Manager, People and Culture
Nikkia is the Manager of People and Culture. In her role, she will focus on attracting and retaining top tier talent and cultivating a positive and inclusive culture within the organization. She is excited to bridge her passion for human resources with a shared mission of fostering an environment that embodies excellence, inclusivity and a dedicated commitment to DEIRJ.
Nikkia has several years of HR experience centering around recruitment, performance management, HR administration and diversity equity and inclusion. Nikkia most recently worked as an HR Business Partner at a nonprofit organization.
Nikkia holds an MS in Human Resources Management from Mercy University, and a BS in Communications from St. John’s University. She also possesses a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification from HRCI.
Education Finance Analyst
Rennic Liverpool is a Education Financial Analyst. She is a part of the EFA program which is a program that recruits and trains diverse early-stage professionals to succeed in mission-driven financial services roles. Rennic holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Babson College. This is Rennic’s first full-time role post graduation and she is excited to learn more about the charter finance sector.
Alan Sage is a Vice President on the investing team of the Urban Investment Group (UIG) at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. At UIG, Alan has led the closing of over $4bn of real estate and infrastructure investments through complex public-private partnerships, with a focus on the creation and development of affordable housing across the U.S. Alan has also spearheaded UIG’s efforts to create a portfolio of impact-oriented industrial investments, and has led the closing of Opportunity Zone fund investments in markets such as North Carolina, Detroit, and Washington, D.C.
Alan first joined UIG in 2014, and rejoined in 2019 after a completing a Master’s in City Planning at MIT. While at MIT, he led the first academic study of the federal Opportunity Zone program’s implications on commercial real estate prices, which was published in 2023 by Real Estate Economics, and created a tool for the automatic valuation of underutilized land parcels for the city government of Guadalajara. Prior to joining UIG, he held positions at Enterprise Community Partners and the New Haven Housing Authority, and completed his undergraduate studies at Yale University. Alan also previously served as co-chair of the Enterprise Community Partners Gotham Society, where he led fundraising to support Enterprise’s creation of affordable housing across the country.
A New Narrative
“The ongoing narrative has always been that African American youth are not thriving academically, socially, and emotionally. Texas Empowerment Academy (TxEA) was started to change that narrative by raising strong children through a nurturing, stimulating, and stable learning environment,” explained LLyas Salahud-Din, Chief Development Officer. With a 25-year track record of successful outcomes, TxEA offers robust theater arts and social emotional learning programs and prioritizes parent involvement. “It’s like a family here. We nurture not just the students but ongoing relationships with the parents too.” Inspired by the school’s programming and the visible joy of its student body, Llyas Salahud-Din joined TxEA in 2019 to launch and grow the school’s philanthropic efforts.
“Parents choose TxEA because they want their children to be in a space where they can be challenged and praised. In addition, the teachers and staff mirror the student population.” 92% of TxEA’s teachers identify as Black in contrast to the national average of 7%. As TxEA’s student waiting list quickly grew, the need to expand became apparent.
Part of the Team
In 2021, TxEA connected with Civic Builders, through which they received an $18 million Facilities Investment Fund loan for the construction of an 82,000 square foot building. “Since we first connected, the Civic team has always been available to talk to us by phone or email. The guidance has been amazing.” The Civic team collaborated with TxEA through every step of developing a new facility. “We chipped away at the process on a weekly basis until we got to the finish line. They provided as much support as we needed. It felt more like a partnership and a team effort than just another vendor – we really felt like they were rooting for us.”
An Opened Door
The two-story facility will include upgraded classrooms with new technology, a cafeteria, gymnasium, theater arts room, and numerous acres of outdoor space. The impact for TxEA, which had been leasing from a small church building, will be transformative. “We’ll be going from being packed in to being able to finally breathe. It’s our own home.” The new building’s additional classrooms will grow TxEA’s student capacity to 800, enabling them to expand their impact. “We’re at capacity now and we have had to turn people away. Now we can say “our doors are open and we have more room to serve you. It will allow us to show families that they have an option for their children to pursue a solid education.”
