Our Guiding Principles
We believe that we are interdependent and this makes each of us stronger.
NECAT’s founding principle is that everyone deserves to live a life of purpose—there is inherent ability to succeed in everyone.
The combination of inspiration, skills training, emotional support and a compassionate environment motivates our students to make the changes they need to reach their personal goals.
We meet our students where they are in their personal journey, with no judgement on past or personal circumstances, and partner with them in getting to where they’d like to be.
Happiness is important to the way we live and work.
The History of NECAT
The New England Center for Arts and Technology - NECAT - opened its doors to Greater Boston in September 2013. An ambitious vision developed over a four year period by Founder and Chairman, Maarten Hemsley, NECAT represents a nonprofit collaboration between public and private partners.
Meet Our Staff
Student Services DirectorLearn More
Student Services Director
With six years’ experience as an admissions advisor at Le Cordon Bleu, Elise is skilled in working with a diverse student population ranging from recent high school graduates to career changers.
Phone: 617-442-3600 ext 704
Bobby is NECAT’s longest-serving team member and has been with the organization since it opened in 2013. He is our go-to man for anything and everything the building needs and he keeps our training center clean as a whistle. He also has some of the team’s best sartorial sense.
Josephine (Joey) Cuzzi
Executive DirectorLearn More
Josephine (Joey) Cuzzi
Joey has had an extensive career in public service. Prior to NECAT, Joey served as ED of the East Boston Y for eight years. Under her leadership, the Y’s initiatives flourished, widely recognized for their program quality and innovation, and she instituted a scholarship program and obtained private funding for the construction of an East Boston teaching kitchen and garden. Joey also worked in PR for the Piers Park Sailing Center in East Boston. She previously spent nearly 20 years as the Director of Communications for the Massachusetts Port Authority.
Phone: 617-442-3600 ext 711
Culinary InstructorLearn More
Chef Chris Faison is the Culinary Instructor for NECAT’s Re-Entry Program. Chris is a graduate of Johnson & Wales. He is also a Dorchester resident with extensive experience as a chef and instructor.
Ayanna E. Hines
Deputy DirectorLearn More
Ayanna E. Hines
Ayanna has an affinity for organizations whose work focuses on teaching and learning, the human condition, and/or capacity building for historically marginalized communities. She is a seasoned professional with experience and exposure across a range of disciplines in the non-profit sector – affordable housing, athletics, cultural economic/business development, education, human services, religion, and youth development.
Living has taught her that life requires intentional balance. She embraces active aging as a lifestyle and has recently taken to social media where she shares fitness videos and messages on wellness. A creative in her own right, she makes artisanal cranberry sauce in 3 flavors and enjoys working with paper to wrap gifts and create custom handmade invitations.
Born in Mississippi and cultivated in Massachusetts, she is an alumna of Howard University.
Anthony “Big Time” Seymour
Case WorkerLearn More
Anthony “Big Time” Seymour
NECAT is honored to have Big Time on its team. For decades, he has worked tirelessly to reduce youth violence in the city, most recently for Boston Centers for Youth & Families’ innovative Streetworkers Program. Big Time knows everyone, and is skilled at making all the right connections to get people on the path to stability and success.
Development DirectorLearn More
Nancy has 25 years’ experience generating millions of dollars, acquiring ten of thousands of customers, and strengthening donor loyalty. As a senior executive and leader of NECAT’s fundraising and marketing and communications programs, Nancy will be responsible for donor management, fundraising, events, communications, and strategic partnerships.
Phone: (617) 442-3600
Chef Saba Wahid
Culinary InstructorLearn More
Chef Saba Wahid
Chef Saba has been working in the culinary industry for many years. Her career started with catering in NYC, then evolved into culinary media development out in the Middle East/Dubai.
When Saba returned to Boston, she started teaching at Sur La Table in Copley, then transitioned to become a culinary educator at a local high end appliance showroom.
Saba most recently won a cooking competition on Food Network called Chopped: Martha Rules where she received numerous accolades from Martha Stewart herself.
This past Spring, Saba decided to invest her winnings into a small business and launched a new Food Truck concept called Kush Modern Mediterranean which is currently in operation in Boston.
Now as a chef instructor and in catering business development at NECAT she’s very excited to join the team!
Wellness Program ManagerLearn More
Wellness Program Manager
Lib (they/them) comes to NECAT with 10 years of experience working as an advocate and thought-partner with folks whose lives have been made chaotic by systemic oppression. Prior to joining NECAT as the Wellness Programs Manager, Lib worked in various capacities with folks who are unhoused. They have an MDiv from Boston University, with specialized trainings in trauma-informed care and crisis management. They are bilingual (English/Spanish) and love learning from the Chefs and students new ways to enjoy delicious food!
Director of Career ServicesLearn More
Director of Career Services
Jim is the Director of Career Services, leading the career center, career services and employer partnerships. Prior to joining NECAT, Jim was the Workforce Development Program Manager at Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (DBEDC) where he led career readiness workshops, provided individualized guidance to clients and built relationships with employer partners.
A financial professional with entrepreneurial experience as well, he is a lecturer at Tufts University where he teaches Financial Strategies and Small Business and Finance Entrepreneurship. He has been a Financial Instructor at Project Place and has also taught accounting and finance at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Jim chairs the Advisory Council of the Mayor’s Office of Returning Citizens and the Board of Directors at Justice 4 Housing, volunteers at St. Francis Soup Kitchen and is a co-founder of the Coalition to Unlock Housing.
