HBS and HKS Alumni Helping Boston Area Nonprofits
Apply Management Skills to their Business Challenges

CAP’s Dual Mission

  • Serve Boston area nonprofits with pro bono business consulting services
  • Serve Boston area Harvard Business School and Kennedy School alumni with opportunities to give back to their communities through pro bono consulting

Over 9,000 Hours of Pro Bono Services Each Year

In consulting services value delivered annually

Over 200 Nonprofit Clients Served in the Boston area

CAP Info and FAQs

Board of Directors
  • CAP is led by a volunteer Board whose members oversee our consulting projects to help ensure high quality outcomes.
  • Each Board member serves a term of three years with a potential second term.
  • The Board is currently comprised of the individuals listed below.
Kathy Le (HKS '00), CAP Executive Director

Kathy is a nonprofit professional with international and local nonprofit experience.  She has served on the Community Action Partnership (CAP) board of directors and is a partner with Social Venture Partners Boston.

Kathy enjoys working with organizations with challenging missions. At Pathfinder International she oversaw a portfolio of reproductive health projects in Bangladesh, India, Egypt, and Azerbaijan.

As the Director of Development for the International Institute of New England, she was responsible for grant writing, fundraising, and special events to support social service programs for refugees and immigrants. At Primary Care Progress, Kathy led efforts to diversify funding through stewardship of donors and funders, as well as grant writing.

As a CAP volunteer and team leader, Kathy has worked on strategic planning projects with Bridge Over Troubled Waters, the Waltham Boys and Girls Club, and Budget Buddies. In all her work, Kathy emphasizes curiosity of learning and an openness to critical perspectives.

Kathy holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government and a BA in International Relations and English Literature from Brown University. When not on grand adventures with her family (or planning the next one), Kathy enjoys cooking Vietnamese food and is an avid reader.

Anna Abate (HBS '93), Co-Chair

Anna holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Tufts and an MBA from Harvard. She began her career in business-to-business marketing by launching a major customer service initiative at ICI. Post her MBA, she moved to the consumer side of the business and has served in a number of different roles. At Monsanto, she worked to build strategic partnerships to develop consumer brands. Following a move back to the Boston area, she worked for Reebok and was tasked with scaling the brand outside of footwear and apparel. She concluded her early career at MBI in direct marketing.

During Anna’s career break, she was active with non-profit and pro bono work. She held numerous board positions and has served as a CAP volunteer since 2000. Her clients have included the Charles River Watershed Association, the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, the Brazelton Touchpoints Center, Read to a Child, Agassiz Village, Team Impact, Silver Lining Mentoring and Ellis.

Recently, Anna began working as an independent consultant where she has been engaged to build and scale new ventures as well as provide strategic guidance. Her clients have included Wayfair, BFY Brands (PopCorners) and Life is Good. She currently serves on the Tufts Alumni Council and the Board of Gift of Adoption.

Olivier Aries (HBS '99)

Olivier-Aries

Olivier Aries is the co-founder of the Thrive Collective, a firm that acts as growth accelerator for talent optimization consultants; the firm also serves select organizations directly to help their leaders achieve more with their organization talent. Most recently, he was VP of Professional Services at the Predictive Index.

Prior to PI, he was a principal in the Leadership and Transformation practice of Kearney, a global management consulting firm, where he guided Fortune 500 companies to transform their business model to reduce costs and improve performance. He also stood up Kearney’s knowledge management operations and restructured the firm’s Board governance; in addition, he built and led Kearney’s global risk, security and crisis management program.

Olivier is also co-founder of a Pentagon-funded deep tech venture developing autonomous solutions for emergency casualty management on the battlefield.

Olivier holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and lives in Arlington, MA.