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Impact and Performance Chair
Susie is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, an organization dedicated to improving nationwide educational outcomes and economic prosperity. Prior to joining the Hoover Institute, Susie spent twelve years as chief of the Charter Schools Institute of the State University of New York, during which SUNY-authorized charter schools tripled in number and served 120,000 children, 83 percent of whom New York State identified as economically disadvantaged.
Before her time at the Charter Schools Institute, Susie served as vice president for research and evaluation at the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), Carello founded the first research division and led NACSA’s research, evaluation, and accountability initiatives. Carello was also the Associate Commissioner of Education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Susie holds a Masters and has completed all doctoral coursework in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Carello has served as a visiting lecturer at Columbia University and Butler University, was an Edward Meade Fellow at Harvard, and was vice president of the Modern Red Schoolhouse at the Hudson Institute.
Brian Olson is President and Chief Investment Officer for Kokino LLC, a family office based in Stamford, CT, where he is responsible for the overall investment program for the office. Brian was a co-founder of the hedge fund Viking Global Investors (1999-2005). Before founding Viking, he worked at Tiger Management LLC (1995-1999) and at Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. (1988-1995).
A long-time supporter of Civic Builders, Brian served as a Board member for over ten years, and the Board Chairman for nine years. Civic Builders is grateful for Brian’s ongoing guidance and support as Board Chairman Emeritus. In 2019, Civic Builders will open the Olson Family Incubation Center to launch new and growing high-quality schools in the South Bronx.
Brian is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a B.S. in Mathematics and Computing.
Mr. Vipul Tandon is a Managing Director and Head of Credit Opportunities with Siris Capital Group. Together with his colleagues, Mr. Tandon is leading and expanding Siris’s activities in structured credit and junior capital. Prior to joining Siris in 2022, Mr. Tandon served as the Managing Partner of Curated Capital Management and before that a Senior Managing Director at Soros Fund Management and Newlight Partners. He started his career with DLJ Merchant Banking Partners and served in investing and operating roles with Trace International, Frontline Capital Group, Foamex International and American Capital Strategies.
In addition to his work on the Civic Builders Board of Directors, Mr. Tandon is a founding member and co-chair of the NYC Development Council of US Soccer and a former Trustee of Central Queens Academy. Mr. Tandon holds an MBA from INSEAD and a BA in International Relations from University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Economics from University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.
David Sweeny is an independent real estate consultant for PDS Development, a property management company that specializes in the financing and rehabilitation of historic industrial and commercial properties Prior to that, David was the AVP of Real Estate & Facilities with The Children’s Aid Society, which is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative agencies, serving more than 150,000 of New York’s neediest children and their families. Prior to joining Children’s Aid Society, David was Executive Director of the Healing Arts Initiative, President of PDS Development Corporation (PDS), a private real estate development company that has financed and built $300 million of commercial, industrial, and residential real estate in the metro New York area. David also served as President of the Greyston Foundation, a $15 million non-profit organization in Yonkers, New York. Prior to joining Greyston in 2003, David founded the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC) and Civic Builders, and served as CEO of both.
David graduated magna cum laude in Economics from the University of Vermont, where he received both the Eastman Kodak Award and the Converse Award for economic research and publication.
Keith Rand serves as Vice President of Development of New York and Connecticut for Mill Creek Residential. Prior to joining Mill Creek, he was the Vice President of Acquisitions at Stonehenge NYC, a vertically-integrated, privately-owned company, at which he was responsible for overseeing acquisitions, asset management, and portfolio management. During his time at Stonehenge, he acquired over $250 million in multifamily assets, including 920 Park Avenue in Manhattan. Before joining Stonehenge, he was the Senior Director of Investments at Greystar, overseeing acquisitions, asset management, dispositions, and business development in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. At Greystar, Keith led the acquisition of over $570 million in multifamily properties and managed over a $1.1 billion portfolio of multifamily assets.
He started his career at J.P. Morgan, where he underwrote over $5 billion in commercial real estate lending opportunities across the firm’s commercial real estate and community development groups, and he also worked for Silverstein Properties, managing a $1.2 billion portfolio of mixed-used multifamily assets.
Keith graduated with a bachelor of arts from Duke University, an MBA with a major in real estate from the Wharton School, and a master’s degree in public administration with a focus in housing, urban development, and transportation from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He has also studied landlord and tenant law at New York University and entrepreneurship and managerial accounting at the London School of Economics.
