Board of Directors
Sherry A. Chris, President and CEO
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC
Sherry Chris is the president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. Well-known for her innovative thinking, next generation consumer insights and idea sharing in an effort to move the industry forward, Sherry is a frequently sought after speaker at international real estate and technology conferences. She is also regularly featured by national media outlets such as the FOX Business Channel, CNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, sharing her insights into industry reports and trends. She is a strong advocate of engaging with businesses and consumers through social media channels – making her the most followed CEO of a national real estate brand on Twitter.
Sherry serves on the NAR real estate services and Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) Education Foundation advisory boards. She is also the chair of the national board of directors at the non-profit organization, Rebuilding Together.
In 2015, Inman News named Sherry as one of the 33 people who are changing the real estate industry. Additionally, since being named Inman Innovator of the Year in 2010, a prestigious and coveted award that honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional vision and foresight to advance the real estate experience, she has been recognized six years consecutively as one of Inman’s 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders. Additional accolades include the Swanepoel Power 200 list (2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016), the Most Influential Real Estate Executives list by Real Estate Executive Magazine (2013) and Profiles in Diversity Journal’s annual Women Worth Watching list (2013).
Sherry is a graduate of The University of Western Ontario and earned an MBA from the Ivey School of Business.
Carrie Teffner is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Crocs, Inc., where she brings more than 27 years of financial and operational leadership experience in the footwear, consumer goods and retail industries. Ms. Teffner joined the company in December 2015, after serving on the Crocs Board of Directors for six months. Prior to being appointed to the board, she was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for PetSmart, where she supported the retail company’s growth and evolution, including its $8.7 billion sale to a consortium of investors. Before PetSmart, Ms. Teffner served in the Chief Financial Officer role for Weber-Stephen Products, a manufacturer of grills and grill accessories, as well as for Timberland, a footwear, apparel and accessory manufacturer and retailer.
Bonnie Bessor, Executive Director
Rebuilding Together Baltimore
Bonnie Bessor joined Rebuilding Together Baltimore as Executive Director in 2004. Immediately prior, she worked at Associated Catholic Charities as a development officer for homeless service programs in Baltimore. She has also worked in housing and poverty advocacy organizations as a legislative advocate, community organizer, AmeriCorps program director, and volunteer manager. She began her career by serving people with chronic mental illness. She holds a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Maryland. She is also a graduate of the Weinberg Fellows Program, an intensive leadership training program for nonprofit executives.
During her tenure at Rebuilding Together Baltimore, Bonnie has been instrumental in growing the staff, budget and services of the organization, tripling the budget and increasing the staff from one full-time person (herself) to a team of seven. In that time, the organization has also expanded to include a robust energy efficiency program as well as year-round services. Bonnie serves on the National Affiliate Council for Rebuilding Together, and is a member of the Rebuilding Together National Board of Directors. In 2011, she was honored as one of Baltimore’s Top Neighborhood Moms and was also awarded Executive Director of the Year by her peers in the Rebuilding Together affiliate network. She is active in her community association and lives in Baltimore City with her husband Les and their rescued dog and cat “Iggy” and “Rosie”.
Caroline Blakely, President and CEO
As president and CEO, Caroline is responsible for guiding the strategic direction of Rebuilding Together.
Caroline Blakely joins Rebuilding Together from Cassin & Cassin LLP, where she was a partner in the Real Estate Finance Group. Prior to joining the firm, she served as vice president in Fannie Mae’s multifamily business, where she defined its strategic direction for growing asset management and counter party responsibilities. Early in her career, she practiced real estate, banking, and corporate law at firms in the Washington, D.C., area, including a woman-owned firm she co-founded to specialize in matters related to the Resolution Trust Corporation.
Active in business and community service organizations, Caroline was a member of the Board of Governors of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (CREFC). She was recently elected to the board of directors of the public mortgage real estate investment trust ARES Commercial Real Estate (ACRE). She is active in the Urban Land Institute, where she is a member of the Responsible Property Investment Council, and on the steering committee of the Women’s Leadership Initiative. She volunteers on the boards of trustees for Global Communities, a nonprofit organization and its subsidiary, Vitas, which specialize in international development and micro-finance.
