Executive Committee

President: Margaret-Ann Cole, Accenture

Margaret-Ann is the Managing Director at Accenture, a leading global professional services company. Margaret-Ann was formerly the Senior Vice President responsible for North America Career Management, at Right Management responsible for both Career Management and Talent Management. Margaret-Ann combines expertise for developing, building and delivering innovative and integrated client workforce solutions spanning the entire employee development lifecycle. Margaret-Ann joined the Board of Directors of Rebuilding Together NYC at the beginning of 2014.  Margaret-Ann graduated with a degree in economics and psychology from Fordham University.  She holds a unique global executive MBA from TRIUM, an alliance of the New York University Stern School, the London School of Economics and the HEC Management School of Paris. She resides in New Jersey.

Vice President: Laura Jackson, FTI Consulting

Laura Jackson joined the Board of Rebuilding Together NYC as Treasurer in January 2014. She volunteers her time as a way to give back to the community and help provide a comfortable place to live for residents of NYC.  Laura is a Managing Director in FTI Consulting’s Real Estate Solutions Practice.   Laura specializes in the REIT and partnership area of real estate taxation at FTI providing expertise in due diligence, structuring, REIT compliance, and partnership taxation complexities for numerous public and private real estate clients.  She graduated first in her class and summa cum laude with a B.S. in Business Administration and concentration in Accounting from Monmouth University and holds an M.S. in Taxation degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.  She resides in New Jersey with her two daughters.

Vice President: John Scott Johnson, Urban Standard Development

John Scott Johnson joined the Board of Directors in 2006, served as Treasurer from 2008 to 2010, as President from 2010 to 2012, and is currently serving as the Co-Vice President. He has been involved in Rebuilding Together since very early in life – his mother help found the Washington DC affiliate and was President and CEO of Rebuilding Together’s national office for 18 years, which she founded in 1988. A graduate of Bates College, he co-founded a Rebuilding Together affiliate in Lewiston – Auburn, Maine in 2002. John Scott works for Urban Standard Development, a real estate development company, where he manages housing development projects in transitioning neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Prior to Urban Standard Development, he worked for BFC Partners, NYC HPD, and two nonprofit housing developers. John Scott lives in Manhattan with his partner, Andrew, and their puppy, Sheriff.

Treasurer: David Applebaum, BNY Mellon

David ApplebaumDavid Applebaum is a Managing Director at BNY Mellon where has worked for 17 years.  Currently in the Credit Risk sector, he heads Community Reinvestment Act. His background also includes real estate finance, asset recovery, distressed debt, loan syndications, and investing in small business investment companies.  He is a graduate of Williams College and earned an MBA at The Wharton School.  Born and raised in Staten Island, David now lives in Manhattan but likes to explore and rebuild any and all corners of New York City.

Secretary: Amy Shakespeare, Shakespeare Gordon Vlado Architects

board photoAmy has been serving on the Board of Rebuilding Together’s NYC affiliate since the summer of 2013, seeking to assist homeowners in need in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. A founding partner of Shakespeare Gordon Architects, Amy works on a wide range of design and construction projects throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Her current work includes multi-family affordable housing, school and university projects and single family homes. A LEED accredited professional and a Certified Passive House Consultant, Amy has a particular interest in sustainable design and works to help all homeowners, whether served by her firm or by Rebuilding Together, to live in safe and healthy homes. She is a graduate of Cornell University and lives happily with her husband, Mark, and two children in Brooklyn.


Barbara Bittner-Jones, Right Management

Barbara Bittner-Jones is a Senior Career Management Consultant with Right Management, a division of Manpower, Inc, where she provides coaching and job search facilitation expertise to executives and managers in transition. She is also founder and managing partner of ProSolas Consulting, a professional coaching firm specializing in life transition and transformation. She is an alumna of Gettysburg College where she earned a BA degree in Business Administration. An avid RT NYC volunteer and house captain, Barbara first became involved in 1993, serving in Alexandria, Virginia, with an employer’s team. She has extensive experience with rebuilding efforts after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and believes in the inherent value of a safe and healthy home.

