Team

Our team of highly experienced professionals has created an exceptional organization and continues a long history of managing and developing award winning communities.

Howard Cohen Chairman of the Board
Howard Cohen

Howard Cohen

Chairman of the Board

Howard oversees Beacon’s corporate strategy and growth.

Known for

  • Founding Beacon Communities

Worked for

  • Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo (partner)
  • Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency (general counsel)
  • Cambridge Housing Authority (general counsel)
  • Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (staff attorney)

Serves on

  • Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation
  • Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association of Greater Boston
  • Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency Advisory Committee
  • Department of Housing and Community Development Housing Preservation Advisory Committee

Studied at

  • Harvard Law School (JD cum laude)
  • Washington University of St. Louis (BA summa cum laude, economics)

Out of Office

  • Past co-chair of the Board of Directors, Hebrew Senior Life
  • Real estate committee of Hebrew Senior Life
  • Chair of New Lease for Homeless Families
  • Real estate committee of Hebrew College
  • Chair of Jewish Arts Collaborative
Dara Kovel Chief Executive Officer
Dara Kovel

Dara Kovel

Chief Executive Officer

Dara leads the company’s senior executive team and is responsible for the overall vision, culture, operation, growth and performance of the company consistent with the Beacon’s objectives and strategies.

Worked for

  • Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA)
  • Jonathan Rose Companies
  • Mercy Housing California

Serves on

  • Urban Land Institute’s Terwilliger Center’s Workforce Housing Board
  • The Home Connecticut Steering Committee

Studied at

  • Yale University (MBA and BA)
  • Is LEED accredited

Out of Office

  • Focuses on her children
  • Plays soccer and surfs
  • Loves Sci Fi movies
Jeff Baker President, Beacon Residential Management
Jeff Baker

Jeff Baker

President, Beacon Residential Management

Jeff provides leadership and operational oversight for nearly 17,500 apartments in New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Eastern Seaboard.

Responsible for

  • Being the bridge between Beacon’s residential management and development practices
  • Providing marketing, operations, design, and management guidance around the financial planning of new projects
  • Leading Beacon’s employee engagement efforts

Serves on

  • The Board of Directors of the National Affordable Housing Management Association
  • Virginia Tech Property Management Advisory Board (former President)

Studied at

  • University of Maryland (BS)

Out of Office

  • Rescues greyhounds
  • Skydives and camps
  • Explores national parks
  • Is an inveterate foodie
Kathleen Sheehan General Counsel
Kathleen Sheehan

Kathleen Sheehan

General Counsel

Kathleen serves as key legal advisor on major business transactions and coordinates the legal issues for Beacon’s development and asset management activities.

Is an Expert at

  • Supervising outside counsel
  • Interpreting legislative and regulatory issues
  • Advising on legal aspects of financing agreements

Previously

  • Was a partner at the Boston law firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo, P.C
  • Specialized in representing developers and owners in all aspects of the development, financing, and asset management of multi-family housing

Studied at

  • Harvard University (JD)
  • Cornell University (BS)

Out of Office

  • Loves to travel and spend time with family and friends
Samuel Ross Chief Operating Officer
Samuel Ross

Samuel Ross

Chief Operating Officer

Samuel is responsible for the company’s internal operating platform including asset management, finance and accounting, human resources and information technology.

Worked for

  • Winn Companies (Chief Executive Officer 2000-2015; Chief Financial Officer 1993-2000)
  • The Collaborative Companies and Kennedy-Wilson (Partner and Executive Vice President 1990-1993)

Studied at

  • Harvard University (MBA)
  • Boston University (BS)

Out of Office

  • Avid sailor
  • Travels across lands and through the pages of books
  • Visits his children
David Greenblatt Executive Vice President, Finance
David Greenblatt

David Greenblatt

Executive Vice President, Finance

David secures development and permanent debt and equity capital, and structures financing across Beacon’s development transactions. He also provides guidance to Development Directors regarding preparation of development budgets, government agency submissions and other financial and tax aspects of the development process.