Caroline received her Juris Doctor degree cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center and her Bachelor of Arts with high distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Virginia. She is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and in the state of Maryland.
John Brazzale, Senior Vice President of Strategy Marketing & Administration, Corporate Banking
John Brazzale is the Chief Strategy, Marketing & Administrative Officer for the Corporate Banking Group at Northern Trust. His responsibilities include managing teams involved in assessment and execution of strategic options, development and execution of marketing and capital management strategies, oversight of change management initiatives, evaluation of technology solutions, product management and development, financial management and reporting, risk management and compliance and the development and growth of the Center of Excellence focused on financial analysis and marketing located in India. John also has experience assessing acquisitions and divestitures.
During his career, John has held positions of increasing responsibility in Strategy, Marketing, Commercial Lending, Consulting, Sales, Product Management and Operations.
John participated in Executive Education at the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He has authored articles and spoken at regional and national conferences on the impacts of financing alternatives, outsourcing, re-engineering, electronic commerce and the investment of on/offshore balance sheets assets.
Wayne Cauthen, Principal
The Insight Group Ltd.
Wayne A. Cauthen is currently Principal/CEO of The Insight LTD, which is based in Denver Colorado. The Insight Group serves as a management consultant firm to state and municipal government agencies. Prior to starting The Insight Group, he had 17 years of executive level experience in local government. Serving as Chief of Staff for the city of Denver and City Manager for The City of Kansas City, Missouri. In both positions he served as The Chief Operational Officer, with budgets in excess of 1.5 billion dollars and more than ten thousand employees.
During his tenure in local government he managed several transformational projects which included: Lowery Airforce Base Redevelopment, Stapleton Airport Redevelopment, Denver Union Station Multimodal Facility, Downtown Kansas City Power & Light Entertainment District and the CenterPoint Kansas City Southern Intermodal International Trade Processing Center.
While in Denver in the area of Economic Development and International trade, he was the lead executive in establishing trade offices in London, England and Shanghai, China. In Kansas City he established the Office of International Affairs and Trade. Which promoted trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Under his leadership both Denver and Kansas City received numerous awards and recognition from organizations such as: The U.S Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government Ash Center For Democratic Governance & Innovation.
He served on numerous Board of Director’s such as Partners For Livable Communities, Stapleton Airport Redevelopment Corporation, Lowery Redevelopment Authority, Denver Housing Authority, Denver Employee Retirement Plan, Downtown Kansas City Business Council, Civic Council of Kansas City, Truman Medical Center University of Missouri- Kansas City, Rebuilding Together and The Eupulions Cultural Foundation
Guy Cecala, CEO and Publisher
Inside Mortgage Finance
Guy D. Cecala is the CEO and publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, a specialized news and information company based in Bethesda, MD that he founded in 1984. The company produces eight newsletters, numerous special reports, several databases, and a large amount of original market research and statistics related to mortgage finance in the United States.
Mr. Cecala is frequently quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, USA Today and other major newspapers as well as AP, Bloomberg and Reuters. He also has appeared on the NBC Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CNBC, ABC News, CBS Evening News, Fox Business News, PBS NewsHour, CNN, the BBC, CBS Radio and NPR as an expert on the U.S. mortgage market.
Mr. Cecala testified before the Congressional Oversight Panel on foreclosure problems and their potential impact on the U.S. housing and mortgage markets.
Mr. Cecala earned a B.A. degree in English from Boston College, where he graduated magna cum laude. He also holds a M.A. degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.
