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Annual Lowell Women’s Week Breakfast

March 25 @ 7:00 am - 9:00 am

$40

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Please join us for a morning of inspiring words, community, and recognizing the achievements of extraordinary women in greater Lowell. Tickets required.

Keynote Speaker: Yun-Ju Choi, Chief Executive Officer of Coalition for a Better Acre

Yun-Ju Choi is the Chief Executive Officer of Coalition for a Better Acre (CBA), a membership-based community development corporation dedicated to fostering resident empowerment and facilitating sustainable community revitalization. CBA manages 529 affordable rental units, providing housing for 1,600 residents, while also offering foreclosure, financial, and workforce development training, and driving veteran housing initiatives. In her capacity as Chief Executive Officer, Choi has successfully more than doubled CBA’s budget, surpassing $2.5 million. She adeptly oversaw the construction of 131 units of affordable housing across Lowell, Dracut, and Haverhill. Expanding beyond CBA’s foundational focus on affordable housing, Choi enriched the organization’s impact by expanding youth programs, civic engagement, health access, workforce and economic development, and community engagement activities. Choi emphasizes that, for CBA, the mission extends beyond real estate, “It’s about uplifting people and giving them opportunities to buy homes and market rate housing.” Her vision for CBA is rooted in the belief that the organization should not only address housing needs but also empower individuals to achieve their goals and enhance their overall well-being. In addition to her role at CBA, Choi actively contributes to several boards and commissions, including the Whistler House Museum, Lowell Finance & Development Corporation, Greater Lowell Community Foundation, and Mill City Community Investments. Choi’s exceptional leadership and contributions were recognized with the 2023 Community Advocacy Award, acknowledging CBA’s role in creating affordable housing in Lowell, Dracut, and Haverhill. Notably, in the summer of 2023, CBA cut the ribbon on 27 affordable housing units for individuals in recovery from substance use disorder in partnership with Lowell House Inc. This development marked a significant milestone as the first Passive House certified building in the city of Lowell within CBA’s portfolio. Yun-Ju Choi came to CBA in 2014 and brings a wealth of experience to her role, having previously worked in various capacities within Boston’s non-profit landscape, including positions at Madison Park and Lena Park Community Development Corporations, the Boston Foundation, and the Boys & Girls Club of Boston. She holds a master’s in management from Cambridge College and completed her undergraduate studies at Bowdoin College in her home state of Maine.

Emcee: Cathy Mercado, Executive Director of Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership

Cathy Mercado is the Executive Director of Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership in Lowell, MA. She joined MVHP in 2015. Prior to her role at MVHP, she served as a loan originator with a national bank. After being motivated by her personal experience as a first-generation homebuyer, she made the decision to transition her career path, recognizing her calling to advocate for housing and homeownership opportunities. With an unwavering dedication spanning over two decades, she has consistently advocated the cause of homeownership for low and moderate-income individuals. Now, more than 20,000 families have completed the home buyer training program. Beyond her role in housing advocacy, she has also been a fierce advocate in the pursuit of racial and social justice for our BIPOC communities. As a lifelong resident of Lowell, MA, with familial roots tracing back to Comercio, Puerto Rico, her deep connection to the community fuels her commitment to positive change. In addition to her role at MVHP, Mercado actively contributes to various boards, exemplifying her extensive engagement in community service. She currently serves on the boards of the Center for Hope and Healing, Inc., Acre Family Child Care, Fortaleza and Abundant Housing Massachusetts, Citizen Housing and Planning Associates, and Lowell Development Financial Corp. Cathy Mercado, a devoted spouse, and mother of four children, is deeply ingrained in the fabric of Lowell, Massachusetts. Her multifaceted contributions underscore her pivotal role in shaping the landscape of housing, social justice, and community development in the area.

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Details

Date:
March 25
Time:
7:00 am - 9:00 am
Cost:
$40
Event Category:
Website:
www.lowellwomensweek.org

Venue

Lenzi’s Catering, Lenzi’s Tavern & Lenzi’s Function Facility
Lenzi's Catering, Lenzi's Tavern & Lenzi's Function Facility, 810 Merrimack Ave
Dracut, MA United States
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