Our team brings decades of industry expertise in finance, real estate, and services to help charter schools increase their impact. It is our honor to build hope for students nationwide.
For more information about how Building Hope can help your charter school succeed, or to find out how to invest in the mission, please fill out the short form below.
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William D. Hansen
Bill joined Building Hope in October of 2022 as President and CEO. Bill has extensive experience in the corporate, government, investment, social impact, philanthropy, education, and public policy arenas. Prior to Building Hope, he was President and CEO of the Strada Education Network, where he created a $2 billion national social impact fund. Bill also served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education under George W. Bush and as Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget and CFO earlier in his career. In 2022, he was appointed to the State Board of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and he serves on the board of Green Street Impact Partners and several education-related boards, including The Jackie Robinson Foundation and Youth for Tomorrow.
S. Joseph Bruno
Joe was Building Hope’s first hire in 2003 and has since overseen and directed all aspects of the organization’s operations. A certified public accountant, Joe has 50 years of accounting, finance, business, and management experience, including as a partner in two Big-4 accounting firms and as the CFO of a public company. He has not only expanded Building Hope’s reach (from Washington, D.C. to as far south as Florida and as far west as California) but its program offerings.
(202) 457-1993 | Ext. 1001
Senior Vice President of Real Estate & Finance
Lance came to Building Hope in 2017 with significant experience as an accountant in the audit practice at Ernst & Young and in the transaction services practice at PriceWaterhouseCoopers; a finance and strategic planning manager at National Express Corporation, a K-12 student transportation operator; and Director of Finance at LearnZillion, a K-12 education technology company. Lance has also served as a Board Director and Treasurer for Lee Montessori Public Charter School in Washington, DC. He is a CPA and holds Finance & Accounting and Masters of Accounting degrees from Miami University of Ohio.
(202) 591-1114 | Ext. 1003
Chief Marketing Officer
Sherilyn brings a diverse spectrum of educational, entertainment, and business leadership experience to her role of shining a light on Building Hope’s Impact. It is her honor to help expand educational opportunities for students nationwide by making connections and sparking growth in the charter school community.
She serves on the Minneola Charter School Board of Directors, the Turtle’s Nest Early Learning Center Board, and the Educational Growth Fund board. Her Master’s is in Creative Writing from University of Central Florida, and her Bachelor’s in is Finance from University of South Florida.
Vice President of Business Development
Allison Serafin brings experience, accomplishment and energy to her responsibilities at Building Hope. Allison has more than 20 years in the education field, including time as an elected member of the Nevada State Board of Education. She helped raise more than $40 million for IDEA Public Charter School in her hometown of Houston and was Domestic Portfolio Director at Dovetail Impact Foundation. Allison is a dedicated Peloton bicyclist. She earned a BS in Political Science at Texas Christian University and an MS in Social Work at the University of Texas-Arlington.
Michael plays a lead role in drafting and reviewing loan and real estate related documents, as well as serving as corporate secretary to handle corporate governance matters. He has been with Building Hope since 2014. Michael has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from Duquesne University, and is a member in good standing of the Maryland Bar. He lives in Rockville, Maryland with his wife and his dog Barkley.
(202) 457-1992 | Ext. 1002
Director of Business Development
Lauren Allen brings nearly a decade of experience from the charter school realm to Building Hope Real Estate. Lauren started as a math teacher at Kenilworth Science and Technology School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and later served as the Director of Community Affairs. She facilitated the growth and expansion of Kenilworth, increased outreach to parents and families, and organized events that grew to attract thousands in attendance. Lauren graduated from the University of Rochester in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Studio Art. In 2020, Lauren completed a BS in Nursing from Southeastern Louisiana University.
Adam is responsible for building and expanding relationships with charter schools in the Northeast Region. He provides support for growing school campuses, through direct development and client engagement. Prior to joining Building Hope, Mr. Koonin was a National Relationship Manager, serving some of the largest public-school districts with procurement and expansion projects. He is an alumnus of the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University.
(954) 645-8071 | Ext. 2410
Director of Marketing
Karen has over 17 years of leadership experience fostering collaborations, securing buy-in across organizational levels, and motivating teams in the education industry. Coupled with her degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing, she is equipped with the knowledge and expertise needed to lead with a community-centered, relationship-building focus as Director of Marketing at Building Hope.