Noted for

  • Maintaining strong, positive relationships with financial partners
  • Persistent negotiating style, structuring transactions that work for both sides

Worked for

  • Cognetics Real Estate (Managing Director)
  • Liberty Real Estate (Vice President of Acquisitions and Portfolio Management)
  • Liberty Properties (Chief Financial Officer)

Serves as

  • Board member of Caritas Communities
  • Member of the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association Developer’s Council
  • Member of the Greater Boston Real Estate Finance Association
  • Member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Studied at

  • Boston University (MBA, Finance and Accounting)
  • Yale University (BA, political science)

Out of Office

  • Newsaholic, baseball and music fan, avid gardener
  • Founding board member of the Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham, MA
Darlene Perrone Chief Administrative Officer
Darlene Perrone

Darlene Perrone

Chief Administrative Officer

Darlene establishes policies and procedures for all team members, while overseeing the information technology, human resources, and training departments.

Known for

  • Developing Beacon’s leadership and employee engagement programs to elevate the company to an award-winning employer
  • Spearheading the establishment of Beacon’s compliance department, widely recognized as best-in-class by industry peers
  • Growing from executive assistant to C-Suite in over four decades at Beacon

Studied at

  • Northeastern University

Out of Office

  • Prioritizes her family
  • Is a master chef
  • Loves to travel
  • Dances
  • Enjoys the theater
Timothy Cowles Chief Financial Officer
Timothy Cowles

Timothy Cowles

Chief Financial Officer

Tim guides Beacon Communities’ financial strategy, while overseeing accounting, financial reporting, treasury management, insurance, and taxes.

Worked for

  • Realty Financial Partners (Chief Financial Officer)
  • Ercolini & Company LLP, since acquired by CohnReznick LLP Tax Manager)

Serves as

  • Member of the Massachusetts Society of CPAs
  • Licensed CPA

Studied at

  • Northeastern University (BS, Business Administration)

Out of Office

  • Spends time with his family
  • Enjoys golf and skiing, season dependent
  • Cheers for the Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins
Mercedes Farrando President, Beacon Concepts
Mercedes Farrando

Mercedes Farrando

President, Beacon Concepts

Mercedes oversees and participates in all aspects of design at Beacon, working closely with the architecture, design, construction, and operations teams.

Known for

  • Producing integrated designs that offer distinctive style and functionality while adhering to budget constraints
  • Creating her inspired designs both from the “outside-in,” respecting a site’s context and history, as well as from the “inside-out,” focusing on the details of resident and management needs

Accolades

  • Has won a wide range of awards in high-end kitchen and bathroom design
  • Is a published architect and urban planner

Serves as

  • A current board member of Preservation Massachusetts
  • An Associate International Member of the American Institute of Architects
  • An active member of Consejo Profesional de Arquitectura y Urbanismo of Buenos Aires

Studied at

  • The Universidad de Buenos Aires (master’s degree in Architecture, Design, and Urban Planning)

Out of Office

  • Seizes every opportunity to travel, seeking inspiration from all corners of the world
  • Enjoys scuba diving and photography
Mary Corthell Executive Vice President, Asset Management
Mary Corthell

Mary Corthell

Executive Vice President, Asset Management

Mary oversees traditional asset management, transactional asset management and strategic portfolio performance for approximately 18,000 apartments.

Known for

  • Deep experience in affordable housing, regulatory oversight, and portfolio management
  • Her integral role in the development and implementation of Beacon’s innovative social response programs

Worked for

  • Stern Group (Director of Administration)

Serves as

  • Member of the Board of Directors, National Leased Housing Association
  • Vice Chair of the Executive Board, FPUU-Medfield

Out of Office

  • Spends time with her family and friends
  • Hikes and cycles
Duncan Barrett President, Beacon Communities Development
Duncan Barrett

Duncan Barrett

President, Beacon Communities Development

Duncan leads the effort to expand Beacon Communities’ affordable housing development activities in New York.