Keith is passionate about educational and urban development policies to create opportunities for upward mobility in disadvantaged communities as demonstrated by his experience volunteering for Civic Builders, the Municipal Arts Society’s CitiYouth program, Big Brother/ Big Sister, the Harvard Disaster Recovery Project, and the Harvard Community Development Project.
Eben Ellertson is the Director of Acquisitions at L+M Development Partners. Eben is responsible for acquisitions for the New York Affordable Housing Preservation Fund (NYAH), a real estate private equity fund platform formed between L+M Development Partners and Citi Community Capital.
Through these investment funds, L+M employs value-add strategies to acquire and develop affordable and mixed-income multifamily housing in the New York City metro area. Since its inception in 2010, NYAH has acquired and / or financed the acquisition of over 7,000 multi-family units with a total capitalization of over $1 billion.
Prior to joining L+M, Eben held acquisitions roles at development and investment management firms in New York City. Eben began his career supporting the growth of new small public and charter schools structuring public-private real estate partnerships for the New York City Department of Education during the Bloomberg administration. Eben graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with honors from Wesleyan University.
Genger Charles is the Managing Director, Head of External Affairs and Impact Strategies at Amherst Residential, where she works alongside local and national government officials and agencies to identify and connect Amherst strategy to housing programs and community development efforts. Additionally Genger focuses on ESG (environment, social, governance) work, climate awareness, and environmental initiatives for Amherst.
Simone Brody is the Chairperson of the Board and Senior Advisor of the White House American Rescue Plan Implementation Team and the US Treasury. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of What Works Cities, a Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative partnering with mayors and city leaders around the country to improve the effectiveness of local government. Simone’s career spans the nonprofit, public, and private sectors. She previously led evaluation and accountability for the New York City Department of Education and began her career in finance, first in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and then at Ascend Ventures, investing in early stage education and technology companies.
Ron Beit is the founding partner and CEO of RBH Group, LLC, president of RBH Management, LLC, asset and property management companies, as well as managing member of RBH-TRB Newark Holdings, LLC. Ron has acquired, developed, rehabilitated, and/or operated over 1 million square feet of existing commercial and residential real estate in numerous projects throughout the U.S. as well as over 6 million additional developable square feet in institutional-grade sites throughout downtown, Newark, NJ.
Ron’s professional passion is in Newark, where he has been an active participant in helping the city become New Jersey’s business and entertainment capital and a downtown 24 hour, 7-day-a-week attraction. RBH Group boasts over 79 parcels that were acquired through 30 separate transactions in Newark’s downtown core. Ron is on the New Jersey Committee of the Regional Plan Association and is co-chairman of the board of the New Jersey chapter of Teach for America. He is a board member of the Newark Alliance, St. Benedict’s Preparatory, Integrity House and the Greater Newark Convention and Visitor Bureau. Ron is also an active participant and contributor to several other charities.
Ron and his real estate work in Newark have been featured in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, as well as in the Stoler Report, Sundance Channel’s Brick City television programs and Forbes, Sorenson Impact/Leadership Strategy. Ron was named in New Jersey Biz’s 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 Power 50 in Real Estate and was featured on the “New Jersey Capitol Report” in August 2012. Ron was also awarded the “Partners in Progress Award” at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey (Barnabas Health) in April 2012, and the Newark Regional Business Partnership’s Kevin J. McKenna Leadership Award for 2014. He received the Medal of St. Benedict’s Award for 2015, Chamber Award 2015, AFL-CIO Award. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin, his Juris Doctorate at New York Law School, and has been admitted to both the New York and New Jersey Bar Associations.
Board Secretary, Governance Committee Chair
Khary Barnes is a multidimensional leader that places the customers first, drives change and delivers results by solving problems and aligning key stakeholder interests. Khary has a true passion for innovation, and developing diverse and talented teams. He is known for his approachable, energetic, and charismatic leader style.
Khary is the Managing Director, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development at JPMorgan Chase. Formerly, Khary was a Vice President and General Manager of Global Commercial Services for American Express, serving as the global executive lead for American Express’ largest and most strategic commercial customers around the globe. Prior to Global Commercial Services, Khary led transactions within the Corporate Development Group where he negotiated acquisitions, investments, divestitures, and joint ventures and partnerships globally for American Express.
