Perch Advisors is a full service consulting firm focusing on the nexus of where communities meet – business, jobs, economic sustainability, open space, public land, and policy.

When change is desired - or imminent - outside perspectives can provide the leverage organizations and businesses need to realize their goals.

When innovative, socially-focused and driven people put ideas and resources together, great things happen.

Perch Advisors provides the perspective, ideas and space to innovate, collaborate and create change. 

 

Jeanette Nigro

Founder 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Dean Ellis

         Senior Director         Community and Economic Development 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theo Boguszewski

Program Manager,

Community and Economic Development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joshua Keller

Senior Director, 

Program Development, Marketing, & Fundraising 

Jeanette Nigro is an economic development professional with 15 years of experience in both the private and not-for-profit sectors. Jeanette works with not-for-profits, government agencies, real estate developers, neighborhood based groups and small businesses on enhancing and building their community engagement strategies, connecting to resources to accomplish mission-based goals, and encouraging personal connections as a way to build momentum and encourage project collaboration to completion. She focuses on processes and data to build proof points for moving forward, and uses networks to gain buy in and resources for clients.

As a corporate sales manager, Jeanette led highly successful teams in meeting ambitious goals. As a not-for-profit executive, Jeanette oversaw several million dollars in public and philanthropic programs for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, New York City’s leading business association.

Jeanette spent nearly a decade central to Brooklyn’s renaissance and neighborhood revitalization.  She was part of the early development of the city’s current workforce system, including direct oversight for the NYC Business Solutions, Brooklyn Center, a service of New York City under the Bloomberg Administration to support the growth and expansion of small business through financing, courses, hiring and incentives. During her time at the Brooklyn Chamber, she worked to develop the Chamber’s city, state, and federal advocacy platforms across economic and workforce development disciplines. A leading workforce advocate, Jeanette has worked to build and maintain businesses position on policy such as Paid Sick Leave, Minimum Wage, Immigration, Industrial and Manufacturing Preservation and Expansion, Healthcare Reform and the Workforce Investment Act. She coordinated and led direct on-the-ground services during Hurricane Sandy to assist small businesses in Brooklyn and Queens in accessing grants and loans to rebuild, resulting in millions of dollars of investment back to shore front communities.

Jeanette serves on the national advisory board for the Washington DC based National Skills Coalition, an advisor to the NYC Labor Market Information Service at CUNY, and a proud partner to the Magner Career Center at Brooklyn College, her alma mater. 

 

James Dean Ellis is an urban planner with experience in community economic development with a focus on stakeholder participation. James spent five years with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce managing commercial revitalization programs that had him working in over a dozen of Brooklyn's diverse neighborhoods including Bedford Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, South Williamsburg, Park Slope, Dyker Heights, and Red Hook. James currently manages the portfolio of community economic development projects for Perch Advisors, including business engagement and community projects as the Executive Director for the North Flatbush Business Improvement District. His work in the BID provides direct oversight for the operations of a robust sanitation, beautification, and marketing program, as well as stakeholder engagement for more than 200 businesses in one of Brooklyn's fastest growing communities. A proud Master's graduate of CUNY-Hunter College's esteemed Urban Planning program, James is also an alum of the Coro NY Neighborhood Leadership program, and an active member of his local Community Board in Crown Heights. James is keen on identifying and making connections, strengthening networks, managing diverse stakeholders, and providing opportunities for positive change. 

 

 

Theo Boguszewski joined Perch Advisors as a Program Manager in Februrary 2017 to support neighborhood development projects. Theo works tirelessly for clients such as the Rockaway Business Alliance and the North Flatbush Business Improvement District on marketing, outreach, social media, and grants administration and planning. In particular, Theo leads support of the Rockaway Business Alliance's organizational rebranding implementation, and reintroduce to the community, and is the project manager on Rockaway ConneX, a technology project funded by the New York Department of Small Business Service's and NYC Economic Development Corporations Neighborhood Challenge Grant.

Theo holds a BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase, and brings with her 7 years of experience in
community development in the arts, focusing on fundraising, event planning, and social media.
Prior to her work with Perch Advisors, Theo worked as a program manager at Make Music New York.
She continues to run the Hoover Dam Collective, an interdisciplinary arts group which hosts
collaborative performances around the city, and to co-produce folk-music events with Porch
Stomp. In addition to her community development work, Perch's resident jack-of-all-trades teaches yoga, keeps an active bar shift at the Seaport in Lower Manhattan, and reviews dance
shows for The Dance Enthusiast. In her free time, she’s a runner, completing the NYC Marathon in 2017,  a printmaker, and amateur fiddler.

 

Josh Keller is a management and development professional with over twenty years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Mr. Keller’s career has focused on economic development and social services and he has administered multiple economic and workforce development programs.

