About South End Business Alliance and Our Board

Mission Statement

The South End Business Alliance (SEBA), which originated in 1978, uses the power of collaboration to support, strengthen and unify South End businesses, artists and non-profit organizations, while celebrating and promoting our neighborhood's rich diversity and history.

GOALS

The South End Business Alliance (SEBA) seeks to:

• Expand the economic vitality of the South End through cross-marketing, resource-sharing and collective business growth.
• Foster an effective flow of communication among businesses, residents and the City of Boston;
• Serve as a hub for information and participation in for-profit and non-profit South End-related activities, and promote the neighborhood as a unique destination, through our website, social media and other means.

Board of Directors

TED PIETRAS, PRESIDENT

As a veteran "South Ender" and senior sales associate with Gibson Sothebys for the past 25 years, Ted Pietras has extensive knowledge of Boston and its real estate environment. Ted is consistently among the top producers at Gibson Sothebys and has received state and national recognition for his outstanding sales achievement. Ted serves as the Chairman of the Board for the South End Business Alliance (SEBA) and he has a leadership role in improving neighborhood conditions and helping to maintain and increase the value of real estate in Boston.


RICHARD STERN, TREASURER

Richard is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Georgia, Florida, and Massachusetts and has been self-employed for more than 15 years. In 2013, Richard relocated to the Back Bay/South End section of Boston. He brings his expertise in assisting small businesses and their owners to the SEBA team and his past experience includes teaching seminars in conjunction with Georgia State University’s Small Business Development Center as part of their “7 Steps to Start Your Own Business” series.


JONATHAN TOWSLEE, SECRETARY

Jonathan moved to Boston in 1997 from Vermont.  During his first 6 years in Boston, Jonathan worked within the telecommunications industry.  In 2003 Jonathan made a career change and went to work for Citizens Bank. Since opening the South End location, Jonathan has been very active within the neighborhood.  During his tenure at Mt. Washington Bank Jonathan has constructed and conducted financial literacy programs for organizations such as the Pine Street Inn, Asian American Civic Association, UMass Boston, Future Hope Apprenticeship and the Bricklayers Association. In 2013 Jonathan was recognized as a “Community Banking Hero” by Banker and Tradesman magazine.


ALYSSA SCHOENFELD, HEAD OF EVENTS

Alyssa Daigle Scheonfeld is the founder of Bites of Boston Food Tours and currently serves as the CEO (Culinary Experience Officer) – for the Sweet and Savory South End Tour. A Massachusetts native with a passion for all things food, culture and urban community, Alyssa has found her bliss in guiding locals and visitors through one of Boston’s most historic and tasty neighborhoods. She currently serves on the Event Committee for the SEBA board, which she joined in 2015.


EVE WARD, HEAD OF OPERATIONS

Eve Ward is the founder of Bond and Des Voeux which provides management services for individuals and businesses experiencing personal or professional transitions. She spent 15 years in a variety of operational management positions around the world including posts in Germany, India, South Korea and, most recently, as Head of Operational Risk Management in Hong Kong. After moving to Boston in 2013, Eve embarked on a foray into the personal client service industry when she co-founded the highly regarded South End Errands.


 AMANDA ACCARDI, HEAD OF EVENTS

Amanda opened her custom framing shop Around the Corner in 2009. Dedicated to creativity in the framing industry, Around the Corner offers the largest selection of mouldings and museum quality materials in Boston. Consultations, curating and installation have become integral parts of Around the Corner's full service standards. After joining the South End Business Alliance in 2010 Amanda became an active participant in meetings between SEBA and Washington Gateway Main Streets.


NIKKI STEWART, HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS

Nikki Stewart serves as the Director of Development at United South End Settlements, an organization that provides inclusive programs to support South End/Lower Roxbury residents across the lifespan. Nikki holds a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law and was a member of the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership’s class of 2015. She is an award-winning apple pie baker and volunteer puppy wrangler at Schultz’s Guest House.


ROBIN JOHNSON

Robin Johnson specializes in community banking as the AVP Branch Manager at Hingham Institution for Savings. An upstate New York native, she relocated to the Boston area in 2010. Robin brings her expertise and passion for collaborating with residents and small businesses of the South End to achieve their financial goals. She has partnered with United South End Settlements and Washington Gateway and joined the SEBA board of directors in 2015 where she serves on the Events Committee.


KRISTI KEEFE

Kristi Keefe is the Chief of Staff at The Boston Center for the Arts (BCA), a not-for-profit performing and visual arts campus that supports working artists to create, perform and exhibit new works; develops new audiences; and connects the arts to community. Over the past 13 years at the BCA, Kristi has developed and implemented earned revenue initiatives, overseen facilities operations and produced events that were designed to build and strengthen relationships between the Boston Center for the Arts, its South End neighbors and the diverse citizens of Greater Boston. She joined the SEBA Board of Directors in 2014 and currently serves on the Events Committee.


CINDY LAIDLAW

Cindy is an avid equestrian, long time South End resident and founder of Laidlaw Group, the SOWA based integrated marketing communications firm. Laidlaw Group provides Advertising, Design, Marketing, Web, Social Influence Marketing (SIM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), eCommerce and Google AdWords management to an international client base. As an undergraduate at Russell Sage College, Cindy studied at The Alliance Français, Paris, France; The University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; The American University in Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Holland; and the Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada. Cindy has served on the SEBA Board of Directors since 2013.


Brendan Ahern

BRENDAN AHERN

Brendan Ahern is Assistant Vice President Branch Manager of the South End Office at Commerce Bank. He was born and raised in Somerville. Previously he worked as a Multi Unit Manager for TD BANK Quincy/South Shore and as an AVP at Citizens Bank.  Brendan enjoys traveling, spending time with family , playing ice hockey and coaching his son's hockey team in Plymouth. He currently sits on the Citizens Advisory Committee for Back Bay / South End project, and is actively involved in the Asian American Civic Association, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Boston Food Bank. He joined the SEBA Board of Directors in 2016.

 


John Chambers

John Chambers, Community Outreach

John, who is originally from Kentucky, recently accepted the role of community outreach liaison for the 2016 SEBA Board of Directors. John brings over 25 years of experience living and working in the South End. He has previously worked in community banking, academic medical healthcare and financial management. His efforts in bridging the numerous social, civic and business organizations make him an ideal director to further introduce SEBA to our neighbors while encouraging relationship building between SEBA and representatives of the South End Forum and its affiliated neighborhood associations.