LIFT’s Maicharia Weir Lytle Named Emerging Leader from Boston Business Journal

By LIFT on March 18, 2011

Categories: News, Our Work

LIFT-Boston Executive Director Maicharia Weir Lytle is featured in the March issue of the Boston Business Journal as an Emerging Leader.

She is recognized for her past experience and her current role leading the operations of LIFT-Boston’s three service centers in Roxbury, Cambridge, and Somerville.


Excerpts from the article are included below:

Nonprofit’s local director gives ‘Lift” over barriers

By Sean McFadden

Maicharia Weir Lytle

As the first executive director of the Greater Boston region for the national nonprofit LIFT, Maicharia Weir Lytle has dedicated herself to raising the profile of the anti-poverty agency whose local roots date back to 2001 (when it was known as National Student Partnerships). The organization provides its clients services in the areas of employment, housing and public benefits/tax credits. It utilizes both AmeriCorps members, as well as student volunteers from universities including Northeastern, Tufts, Harvard, Lesley and MIT. Since being installed in the regional executive director role more than a year ago, Lytle has grown the ranks of the region’s three offices — located in Cambridge, Somerville and, most recently, Boston itself (Roxbury) — to a total of 150 volunteers. They are on track to serving 2,000 people in the Greater Boston area this year, representing a 50 percent increase from 2010 in the number of clients served, said Lytle. A veteran nonprofit executive, Lytle most recently served as vice president of fundraising and marketing for the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston — where she increased event fundraising by 12 percent. Said Lytle, “The common link in my professional experiences is helping people who are facing barriers; creating economic opportunity and financial stability for all people.”

What are your top three goals for the year?

My first priority is to meaningfully contribute to Boston’s efforts to advance economic opportunity and sustained change for families. I’m honored we recently opened our first site in Boston itself in collaboration with Mayor Menino’s Circle of Promise, Northeastern University, and other committed partners. As we launch (this new site) in Boston, I’m also focused on demonstrating the effectiveness and long-term impact of LIFT to investors and strategic partners. Finally, a personal goal to which I commit myself annually: As mother to three children under the age of 9 and the wife of the most wonderful guy, I want to increase the quality of time that I spend with my family.

What are guiding principles for good management?

Surround yourself with “A+” people and inspire a shared vision that motivates and empowers your team to achieve your goals and objectives.



What’s the best business decision you’ve made?

Throughout my career, the best decision I have made is to stay true to my organizations’ mission and to hold myself accountable to the people and communities I serve.

What are your civic passions?

I have long been dedicated to young people, and becoming a mother has solidified my passion for ensuring that every child has the opportunity to prosper and that all families have the supports they need to provide for their children. I have had the wonderful opportunity to serve as a Big Sister, and I am now part of Mothers for Justice and Equality, a coalition to eliminate youth violence.

Who do you consider a mentor(s)?: My husband, Cary, has been my biggest supporter, adviser and “loving” critic. Dolores, my dearest friend of 15 years, has been a model for persevering through life’s challenges and refusing to remain stagnant as a person, a parent, a scholar and a professional.

How would you describe the Boston area as a place to do business?

Boston, with its vibrant people, minds and resources, is a wonderful city to serve as a model for how urban communities can unify, work together and prosper by overcoming the most pressing issues and building on its foundation of excellence and innovation.

What’s your personal motto?

I don’t have a personal motto, however, I believe it is important to love what you do and work hard.

What’s the most influential book you’ve read?

“Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools,” by Jonathan Kozol.

What’s your favorite restaurant?

El Oriental de Cuba

What’s on your iPod?

Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Miles Davis and James Morrison.

What’s your favorite get-away spot?

My parent’s home in rural Connecticut, where we can get away to escape the hustle and bustle and to rejuvenate with family, laughter and good food.


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Nonprofit’s local director gives “LIFT” over barriers