HOPE COMMUNITY, INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Brad Beckstrom
board_directors_brad_beckstrom_imgChair
Board Member Brad Beckstrom is a seasoned hospital and health system advocate and government relations expert with over 20 years of Capitol Hill/State Government experience in hospital and health system advocacy and public policy, government relations, political strategy, health policy development and analysis. Currently he is the Director of Government and Community Relations at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Mr. Beckstrom also volunteers at his church and is the father of three lovely girls.

Jonathan Vazconnes
Vice Chair
Jonathan manages the M&T Charitable Foundation’s grants to non-profits servicing low-to-moderate income communities in New York City, and serves as the bank’s regional   Community Reinvestment Act officer for Metro New York. Prior to joining M&T, he developed his expertise in economic development as a Loan Officer at the Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, a Researcher at Endeavor Chile, and an Operations Consultant at Bolsas Reutizables in Santiago de Chile. Additionally, he delivers workshops on leadership development, social change, and success to students from low-income families from across New York City.  Jonathan received his B.A. in Economics and Philosophy from CUNY Queens College and currently resides in Forest Hills, Queens.

Anthony Nelson
Treasurer
Anthony Nelson moved to the United States at the start of 2016, joining Credit Suisse as Vice President Strategy & Controls for Group Finance IT, responsible for financial controls and the strategic roadmap of the division.  
 
Prior to this Anthony performed a variety of project delivery and strategic/transformation roles across the Finance, Technology and Marketing functions at ANZ bank in Australia.  Key achievements include the implementation of a new finance support team in Manila, Philippines, and the creation of a new business architecture service offering for the technology function.
 
Anthony also has an entrepreneurial streak, and as co-founder is on course to release an app later in the year that offers an improved way to source travel recommendations.

Gemma Thomas
board_directors_kathy_benson_imgSecretary
Gemma Thomas is the Training Academy Manager for the New York City Housing Authority. As manager, she oversees daily operations, evaluation, and maintains existing partnerships, while developing strategies for continued growth and expansion. She holds a graduate degree in Public Administration and has over 10 years of experience in the field. She has previously worked in workforce development, human resources, economic opportunity and social innovation programming. She began her association with Hope Community through a previous role as a Program Manager and is fully invested in the property management and tenant side of Hope Community operations. 

Roger Cabán
board_directors_roger_caban_imgA proud native of El Barrio, Roger Cabán has been a resident of East Harlem for most of his life. In addition to his vocation as a social worker for Casa Mutua and Pathways to Housing, Mr. Cabán is also a well-respected photographer and a founding member of En Foco, a non-profit organization that highlights the work of Latino shutterbugs. Now retired from the workforce, Roger focuses his attention on advocating for East Harlem housing and culture. Mr. Cabán became a Board member in 1993 and helped found the organizations annual poetry series, Poetas con Café, as well as the Ortiz-Wittenberg Art Gallery. He served as Chair from 1997 to 2002, and most recently from 2005 to 2009. “Soy hijo legitimo de el Barrio,” Roger is fond of saying, to explain his lifelong passion.

Stacy Crawford
board_directors_stacy_crawford_imgMs. Crawford has been a board member since 1998, connecting with Hope Community through an organization called Volunteer Consulting Group, which matches professionals in the financial and business arena with non-profit organizations. She has strong interest in real estate development, education and homelessness. Although she is a Professor and Deputy Chair at Monroe College School of Business and Accounting, Ms. Crawford sees her work with Hope as a necessary part of her life. Ms.Crawford is an active member in her community. In addition to volunteering at Hope, she also serves as a team parent/manager for the Riverbank Mites Youth Hockey Team and a team manager with Harlem Little League's Tee Ball Division. Ms. Crawford encourages all Hope tenants to share their feedback and ideas with the Board and its management.

Carlos Diaz
board_directors_carlos_diaz_imgCarlos Diaz, one of six children, was born and raised in East Harlem to a humble blue collar household. Carlos is a shining example of dedication and love for his community. This is evident in the amount of time and effort he constantly expends in civic activities for his beloved “Barrio”. Carlos sits on the New York Telephone and Con Edison Advisory Committees and is involved with the George Conroy Educational Fund, an organization that gives scholarships to elementary school youngsters. He is a founding member of the East 111th Street Old-Timers made up of past and present East Harlem residents; many of which have become doctors, lawyers, judges, elected officials, professionals from all walks of life that are committed to supporting the youth of today’s El Barrio. Carlos also serves on the East Harlem Council for Community Improvement (EHCCI) Board, is currently the Chairperson of PROGRESS Inc. a prominent longest standing provider of Technical Assistance services to Latino Community Based Organizations throughout New York.Mr. Diaz is currently a Consultant to the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center promoting significant health care initiatives to the special needs population in the East Harlem community.

William Ofenloch
board_directors_william_ofenloch_imgHope’s founding Executive Director, George Calvert, invited Mr. Ofenloch, a Long Island native and graduate of Cathedral College in Douglaston, Queens, to join the Board in 1979. He lived on 103rd Street and was active in the Revive 103 planning process – one of Hope’s first building initiatives. Mr. Ofenloch is a self-employed handyman, plumber and longtime Board member within his own building on 102nd Street, contributing his diverse skills and experience. He is also a peace activist.

Ann C. Henderson
board_directors_ann_c_henderson_img
Ann Henderson has been affiliated with Hope since the early '80s. She resided in East Harlem for over twenty years, before moving to the Bronx. She is dedicated to Hope's vision of improving East Harlem's housing stock. As Associate Director for Cooperative Preservation at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, Ms. Henderson brings extensive experience working in the NYC not-for-profit housing field as well as her ties with East Harlem’s low-income co-ops. She strongly believes tenants should be involved in building repair, neighborhood policing, and supports selling buildings to tenants as an ultimate goal in encouraging their autonomy and success.

Brian Blake

Brian Blake is a Vice President in Morgan Stanley's Global Sustainable Finance group, where he supports community reinvestment (CRA) activity for the Firm's national bank subsidiaries. 

Prior to Morgan Stanley, Brian served as the CRA Officer at two New York banks: Spring Bank, a Bronx-based development bank serving low income neighborhoods; and Bridgehampton National Bank, a commercial bank in New York City and Long Island. Outside of the office, Brian serves on the credit committee of Business Outreach Center Capital (BOC), a city-wide CDFI micro lender. 

Brian holds a B.A. from Dickinson College, and an M.B.A from Baruch College, CUNY.

Michael Collazo Jr.
Michael has over 15 years of real estate experience working for the nation’s leading Low-Income Housing Tax Credit syndicators and investors.  A former Hope Community Inc. employee, Michael is currently a Senior Asset Manager with WNC & Associates Inc. responsible for the financial performance of a large high profile portfolio located primarily on the East coast.  His ability to mitigate risk, protect investor equity and create and increase asset value is attributed to his success in establishing and building long term business relationships.  Michael resides in Westchester County with his wife and daughter.
Kevin Barrett
board_directors_kevin_barret_img
Board Member Kevin Barrett has 30 years of public service in education and human rights, spending the past 15 years as a real estate professional. He has been a mortgage banker, property manager, and real estate broker. Currently, he is an Associate Broker with Platinum Properties specializing in commercial real estate. Shortly after moving to East Harlem, he was introduced to Hope. Barrett was raised in the theater and still sings opera in local theaters in the New York metro area.