to Commonwealth Land Trust during a corporate volunteering event. He began working at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2013 and joined the board of Commonwealth Land Trust shortly thereafter. Currently residing in California, he works at a healthcare startup in Santa Monica.
Alberto Chang, LCSW, is a bilingual outpatient clinician providing psychotherapy at Lahey Health Behavioral Services in Lawrence, MA. Prior to his current role, Alberto spent 20 years in the business world, including 15 years as a CPA at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he provided management consulting and litigation support services. He has a MSW from Simmons College, an MBA from Columbia University, and a BSE in Accounting and Decision Sciences from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Tamirirashe (Tami) Gambiza, CPA, CGMA, is a Senior Audit Manager at CohnReznick, a national accounting, tax and advisory firm, with over 12 years in the public accounting industry. His work spans financial services of not-for-profits, state colleges, universities, and state agencies and authorities. His focus is on the real estate industry, including affordable housing, commercial, developers, management agents, low-income housing and historic tax credits, asset management, and due diligence. His work also includes operational and integrated audits and internal controls over financial reporting. He has a BS in Accounting from Bellevue University in Nebraska. He is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA), where he is an active member of the MSCPA Accounting and Audit Committee.