Karen’s background in commercial real estate, and marketing, along with her passion for excellent education, led her to own and operate Montessori schools and launch public charter schools to make a difference in the lives of families and communities. She is committed to ensuring all students have access to high-quality educational opportunities.
Assistant Marketing Associate
Joshua E. Jomarron is current Undergraduate at the George Washington University majoring in Political Science in hopes to make the world a better place. As a charter school alumnus, he brings a diverse insight to how we serve our students and is an exemplary example of our impact at Building Hope.
He also serves as President of Key to Knowledge, a small nonprofit missioned to improving education in developing countries, that served over 450 students in Honduras, Cuba, Venezuela, Guatemala and Puerto Rico.
(202) 591-1100 | Ext. 1802
Elizabeth (Ellie) Bonilla
Executive Assistant/Event Manager
Ellie brings over 25 years of administrative experience to her role at Building Hope. Her varied skill sets in organization and communication as well as attention to detail have been used in several diverse industries especially in educational environments. She has a special connection to children of all ages and wants to see them succeed.
In addition, she has shared her knack for event planning with family and friends for years and is excited to put that to use in a professional setting.
Ellie likes to apply her creativity to crafting and decorating projects in her spare time.
President of Finance
Robin leads Building Hope Finance’s effort to provide charter schools with tailored, cost-effective facility financing options. He has vast experience in structured finance and in working with non-profits. He began his career in commercial real estate, financing over $3 billion worth of real estate across the US. He also leveraged this background to bring innovative financial structures to non-profit organizations, including Charter schools. Robin divides his time between Washington, DC and Philadelphia. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
(202) 457-1989 | Ext. 1006
Vice President of Finance
Tim is responsible for financial reporting and operations for both Building Hope Finance and Building Hope Services. He came to Building Hope in 2015 with over 15 years of experience accounting, finance, and operations. A certified public accountant, Tim has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from North Carolina A&T State University and an MBA from University of Maryland University College. He is married with four children and lives in Upper Marlboro, MD.
(202) 457-1995 | Ext. 1102
Chief Credit Officer
Cecilia Walker, Chief Credit Officer, joined Building Hope in February 2020. Ms. Walker oversees all aspects of credit risk assessment and credit management control for the organization. Cecilia began her career in the banking industry. In 2003, Ms. Walker transitioned into the impact investing arena and she has held positions of leadership at the Fannie Mae Foundation, Fannie Mae, Opportunity Finance Network and the Calvert Foundation. Ms. Walker is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
(202) 921-7260 | Ext. 1205
Esther began her accounting career at a non-profit educational institution in 2014, where she realized the importance of assisting others receive a strong education. She joined Building Hope in 2020, and her current role is to support the financial reporting and operations of Building Hope Finance and Building Hope Services. Esther received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting at Washington Adventist University and is currently pursuing an MBA degree at Fitchburg State University. Esther currently resides in Maryland.
(202) 921-6514 | Ext. 1105
Leda M. DiLeonardo
Leda joined Building Hope in 2016. As loan administrator, she is responsible for maintaining compliance on loans and real estate transactions. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Oral Roberts University and has extensive experience in the banking and health care industries, and started her professional career as a Special Agent for the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.
(202) 591-1111 | Ext. 1201
Alice is responsible for maintaining the accounts receivable portfolios across all three Building Hope divisions. She first joined the company in 2009 as an administrative assistant, later became office manager, and took on her current position with Building Hope’s 2019 reorganization.
(202) 457-1988 | Ext. 1101
President of Real Estate
Dru is responsible for oversight and management of all Building Hope Real Estate investment opportunities in educational facilities. He joined Building Hope in 2015 with 20 years’ experience in community-based development; real estate; and construction of charter school, retail, and entertainment projects. He has been an active member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Rowland Hall School. Dru holds a B.S. in Management Information Systems from Fairfield University.
(202) 591-1105 | Ext. 3001
Vice President of Real Estate
Jerry Zayets is responsible for managing the development and construction process for BHRE. In conjunction with his team, he manages acquisition, entitlements and project management, pre-construction, and construction management. He also advises schools on site selection, construction management, and project affordability. Prior to joining BHRE, Jerry was the Director of Acquisitions and Development for Capital City real estate, where he implemented large-scale mixed-use development projects. He is a graduate of University of Maryland and holds a master’s degree from its School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. For more than 5 years Jerry has served on the Board of Trustees for Creative Minds International, a public charter school in Washington, D.C.