Jonathan Bower (HBS '86)

Jon Bower is the CEO of the Family Learning Company. He began his education career in the SIDEC program at Stanford University, where he earned his BA in Development Process, which was followed by an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Since then, Jon has been CEO of six other education technology and training companies: Lexia Learning Systems, Soliloquy Learning, it’s learning US, Young Broadcasters of America, Avant Assessment and Formativity, Inc.  In addition, he has consulted through JA Bower Consulting with dozens of education publishers, assessment companies and technology companies.

In the non-profit realm, Jon is a member of the Board of Community Action Partners, Executive Director of Bethune Learning Centers, Director of Curriculum and Training for EdVigor in Nigeria, former Board Chair for MassBay Community College and twice former Board member of Learning Disabilities Worldwide.

Kevin Breunig (HBS '88)

Kevin-Breunig

Kevin Breunig is an experienced marketing and communications leader in both the enterprise technology and nonprofit sectors. 

After 15 years in enterprise software marketing he followed his passion for the outdoors to work with environmental organizations.  Kevin was VP of Communications and Marketing at the nonprofit Appalachian Mountain Club, where he led efforts on brand strategy, digital marketing, and content creation and worked closely with policy staff on regional conservation issues. 

Before AMC, Kevin authored an updated version of Mass Audubon’s Losing Ground study on land use and its impact on habitat, and currently advises with the Conservation Law Foundation as a Senior Fellow. 

Kevin has been a consultant or co-lead on several CAP engagements, including projects with YW Boston, Epilepsy Foundation of New England, and MassHire Metro North Workforce Board. 

Kevin has a BA in political science and computer studies from Northwestern University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Mark Connolly (HBS '02)
photo of Mark Connolly

Mark is a native of Needham, MA and attended Needham High School and Harvard College (BA ’96).

After college, Mark worked at ABS Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on mid-sized growth companies.  Mark then worked at The Walt Disney Company in the Strategic Planning Group.  Mark graduated from Harvard Business School in 2002 (Section H).

After business school, he helped start Partners Capital Investment Group, an investment advisory firm for high net worth individuals, foundations and endowments.

Most recently, Mark has worked a management consultant for various companies including The New York Times Company, The Boston Globe, Propel Media, ThriveHive and Tantus Technologies.

Mark’s experience in the nonprofit sector includes strategic planning, marketing, operational improvements, governance and fundraising.

His prior CAP engagements include Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Children’s Services of Roxbury, Boston Youth Sanctuary and Boston Partners in Education.

Mark lives in Boston, MA.  In his free time, he enjoys skiing, spinning, boxing, and spending time with his 7 nieces and nephews.  He is an avid Boston sports fan.

Loren Crowe (HBS '14)

loren-crowe-headshot

Loren is a Main Street entrepreneur who enjoys building organizations that help individuals and communities unlock their fullest potential. He is the founder of Best Life Home Care in Cambridge, a senior home care agency that uses evidence-based wellness tools to help older adults and their families maintain the life they want to live in their community.

Prior to Best Life, Loren operated a small private equity vehicle searching for great American small business to operate.

Before that, Loren served as an infantry officer in the US Army, where he deployed twice to Afghanistan and was responsible for a 200-person rifle company engaged in daily combat and counter insurgency operation.

Loren has a BA from Columbia University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Alan Eisenberg (HBS '78)
John Giudice (HBS)

John Giudice has worked in technology companies creating software and hardware products in a wide variety of enterprise and consumer applications. For 20 years, John worked at Digital Equipment Corp, creating and marketing products for science, engineering, enterprise information management and electronic publishing. He also created applications and solutions for secure document and information sharing with Groove Networks (later bought by Microsoft), consumer information sharing at Tubes Networks, enterprise secure information sharing for financial industries with Intralinks and now retired from corporate work.

John has a BIE from Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.  Actively involved in building personal software applications, photography and woodworking projects for personal "enrichment."

Dave Lang (HBS ’95)
Barbara Wall Lobosco (HBS '95) - Emeritus

Barbara has a long history of working with companies and organizations in the financial services and non-profit sectors.

