PRESIDENT & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Julio Meran is the founder of Merrimack Valley Dream Center and serves as the President and Executive Director. He felt God call him into urban ministry within the Merrimack Valley to bring Hope and the Love of Jesus, to those that are dejected, hurting, isolated, oppressed, addicted and broken emotionally, spiritually, physically. He is currently pursuing a degree in Urban Ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Julio is thrilled at how God is clearly at work in the community surrounding the Merrimack Valley Dream Center. Volunteers and those we serve are learning to depend on Jesus, many individuals throughout Lawrence are being transformed by God’s love, lives are literally being saved from destruction and despair through a message of hope in Jesus Christ. He firmly believes that the best is yet to come! Julio is passionate about his 2 kids, people—leading them to follow Jesus and engage in God’s mission in their communities. Julio enjoys spending time with his kids, hiking, camping, swimming, going to movies and eating out. He works also a Network Engineer at Barracuda Networks.
Jeff has served in numerous church ministries and leadership roles for over 20 years. He is excited about the Dream Center’s vision to provide hope and restoration through the life-changing message of the Gospel of Jesus.
Jeff previously co-directed the Bridge Ministry, and currently serves as a men’s leader in the Celebrate Recovery program, where he has the privilege of coaching others through the recovery process.
Jeff has a BS degree in Information Technology and certifications in programming and desktop publishing. He works in the telecommunications field where he has held various roles in the past 25 years: Technician, Engineer, Software developer, and currently as Program/Project Manager.
Jeff is richly blessed by his wife and two grown children. He also has served in the music ministry at Granite United Church playing drums and bass.
ERNEST J. SIMMONS, JR. ("JOE")
During his over fifty-year career, Ernest J. Simmons, Jr. (“Joe”) has been the Chief Executive Office and Chief Financial Officer of domestic and international public and private corporations, focusing on business turnarounds, mergers and acquisitions. He has also directed consulting projects for diverse companies including Fortune 100 companies, small and midsized companies, and non-profit organizations. He was named NH CFO of the year in 2012. He has been a volunteer holding leadership positions in not-for-profit organizations for over twenty-five years. He is a United States Marine Corps veteran and a published author of technical articles.
Carolyn Hanson has walked with the Bridge Ministry since 2017. She felt the call to serve after an experience of extravagant grace in her own life and believes the transforming message of God’s grace is for everyone. She is grateful to serve on the MVDC Board in an effort to expand its outreach to the Merrimack Valley. We can’t be everything to everyone, but we can be something to someone. Carolyn works with her husband, Eric, at The Hanson Group in financial services/insurance. She graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in gerontology. She and Eric raised their four children in Andover and are enjoying the special joys of grandparenthood.