(202) 591-1116 | Ext. 1303
Director of Construction Operations
Brady Hutchins is the Director of Construction Operations at Building Hope. He started his career as an intern for a commercial construction company in Eagle, Idaho, and on his first day of work, met Dru Damico, Building Hope’s President of Real Estate. Hutchins completed the construction of five schools in three years before leaving Idaho and joining Damico’s team in 2020. He finished 11 school projects in his first two years and has seven more on the books for 2023. Hutchins earned a B.A. in Construction Management from Boise State University in 2017.
Director of Real Estate Development
Elizabeth Barlow-Gupta is a leader who brings people, ideas and operations together. With a career marked by diversity across industries, delivering in challenging environments and success through relationships, her experience guides organizations with fresh direction focusing on working beyond obstacles.
Elizabeth comes to Building Hope after managing a commercial construction firm specializing in construction management and design-build projects. Previously she held leadership positions in the mining industry both in the United States and Australia with key accomplishments in operational excellence and communications.
Elizabeth holds a BS in Anthropology from the University of Utah. Government Politics and Journalism. She has two courageous young boys and considers their growth and development her greatest accomplishment.
Elizabeth has served on The Board of Directors of the Salt Lake City Library System, Seeds of Peace, The Governor’s Mansion Artist Series, and held various positions on committees with community organizations.
Director of Finance & Accounting
Vanessa has worked in tax consulting, compliance, and a variety of other accounting and operations roles for non-profit organizations, including arts and educational institutions. She has a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and dance from Muhlenberg College and a Master’s of Accounting with a tax emphasis from the College of William and Mary.
(202) 591-1103 | Ext. 1302
Investment and Data Analyst
Iliya joined Building Hope in May 2022. Previously, he worked as an ESG and Sustainability Associate at Bridge Investment Group, and as a Fixed Income and ESG Product Analyst at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Iliya graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University-Idaho, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Financial Economics. Additionally, Iliya is a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) charterholder since August 2022.
Justin works with charter schools to plan, design, construct and occupy facilities. Prior to joining Building Hope, Justin was a Project Manager at a general contracting company, where he managed new construction and renovation projects. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from Morgan State University.
Sherece is the Paralegal to Michael D’Alessandro, Building Hope’s General Counsel. She came to Building Hope in 2018 with a background in the real estate and title insurance industries.
(202) 591- 1119 | Ext. 1801
President of Services
Mr. Moreno is President of Building Hope Services, LLC and is a registered Municipal Advisor. Mr. Moreno oversees the daily operations of Building Hope’s financial advisory, back office and support services. Mr. Moreno has been involved in over $2 Billion in charter school financings. He holds an MBA from Florida Atlantic University and a BS in Finance with honors from the University of Florida.. With over 19 years of CFO experience with various business enterprises including serving as a CFO for a National Bank. He also has served as Chairman of the Florida School of Excellence Commission, and is currently a member of the Florida charter School Appeal Commission.
(954) 317-1363 | Ext. 2001
Director of Charter School Operations
Curtis leads the Charter Support Unit, providing operational assistance to help charter schools improve efficiencies. He was formerly the principal of a high-performing public charter school in Florida. Curtis holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University and a bachelor’s in Education from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh.
(727) 223-6391 | Ext. 2002
Assistant Director of Charter School Operations
Trisha joined Building Hope in 2019 with a background as an educator and school administrator. She enjoys assisting charter schools in moving toward their missions and visions. Trisha has a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She lives in Florida and dedicates her free time to her husband and two daughters. She also loves music and has performed on piano at the United Nations (both Vienna and New York), St. Petersburg Cathedral, Carnegie Hall, and best of all, in schools for children.
(850) 848-4757 | Ext. 2402
Christine has served as an educator, school administrator and executive director of a system of four charter schools in the state of Florida. Throughout her career she has helped with all phases of charter school operations ranging from the writing of the charter application to the successful replication of a high-performing charter school. She joined the Charter Support Unit in 2021 with a desire to support charter schools meet their mission and goals for student success. Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Florida International University and a master’s degree in Reading Education from Nova Southeastern University.
