Meet the Staff
Walkiria E. Pool – President and Founder
Walkiria Pool’s professional career includes over 15 years in community development and the housing service industry with a focus on affordable housing and asset development. She earned her MA Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University and a graduate certificate in Women and Politics and Public Policy from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. As an undergraduate Ms. Pool earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts in Boston, majoring in Psychology and Sociology. Ms. Pool was responsible for developing and implementing the Project “Más a ti” for the National Council of La Raza, the first community-based financial institution for low-income families in the nation. Ms. Pool also served as Youth Program Director in the family Asset Building division of Lawrence Community Works and as an AmeriCorps Vista member at the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation. She has served on several boards of directors and advisory committees of community-based organizations.
Damaris Frias-Batista – Executive Director and Co-Founder
Damaris Frias-Bastista co-founded CAF. She is Executive director of CAF’s Lawrence, MA office and oversees The Connectors, a national capacity building program for clergy serving Latino churches that prepares them to serve as bridge between their congregations and their communities. Mrs. Frias-Batista brings over 15 years of experience in the area of leadership development, management, and program development. She holds a BA in Psychology from University of Massachusetts at Boston and a MA in Mental Health with an specialty in children, youths and families from Southern New Hampshire University. Mrs. Frias Batista has served at her local church as youth, children, and family minister director.
Gissela Vazquez– Family and Health Program manager
Gisela Vasquez is the Family and Wealth-Building Program Manager in our Lawrence, MA office. Ms. Vaquez is responsible for providing housing counselling services to low income families and overseeing the Assets and Wealth-Building Program. Ms. Vasquez is an advocate for families in danger of losing their homes due to foreclosure. She provides guidance and counselling in the area of financial literacy and more. Ms. Vasquez has received training from NeighborWorks America in Foreclosure Prevention and is now a certified Housing Counselor. Ms. Vasquez has over seven years of customer service experience and worked as a rehab counselor in The Psychological Center in Lawrence, bringing with her an extensive background in one-on-one counselling.
Anabel Solano – Administrative Assistant/Intake specialist
Anabel Solano is the administrative assistant for the Lawrence office. She plans and schedules meetings, responds to internal and external inquiries, and organizes and maintains confidential information. Ms. Solano also serves as an intake specialist and as a counsellor assistant for the foreclosure and credit rebuilding program. Ms. Solano is currently pursuing her nursing career at Northern Essex Community College.