Leadership

Richard Huttner | President

Richard Huttner is the President of X-Cel Education.  He is currently a professor of Organizational Behavior at Northeastern University. Previously, he owned the Massachusetts franchise of Crestcom International, a leading leadership and management skills training company.  Over 110 MA companies have sent their management teams through his year-long leadership program.

A serial entrepreneur since the late 1980's, Rich has had a varied career in media and direct marketing.  His past positions include Publisher of Rodale Books; CEO of Baby Talk, America's oldest baby magazine; head of three direct marketing divisions of American Express; CEO of Senior Golfer magazine; President of Weider Publishing Limited, an international fitness magazine publisher; and CEO Of Human-i-Tees, a school fundraising company.   

Richard Huttner is a graduate of Yale and the Stanford Business School.

 

 

 

 

Robin Finnegan | Vice President

Robin Finnegan is Vice President of the Board for X-Cel. She joined X-Cel’s Board in 2008 when she retired from her position as Executive Director of MissionWorks. For 40 years Robin has been involved in providing services for low-income women and families that promote their economic and personal well-being. Since 1999 her focus has been families living in subsidized housing. Though mostly retired, she continues to do some work with two affordable housing communities. 

Robin has a B.A. from Brandeis University and an M.P.A. from Roosevelt University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mamadou Ndiaye | Co-Founder and Board Clerk

Mr. Ndiaye is a co-founder of X-Cel Education. He is currently an Associate Director at Jobs for the Future (JFF), an education and workforce development national nonprofit based in Boston, MA. At JFF, Mr. Ndiaye works with community collaboratives, districts, foundations, states, community –based organizations to help implement, document, codify, and scale-up pathways to postsecondary education and careers for opportunity youth defined as young people 16-25 who are disconnect from education and work. Mr. Ndiaye is a member of the Senegalese Organization of Massachusetts, Inc. and works to advance education and economic well-being of the people of Senegal and Africa.

Mr. Ndiaye holds a B.S. in management from Northeastern University and an M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts Boston.  

 

 

 

 

Sean Ebanks | Board Treasurer

Sean Ebanks joined X-Cel's Board in 2002, after teaching College Prep classes for several semesters, and is an IT security, risk management & audit professional. Sean founded and is the President and Principal at GB Consulting, which focuses on helping companies and individuals to plan, undergo and respond to critical security & risk management compliance audits in healthcare, technology & financial services.

Sean holds a B.S. in finance from Bentley University. He is an INROADS alumnus, a YMCA Black Achiever, and a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). Outside of work, Sean enjoys church, spending time with family, playing percussion, youth work, community service, athletic competition, teaching and mentoring.

 

 

 

 

 

Kara Flyg

Kara Flyg has been a volunteer tutor with X-Cel since 2013 and a member of X-Cel's Board since 2015. Kara is currently the Director of Development for the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, where she is raises private support for 20 neuroscience labs conducting basic research into brain disorders and issues of learning, memory and behavior. Prior to joining MIT, Kara was an associate director of philanthropy at The Nature Conservancy, the largest environmental non-profit in the U.S., and development officer at Joslin Diabetes Center, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated clinic and research center. Her for-profit experience includes roles in technology public relations and catering sales. 

Kara holds a B.A. in art history from Wellesley College and an M.B.A. from Boston University's Public and Nonprofit Management program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tulasi Pemmasani

Tulasi has been an active tutor in the HSE program, a student mentor since 2008, and has served on X-Cel’s Board since 2011. He initiated and actively contributed to X-Cel’s newsletter, and has recently assisted in implementing a new technology strategy to help X-Cel transition from the GED tests to the new HiSET exam. He is currently a Senior Business Analyst in Global Investment Technology at MFS Investment Management, a pioneer in the investment management industry based in Boston.

Tulasi has logged over 850 service hours with Boston Cares, where he has personally led over 100 projects addressing impact areas such as education and hunger relief in Boston’s most in-need communities. For his dedication and leadership he received two Presidential Recognition Awards, and in 2011 was greatly honored with an Outstanding Volunteer Service Award, which was presented at Fenway Park by the late Mayor Thomas Menino and Governor Deval Patrick. Fascinated by global socio-economics, he takes particular interest in the issue of food security and human population growth. He is a true believer in the power of education to eradicate hunger and poverty. When he’s not working, he unwinds by playing squash at Boston Racquet Club, going on hiking trips in the White Mountains, and travelling abroad.

Tulasi grew up in Hyderabad, India and moved to the Boston area to attend Bentley University in Waltham, MA, where he received a Master of Science in Finance (MSF). He has passed the Level II exam of the CFA Program.

 

 

Sacha Stadhard

Sacha Stadhard joined X-Cel’s Board in 2015 and is a workforce development practitioner with over 15 years of experience in administering programs that serve at-risk and disconnected youth. Sacha currently serves as Grant Management Specialist III at the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's Department of Career Service, which is the state workforce agency in Massachusetts. 

Sacha holds an M.P.A. from Northeastern University. She is also an alumna of the Partnership, Inc., an organization that supports multicultural professionals at all levels in an increasingly diverse and global workforce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Sands | Co-Founder and Executive Director

Don Sands co-founded X-Cel Education in 2000, motivated by the vision of creating an organization to bring free, flexible education to youth and adults in underserved neighborhoods in Boston, without any waiting lists. Don has served as X-Cel’s Executive Director for the past 16 years and overseen the growth of X-Cel from one GED class with a volunteer instructor to an organization annually serving over 300 youth and adult students at seven locations in Boston. Don has developed HSE curricula and worked as a trainer for teachers and program directors. He has 30 years of experience in youth and adult education with as extensive experience as an instructor and administer in High School Equivalency (HSE) and English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) programs.