Build with Purpose | Staff & Board
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Staff & Board



Brian Keenan


phone: 732-635-1000 X 153

Brian is the founder and President of Build with Purpose (“BwP”), an innovative nonprofit real estate development company that uses real estate to promote social change. Brian’s work has facilitated the development of over thirty schools in low income communities in New Jersey and the development of over 300 units of affordable housing in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Brian’s extensive knowledge of real estate finance has enabled BwP to access both traditional and nontraditional capital to develop an array of nonprofit real estate projects.  Under Brian’s leadership, BwP has secured over $250 million for charter school development, making it one of the largest charter school developers nationally.  In 2012 the Federal Department of Education awarded BwP $8 million in grant funds to further its charter school work.  In 2013 Brian spearheaded BwP’s latest initiative, the development of Supportive Housing.  By partnering with parishes, lenders and governments Brian is working to convert vacant convents into much needed affordable housing for seniors and persons with disabilities.  Brian is also seeking to certify BwP as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) via the US Treasury which would enable the organization to expand its work from real estate development to real estate finance.  Prior to his work at BwP, Brian was employed as a Real Estate Project Manager at both Common Ground Community and The Community Builders.  Brian also served as a Vice President of Financial Products and Services for New Jersey Community Capital.

Brian is a graduate of Molloy College with a Bachelors of Art in Social Work, Pratt Institute with a Certificate in Community Economic Development and St. Peter’s University with a Master’s in Business Administration. Brian’s work has been recognized by NJBiz with its 40 under 40 Award.  This awards program celebrates 40 of New Jersey’s most accomplished young business people.  Brian is also the recipient of the Fathers for Our Children Award from Marion P. Thomas Charter School.  Brian serves on the Advisory Boards for the Archdioceses of Newark Catholic Urban School’s Initiative, the Corporation for Supportive Housing and the Community Reinvestment Fund.  Brian resides in Metuchen, NJ with his wife Lisa, daughter Anna and son James.


Christina Oztan

Director of Marketing and Fund Development

phone: 732-635-1000 X 155

Christina has been with Build with Purpose since 2006 and oversees fund development, marketing and special initiatives. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of Greater Brunswick Charter School (GBCS)- a recognized leader in the New Jersey charter school movement- and has chaired the GBCS Facilities Committee. Ms. Oztan received her Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA) in 1992 and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from University of Buffalo. She is a member of the Society of Actuaries and the American Academy of Actuaries.


Candace Faunce

Chief Financial Officer

phone: 732-635-1000 X 118

Candace joined Build with Purpose in April 2012 as the Chief Financial Officer. Before joining the Build with Purpose team, Candy was the CFO for New Jersey Community Capital where she was responsible for managing  financial and risk assessment processes as well as the capital structure of the organization. She has also previously worked as a Senior Accountant in public accounting and has extensive background in nonprofit accounting and auditing. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and earned her CPA license in 1982.


Gina Principato

Community Relations, The Senior Residence

phone: 201-225-0707

Gina Principato is the Residence Manager for The Senior Residence at St. Peter the Apostle. She oversees the daily operations of the facility in River Edge and, as a resident of Oradell, brings with her a wealth of knowledge from her long-standing involvement in the community. A graduate of Binghamton University, Gina worked at Lord & Taylor in New York as a Divisional Merchandise Manager where she managed staff and directed sales, marketing, and merchandising.


Brian M. Keenan, President, Build with Purpose

See above.

Jenny-Ann Kershner, Director of Development, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association

Jenny-Ann Kershner brings over fifteen years of non-profit management and fundraising experience to the Board of Directors. Jenny-Ann is the Director of Development for the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association in Pennington, New Jersey.  Previously she was Director of Development for the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine and before that a Program Officer with The Fund for New Jersey, a foundation focusing on policy, advocacy and community engagement. Jenny-Ann has a Masters Degree in Urban Planning from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, and is a graduate of LEAD NJ.

Steven Ramiza, Vice President, LAN Associates, Inc.