Noted for

  • Leading community revitalization efforts
  • Developing over 5,000 units of housing, including affordable, market rate and historic preservation projects

Worked for

  • Omni Housing Development LLC (Chief Operating Office)
  • The City of Troy, NY (City Manager)
  • Troy Urban Renewal Agency (Executive Director)
  • Troy Rehabilitation & Improvement Program (Executive Director)

Serves as

  • Executive Committee Member of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (Past President)
  • Trustee and Vice Chair of the Preservation League of New York State

Studied at

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (BS Engineering Science)

Out of Office

  • Active in church and Bible study
  • Avid gardener and skier
Thomas Stokes Vice President, Community Engagement
Thomas Stokes

Thomas Stokes

Vice President, Community Engagement

Tom oversees the Community Engagement Department and Resident Services Coordinators—and programs—at 48 Beacon properties throughout the Northeast.

Known for

  • Deep expertise in program development for comprehensive neighborhood planning
  • Recruitment, administration and advising in higher education

Serves on

  • New England Resident Service Coordinators (President, Board of Directors)
  • MassHousing CSAC Committee Member
  • CHAPA Homelessness Committee (Past Member)

Studied at

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MA, City Planning)
  • College of the Holy Cross (BA, Urban Studies)

Out of Office

  • Acts and directs local community theatre in Putnam CT and Worcester MA
  • Practices Hot Yoga and Hot Pilates
Frank Alvarez Senior Vice President, Operations
Frank Alvarez

Frank Alvarez

Senior Vice President, Operations

Frank is responsible for establishing policies and procedures for Beacon’s Operations and Maintenance Division, providing capital planning support to management and development teams, and helping oversee major capital improvement projects.

Known for

  • Extending the useful life of the physical components of the site and minimizing emergency repairs/replacements through preventative maintenance
  • Creating a strong team atmosphere among maintenance teams—even across state lines
  • Delivering high-quality cross-training, efficient resource allocation, and superior agency inspection scores
  • Running energy management efforts, including projects, contracts, rate locks, and tracking, as well as water usage reduction and tracking

Previously

  • Regional Director (The Community Builders)
  • Property Manager (The Community Builders)
  • Maintenance Supervisor/Director (The Community Builders)
  • Owner, commercial building maintenance business

Studied at

  • Northeastern University

Out of Office

  • Runs the YouTube Channel Frank’s Fish Room
  • Designs and builds hardscapes and landscapes
  • Loves his dog
Ellen Morreale Senior Vice President, Controller
Ellen Morreale

Ellen Morreale

Senior Vice President, Controller

Ellen coordinates all property financial functions, including audits, investor services, insurance, budgets, and special projects, as well as overseeing financial statement preparation and accounting system administration.

Known for

  • Beacon tenure spanning three decades
  • Unparalleled expertise in financial accounting and reporting within the affordable housing industry

Studied at

  • Suffolk University (MBA)
  • Northern Arizona University (BSBA)

Out of Office

  • Enjoys travel and music
Richard Goff Senior Vice President, Information Technology
Richard Goff

Richard Goff

Senior Vice President, Information Technology

Rich oversees software support, systems development, and emerging technology applications across Beacon Communities.

Known for

  • Leading Beacon’s conversion to the Yardi software system, a real estate centric platform
  • Designing and implementing many system improvements to enhance Beacon’s information management process, as well as to provide greater levels of efficiency and visibility for information processing
  • Striving to enhance computer-based training, business intelligence-based information management systems, and digital record management

Previously

  • Corporate controller
  • University professor

Studied at

  • Northeastern University (MBA, BS)

Out of Office

  • Immersed in historical writings, particularly dealing with early American history
  • Performs ministry work at local nursing homes
John Elliott Senior Regional Vice President
John Elliott

John Elliott

Senior Regional Vice President

John oversees the operations of many of the multi-family, affordable communities in Beacon’s portfolio, including more than 4,000 apartment homes.

