Milagros Baez O’Toole, Chairwoman
Milagros Baez O’Toole was born in San German, Puerto Rico and came to New York City with her family in the early 1950s. She serves on the Executive Boards of various other organizations, namely, Chair of The Puerto Rican Family Institute, Treasurer of its Hope for Children and Families Foundation, and Board member of its Head Start Policy Board. She also serves on the Executive Board of The Institute for the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Elderly and is a retired Founding Board member and Treasurer of the National 100 Hispanic Women, Inc. Her career in civic service spans over thirty five years. She has served as Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Planning Services for various NYC agencies, including the Department of Probation, the Human Resources Administration, and the Department of General Services. She was the first woman and Puerto Rican appointed by Governor Cuomo to the position of Deputy Commissioner for Operations for the NYS Office of General Services where she served from 1986 to 1995.
Carmen Villa-Lugo, Esq., Vice Chairwoman
A Bronx resident her entire life, Carmen Villa-Lugo, of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent, has dedicated her career to community service in the South Bronx. She became involved with the Acacia Network family in 1997 when she joined the Board of BASICS, Inc. as Vice Chair. She has since become the Chairwoman of the BASICS Board of Directors, and serves as Vice-Chair for the Acacia Network Board, as well as for many of the entities that operate under the Acacia tree.
A graduate of New York Law School, Mrs. Villa-Lugo has served as Court Attorney to several Judges of The Civil Court of the City of New York, in Bronx County, for over 15 years. Over her 30 year career, in addition to practicing law, she has worked extensively in the area of social services for several nonprofit organizations.
Eduardo Alayon, Treasurer
Eduardo Alayon was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico and moved to the Bronx at an early age. He holds a Masters Degree in Social Work and Administration from Hunter College. Mr. Alayon serves as Treasurer of the Acacia Network Board of Directors, and as Chairman of General Development Orientation Council, Inc. (GDOC), a branch of Acacia Network, which provides services for individuals with mental illness. For 30 years, Mr. Alayon has served as the Support Service Manager for the South Bronx Mental Health Council, Inc. where he administers the mental health treatment programs and the community residence programs. He has served on numerous Bronx community-based organizations Boards. He currently serves on the Bronx Community Health Network, Inc. Board of Directors.
Henry Comas, Secretary
Henry Comas is a lifelong resident of New York City. He received his Bachelors Degree in Urban Planning from the State University of Buffalo. In addition to serving on the Acacia Network Board of Directors, Mr. Comas is a member of the Board of Directors of East Harlem Council for Community Improvement (EHCCI), a branch of Acacia Network.
Mr. Comas holds the title of Operational Specialist for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator Office, where he coordinates programs with other federal, state and local agencies to assure effective linkages. Additionally, he serves as the New York Region II Continuity of Operations Coordinator. His twenty-year career at HUD has made Mr. Comas an expert in intergovernmental relations and various Federal urban programs.
Andrew Gonzalez, Member
Andrew Gonzalez, Esq. was born and raised in New York City. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Long Island University and his Law Degree from New York Law School. In addition to serving on the Acacia Network Board of Directors, Mr. Gonzalez chairs the Promesa Foundation and is a member of the Julio Martinez Memorial Fund Board.
Mr. Gonzalez is a partner of Gonzalez, Oberlander & Holohan, LLP, a diversified law practice that offers solutions to challenging legal issues in civil, criminal and family law. Over the course of his career, he has worked as Assistant Commissioner of Administration and Planning, and as the General Counsel for the NYC Department of Probation. Additionally, he has held the position of Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Policy for the NYC Department of Juvenile Justice.
Iris W. Ramírez, Member
Iris W. Ramírez was raised in Peñuelas, Puerto Rico and in Waterbury, Connecticut. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Ms. Ramírez has been a Bronx resident since 2001. Ms. Ramirez also serves as Treasurer on the Casa Promesa Board and as Secretary on the South Bronx Management Company Board, both subsidiaries of the Acacia Network.
Ms. Ramírez has been serving the community for a number of years. She has been a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City since 2004 and is a founding member of Latino Bigs, an affinity group of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City. Ms. Ramírez is also a founding member of the Bronx Volunteerism Coalition which works to increase Bronx resident participation in volunteer-driven groups. She also serves on the Board of Mercy Center located in the South Bronx. Ms. Ramírez works as a Paralegal specializing in Business Immigration Law.
David Rodriguez, Esq., Member
David Rodriguez, Esq. was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from State University of New York at Buffalo and his Law Degree from State University of New York Buffalo Law School. In addition to serving on the Acacia Network Board of Directors, Mr. Rodriguez is Board Chair of Hispanos Unidos de Buffalo and Board Chair of Buffalo Hispanic Management Inc.
Mr. Rodriguez is General Counsel for the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, the largest housing Authority in New York state outside of New York City. Over the course of his career, he has worked as Acting Corporation Counsel for the City of Buffalo and maintained a private litigation practice prior to his entry into public service.