She served as co-head of client relationship management and international equity portfolio specialist for GMO, a global institutional investment management firm. Prior to that, Barbara was CFO of MC Baldwin Financial Corporation, a joint venture with Mitsubishi Corporation specializing in derivative-based investment funds of funds. Barbara started her career at Ernst and Young, where she was engaged in the firm’s audit practice.

Currently, Barbara is collaborating on the development of the Core Curriculum Readings in Finance for Harvard Business School Publishing.

Barbara’s experience in the nonprofit sector includes strategic planning and implementation, marketing and communications strategy, board governance, client and corporate relationships, and financial sustainability. Her previous CAP engagements include Compass Working Capital, NEADS/Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans, RESPOND, PACT/USA, the Boys and Girls Club of Boston and Open Circle.

Barbara is also a past board member of the Friends of Holly Hill Farm, an educational farm nonprofit on Boston’s South Shore. Barbara is a summa cum laude graduate of the State University of New York at Albany and holds an MBA from Harvard. She is an avid amateur musician and long time member of the Hingham Woodwind Quintet, as well as a member of the Maliotis Chamber Players at the Boston Flute Academy and the Metropolitan Flute Festival Orchestra at New England Conservatory.

Dara Menashi (HKS)

Dara-Menashi

Dara has an extensive history helping transform promising ideas into high-impact programs and practice. She has a wide range of experiences working in foundations, nonprofit, for-profit, political and public institutions.  Over her many years of field experience, she has evaluated, designed and run programs covering many subjects including child welfare, juvenile justice, domestic and international economic development and education.  In each of these areas, Dara has focused on effective implementation as the key to getting positive outcomes.

Dara has worked for and with Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) on various initiatives over the last 18 years, with a particular focus on start-ups:

Prior to joining Casey Dara worked for McKinsey & Company as an organization specialist for private sector clients, introducing and refining the use of Relationship Network Analysis (RNA) as a consulting tool for mapping and leveraging the informal structure of organizations.

Dara holds a PhD and MPP from Harvard University, where she was awarded best master’s thesis and mentor of the year, and a BA from Boston University in Economics, where she was selected as a Truman Scholar for her leadership and commitment to the public sector.

Michele Norman (HBS)

After working as a management consultant, Michele decided to focus her career on the food industry. She served as the Vice President of Finance for Houston’s Restaurants, a large privately-owned company with restaurants nationwide. She then joined Dean & Deluca, a premier retailer of gourmet foods, where she was Vice President of Operations. Michele continues to have a strong interest in the infrastructure (people, processes and technology) that enable multi-site businesses to flourish.

Michele has worked with a number of non-profit organizations, both as a Board member and strategy consultant. She previously served on the Local Advisory Board of BUILD, an entrepreneurship program for at-risk youth, and currently serves as Board Chair at Tenacre Country Day School. Michele also recently led a strategic planning initiative for The Wily Network, an organization that serves students who are navigating college independently. As a CAP volunteer, Michele has worked with a variety of organizations focused on youth and education. Clients include Team Impact, Junior Achievement Worldwide, Urban College of Boston and Ellis Memorial.

Michele holds a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia and a MBA from Harvard Business School.

Gautam Ramchandani (HBS '77), Co-Chair

Gautam-Ramchandani-headshot

Gautam Ramchandani’s career spans over 40 years of experience helping non-profit, software, technology, capital goods, start-up firms create competitive advantage through disruptive business models. He provides a unique combination of consulting, project management, business development, business strategy, operations management, and technology capabilities that can be used to lead a consulting team, an innovative nonprofit, or an emerging growth entity.

Gautam has developed innovative strategies for nonprofits facing challenges of declining funding and increased demand for services. He has helped a wide array of nonprofits measure and enhance impact in their efforts to address a variety of societal challenges. His clients have included (but not limited to) leading organizations from the following sectors: family services, immigrant integration, homelessness, emergency human services, poverty alleviation, youth development and education, domestic violence, family economic security, arts and culture, environmental / historic preservation, and scientific research. He has helped nonprofits develop a theory of change aligned with their mission and assisted in improving programmatic impact by leveraging the inherent strengths of these organizations.

