Teri Bernert, Executive Director, has over 25 years of experience in community and economic development and non-profit management, concentrating in real estate development. She has completed a large portfolio of housing, creative economy and mixed-use development projects, blending historic preservation, sustainability, creative design, and neighborhood oriented commercial space using an array of financing sources including state and federal grants, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and State and Federal Historic Tax Credits. Teri holds a Master’s in Urban Planning from George Washington University. Ms. Bernert is also an adjunct Professor teaching Adaptive Reuse Real Estate Feasibility at Roger Williams University.
Diane Brodeur, General Manager, has been a key force in the WHALE office since February 2005 handling the membership database, financials, event coordination, volunteers, and day to day operations. Since she started here, Diane has led our major signature fundraising event, the Annual International Wine Festival & Auction. It attracts over 500 per year and is considered one of the biggest wine festivals within our region.
Rachel Alison, Historic Projects Manager, has been with WHALE since 2017. Her fascination with old buildings, however, has been with her since she was a child, growing up in an historic district in one of Iowa’s oldest Mississippi River port towns. After finishing a BA in History from Iowa State University, she continued to turn that early fascination into a career path, earning her MS in Historic Preservation from Roger Williams University. Through her studies and work with WHALE, Rachel has become passionate about the power of historic preservation to revitalize communities and conserve irreplaceable historical and place-making resources.
Teresa Willander, Project Coordinator, is a recent Regis College graduate, hoping to pursue a career in advocacy and non-profit work. Teresa is a LISC Americorps member serving at WHALE and the Community Economic Development Center (CEDC) as project coordinator. She is providing assistance on WHALE restoration projects, helping with our foreclosure restoration for first-time home-buyers, as well as recruiting and managing community volunteers to help CEDC on various projects to help promote economic development along Acushnet Avenue. Teresa will start working as a full-time staff member at WHALE at the end of her AmeriCorps term in the Fall of 2019.
Alexis Turgeon, Administrative Intern, is a recent Clark University graduate with a B.A. in Sociology. Throughout her undergrad, she focused on International Development and Urban Planning. Alexis has been accepted into the Community Development and Planning fifth year program at Clark and will receive her M.A. in May 2020. She is grateful for the opportunity WHALE has provided her this summer and she looks forward to gaining more skills in the field throughout her internship.