Annie Block, Interior Design

annieblockAnnie Block is the deputy editor of Interior Design magazine. She previously worked as an editor at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Miami Herald, and Travel + Leisure. Based in New York City, Annie is a frequent design juror, moderator, and lecturer, and serves on the planning committees of the Design Trust for Public Space and Openhousenewyork.


Joseph Castellano, Willis Towers Watson

Joseph Castellano is the Global Director of Willis Towers Watson’s Construction Consulting practice based in New York. Joseph works closely with financial institutions, contractors, developers, property owners and corporations who are challenged by the myriad of construction issues that impact fiscal and physical performance of real estate assets. Joseph has served as an expert witness on litigation and disputes related to project delays and served as a Mediator with the NYC School Construction Authority. He has experience in the construction industry leading large scale client engagements and advisory services with owners, contractors, construction managers, sureties and insurance companies.

Sean Connery, Perkins Coie

Sean ConnerySean Connery is a partner at Perkins Coie with the firm’s Corporate practice. He represents corporate trust companies and departments of major banking institutions. Sean’s experience also includes representing corporate trust clients in their capacity as trustee or agent in connection with bond and loan default scenarios, Chapter 11 and 7 bankruptcy proceedings and commercial litigation. He has also developed a particular focus on advising clients in connection with restructuring and litigation preparedness and avoidance issues arising under complex commercial transactions.

Stephen Dundon, Credit Suisse

Stephen Dundon is a Director for CFO Program Services at Credit Suisse. He started as a volunteer with Rebuilding Together NYC and joined as a Board Member in 2010. He served as the Board President from 2013 to 2015.  Stephen says, “Having had my own home flooded with more than four foot of water during Super Storm Sandy, I know just how hard it is to struggle through the long recovery process – this first-hand knowledge has helped our board put in place strategies to try to assist as many low-income homeowners as possible get back on their feet following the storm.”  In April 2016, Stephen was awarded Board Member of the Year at Credit Suisse’s 11th Annual Giving Back award ceremony. Stephen was also selected out of 1,600 board members nationally as the recipient of the Rebuilding Together 2016 Board Member of the Year Award.

Hunter Gradie, NYC Department of Social Services

Hunter Gradie is Deputy Chief Operating Officer at the NYC Department of Social Services (DSS). Prior to his role at DSS, Hunter served as Policy Advisor at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Operations. Before joining the Mayor’s Office he worked in Washington, D.C. for both the AFL-CIO and U.S. Senate. He is a proud graduate of Cornell University (MPA) and University of Delaware (BA). He grew up in Hawaii and although he misses the warm winters, NYC continues to amaze him with the spirit and diversity of its people.

Les Hiscoe, Shawmut Design and Construction

Les HiscoeAs CEO, Les provides the leadership and vision required to maintain the continued growth and success of the $1.2 billion firm. His focus is on creating the most differentiated customer experience in the industry by driving exceptional levels of client service, developing teams of remarkably talented people, and embracing the latest technologies and implementing them across every aspect of the business. Les is very active philanthropically, specifically, with ACE Mentor Program New York, Summer Search Boston and New York, Mass Building Roundtable, A Better City Boston, and serving on Rebuilding Together NYC’s Board since 2009. Les is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, is a registered professional Civil Engineer, and has attended many executive leadership programs including MIT’s Sloan School and Harvard University programs. Les was also the recipient of the Rebuilding Together 2014 Board Member of the Year Award.

Director Emeritus: Michelle Cooper, Macro Consultants LLC

cooperMichelle Cooper was previously the Associate Director at Macro Consultants LLC. Michelle is a proven leader in delivering initiatives from start to finish providing clients with exceptional service in construction project management, space planning and design, lease evaluation and site analysis and selection. Prior to joining Macro, she was the Program Manager for the Capital Project Management team at Columbia University Medical Center. Prior to Columbia University, Michelle was a Vice President at Bank of America within the Corporate Workplace retail division. Michelle has earned a Green Belt in Six Sigma and maintains a LEED certification. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Facilities Management from Cornell University and a Masters of Science in Construction Administration from Columbia University.  Michelle and her husband, Richard, are currently raising their two daughters, Grace & Clare, in London.


2016 Board of Directors Retreat


2016 Board of Directors Retreat

2015 Coming Home Gala