Khary began his career at Lehman Brothers as an investment banker specializing in securitization, asset based lending, and financing for mergers & acquisitions and leverage buyout transactions. Khary leverages his background in finance, strategy and business operations, and track record in client management to advise Fortune 500, multinational companies and senior executives on their global enterprise payment strategy.
He is an outspoken proponent of civic engagement and public service. He was selected as a 2017-2018 David Rockefeller Fellow by the Partnership for New York City as well as a 2018 Network Journal 40 Under 40. Khary earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Cornell University, and a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
David Loo is the Vice-Chairman and Treasurer of Civic Builders’ Board of Directors. David is a founding member and Managing Partner of Hudson Realty Capital, a real estate private equity firm that makes debt and equity investments in middle market transactions throughout the U.S. Prior to founding Hudson, David was a Managing Director at Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB). While at CSFB, David formed the Portfolio Bids Group, created to invest in and manage commercial mortgage debt and real estate equity investments. David was also a member of CSFB’s Real Estate Investment Committee.
Brahm Cramer is the Co-Chief Investment Officer of Prospect Ridge.
Prior to the formation of Prospect Ridge, Brahm was a partner at AllianceBernstein (AB) and together with Jay Nydick, founded its U.S. Real Estate Investments group in 2009 and Commercial Real Estate Debt Group in 2013.
Prior to AB, Mr. Cramer was a partner at Goldman Sachs, where he served as co-head of the Real Estate Principal Investment Area; co-chaired the Whitehall investment committees and served as chief financial officer of the Whitehall funds; served on the Firmwide Risk Committee; and oversaw the firm’s balance-sheet real estate positions.
He holds a BCom (Hons) from Queen’s University in Canada and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Mr. Cramer also serves on the Prospect Ridge, AB Real Estate Partners and AB Commercial Real Estate Debt Investment Committees.
Senior Loan Officer
Elyssa Garcia is a Senior Loan Officer with Civic Builders and works as an underwriter working with charter schools. She has worked in a variety of different roles within education. Prior to joining Civic, she worked on the Education Team at Raza Development Fund working in a similar role with schools, and lending partners nationwide. Before RDF, Elyssa worked for an accommodation school district and county superintendent of schools’ office. She has a passion for serving low-income families and students at risk of dropping out of school.
Elyssa graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Grand Canyon University.
Head of Lending Compliance
As the Head of Lending Compliance, Barb manages and oversees the compliance aspects of the rapidly growing portfolio of charter school facilities and loans.
Prior to joining Civic Builders, Barb worked for many years in state service including charter authorizing with SUNY Charter Schools Institute as the Managing Director of Finance and Operations for the portfolio of 220+ charters. She is also a well-seasoned accountant/auditor having spent numerous years in public accounting and forensic investigative auditing.
Barb holds a B.A. in Accounting/Economic from SUNY Oneonta and holds a NYS Real Estate Associate Brokers License.
Bringing over 25 years of work experience in accounting/auditing with an emphasis on non-profit organizations, including 12 years in charter authorizing, Barb is passionate about and well-versed in the charter sector.
Madeleine is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator. She is responsible for raising awareness of Civic Builders’s mission and work by overseeing the development of all marketing and
Prior to joining Civic, Madeleine was a Communications Associate for Ascendus, a nonprofit lender that supports underserved small business owners through loans and financial education. Madeleine holds a BA degree in Creative Writing from SUNY Purchase College.
Real Estate Investment Manager
Ross Hoffman is a Real Estate Investment Manager with Civic Builders and assists senior staff members with underwriting prospective investments for the Facilities Investment Fund as well as managing the deployment of New Markets Tax Credits.
Ross previously worked as a Real Estate Appraiser for Metropolitan Valuation Services, a New York City-based real estate appraisal firm, performing valuation and due diligence work.
Ross holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Environmental Policy from Williams College. At Williams, Ross served on the building committee for new dormitory housing and volunteered as a tutor at a local elementary school.
Francesca is responsible for supporting the design and implementation of Civic’s fundraising and development strategy, and engaging our valued network of partners and supporters.
