BCVF

Elyse Cherry, President: Elyse Cherry is Chief Executive Officer of Boston Community Capital (BCC), and the President of Boston Community Venture Fund. Ms. Cherry helped found BCC in 1984 as a member of its original Board of Directors. Since then, Ms. Cherry has been integrally involved in the development and growth of the organization from a start-up organization to what is, today, a national model for community investment. During Ms. Cherry’s eleven-year tenure as CEO, she has spearheaded two successful rounds of aggressively implemented strategic planning and has grown assets under management by a factor of more than thirty. Under her leadership, BCC has grown from a single, debt-based business line to a multi-tiered organization that includes two double bottom-line venture funds, a national tax credit program, a mortgage brokerage aimed at creating transparency in the residential mortgage industry, and an alternative energy initiative focused on controlling utility costs in multi-family affordable housing developments. Among other activities, BCC now has invested more than $370 million in low-income communities, has financed more than 8,500 affordable homes and 500,000 square feet of inner city commercial real estate, has invested in more than twenty companies, and has created or preserved 1,300 jobs. Since 1992, Ms. Cherry has served on the boards of directors of more than a dozen privately held companies including Pilgrim Insurance Company, ZipCar, and Acelero Learning. In addition, Ms. Cherry is an active civic leader. She served as a member of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s nineteen-member statewide transition team. She is the current Chair of the Massachusetts Cultural Council and a recent past Chair of Mass Equality, an organization dedicated to the establishment and protection of civil marriage for the GLBT community. She has also served as Vice Chair of Opportunity Finance Network, a national organization of community finance intermediaries. Among other appointments, she is a member of the Boards of Wall Street Without Walls and The Philanthropic Initiative, the Dean’s Council of Northeastern University Law School, the Mission Driven Investment Committee of the Kellogg Foundation, and the external Board of the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University. Ms. Cherry is a frequent panelist and speaker at national conferences. She is also an avid traveler, particularly in the developing world. Ms. Cherry is an attorney and a former partner at the law firm of Hale and Dorr, now known as Wilmer Hale, where her transactional practice focused on commercial real estate finance and development. In 1992, Ms. Cherry left Hale and Dorr to become Vice President and Counsel of SRB Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation. She subsequently served as CEO of Earthwide Products Corporation, an investment fund targeting environmental businesses. Early in her career, Ms. Cherry served as a field examiner at the New England region of the National Labor Relations Board and as a VISTA volunteer in rural Tennessee. Ms. Cherry is a graduate of Wellesley College (1975) and the Northeastern University School of Law, where she recently delivered the student commencement address.
Email: Elyse@BCVFund.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Chen, Managing Director: Mr. Chen joined the Venture Fund in 1998. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Technology, Management and Policy, where his research focused on technology commercialization and sustainable development. Prior to joining the Venture Fund, Andrew was a principal in an investment firm specializing in the advanced materials processing industry. He is also a general partner in two real estate investment and development syndicates. He serves on the Board of Directors of, or is actively involved with several of the Fund's portfolio companies. Among the companies with which he has worked are Acelero, CASTion, geoVue, SelecTech, and Zipcar.  Andrew is focused primarily on opportunities in Eastern MA, RI and ME. 
Email: Andrew@BCVFund.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharon Shepard, Managing Director: Ms. Shepard joined BCVF in February 2001. Previously she was Senior Vice President and Managing Partner of Consulting Services at Mass Ventures Corp. providing venture development, financial advisory, and investment banking services to high growth businesses. There she raised more than $45MM in early stage companies and held interim senior management roles in such companies such as Beliefnet and MetaEvents (acquired by Palm). She has more than 18 years experience in business development, operations, marketing, and product development with significant expertise in managing technology companies through the start-up process. Ms. Shepard started her career at Proctor & Gamble and Westinghouse. Later she held senior management roles in start-up companies including Compunetix, Sensor Frame, and Amerinex Applied Imaging. She is on the Board of several high technology and entrepreneurial organizations and holds an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. Ms. Shepard works with many of the Fund's portfolio companies. She is focused primarily on opportunities in CT, NY, NH, VT, and Western MA.
Email: Sharon@BCVFund.com