Our Board of Directors
Maarten Hemsley (NECAT Founder, Board Chair & President) is a semi-retired financial executive with many years experience managing public companies.
Courtney Brooke Bell is Director of Healthcare Operations at Boston Healthcare for the Homeless. A seasoned healthcare professional, she is also a certified yoga instructor and originally hails from Chicago.
Jennifer Corcoran is a Project Director for Joseph J. Corcoran Company and volunteers with many organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester and Charlestown Lacrosse & Learning Center.
Sāsha Coleman is a 2017 graduate of NECAT. Raised in the restaurant industry, she worked the line at SRV before becoming a co-owner of Tanám. She is now Photo Team Assistant at America's Test Kitchen.
Reverend Dana Gonsal is Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dorchester, President/CEO of The Classic Shoe Shine Corporation and a vital community advocate.
Rebecca Hemsley is Director of Marketing & Advertising at South Coast Almanac LLC, and serves as President for the Foundation for Wareham Education.
T. Nicholas John is Director of Government Affairs at the MA Sheriffs' Association. He began his career working in Massachusetts government and legislative affairs in 2010 where he served in many capacities until 2017. He also served as a Member on the state's LGBTQ Youth Commission from 2012-2021.
Joanne Massaro had a lengthy career in public service, culminating in the position of Commissioner of Public Works for the City of Boston.
Michael Rothschild is a principal of Abbott Investments and President of the Newmarket Business Association.
Dan Scully is recently retired as President and CEO of Hotel California Tequila. His work prior to the sprits business, was in such diverse fields as hotel management, media management, and consulting.
William (Bill) Strickland (Honorary Board Member) is founder and CEO of Manchester Bidwell, and is the inspiration for NECAT.
We are committed to providing clear, timely information on our finances, programs and impact on the community. Click the button below to view our financial reports.2021 Annual Report
A New Program on the Horizon
NECAT has been working closely with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department to implement a program for individuals still incarcerated at South Bay Prison. The program provides technical skills and emotional and career readiness support, helping participants move directly into career-ladder culinary employment upon release. Our goal is to reduce recidivism rates and help launch stable futures for the formerly incarcerated in our community.
We want to thank the following donors who have provided critical support to NECAT. As a nonprofit organization, we depend on the generosity of our community and supporters in helping us achieve our mission.See all funders
We thank the following donors who have provided critical support to NECAT.
Gifts of $50,000 and Above
- The Boston Foundation
- Commonwealth Corporation
- Encore Boston Harbor
- Executive Office of Housing and Econ Dev, Commonwealth of MA
- Mabel Louise Riley Foundation
- Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, City of Boston
- The Shirley & Jim Marten Foundation
- The State Street Foundation
Gifts of $25,000 to $49,999
- Cummings Foundation
- The Rowland Foundation
Gifts of $10,000 to $24,999
- East Boston Savings Bank Foundation
- Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation
- The Jacques Pépin Foundation
- Jane & Charles Kusek
- Carolyn Loiselle
Gifts of $1,000 to $9,999
- Robert & Jeannette Baker
- Berkshire Bank Foundation
- Beacon Hill Charity Circle
- Cherbec Advancement Foundation
- Dedham Savings Community Foundation
- Larry Finman
- Emerson Foster
- Rebecca Hemsley
- Maarten & Mavis Hemsley
- Joanne Massaro
- Moses Kimball Memorial Fund
- Sharon & Ron Nunes
- The Paul & Edith Babson Foundation
- People’s United Community Foundation of Eastern MA
- Erin K Higgins & Douglas Rosner
- Tina Aronson & Koby Rotstein
- Santander Bank Foundation
- Bill Sheehan
- David Steadman & Sharon Ruatto-Steadman
- Kate & Ben Taylor
- Walmart Foundation
- Whole Foods Market Community Engagement
- Judith Zink
Gifts of $250 to $999
- Margarita Barresi
- Amy Berkeley
- Marlissa Briggett
- Daniel Brody
- Cathryn Cated
- Joan Christel
- Susan Clarke
- Joey & Stephen Cuzzi
- Marian Davenport
- Kevin & Bevette Davis
- Karl & Joann Kunz
- Andrea Loew
- Lynne Massicott
- Kim Tuyet Nguygen
- Sharon Nolan
- Marie Piraino
- Diane Pizzotti
- Sandrine Rossi
- Doug Shaw
- Alison Stevens
*This list is inclusive of all gifts made to NECAT since January 2021.
If you’d like to join our community of supporters, we welcome you to check out our donation options!Donate Contact Us
Feed your guests;
feed your soul.
Make NECAT your main ingredient when planning your next corporate or private party, meeting or team building workshop. Our talented chefs will work with you to create a tailored menu and customized experience. Together with our beautiful facility and important organizational mission, it is sure to be an event that you and your guests will remember for years to come.
Careers at NECAT
NECAT is currently seeking a development and marketing associate. Click the link below for more information.
Volunteer at NECAT
NECAT strongly believes in the valuable role that volunteers play in furthering the development of our students and the overall mission of the Center. NECAT welcomes volunteer tutors (particularly math), counselors, social workers, guest speakers, mentors, internship placements, and job opportunities.