Francesca holds a MPA in public and nonprofit management from NYU and a BA from Middlebury College. She has ten years experience in fundraising and development at a range of nonprofit organizations. Her most recent role was Development Associate at Match Education, an education nonprofit that is committed to delivering extraordinary results to its charter school students and promoting innovation in education nationwide.
As a member of the Finance team, Jonathan supports senior underwriters and management executing facility financing transactions for high-performing charter schools utilizing Civic Builders’ dedicated loan programs.
Prior to joining Civic, Jonathan worked as an independent private equity real estate consultant to fund managers, specializing in the build out of underwriting models, investor presentations, and asset management systems for growing market-rate residential and affordable housing investment funds. Earlier in his career, Jonathan honed his investment analysis accumen while working at Ashcroft Capital, where he helped close over $650mm in multifamily transactions.
Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Accounting and Finance from Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, where he served as a teaching assistant for Financial Modelling coursework and held Summer Analyst positions at Morgan Stanley and hedge fund Blue Ridge Capital.
Ryan Alexander has extensive experience in scaling nonprofit, as well as for-profit organizations. Most recently, Ryan was Co-Founder and President of LightSail Education, where he grew the company to serve 500 schools representing more than 300,000 students at the time the company was acquired by an international private equity firm in early 2018. Previously, as the Chief Financial Officer of Success Academy Charter Schools, Ryan helped manage the rapid expansion of NYC’s highest-performing and fastest-growing charter organization from an annual budget of $40 million to more than $140 million in three years. Prior to Success Academy, Ryan was Managing Partner at Argyle Holdings and oversaw the acquisition, financing and development of premier residential properties in Northern Manhattan. Earlier in his career, Ryan was President and COO of the enterprise messaging company Omnipod Inc. (now a division of Symantec) until its sale and worked for several years in financial services for Wit Capital (now a division of Charles Schwab), Lazard Frères and Smith Barney.
Ryan graduated with honors from Lafayette College with a BA in economics and psychology.
Eli Robertson is a Design and Construction Project Manager for Civic Builders. She is responsible for construction project management and is involved in the lifecycle of a project from pre-development work with architects and engineers through to the end of construction, ensuring projects finish on time and budget.
Prior to joining Civic Builders, Eli was an Assistant Construction Project Manager with New Line Structures, where she provided onsite management for multiple interior trades for the ground-up construction of a luxury condo and rental building.
Eli holds an MA in Architecture from Columbia University and a BS in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and is a licensed Architect in the state of New York.
Ellen joined Civic Builders in 2013 and currently serves as the organization’s VP of Strategy and Development. In this role, Ellen stewards Civic Builders’ relationships with various stakeholders including the Board of Directors, partner schools, and a network of supporters, and helps to set the essential framework for monitoring our progress and impact as an organization. Ellen works across teams to ensure Civic Builders performs effectively to support high-quality charter schools. She enjoys working on many aspects of our process and is passionate about continuing Civic Builders’ mission. As a proud Rhode Islander, Ellen is especially interested in Civic Builders’ collaboration with RI charter schools. A long-time volunteer in RI public schools, she is ecstatic to be helping children from her home state receive a great education.
Ellen received a combined BA/MA degree from St. John’s University in Government and Politics with a specialty in International Relations.
Frank Buccola serves as Civic Builders’ Vice President of Accounting. Frank has worked with Civic Builders since 2004 and has deep institutional knowledge of the organization. In his VP of Accounting capacity, Frank is responsible for the accounting and financial reporting obligations of Civic Builders. With over twenty years of accounting experience, Frank manages all aspects of accounting at Civic Builders including general ledgers, budgets, audits, tax returns, financial statement presentation, and grantor financial reporting. Frank also assists with loan negotiating, compliance, and construction budgeting.
Before his time at Civic Builders, Frank worked in both accounting and consulting roles for numerous small and start-up businesses across a variety of industries. Frank has also served as the Controller for Visible Path Corporation, a social networking software developer, and as the Director of Administration for Rare Medium Group, a website development and venture capital investment company. Frank started his career as an accountant with Deloitte and & Touche LLP.
