board of directors

Danielle Duran Baron

Danielle Duran Baron is the Staff Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the School Nutrition Association, where she oversees the Marketing and Communications Center, which develops and implements marketing and communication strategies to promote, enhance, and protect the SNA brand. As a native of Brazil, Danielle has worked in marketing and communications in the United States and overseas. Her expertise lies in strategy development, marketing, experience design, and diversity, equity and inclusion. When not working or volunteering, she cheers on her sons at soccer games.

Poliana Conti
Barbara Day
Brendan Mahoney
vice president

Poliana Conti is the Senior Director of Human Resources at W.R. Grace & Co., where she drives Global Human Resources strategies as the Global Human Resources Business Partner of the Refining Technologies business unit with its Fluid Catalytic Catalysts and Advanced Refining Technologies ® (ART), Grace’s Joint Venture with Chevron. Prior to Grace, Poliana held HR leadership positions in Fortune 500 organizations such as Honeywell, DANONE Group, Avery Dennison and Avaya.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Poliana Conti immigrated with her family to the United States in 2007 and has lived in Howard County since 2008. A mother of three adult children, all of them Atholton High School graduates, she’s grateful for the education and the opportunities they received at HCPPS.

A long-time volunteer with Special Olympics, Poliana is a fierce advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion. In her leadership role in Human Resources, Poliana is a strong advocate working with the company leadership implementing D&I initiatives. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Barbara Day retired with 40 years' experience working with refugees and immigrants. Initially from South Dakota, where she directed a state-wide non-profit resettlement and immigrant services program, she moved to Ellicott City in 1999 to become vice-president for resettlement at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. Ms. Day retired from her position as chief of domestic resettlement at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration in Washington, D.C. Barbara's background includes five years teaching overseas, program development, monitoring and evaluation, public speaking, and advocacy. Barbara is a yoga teacher and consultant to national and state refugee resettlement programs. 

Brendan Mahoney is a Group Manager at M&T Bank, responsible for leading his team’s Corporate Banking efforts in the Central Maryland region. He represents the Bank in the local community through civic and volunteer efforts. In addition to his service on the FIRN Board, Brendan is currently a Board member for Leadership Howard County, and volunteers as a youth sports coach and at Trinity School. 

Anish Manrai
Jonelle Ocloo
Nana Owusu-Nkwantabisa
Patti Pape Caplan

Anish Manrai, assistant director of sport and fitness at the Columbia Association, is an experienced executive and thought leader in the sport, fitness and wellness industry. During his careers in professional tennis and sports management, he has won numerous awards including the United States Tennis Association Mid-Atlantic Innovation Award, Columbia Association Team Member of the Year, United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) Illinois Professional of the Year, and the USPTA Midwest Division Player of the Year, among others. He is currently the Vice-President of the USPTA Mid-Atlantic Board and serves on the USPTA National Innovation Committee. Anish hails originally from Mumbai, India. 

Jonelle Ocloo is an immigration lawyer and advocate who started her journey as an immigrant from Ghana. She is the managing attorney of Law Offices of Jonelle Ocloo, LLC (also known as LOJO Immigration) based in Columbia. Jonelle has practiced immigration law exclusively for over 15 years and represents individuals, families, and businesses in a variety of employment-based and family-sponsored immigration and complex naturalization matters. Jonelle is a guest lecturer on employment-based immigration at University of Maryland School of Law, University of Baltimore Law School, and has as spoken on complex immigration issues to lawyers in local, regional, and national seminars and conferences.

Nana Owusu-Nkwantabisa is the Director of the Library and Learning Commons for Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland.  A resident of Ellicott City, Maryland, Nana is a native of Ghana, West Africa.  Nana appreciates the diversity of American society and the role that immigration has and continues to play in the national narrative. 

Patti Pape Caplan is a retired educator who moved to Howard County from Iowa in 1987 to assume the position of Public Information Officer for the Howard County Public School System. In that capacity, she directed the district’s public engagement, media relations and communications programs for 26 years. Her background includes over 50 years of experience in education, social services and public relations, and advocacy on behalf of the disenfranchised. She is now pursuing a second career as a professional artist.

Mindy Shinn

Mindy Shinn is an educator and entrepreneur who has resided in Howard County since 1990. Her background includes over 30 years of experience in managing Sylvan Learning Center, Johns Hopkins Health System, refugee travel loans program, community projects, and social services. As the child of immigrant parents from South Korea, Mindy is passionate about welcoming and serving immigrants, and refugees. In addition to the FIRN Board, she serves on the Diaconal Board and the Urban Mission Committee at a local presbyterian church. Mindy is committed to living life holistically, joyfully, and striving to make a positive impact one day at a time. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with a handsome and energetic puppy, Arthur.

Njide Udochi, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP

Dr. Njide Udochi is a family and geriatric physician, and the founder and president of the Millennium Health Group. Millennium is a multispecialty healthcare consortium of Independently owned medical practices working to reduce health disparities and improve the quality of care for all patients. She also serves as the Medical Director of Millennium Family Practice, a private practice with patients from 114 countries. Nominated by her peers in 2019 as one of Baltimore Magazine’s Maryland Top Doctors, Njide is committed to improving the lives of immigrants in our community.