Lara is a results-oriented professional with an established record of cultivating strong cross-sector relationships, leading cross-disciplinary teams, and managing change efforts to promote organizational effectiveness and efficiency. She brings more than 25 years of experience in leadership, project management, systems-building, grant writing, and strategy development.
Since joining the Pear Associates team in January 2023, Lara has provided strategic planning, grant writing, nonprofit board development, and needs assessment support to organizations including Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley, Family Promise North Shore Boston, Health Resources in Action, Lowell Community Health Center, Lowell Public Schools, Manchester Community Resource Center, Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers, New England Justice for Our Neighbors, New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness, New Hampshire Council for Thriving Children, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Pittsfield Youth Workshop, Roxbury Community College, The Innocent Convicts, The Mayhew Program, and YWCA NH.
Lara began her career as an early childhood teacher and administrator in Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care programs. She moved into higher education serving as adjunct faculty and the Community Outreach Coordinator at Southern NH University School of Education, then as Tufts University’s Office of Institutional Research & Evaluation’s Reaccreditation Coordinator and Office of the President’s Communications & Project Administrator. In 2013, Lara joined Amoskeag Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center and Center of Excellence for Culturally Effective Healthcare, transitioning her career to focus on child and family-serving system coordination and improvement efforts. As Director of Community-Integrated Health and Wellbeing, Lara led Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) and its collaborative efforts to improve outcomes for young children. With partners from local law enforcement and domestic violence victim services, she developed the Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team (ACERT), a program that has gained regional and national attention for its innovative approach to supporting children exposed to trauma and violence. Lara was also responsible for developing and overseeing initiatives to achieve the organization’s and broader community’s strategic goals such as Community Schools, Preschool Development Grant, child abuse and neglect prevention, developmental screening, school-based health and behavioral health, and adolescent sexual health education. She has also led efforts to improve NH’s early childhood system, educated policymakers on a variety of health and education topics, and shared her expertise at local, state, and national conferences.
Lara has more than a decade of experience leading nonprofit boards. She previously served on the NH Children’s Trust Board of Directors for 9 years, including 3 years as Chair, and on Manchester Community Resource Center’s Board for 4 years, including 3 years as Vice Chair. Lara is currently a member of the City of Manchester Office of Youth Services Advisory Board and Friends of Aine Board of Directors, and is the Council President for Concordia Lutheran Church.