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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, Development Coordinator, started as a LISC AmeriCorps member serving WHALE and the Community Economic Development Center (CEDC) and transitioned into Development Coordinator at the end of her service term in 2019. After earning her BA in Political Science from Regis College, Teresa completed an 1,800 mile solo hike of the Appalachian Trail. Teresa has always been an avid lover of advocacy and non-profit work and through her time at WHALE, she has come to admire and understand the importance historic preservation has on community and economic development.


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