BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ARTHUR L. JOHNSON, BOARD CHAIR
Mr. 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.
ELLEN M. TAN, PRESIDENT & CEO
Mrs. 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.
SYVALIA HYMAN III, CORPORATE CLERK
Mr. Hyman has served as a director of Commonwealth Land Trust since its creation and currently serves as corporate clerk. 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.
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.
WILLIAM BOYLE, TREASURER
Mr. Boyle is a founding member of Commonwealth Land Trust and currently serves as its treasurer. He operates a private law practice in Groton, MA, specializing in contract negotiation/management, intellectual property licensing, and corporate affairs management. He has served on several public sector and nonprofit boards focused on community economic development.