Gautam has had an extensive engagement with the social sector by providing strategic board advisory services to leading institutions and serving on numerous nonprofit boards in a leadership capacity. He was on the boards / advisory boards of the following nonprofits - Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Foundation (Chair, Team Hole in the Wall Committee; Chair, Personnel Committee; Chair, Program Committee; Development Committee); The Lyric Stage, Person to Person.

Gautam has been active in Harvard Business School Alumni activities in leadership roles including – President and Officer HBS Club of CT (1999-2011), co-founder HBS Community Partners serving CT based nonprofits, Trustee Community Action Partners (HBS Association of Boston).

Philip Rueppel (HBS '90)

Phil Rueppel is an active technology investor and advisor to emerging companies, primarily in the software industry.   He has been involved in a number of non-profits, most recently as the former Vice Chairman and Chair of the Finance Committee at Trinity Boston Connects, an organization focused on education and social justice for Boston youth.

Earlier in his career, Phil served as Managing Director and Software Research Analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, a position he held until 2014. Previously, Mr. Rueppel held senior investment research positions at Sanford Bernstein, Alex Brown, Deutsche Bank, and was one of the initial founding partners at America’s Growth Capital, where he was both a Research Analyst, and Co-Director of Research.  He has had extensive experience staffing and building research teams and has complemented his sell-side expertise with buy-side and private equity experience as a Principal at TA Associates, where he evaluated both public and private investment opportunities.  Phil began his career in the software industry, as an Engineering and Marketing Manager at Hewlett-Packard.

Phil received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Yale University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Phil lives in Dover with his wife and three daughters, and in his spare time is an avid skier, photographer, and likes to restore vintage pinball machines.

John Shaw (HBS '87)

John Shaw has an extensive track record of growing technology-based companies.  Successful outcomes include an IPO, orchestrating several high-multiple company acquisitions, and crafting a multi-billion dollar product strategy.

Most recently, John was the CMO of two IT Automation companies -- ORSYP Software and Automic Software. Previously, he was the COO of VBrick Systems, the largest worldwide provider of Enterprise Streaming Video solutions, and CEO of Aptima, a major provider of Predictive Analytics software and services.

Earlier in his career, John led the sale of Summa Four to Cisco Systems, whose product became one of the building blocks of Cisco's launch into the Voice over IP market.

John holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BA in Economics from Bowdoin College.

J. Hale Smith (HBS '77)

Hale began his career in the banking and financial services industries. He served as Controller for The Shareholder Services Group and VP Finance for First Data Technologies, both subsidiaries of First Data Corporation. Mid-career, he joined the not-for-profit sector as CFO of Groton School, a private, co-educational boarding school for American and international students.

Hale’s specific responsibilities at Groton School included business strategy, capital structure and debt financing, accounting operations and budgeting, facilities management and construction, and legal and insurance functions.  He worked closely with the Communication Department in coordinating town/external relationships.  Hale retired three years ago after serving more than 20 years.

Hale’s prior CAP experiences were in education, public-private partnership and museum sectors.  He holds an Economics BA from Colorado College, a Harvard MBA, and was a Massachusetts CPA.  Hale lives in Milton, MA with his wife; they have two grown sons.

Pamela Kading Webb (HKS)

Pam-KW

Pam has over three decades of experience engaging with non-profit institutions in an executive management or volunteer leadership capacity.  Her work has primarily been focused in the areas of human services (especially children and youth) and education.

Pam is currently a consultant with the Challenge Success Initiative at Stanford University. She consults with partner schools in New England and mid-Atlantic regions to broaden the definition of student success, address root causes of student stress, and develop strategies to improve overall student well-being and engagement with learning.

