Jameela Ali-Velez

December 28th, 2015

Jameela Ali-Velez, BookkeeperJameela joined Bridges in April 2008 as Bookkeeper. She is responsible for recording all donations, income and expenses as well as maintaining donors and trip participants’ accounts. She also works with Bridges’ human resources.

Jameela is originally from Trinidad and studied at the Barrackpore Senior Comprehensive School where she obtained an associate degree in Business Administration. Prior to coming to Bridges, she worked at Ingersoll Rand in Dover Plains, NY as a Billing Administrator for their East Coast accounts. She has worked as a full charge bookkeeper for over 15 years. Jameela and her husband Hernan have two children, Michael and Daniela, and live in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Rusty Pedersen

December 28th, 2015

Rusty Pedersen, Associate Executive DirectorThroughout his professional career, Rusty has always been involved in education and encouraging young people to challenge themselves in new and creative ways. In his early career years he taught physical education at the elementary school age group and coached high school wrestling.

In 1984 Rusty left the academic field of teaching and began Trailmark Outdoor Adventures, a travel company that focused on providing teenagers with exciting programs that built self-confidence and an appreciation of the outdoor world. Trailmark provided two to six week adventure trips to New England, the Adirondacks, Pennsylvania, Colorado, the Northern Rockies and the Pacific Northwest where young people would develop life skills, build lasting friendships and gain a new level of maturity while being immersed in this country’s most beautiful natural landscapes.

For twenty two years Rusty and his wife Donna owned and managed all aspects of the Trailmark business including ensuring rigorous but absolutely safe adventures, proper travel, health and accommodations logistics as well as excellent client service.

Rusty came to Bridges to Community in 2006 and assumed the role of Associate Executive Director. His experience in the field of service related travel has been instrumental in expanding the quality and quantity of volunteer delegations Bridges is able to send to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. In addition to increasing high school and university level groups, Rusty has developed a Business Leader & Corporate program that includes an Executive Team Building component

Rusty is 1976 graduate of Springfield College. He and his wife, Donna, live in Nyack, NY and have three adult children.

Christine Goffredo

December 28th, 2015

Christine Goffredo, Communications & Volunteer Program ManagerChristine Goffredo first started with Bridges to Community in 2012 in Nicaragua where she worked for two years as the Site Coordinator for Nindiri. In 2015 she moved to our Ossining office as Communications and Volunteer Program Manager.

Before coming to Bridges, Christine worked with Witness for Peace in both Nicaragua and Honduras. She completed her Masters degree in Politics at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and received her BA in International Relations and Spanish language from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida.

While Christine loves staying in touch with those she knew well in Nicaragua and visiting frequently, she is also enjoying getting to know her new home in New York, and looking toward a great future with Bridges.

John Hannan

December 28th, 2015

John Hannan, Executive DirectorJohn Hannan is a 20 plus year veteran of the non-profit world. His commitment to social justice for Central America began in the 1980’s. He helped form the CTt Central America Network, an organization that educated the public about Central America while encouraging the empowerment of Central American communities.

John has traveled extensively to Central America working with in-country partners to develop programs and organizational capacity. He led delegations, developed on-going “sister” relationships with communities while promoting advocacy efforts to support human rights in Central America and the demilitarization of the region.

John’s appreciation for our common humanity despite cultural differences arose naturally from the experiences of his youth. Living as a teenager in Brazil and Argentina, with a mother of Mexican/Puerto Rican heritage, he learned organically about Latin Cultures. Living other times in Ireland, England and the United States he gained an expanded view of the developed world and the opportunities and resources available within it.

John has also worked to address other problems of civil society. As CFO at the Greentree Foundation he helped protect thousands of acres of virgin Long Leaf Pine forest in Georgia and turn a gilded age Long Island estate into a Center for International Peace Conferences. As Director of Strategic Planning at New York Cares he created volunteer programs to assist the poor and disabled in New York City. At Riverkeeper he worked to protect the Hudson River and its surrounding watershed.

Most recently he led development efforts in CT for the National Audubon Society and was part of the Atlantic Flyway team, creating hemispheric conservation plans and strategies that will ensure sustainable environments and economies for humans and wildlife alike.

A 1980 graduate of St. Michael’s College in Vermont, John holds a master’s degree in non-profit management from the New School of Social Research. He is a frequent presenter at conferences and forums on the topics of volunteerism, fund development, conservation, and technology uses for the nonprofit sector. He currently resides with his wife and two children in the Northern Westchester County town of Somers, NY.

Jeanine Racioppo

December 28th, 2015

Jeanine Racioppo, Development OfficerOriginally from Thornwood, Jeanine graduated from Manhattanville College in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a minor in Communications. Jeanine began her professional non-profit career at Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley, helping to keep families close to their critically ill or traumatically injured children. After Ronald McDonald House, Jeanine moved on to the American Red Cross. Jeanine was responsible for managing one of the largest grossing events in the organization’s history as well as managing a portfolio of 300 major gift donors. Jeanine also enjoys the theater, dancing, singing, and playing the piano.