Frank graduated with a BS in Accounting from Georgetown University (1996).
As a member of the Finance Team, Gabriel supports senior underwriters executing facility financing transactions for high-performing charter schools utilizing Civic Builders’ dedicated loan programs. Prior to joining Civic Builders, Gabriel previously worked as an Audit Associate at JP. Morgan Chase, analyzing risks associated with asset management alternative investments. His risk-based asset analysis coupled with an ambition to execute Real Estate at its highest level has led him to pursue this mission-driven organization that supports quality education in the communities that need it the most.
Gabriel holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Florida A&M University, where he served as VP of the Real Estate Club and held summer analyst positions at Hudson City Savings Bank as a Loan Analyst and Gateway Investment Partners LLC. as a Private Equity Analyst.
Senior Asset Manager, Lending
Jenny joined Civic Builders in 2018, with a focus on the Facilities Investment Fund. Jenny aims to ensure a smooth process for all parties involved with the Facilities Investment Fund. She focuses on new ways to streamline the development and procedures for managing loans post-close. Jenny developed and implemented the construction disbursement and monitoring process for FIF. Through 2022, Jenny has contributed to the commitment, closing and ongoing monitoring of more than 30 charter schools, totaling $330M+ in committed loans.
Previously, Jenny worked in the Alternative Investments Group with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and prior to that as a Health Economist at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. During her years at BAML, Jenny oversaw the customized investment portfolio team and built custom investment allocations across hedge funds, private equity and real estate for foundations, endowments, institutions and high net worth individuals. She focused on meeting each client’s individual investment goals and objectives. While in Switzerland, Jenny focused on the pricing and distribution strategy across immunizations, vaccines and biologicals, particularly in third world countries.
Jenny is passionate about education, health and environmental impact. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing up at Alta, UT and volunteering with canine rescue organizations. Jenny graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. degree in Biometry and Statistics from Cornell University.
Keyarra is an Accounting Associate with Civic. Keyarra works with the accounting team to maintain, analyze and reconcile Civic Builders accounts and financial reporting on a regular basis. Keyarra also provides support to the asset management team with the maintenance of Civic Builders’ real estate development, lending and tax credit investment portfolios.
Keyarra previously worked as an accountant at a non-profit company, where her responsibilities included oversight and maintenance of privately funded programs, and financial reporting across both private and state/city funded programs. Keyarra was part of a core team who implemented internal audits in the company to ensure compliance with company financial obligations.
Keyarra holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Connecticut (UConn).
Monique is excited to join the Civic Builders team as Senior Accountant. Previously, Monique worked as an AR Revenue Accountant with FOCUS Brands where she was responsible for Schlotzsky’s royalties billing and revenue recognition. She also spent seven years as a Fund Accountant with the Salvation Army Southern Territorial Headquarters.
Monique has a Master of Accounting and Finance from Keller Graduate School of Management.
Robert is an Investment Manager with Civic Builders and leads the underwriting of prospective investments on behalf of the company’s several funds.
Prior to joining Civic Builders, Robert served as General Counsel for an oil and gas company based in New York where he managed all transactional and compliance matters. He is also an experienced real estate investor, having spent over a decade in principal roles on deals across multiple asset classes, closing transactions with total enterprise value of over $3Bn. Robert started his career as an attorney with the firm KMZ Rosenman and spent several years with the real estate investment banking group at Morgan Stanley.
Robert holds a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University, as well as a Juris Doctor and a Masters in Real Estate from New York University.
Sean is an Asset Management Associate with Civic Builders, working with both New Markets Tax Credits and Facilities Investment Fund projects to maintain post-closing compliance and operations.
Prior to joining Civic Builders, Sean worked in real estate at a mortgage lending startup and for a residential brokerage on the East End of Long Island. Sean also worked for five years as an elementary educator with both Teach for America and a high-performing charter school in Brooklyn, New York, which is where he developed a passion for educational equity.
Sean holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Marian University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Indiana University.
Lenny Dymond joined Civic Builders in 2010 as Project Manager. Lenny is responsible for construction project management and works alongside the design and business development teams to monitor the feasibility, cost, and design of a number of the organization’s projects. Prior to joining Civic, Lenny worked as a General Contractor and Construction Manager for Magnetic Construction Group (2001-2010), where he led project management and pre-construction on commercial, residential, hospitality, and retail projects, including charter school and university facilities.
