Inversant is committed to helping the entire family invest in higher education.
In January 2016, Dr. Charles Desmond, past-Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and a policy advisor to former Governor Deval Patrick, was appointed chief executive officer of Inversant. Under Charles’ leadership, Inversant has moved to the forefront of the Children’s Savings Account (CSA) movement by establishing relationships in both the private and public sector. In his short tenure with Inversant, he has helped establish new programs in the Salem and Revere Public School Systems, as well as being instrumental in spearheading a five-city partnership with the Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Office to launch SoarMA, a program that helps parents of 7th-grade students to open Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs).
A Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Desmond served from 2002 to 2009 as Executive Vice President of the Trefler Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving educational opportunities and success for Boston’s urban youth. Prior to Trefler, Dr. Desmond worked for more than 30 years at the University of Massachusetts Boston, with a focus on student affairs and community collaboration. He has also served as a guidance counselor at Northeastern University’s African/American Institute, and in the Boston Public Schools.
Dr. Desmond is active in civic and community organizations, including service as President of AARP Massachusetts and as a member of the Review Committee for the Broad Prize in Urban Education, Board of Governors for the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University, Brown University Design Group/Annenberg Institute for School Reform, and Cambridge College Board of Trustees. He was the co-chair and executive director of the Urban Educators Corps and is a past president of the Massachusetts Educational Opportunity Association, and he has been active with the American Council on Education, and the Council for Opportunity in Education, among other organizations.
Dr. Desmond earned his Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a B.S. in sociology from Northeastern University. He is a decorated Vietnam veteran of the U.S. Army, receiving both Silver and Bronze stars.
Yiming joined the Inversant team in April 2009. She is able to apply her native expertise from Taiwan to speak with families in Mandarin Chinese. Prior to Inversant, Yiming was the Communications and Operations Manager at the Boston History & Innovation Collaborative. Yiming received a B.A. in History and Journalism at National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan. She earned her M.S. in Mass Communications from Boston University.
As an entrepreneur she has built agile organizations that deliver training in strategic communications and fundraising skills to more than 5200 people in over 32 countries. To serve this global market, Heidi developed and licensed a cloud-based, market-facing, e-commerce-LMS knowledge delivery system where content is easily uploaded and maintained without reliance on developers.
She is passionate about creating access to capital for women and minority led enterprises, and serves as an advisory board member, mentor, business plan reviewer, and capital coach for companies dedicated to shaping economies and eradicating poverty by advancing entrepreneurs in the developing world.
Prior to her work growing companies, Heidi developed arts organizations including classical dance companies, performing arts centers, theatres, and museums. She served for 5 years as a grant and site evaluator for the Missouri Arts Council and for 6 years as the Chair for Development for the service organization DanceUSA.
An avid equestrian, Heidi trained extensively in classical riding, competing in dressage and 3-day eventing, and serves as a ratings examiner for the United States Pony Club. She’s been known to frequent ballroom and swing-dancing halls, wield a fencing foil or two, and lug a ton of photographic equipment around in pursuit of the perfect abstract image.
Bahar’s interest in Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) started in 2012, when she researched the feasibility and desirability of a CSA pilot program for The Special Commission on Educational Scholarships in Massachusetts. Since, she has led the research and evaluation efforts of Inversant’s partnering sites and has collaborated with Harvard scholars to conduct a longitudinal qualitative and quantitative study of Inversant’s Chelsea program. Since 2018, Bahar is also directing the Hildreth Institute, working towards a fairer and more sustainable higher education system that benefits all. Bahar holds a PhD in Political Science from McGill University.
Rochelly joined Inversant in August 2013 as the Spanish facilitator. Rochelly now serves as the director of programs and is responsible for the effective delivery and overall success of Inversant program services. She is also the point of contact for the College Compacts program. Rochelly has extensive experience with community outreach and most recently worked as the Bilingual Parent Educator for the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. She received her B.S in Sociology from Northeastern University and is now a candidate for the Masters in Public Administration program at Suffolk University.
Christina joined Inversant in February 2017. Her previous experiences includes a variety of roles within higher education including assisting international students with their transition to the U.S. as well as supporting first semester freshmen in a study abroad program at Northeastern University. Based on her own experience as a first-generation college student and after supporting students as they transition to college, Christina is excited to be part of the Inversant team to help ensure that more families can afford a college education for their children. Christina has a BA in International Affairs and Economics from Northeastern.
Bianca joined Inversant in August 2019. Her previous experiences include working in the affordable housing field and in finance. She has worked in a direct service capacity for over ten years, primarily in Advocacy and Financial Coaching. Bianca is excited to be a part of the Inversant team, especially in offering strategies and tools for families to help empower their children on the road to higher education.
Yrlen joined the Inversant team in January 2020 as the Chelsea Program Manager. Yrlen prepares and facilitates learning circles, delivery of program components in Chelsea and acts as a liaison for students and families for Inversant and other programs within the district.
Yrlen’s background centers around implementing and executing leadership initiatives to build family-school partnerships with the purpose of increasing family engagement. In her most recent experience with families, Yrlen provided civic and community engagement sessions to parents to promote community engagement. Her education, professional experience, bilingualism, multicultural background and cross-cultural communication skills, has led her to efficiently reach out to urban communities and closely work with families from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds.
Yrlen has worked in various industries such as TV broadcasting, editorial, print, nonprofit and education. She earned an A.S. in Broadcasting TV and Media from the New England Institute of Arts, a Bachelor’s of Science in communication with concentration in public relations from Salem State University and a certificate of Family Engagement Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She also received Facilitator and Site Coordinator training from the National Parent Leadership Training Institute (NPLTI).
Yrlen is thrilled to be part of the Inversant family and eager to equip Chelsea families with resources for a successful journey to postsecondary education.