Rebuilding Together Names Caroline Blakely as President and CEO; Sherry Chris as Board Chair

Two real estate executives will lead expansion of national reach and impact

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 26, 2016 - The national board of directors of Rebuilding Together today announced that Caroline Blakely has joined the organization as President and CEO. Blakely will be responsible for the overall management of Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit that transforms the lives of low-income homeowners by improving the safety and health of their homes and revitalizes communities.  Sherry Chris, who is President and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, was elected chair of the national board of directors.

With affiliates across the country, local Rebuilding Together affiliates and nearly 100,000 volunteers complete about 10,000 rebuild projects each year. In 2014, Rebuilding Together delivered $73 million in home improvements to nearly 17,000 homeowners and residents. 

“After an extensive national search, the board of directors unanimously agreed that Caroline’s expertise and successful 30-year career in both business and law make her an ideal choice to lead Rebuilding Together. Her strong leadership skills, wide-ranging corporate and real estate connections, and engaging enthusiasm will help our organization energize impact and reach to serve more people and communities,” said Chris, who has served on the Rebuilding Together Board for more than three years prior to assuming the chair.

Blakely joins Rebuilding Together from Cassin & Cassin LLP where she was a partner in the Real Estate Finance Group.  She also served as vice president in Fannie Mae’s multifamily business, defining its strategic direction for growing asset management and counter party responsibilities. Earlier, Blakely practiced real estate, banking, and corporate law in the Washington, D.C., area, including co-founding a woman-owned firm specializing in Resolution Trust Corporation matters.

“Rebuilding Together is a strong organization now poised to go beyond transforming lives one house at a time to revitalizing entire neighborhoods. It is a privilege to join the affiliates, staff, and corporate and community partners of Rebuilding Together to make this vision a reality,” Blakely said.

Active in business and community service organizations, Blakely was a member of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (CREFC) Board of Governors. She was recently elected to the board of the public mortgage real estate investment trust ARES Commercial Real Estate (ACRE).  She is a member of the Urban Land Institute’s Responsible Property Investment Council, and the steering committee of the Women’s Leadership Initiative. She volunteers on the boards of trustees for Global Communities and subsidiary, Vitas, which specialize in international development and microfinance.

Blakely received her Juris Doctor cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center and her Bachelor of Arts with high distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Virginia.

With more than 30 years of real estate experience, Chris brings to Rebuilding Together a senior management background in sales, marketing, new technologies, and franchise management.  She joined Realogy, the parent of Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, in 2006 as Chief Operating Officer for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

Chris will take the chair along with an executive committee that includes Vice Chair Mell Meredith-Frazier, Vice Chairman, Meredith Corporation; Vice Chair Carrie Teffner, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Crocs, Inc.; Treasurer Debbie Lawrence; and Secretary Reese Fayde, Principal, Reese Fayde & Associates.