Pam recently served as co-lead on a CAP project for the Steppingstone Foundation in Boston. In this role, she helped to develop a set of holistic outcome measures to better assess and capture the full impact of Steppingstone in the community.

Her past experience includes serving as Vice President of Community Investments for the United Way of Massachusetts Bay (Greater Boston). She has also worked with a number of local non-profit organizations including the March of Dimes Foundation, the Alliance for Young Families, Citizen’s Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA), Boston Children’s Services, and MSPCC. In the private sector, Pam was a management consultant in the health care practice at Booz, Allen & Hamilton.

Pam earned a Bachelor of Science in both Mathematics and Economics and a Certificate of Women’s Studies from Duke University. She also holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government with a concentration in Child/Family Policy and Education. Pam lives with her husband in Sherborn, MA and has two grown sons plus a Bernese Mountain Dog, Magnolia.

When is the deadline for CAP Consulting applications?
CAP Consulting Applications are due in early June.

Preliminary decisions are made in late July and final decisions are made in September after the volunteer sign-up deadline.

What is the deadline for CAP Brainstorms applications?
Brainstorming applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Sessions are held every month except for August and September.

My organization does not meet the criteria for 5 full time staff – can we still apply for a project?
Based on CAP’s experience working with nonprofits for 25 years we have found that smaller clients often don’t have the capacity to absorb a team of volunteers and the associated time and data requests that accompany a long term project.

We also want to ensure that clients can implement the project recommendations - this can be difficult for smaller organizations with very limited resources.

Rarely we make exceptions for organizations that have resources in addition to staff - a particularly committed board or volunteer base for example.

Contact info@cap-hbsab.org to learn more.

My organization is located outside of the Greater Boston area – can we still apply for a project?
CAP’s volunteers are generally located in the metro Boston area and do not travel to clients.

Occasionally, we can find a team of volunteers to work with a client more than 45 mins from Boston (Plymouth or Southern New Hampshire for example), but it is rare.

Contact info@cap-hbsab.org to learn more.

If we were not selected, can our nonprofit apply next year?
Yes, CAP welcomes repeat applicants.
Does a nonprofit need to have meeting space?
No, although our volunteers learn a lot by spending time at the client site.
What are the requirements for becoming a CAP volunteer?
All alumni of Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School are eligible to volunteer, pending the CAP screening process.

Alumni of other Harvard graduate schools are accepted on a case by case basis.

How big a commitment is being a CAP volunteer?
CAP Consulting Volunteers are expected to commit 2-4 hours per week from October through May, with more intense work periods at times.

CAP Brainstorms Volunteers commit to a single session.

Alumni may volunteer for both CAP Consulting and Brainstorms.

How many volunteers are assigned to a project team?
Typically between 5-7 alumni volunteers are on a team, depending on volunteer interest and project needs.
Where are CAP meetings held?
CAP teams and clients will agree on locations to meet, convenient to volunteers and the client staff.

Volunteers must have schedule flexibility sufficient to make team and client meetings at the mutually agreed place and time.

Who should I contact with questions about CAP?
Contact the CAP Executive Director at info@cap-hbsab.org.

CAP Annual Report 2019-20

Annual Report PDF

Founded in 1993, Community Action Partners (CAP) marshals more than 100 HBS and HKS alumni volunteers each year to serve a select group of Boston area nonprofits.

CAP operates as a program of the HBS Alumni Association of Boston.

CAP serves 12-15 clients each year with approximately 100 volunteers in 8 month long pro-bono consulting engagements. We also offer CAP Brainstorms, one night sessions for nonprofits to discuss a clearly-defined challenge with a group of alumni professionals.

Since inception more than 1,000 CAP volunteers have served over 200 nonprofit clients in a variety of sectors including arts & culture, education & out-of-school time, health & human services, housing & community economic development, conservation & environment, and workforce development.

CAP offers volunteer consulting assistance in such areas as:

  • strategic and business planning
  • market research and marketing strategy
  • financial planning and analysis
  • board development and governance
  • organizational development