(754) 247-4333 | Ext. 2411
Business Manager Liaison
Joan is a charter school business manager, covering areas such as financial accountability, policy and quality control. She is also a grant writer, and serves as an AdvancED (Cognia) Charter School Accreditation Team Member at the PreK to High School level. Joan began her career teaching business administration and accounting principles, then worked in the charter school system as a technology coordinator, systems administrator, human resource generalist, and National Lunch Program Director. In her free time, she works as a freelance graphic artist.
(954) 317-1367 | Ext. 2408
Rafael oversees the budgeting process for charter school clients in Florida. Prior to joining Building Hope in 2017, he spent 25 years running investment portfolios for various banks in Miami. Rafael has a degree in Finance from Florida International University. He lives in Miami with his wife and 3 children.
(786) 655-4955 | Ext. 2405
Charter Support Manager
With over 20 years of experience teaching and leading in public, charter, and independent schools, Dana is well aware of great practices in education and school operations. In her roles as Executive Director for district-managed charters at Miami-Dade County Public Schools as well as Director of Finance and Human Resources of a network of seven schools in Broward and Palm Beach Counties, Dana has gained experience providing start-up, educational, operational, and financial support services to portfolios of charter schools while respecting the independence, autonomy, and unique missions of each school. Dana is eager to bring her expertise to the Charter Support Unit to provide technical assistance, professional development, and a menu of services to charter schools throughout Florida.
Dana holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Secondary English Education from Florida International University as well as a Master’s degree in Private School Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Controller of Charter School Business Services
Kevin manages business transactions for public charter schools in Florida. He is an active CPA. His background includes leadership in the medical staffing, environmental services, and investment sectors, with expertise in budgeting, accounting, finance, and business administration. Kevin has helped start-up companies to grow and become competitive and helped mature companies to maintain their high standards. He has a Finance Degree with a risk management concentration from Virginia Tech and an MBA from Florida State University.
(954) 317-1366 | Ext. 2404
Senior Accountant of Charter School Business Services
Mark’s work with Building Hope Services includes financial reporting; representing the organization and its partner schools at school board meetings; joining school representatives to attend workshops on grants and other financial programs; and advising schools in accounting, business, and other professional aspects that draw on his many years of experience as CFO for a publicly traded company. He is a graduate of American University and attended NY Law school.
(954) 317-1364 | Ext. 2403
Becky joined Building Hope in February 2020 with a background in municipal bond finance. In her previous work as an analyst for a national investment banking firm, she helped structure financings for charter school and local government clientele. Her work involved all facets of the capital debt market financing process, from preparation of bond documents to coordinating rating agencies, bond insurers, and legal counsels, leading to successful closings for dozens of public finance clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Post-Baccalaureate Accounting Certificate from Robert Morris University and is a registered Municipal Advisor Representative.
(202) 921-0910 | Ext. 1104
Macarria has over 13 years of experience in the accounting and finance industry. She started her career as a Financial Account Analyst, by measuring the financial risk of new and existing clients while maintaining a diverse accounts receivable portfolio. Macarria has also served as a Senior Accountant with primary responsibilities of reconciling bank statements and maintaining compliance of operations. She is currently assisting with bonds accounting here at Building Hope. Macarria has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management from the University of South Carolina and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from Strayer University.
(954) 526-5525 | Ext. 2406
Amy is a Staff Accountant, offering back office support services from the Ft. Lauderdale, FL office. She is a veteran of the United States Air Force that joined the team in 2014 and has over 22 years of Accounting experience. She has 5 children, and has seen first-hand, the benefits of charter schools.
(954) 317-1365 | Ext. 2401
Opal is a Florida-based staff accountant with our back-office services team. She came to Building Hope in 2016 with over 18 years’ experience working in Finance and Accounting. Opal is also a business teacher and holds a bachelor’s degree in Professional Management from Nova Southeastern University. She has three children, the youngest of whom attend one of Building Hope’s partner charter schools.
(727) 223-6390 | Ext. 2407
Human Resources & Payroll Specialist
Arly is a Human Resources and Payroll Services Specialist. She has 15 years of experience working in the charter school sector in the areas of Data Management, Human Resources, Payroll, and Front Office Management. She is a Florida native and a mom of 3 children who attend charter schools in the Tampa Bay area. Arly is eager to bring her expertise to Building Hope.
Thank you for trusting Building Hope with your community’s unique needs. We are excited to learn more about your charter school project and how we can partner to create opportunities for children.