The Nueva Esperanza Team


Kayla Rodriguez – Administration
Operations, HR Manager

Kayla is a welcomed asset to the Nueva Esperanza team.

Kayla, is a Holyoke native, homeowner and a wealth of knowledge and experience concerning financial systems, accountability and transparency.  Having worked as the Deputy Treasurer for the City of Holyoke.  Kayla, is a mother of a daughter and two amazing young boys who attend the Holyoke Community Charter School.



Meet the Board of Directors of Nueva Esperanza, Inc. Any person interested in becoming a member of the Board of Directors to advance the mission and vision of Nueva Esperanza, Inc., please send a letter of interest to  

The Board of Directors meets the third Wednesday of every month, 401 Main Street, Holyoke, MA 01040.

Rosa Pantoja
Board President & Chair, Board of Directors

Rosa Pantoja, is the Partner/Co-Owner of Pantoja’s Tax Services of Holyoke, with over 20 years of Tax preparing and accounting experience, Mrs. Pantoja brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Board of Directors.   Mrs. Pantoja has served in the role as Board Treasurer for the past two years.  On top of her Tax Service business, Mrs. Pantjoa serves as the Campaign Treasurer for current Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, State Representative Aaron Vega, and has a side business called Luna Lunatix Studios, which offers customer make-up designs, including extreme Halloween make up, prosthetics, face/body painting, and event planning and wedding consulting, among other services.    In her free time Mrs. Pantoja also plays professional trumpet in a salsa band, “Orquesta Luis Morales y sus Amigos.”

Juan Sanchez
Board Vice President, Board of Directors

Juan Sanchez is a lifelong resident and community activist in Holyoke. He has an Associates Degree in Education from Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) and hopes to pursue his Bachelor’s Degree.

Juan’s passion is with grassroots community organizing. He has worked on numerous campaigns and initiatives throughout the city and the region to help advance progress on issues impacting marginalized communities which include issues of homelessness, economic and workforce development, LGBTQ equal rights and opportunity, and social equity. He states that his passion comes from his own personal experiences and gives credit to those he recognizes as community mentors during his upbringing. Juan currently is the LGBT Outreach Coordinator for WestMass Eldercare.

Samuel Mateo, Jr.
Board of Directors

Sammy has been a resident of Holyoke, MA for over 20 years. He is the media director and community liaison for the Apostolic Christian Church of Bethsaida located in South Holyoke. With Sammy’s help, the church has launched several community outreach and service program activities including the Back 2 School Fair and Feeding the Needy. At the Back 2 School Fair over a thousand families of low to medium income are provided with backpacks full of school supplies in the hopes of alleviating the financial burden of sending children back to school. Feeding the Needy is a program that offers the less fortunate a free meal and clothing in the greater Holyoke area. Their outdoor events are held 4 times a year. Since its inception in 2010 they have served hundreds of families in South Holyoke and the rest of the community.

Professionally, he is the Marketing & Web Manager of JC Danczak, Inc. He joined the business in 2001 and has built 4 thriving online eCommerce websites that cater to the product packaging needs of thousands of businesses across the US, Canada & Puerto Rico. Mr. Mateo has an associate’s degree in IT services, however has specialized in working in the Graphic and Web Design industry for over 20 years in his own business Pro D’ZYNES and if you could not tell he is a professional drummer as well.

Dan Battat
Board Secretary, Board of Directors

Dan is a glassblower and arts educator. Beginning a career through internship in a public access glassblowing studio in Boston, MA, Dan pursued art and design for a Bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College. He landed in Holyoke in 2013 to co-found Brick CoWorkshop, an art and design based workspace in the downtown area, where he maintains a personal glass-working studio.

Dan also works as art teacher at The CARE Center, where he leads young mothers through art making and art history lessons. He particularly enjoys leading the students in an eight-week glassblowing class once per year.

Dan brings creative talents to the table, as well as a keen determination to uphold the history and longevity of Nueva Esperanza, Inc. as a force that serves and advocates for the community.

Jason Ferenc
Board of Directors

Jason Ferenc, a graduate of UMASS Amherst, and an attorney in the bar since 2012, Attorney Ferenc works for Virgilio Property Management Inc in Holyoke. Attorney Ferenc, has served on Town Council Boards and various other commissions and has a wealth of nonprofit and property/real-estate law behind his belt. Attorney Ferenc has also served as the attorney for the Greater Holyoke Rental Housing Association, and in his free time enjoys reading and giving back to the community.

Carlos Peña
Board of Directors

Carlos is a founding staff member and a Teacher/Advisor at LightHouse Holyoke. Carlos has a degree from UMass Amherst, and is an artist, screen printer, and poet. He is also the founder/owner of Paper City Clothing a screen printing/clothing design company located on Dwight Street in Holyoke. Carlos also serves on the Board of Directors of Artesana Holyoke a women of color empowerment, weaving, re purposing company.

Laura Pantoja
Board of Directors

Reina Lorenzi
Board Treasurer, Board of Directors