Most recently, Josh served as Director of Agency Advancement for Project Hospitality: the largest human and social service agency on Staten Island. In 2015-2016, Josh and his team raised over $5.5 million through private grants, government contracts, and individual solicitations which enabled the organization to expand various programs that provide food and shelter to the poor. Previously, as Executive Director for the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation (SBIDC), Mr. Keller provided programmatic and fiscal oversight for 12 distinct programs, and supervised data collection efforts including surveys of the local real estate market and reports on business growth. During his time at SBIDC, Josh tripled the agency’s capacity to deliver workforce services and expanded the business division by introducing new services such as procurement assistance.

Josh earned his MPA from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service and is currently pursuing a MA in economics at NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

 

 

Collaborators 

Greg Holley

Training, Leadership Development, Curriculum Design 

Greg Holley has over 12 years of experience in professional development, organizational capacity building, and training services to local workforce systems, community based organizations and individuals. As founding principal of Greg Holley Consulting, he provides comprehensive training and consulting services supported by best practices in effective engagement strategies to assist staff teams in their performance-based goals with populations with multiple barriers to success.  Previously, he served as Training and Projects Manager and Director of Training and Development for Workforce Professionals Training Institute. In this role, Greg oversaw the design, development, and implementation of a diverse platform of professional development initiatives and products geared toward workforce practitioners.

Prior to WPTI, Greg served as Vocational Coordinator for the Jewish Board of Family and Children Services. He has successfully trained over 2,000 individuals in 150 organizations throughout the United States. Greg earned his degree in Business Administration from The Gabelli School of Fordham University.

Robert Hansen

Development and Strategic Planning 

Rob Hansen is a consultant who focuses on fund development and strategic planning issues.  Rob uses campaign-based tools and structures to help clients define their preferred futures and build fundraising programs and efforts that will get them there.  Clients include large scale national and international groups (Pat Tillman Foundation and Waterkeeper Alliance) and a wide range of New York City focused groups including Asphalt Green, the Adams Street Foundation, and Red Hook Initiative.  Rob has over 15 years of management and fund development experience and has worked for large-scale organizations like the Robin Hood Foundation and smaller organizations with a range of missions - local and international. At the Robin Hood Foundation, he first worked on the individual side of the business where he managed a portfolio of 400 high and ultra high net worth individuals soliciting gifts ranging from $5,000 to $1M+ and then co-managed the institutional effort, an $8M portfolio of corporations and foundations.  Rob has an MBA from HEC Montréal and a BA in English Literature from McGill University.

Transitional Consulting and Program Expansion: 

When organizations acquire new programs or expand existing services, planning, resource development, coordination, and communication are key, both internally and externally. An outside resource can often provide the bird’s eye view that is challenging for an organization to observe itself, especially during times of transition.  Our consulting service offers structure, resource development, landscape analysis, and strategy to transitions and expansions in organizational and program planning. 

 

Economic Development Planning: 

At the heart of all communities is its landscape – physical, environmental, economic, and built. Economic development planning serves communities by tackling issues or challenges that can positively or negatively impact growth. Facilitating conversations and ideas around a community’s built environment, industry mix, job growth, and community resources assists entities in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors in developing a roadmap for their common goals. We have the ability to help in structured planning, business development and commercial attraction, business and community organizing, and advisory services geared to drive public policy toward community economic development goals. 

 

SECTORAL, GEOGRAPHIC,AND PLACE-BASED WORKFORCE PLANNING: 

Taking into account the needs of employers and jobseekers, and the geographic isolation of communities in New York City and across New York State, place-based workforce planning is a key component to economic and workforce development initiatives. Assisting both companies and not-for-profit organizations training and placing workers, we assess the needs of both to ensure that community and business needs are closely aligned in a way that benefits local residents and encourages the improvement and impact of the local economy. Services include community benefits development, identification of local workforce and training providers, the organization of community meetings and presentations, labor market needs analysis and research, as well as facilitation with local stakeholder groups.

 

Community Coordination:

Organizations often find themselves in the presence of opportunities that can benefit their participants but don’t have the capacity to take advantage of these opportunities. By coordinating and organizing within their community, NFP’s can readily expand the breadth and depth of their services in order to be able to better serve their participant base, or access grants and funds that they would normally not be equipped to compete for. Services in this area include development of strategic outreach plans, facilitation of meetings and workshops, community based partner development, resource planning, and identification and facilitation of strategic partnerships.

 

Program Evaluation & Impact, Coaching and Framework Development:

Firms can find the process of evaluating the impact of their programs and services difficult to manage internally. Staff can be challenged in recognizing the impact and potential of their work, how it aligns with outcomes and outputs, and what that means for the “big picture”. Services in this area include developing common language and goals to enhance program performance, comprehensive reviews of program indicators, service alignment evaluations,  staff coaching and development of actionable plans that take into account past and current organizational performance, and future capacity and opportunities.