Known for

  • Building an incredibly engaged team
  • Raising money for the local food bank, Toys for Tots, and local residents battling cancer

Started as

  • Property Manager, Southwood Square, a Hope VI community

Property Management Designations Held

  • Public Housing Manager (National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials)
  • c6p (Spectrum Enterprises)
  • Tax Credit Specialist (National Center for Housing Management)
  • Certified Occupancy Specialist (National Center for Housing Management)

Serves on

  • New England Affordable Housing Management (NEAHMA) Board of Directors
  • NEAHMA Connecticut Chapter Chair

Studied At

  • Eastern Connecticut State University (BA, Finance, Political Science)

Out of Office

  • Along with his wife Traci, is the proud parent of two boys, Jordon and Evan
  • Coaches his son’s basketball and baseball teams
  • Hosts singalong karaoke events with Beacon Communities’ residents
Brian Cole Senior Regional Vice President
Brian Cole

Brian Cole

Senior Regional Vice President

Brian is responsible for all aspects of the daily operations for more than 3,500 apartment homes, both market rate and affordable, both owned and third-party managed, in stabilized communities, acquisition rehabs and new construction.

Known for

  • Focusing on employee engagement efforts to build effective teams and drive operational and financial performance, resulting in exceptional housing for Beacon’s residents

Honored as

  • National Affordable Housing Professional Executive by the National Affordable Housing Management Association

Studied at

  • Boston College (BS Business Administration)

Out of Office

With his wife, Angelisa, is the proud parent of Isabella, Olivia, and Jackson
Enjoys a wide range of activities with his family, including but not limited to

  • building sand castles in the Caribbean
  • eating tacos and guacamole at their favorite Mexican restaurant
  • cheering on the Red Sox at Fenway Park
  • having dance parties in their living room
Toya Irish Senior Regional Vice President
Toya Irish

Toya Irish

Senior Regional Vice President

Toya supervises the operations of over 6,000 apartments in the Greater Boston area.

Known for

  • Providing leadership to some of Beacon’s most challenging projects
  • Her vast knowledge of the Section 8 program, mixed income housing, elderly supportive services, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), Project Based Voucher (PBV) Program, Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), Public Housing, Special Programs such as Section 811, New Lease, Chronically Homeless and Moving On Program with Home Start and market rate operations
  • Her extensive experience working successfully with resident advisory boards, community groups, government agencies, and non-profit partners

Serves on

  • Virginia Tech Property Management Program Advisory Board

Property Management Designations Held

  • Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)
  • C14P (Spectrum Enterprises)
  • National Affordable Housing Professional Executive (NAHP-e)
  • Accredited Residential Manager (ARM)

Studied at

  • Regis College (BA)

Out of Office

  • Enjoys cooking and spending time with her husband and two children
  • Volunteers in community initiatives with a primary focus on families and Seniors
  • Likes traveling, physical fitness and watching Law & Order
  • Serves as a delegate for the Democratic party
Eric Fulmer Senior Regional Vice President
Eric Fulmer

Eric Fulmer

Senior Regional Vice President

Eric oversees operations stemming from Beacon’s satellite office located in Pittsburgh, which includes approximately 4,500 units across Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida, Ohio, and New York.

Known for

  • Focusing on efficiency and quality control, to simplify redundant processes
  • Ensuring the core focus of his staff is on creating a quality customer experience

Accolades

  • Academic All American in the sport of wrestling

Studied at

  • Mercyhurst University (BA, Management and Finance)

Out of Office

  • Actively pursues projects designed to revitalize many Pittsburgh communities
  • Frequents new, locally owned, Pittsburgh food establishments
  • Coaches wrestling at his local high-school and inner-city youth programs
  • Dog enthusiast