Lenny graduated with a BA in Communications from University of Nevada, Las Vegas (1995).
As the VP of Talent, Yvonne will lead the continued development and integration of all aspects of Civic’s human resources (HR), recruitment and retention strategies, and performance management functions. In her efforts, she will focus on fostering a healthy, and productive work culture that promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
Yvonne has her MBA with a concentration in Human Resource Management and B.S. in Management Science and Information Systems. Most recently, she’s worked at the New York City Department of Education as the Executive Director of the Office of Organizational Development, Talent and Culture.
Bringing over 20 years of work experience in large urban school districts and non-profit organizations, Yvonne is passionate about education, inspiring human-centered leadership, and building inclusive workplace cultures.
As a member of the Finance Team, Daniel manages Civic Builders’ New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program and executes facility financing transactions for high-performing charter schools utilizing Civic Builders’ dedicated loan programs.
Prior to joining Civic Builders, Daniel was a Program Director at New Jersey Community Capital, where his responsibilities included overseeing all aspects of the organization’s NMTC program, which received $170 million in allocation over the most recent four years, as well as lending to high-impact community and economic development projects across the state of New Jersey.
Daniel holds a Master of Public Affairs and Politics with a concentration in community and economic development from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, as well as a Master of Political and Administrative Sciences from the University of Konstanz.
Audeliz is Civic Builders’ Asset Manager. In this role, Audeliz is responsible for monitoring the operations of all of Civic Builders’ school buildings and ensuring each property remains in compliance across a variety of metrics.
Audeliz comes to Civic Builders with three years of Asset Management experience with Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties. In his previous role, his main responsibility was to monitor all properties under development, guaranteeing each project was completed on-time and on-budget. In addition, Audeliz was responsible for collecting all monthly, quarterly, and annual reports for his firm’s investors.
Audeliz holds an MBA in Finance from NYU Stern School of Business and a BS in Engineering from Rutgers University.
Angie is the Vice President of Capital Solutions with Civic Builders and has been with the organization since 2017. Angie leads the team on developing and managing innovative lending products to serve the public charter school sector nationwide.
Angie’s experience with charter school finance began as a Consultant at Public Financial Management, Inc., where she worked as a financial advisor to a wide range of education and non-profit institutions on capital planning decisions and the best means of accessing capital, either through the a debt issuance in the capital markets or a loan from commercial bank lenders. She continued to grow her knowledge of the facilities finance landscape for charter schools as a Director at Fitch Ratings, where she participated actively in the management of the company’s charter school ratings portfolio. After business school, Angie joined Johnson & Johnson as a Finance Manager for the consumer innovation team before her passion for improving access to high quality, public education led her back into the charter school space and to Civic Builders.
Angie holds an MBA in Finance and Leadership & Change Management from the NYU Stern School of Business and an AB in Government from Harvard College.
Alexandra is the Administrative and Operations Coordinator. She is responsible for overseeing all staff operations and managing the day to day of the office. Previously, Alex worked as an Operations Team Lead for a Business Management firm for entertainers. In her free time she likes to volunteer in animal shelters and working with schools to raise money, supplies and awareness for kids in need of the correct tools to get a great education.
Alexandra holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality from Fairleigh Dickson University.
David Umansky co-founded Civic Builders in 2002 to ensure real estate will never be a barrier to an excellent education. Annually, over 27,000 students learn in 35 inspiring Civic Builders school buildings in some of the most under-served communities in the country. As Chief Executive Officer, David is responsible for the overall strategy and direction of Civic Builders. Under David’s leadership, Civic Builders has been recognized with the Social Entrepreneurship Award from the Manhattan Institute, the Social Capitalist award from Fast Company/Monitor Group, and is the recipient of many design awards.
David serves as a member of the Low-Income Investment Fund’s Eastern Region Advisory Committee and as a member of the Goldman Sachs New Market Tax Credit Community Development Entity. David holds an MBA in Finance and International Business from New York University, and a B.A. with Honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Additionally, David is a Leadership New York Coro and Pahara Fellow.