James Dean Ellis
Senior Director Community and Economic Development
Community and Economic Development
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.
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.
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.