Steve is a Principal Engineer with LAN Associates, a full-service Engineering and Architectural consulting firm.  He currently has overall management of both the Environmental Services and Regulatory Affairs departments, as well as business development and corporate responsibilities.  He is a licensed professional engineer in nine states and has over fifteen years of experience providing environmental and occupational safety regulatory compliance services to laboratory, R&D, pilot plant/scale-up, manufacturing, warehousing and logistics, supply-chain, and office clients.  His expertise is mainly in the areas of: hazard communication, environmental due diligence, industrial hygiene, personal protective equipment assessments, emergency response, hearing conservation, fire prevention, electrical safety, machine guarding, process safety, storage tanks, mold, asbestos, lead, & PCB’s, and hazardous waste.  He has presented on environmental and safety topics at the VPPPA and NJCSA annual conferences, the NJICLE training seminars, and to several NJ-based commercial lenders and brokers.  He has audited facilities for both environmental and occupational safety compliance, prepared dozens of written safety and environmental programs, and provided training to thousands of employees from LAN’s industrial client base.  He has also been recognized as an expert witness for several litigation cases involving mold, indoor air quality (IAQ), and water infiltration.  He is a graduate of New Jersey Institute of Technology with a Master of Science and Engineering Management as well as Rowan University with a Bachelor of Science in Physics. A lifelong resident of New Jersey, Steve lives with his wife and three children in Ramsey, NJ.

L. David Ricci, Portfolio Manager, MEAG New York

Dave has been a fixed income investment manager for most of his career, and has 20 years experience managing portfolios of mostly commercial and residential real estate assets.  He has money management experience at a range of institutions, including pension funds, insurance companies, money managers, and hedge funds.   Dave has been involved in the securitized commercial real estate market since its inception.  While at Hyperion Capital in the early 1990s, he initiated the firm’s investments in some of the earliest commercial real estate securitizations.   Beginning in 1999, he was Director of Portfolio Management at CGA Investment Management, which was a pioneering $2.5 billion investment advisor investing in mezzanine commercial real estate securities and unsecured REIT debt.  He has also worked at a multi-sector fixed income hedge fund where he was responsible for cash and synthetic commercial real estate trading. Currently, he is a portfolio manager at MEAG-NY, an affiliate of Munich Re, where he is involved in investing in all non-corporate credit assets. Dave has an M.B.A. in Finance from New York University, and has a B.A. in Economics from Colgate University, where he graduated with honors.  He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.


Keith Timko, Executive Director, Support Center/Partnership in Philanthropy

Keith Timko is the Executive Director at the Support Center|Partnership in Philanthropy (“Support Center”) which is dedicated to improving our society by increasing the effectiveness of nonprofit leaders and their organizations. Prior to joining the Support Center, Keith was the Director & CEO with Build with Purpose. Keith brings twenty years of experience in nonprofit and community development including: involvement in educational reform issues with The Center for Collaborative Education in New York City; experience in leadership development and management programs as the former President of the Leader to Leader Institute (formerly the Peter F. Drucker Foundation); and exposure to policy and community development approaches across the country during his time with Living Cities: The National Community Development Initiative. Keith has a Bachelor’s degree in History and Russian from Rutgers University and a Masters in Business Administration from Columbia University.  Keith currently serves as the Treasurer for the board of the Center for Nonprofits (NJ) and the advisory board for the National New Markets Fund and “Letters from Within,” an international film project focused on volunteerism and
cultural immersion.

Bill Vreeland, Director of Global Risk Management, Bank of America

Bill collectively has over 25 years of experience in business, law and accounting. He is currently a director in global risk management with the Bank of America, where he focuses on business initiatives and strategy.  Previously, Bill served as an associate general counsel with AIG.  During his career there, Bill was involved in a range of activities including preparing AIG for Federal Reserve supervision, working on AIG’s massive restructuring efforts, leading a senior level strategy initiative and managing AIG’s North American transactional insurance business.  Earlier in his career, Bill worked as a corporate lawyer with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and as a certified public accountant with Deloitte.

Brian Hague, Vice President, Public Affairs/Government Relations, MWW Group

Brian has over 16 years of experience in both corporate and government communications which allow him to greatly assist his clients with brand messaging and legislative support. Throughout his professional career, Brian has worked on a multitude of issues ranging from mass transit, healthcare policy, environmental cleanup, and corporate mergers at the state, regional, and national levels. His expertise in communications and public-policy analysis allows him deconstruct complex issues and prepare his clients to speak immediately and authoritatively to members of the media. Brian started his career as a newspaper reporter for the Star-Ledger before becoming a staff member of the Assembly Democratic Office in the New Jersey Legislature. He has held numerous communications and management positions at every level of New Jersey government and he continues to work closely with many of the region’s premiere policy makers, elected officials, and esteemed members of the media.  Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Political Science from Rutgers University and appears frequently at his alma mater as a guest lecturer at Rutgers’ Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, a business-skills mentor for Rutgers Student-Athletes, and speaker at the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).  He also is a board member of the New Jersey Consumers League, former foundation board member of Comprehensive Behavioral Healthcare, and a mentor of the New Leaders Council, NJ chapter.