(Thursday, January 6, 2022) – Acacia Network and its Board of Directors announce the appointment of Lymaris Albors to serve as the organization’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), after serving as its Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Executive Vice President for the past years. After two decades at the helm of the organization, Raul Russi –whose longstanding career spans 45 years in the social services and economic development sectors, in addition to 30+ years in the criminal justice system– will remain as Acacia Network’s President, concentrating on expanding its affordable housing portfolio and other key strategic initiatives.
The announcement coincides with Raul’s 20th anniversary in the Network. In 2001, he was first brought on board as the Executive Director of Basics, Inc., and subsequently spearheaded the affiliation with Promesa, Inc. in 2009, which led to the creation of Acacia Network. During his tenure, he has grown the organization from an annual operating budget of under $5 million, to approximately $500 million in revenue and close to $900 million in assets today. Presently, Acacia Network comprises more than 100 affiliates and related entities across six states and Puerto Rico.
Carmen J. Villa-Lugo, Esq., Chairwoman of the Acacia Network Board of Directors, says: “The promotion of Lymaris Albors to the position of CEO is a very important step to ensure the sustainability of Acacia’s mission. The Board of Directors has recognized that she is an extremely well qualified, strong Latina visionary. She has worked tirelessly to restructure the organization in order to provide staff with the opportunity to shine and produce excellence. Her commitment to our mission, our history, and our communities is evidenced in the success of the many projects she has initiated and completed during her years with us. We have witnessed her growth and development, and are excited to have her lead Acacia as CEO into the future.”
“We thank Mr. Russi for his exemplary leadership and many accomplishments as Acacia’s CEO over the past 20 years. We celebrate his decision to continue to work with us in this capacity, and are confident that he will succeed in bringing new and exciting opportunities for Acacia’s continued growth and development,” she added.
Raul Russi, President of Acacia Network, states: “When I embarked on the mission to build Acacia Network into the organization it is today, I did so not only to protect the legacy of the Puerto Rican pioneers who made important contributions to the addiction and social services fields in the Bronx, but also to ensure that people of color –like us– could become masters of our own destinies and truly have a seat at the table where decisions are made. Today, I could not be prouder of everything we have accomplished together and to move forward into the future with Lymaris as our new CEO, so that Acacia can continue leading change for generations to come.”
Over the past decade, Lymaris has worked alongside Raul to transform Acacia Network into the premier Latino-led nonprofit organization in New York State and one of the largest in the nation. When she joined the Network in 2012, she brought significant acumen in program management, capacity building, quality improvement, and strategy design and implementation. As a leader at Acacia, she has concentrated on building a solid foundation for sustainable organizational growth by focusing on four main pillars, which she believes are critical to long-term success: Quality, Integration, Accountability, and Equity.
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Lymaris moved to New York City to pursue graduate studies at Fordham University. Driven by her passion to effect change and improve health outcomes for underserved populations, she soon began her work at Cicatelli Associates Inc., a firm dedicated to tackling health disparities worldwide. After a fruitful tenure at CAI, she transitioned to the William F. Ryan Community Health Center, where she drove critical quality and performance improvement initiatives.
At Acacia Network, Lymaris has been a change agent committed to strategic growth, financial sustainability, and operational excellence. In addition to paving the way for network-wide integration and organizational restructuring during a period of exponential growth, Lymaris spearheaded Acacia Network’s expansion to Puerto Rico, as well as its footprint in housing and arts & culture. As the new CEO, she will continue to strengthen the network, while focusing on building quality, streamlining operations, and cultivating the next generation of leaders.
Lymaris Albors, CEO, says: “I am truly honored and humbled to serve as Acacia Network’s Chief Executive Officer, and to carry forward the legacy of our pioneers while leading it into the future, always with a focus on trauma-informed care, cultural competency, quality, and integration. Thank you to the Board of Directors for placing their trust in me, Raul Russi for his guidance and mentorship over the past decade, the Executive Team for their unwavering commitment throughout the pandemic, and our incredibly talented and diverse workforce for showing up every day and saving lives. You are all heroes, and I can’t wait to embark on this journey with you!”
As her first order of business as CEO, Lymaris announced that, in keeping with her commitment to organizational capacity-building and quality improvement, she has brought on board two new Executive Team Members to lead key initiatives in the areas of housing and healthcare.
Luis Carlos Fernández Trinchet, Esq., CFA, will serve as Acacia Network’s Chief Housing Officer, in charge of overseeing the organization’s robust portfolio of affordable, supportive, and transitional housing, with a focus on real estate development and expansion. Acacia Network presently manages 1,860 units of affordable and supportive housing, with 100 units currently under construction as sole developer and an additional 2,434 units under development as part of joint ventures.
With a longstanding career in the housing and finance sectors, Luis Trinchet’s background includes extensive experience in project development, financing, and tax credits, including CDBG-DR, LIHTC, HOME, and NMTC. He previously served as the Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Housing (PRDOH), President of the Board of Directors for the Puerto Rico Housing Finance Authority (PRHFA), and President of the Board of Directors for the Puerto Rico Housing Public Administration (PRPHA). He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, and possesses a Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of Puerto Rico Law School and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Rochester in New York.
Dr. Jessica Sessions will join the organization in February as the Population Health Director for Acacia Network. She will also serve as the Medical Director for our Ramon Velez Health Center in the Bronx, a federally qualified health center (FQHC) that currently provides integrated access to basic primary care services, and which is undergoing a significant expansion to provide comprehensive services for Women and Children, in addition to Specialties.
Dr. Sessions brings to Acacia nearly two decades of experience as a practitioner and administrator in the healthcare field, including 16 years at the renowned William F Ryan Community Health Center in the Upper West Side. During her tenure at Ryan, she served in multiple capacities, including Director of Pediatrics for the FQHC and Medical Director for Ryan’s Women and Children’s Center, while overseeing administrative functions and playing a key role in important initiatives across the network, such as Quality Improvement, Senior Leadership, Pharmacy and Therapeutics, and Corporate Compliance.