MEET OUR STAFF
Helena DaSilva Hughes
Kristin Batstone Morrissey
VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS
Ana De Melo
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
SHINE COUNSELOR & ELDER SERVICE COORDINATOR
AT-RISK YOUTH CASE MANAGER
CASE MANAGER & DEPORTATION COORDINATOR
Helena DaSilva Hughes
Considered one of the nation’s foremost authorities on advocacy for immigrants, Executive Director Helena DaSilva Hughes has been serving the IAC since 1985. Under her leadership the number of clients served has grown from 750 per year to 12,000, the breadth of services offered to clients has grown exponentially, and the IAC students who pass the citizenship test holds at an incredible 98%.
In addition to creating and implementing programs on behalf of immigrants in the greater New Bedford area, Helena frequently appears before local, state, and national Congressional hearings advocating for immigrants. In 2006, she developed and implemented the first information exchange on forcibly repatriated Portuguese citizens between the governments of the United States and Portugal, expanding the program in 2008 to include the Cape Verdean government. She is a frequent lecturer at colleges and universities on immigration advocacy, as well as keynote speaker at numerous conferences in Washington, D.C., the Azores and Lisbon, Portugal on the impact of deportation on U.S. families.
Helena serves on the Boards of Southcoast Health, the New Bedford Economic Development Council, the New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, the Governor’s Advisory Council on Immigrants and Refugees, and Attorney General Maura Healey’s Advisory Council on New Americans. She is co-founder of Our Sister’s School, an all-girls middle school for low-income New Bedford-area students.
Some of the awards and recognition Helena has received include:
- Distinguished Citizens Award, Bristol Community College (2018)
- Merit of Order, Commander Level, by the President of Portugal, Dr. Cavaco Silva (2015)
- Cape Verdean Association’s International Women Recognition Award (2014)
- YWCA’s Woman of Distinction Award (2014)
- “Voice of the Immigrant” Outstanding Citizen Award (2013)
- Southcoast Woman of the Year (2002)
- Portuguese American Women’s Association Woman of the Year (2001)
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts Legislative Heritage Day Award (2001)
Helena was born in Madeira, Portugal and immigrated to the United States at the age of 10 with her mother and 6 siblings, joining her father who sponsored them. Fluent in the Portuguese language and conversant in Spanish, she has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in Paralegal Studies from Newbury College and is accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals.
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Kristin Batstone Morrissey
Vice President of Operations
As the first Director of Development for the IAC, a position made possible by a grant from the Henry H. Crapo Foundation Fund, Kristin’s focus is on strengthening the IAC’s capacity to meet the unprecedented demand for services, which includes:
- Creating a professional, sustainable fundraising infrastructure by identifying and implementing new donor management technology, cultivating new donor relationships, and researching and soliciting grants from new sources
- Creating a communications and marketing strategy and presence, which includes rebranding of the organization, redeveloping all communication vehicles so that they speak to IAC objectives
- Recruiting industry experts to donate their time in the areas of development, non-profit finance, branding and marketing, and web design
- Securing seed funding to establish a computer classroom, which supports citizenship and language classes and workplace readiness training for new U.S. citizens.
Prior to her work at the IAC, Kristin was engaged in management consulting for small businesses and led numerous volunteer and charitable endeavors across the SouthCoast. Before making the decision to stay at home fulltime with her children, Kristin served as Assistant to the President at The Cullinane Group with a focus on philanthropy, and was a paralegal manager at one of Boston’s largest law firms, WilmerHale.
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Ana De Melo
Director of Operations
Ana has been with the IAC since 2015, first as an Executive Assistant, and now as the Office Manager. In this role, she serves as the point person for day-to-day operations, preparing monthly financial and citizenship reports, assisting with proposals, maintaining personnel records, training new hires and interns, scheduling clients’ appointments, equipment maintenance, IT issues, phones and much more.
Prior to the IAC, Ana was the Office Manager of a Homecare office, Comfort Keepers in Fall River. She was born in Fall River, MA, raised in Providence, and is now back living in Fall River. She received her Associates Degree from Bristol Community College, and her Bachelor’s Degree from UMass Dartmouth.
Ana speaks English and Portuguese.
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“The IAC does great work for the immigrant community and I am blessed to have the opportunity to work for an amazing organization. Our services are vital because clients come to see us for numerous reasons: citizenship, green card renewals, health insurance, benefits or read letters.”
SHINE Counselor & Elder Service Coordinator
Lucia has been with the IAC since 2001 as a SHINE Counselor and Elder Service Coordinator. In those roles she provides translations, interpretations of documents from various government agencies, referrals, advocacy services, and assistance to clients as they navigate through changing or choosing health insurance.
Prior to the IAC, Lucia was a buyer for production materials. She was born in the Acores and now lives in Taunton, MA. She received her education at Taunton High School as well as other education seminars.
Lucia speaks English and Portuguese.
Contact Lucia at firstname.lastname@example.org
“I am thankful for the gratitude, satisfaction, and appreciation I receive from our clients.”
At-Risk Youth Case Manager
Liz has been with the IAC since 2013 first as Americorp Volunteer and Bridgewater Outreach Coordinator, and now as a Youth Case Managers where she works with unaccompanied minors facing challenges such as trauma, separation, and poverty. She works to connect these children with important resources, advocate for them, and help them get adjusted so that they can succeed in school, and in their lives. She helps her clients evolve as young people and build strong bonds so that they can learn to trust in their lives.
Prior to working at the IAC, Liz was a full-time student at UMASS Dartmouth and Bristol Community College, and a volunteer at various community agencies. She was born in Puerto Rico and is now a resident of New Bedford.
Liz speaks English and Spanish.
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“We try to be the voice of those who are vulnerable in order to help them overcome their challenges and become active members of our society.”
Anabel has been with the IAC since 2015 first as an instructor in the areas of language and citizenship and now as a Case Manager helping non-English speaking clients communicate with various agencies and navigate the legal issues pertaining to citizenship.
Prior to the IAC, Anabel worked as a certified nurse assistant. She was born in the Dominican Republic and now is a resident of New Bedford, MA. Anabel received her education at the UMASS program for CNA, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare for medical interpretation training, and Americorps training for English as a Second Language and citizenship support.
Anabel speaks English and Spanish.
Contact Anabel at firstname.lastname@example.org
“I am able to give others the help that I once needed when I moved to the United States. We at the IAC try our hardest to help.”