Joy Cianci is Fannie Mae’s Senior Vice President – Special Assets and Corporate Facilities, Security, and Resiliency. Ms. Cianci manages the Single-Family Business’ special and distressed assets and the administration of the U.S. Treasury’s Making Home Affordable program. She oversees loss mitigation activities related to Single-Family legacy assets and real-estate owned (REO) and manages the company’s corporate facilities and security team – including its workplace strategy initiatives. Ms. Cianci has served in a number of roles at Fannie Mae. She previously led the Credit Portfolio Management team, where she oversaw Single-Family’s servicer management and oversight, servicing policies, real estate asset management, and credit operations. She was head of the company’s Office of Community and Charitable Giving and interim head of its eBusiness organization. Ms. Cianci also worked in the Housing and Community Development division and Legal department, where she was responsible for servicing, loss mitigation, asset acquisition, policy and government relations, and technology projects. Prior to joining Fannie Mae in 1993, Ms. Cianci was an associate in the real estate practice at the law firm of Ballard Spahr Andrews and Ingersoll. Ms. Cianci has a bachelor of science in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a juris doctor from the University of Pennsylvania.
James D. Kelly, Partner
Blank Rome LLP
James D. Kelly is a business attorney with more than 25 years of experience structuring and negotiating complex real estate, finance, and general corporate transactions. He is a partner with Blank Rome LLP and is the Chairman of the firm’s Washington, DC office. Prior to joining Blank Rome, Mr. Kelly served as the chairman of an Am Law 200 firm where he provided leadership and strategic direction of the firm’s legal practice and business objectives, and oversaw all aspects of the firm’s operations. Mr. Kelly received his J.D. from Fordham University in 1988 and his B.A. from Assumption College in 1983.
Jodie Liddy, Executive Director
Rebuilding Together Hartford
Jodie Liddy has served as Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Hartford since 2009. Prior to accepting her position, Jodie served on the Board of Directors for Rebuilding Together Hartford for six years, and was the Board Chair from 2007-2008.
In her role as Executive Director, Jodie oversees all aspects of the organization and spends the majority of her time cultivating sponsors to increase revenue. Jodie is dedicated to fulfilling the organization’s mission, providing strategic guidance, developing new partnerships and growing the organization’s outreach. In addition, Jodie also manages a staff of two additional employees.
Jodie also serves on Rebuilding Together’s National Affiliate Council as the Council Chair and represents Region One which is comprised of affiliates in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Jodie has spent the past 20 years volunteering with several non-profits, and is thrilled to have a career in the non-profit field. She is a sustaining member and past president of the Junior League of Hartford, and she currently serves as the co-chair of the sustainer council. She is also a member of the Connecticut Valley Garden Club, and has also served on the Board of Outreach Ministry at Asylum Hill Congregational Church.
Jodie is a ‘displaced Southerner’ from Eufaula, Alabama who now lives in Avon, Connecticut with her husband Jim. Together they have one son, Evan, who is currently hiking the Appalachian Trail and plans to attend Colorado College in the fall of 2017. Jodie and her family, which includes three rescue dogs, enjoy traveling, hiking and enjoying the great outdoors. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Mercer University, in Macon Georgia.
Ed Peavy, Founder and CEO
Ed Peavy is the founder and CEO of Mission Control, the nation's leading Democratic direct mail company. Since its founding in Connecticut in 2001, Mission Control has grown from a small company with three employees to a political consulting company which has elected dozens of senators and governors, and more than 50 current and former members of Congress. Clients include Senators Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Al Franken, Kirsten Gillibrand and Governor Andrew Cuomo. Mission Control has also made a name for itself in progressive causes with clients such as Planned Parenthood, SEIU, AFSCME, NEA and Everytown for Gun Safety.
Prior to starting Mission Control, Ed managed campaigns across the country. He is married to Becky Reno and they live in Wellington, Florida and Washington D.C. In his spare time, you will find him cycling, attending sporting events, cheering on his youngest in dressage or hanging out with his three dogs. Ed and Becky have three children - Bridgette, John and Annie - all of whom share a common thread with Ed as they are all competitive and pursue their dreams with the same enthusiasm.
Kevin Rafferty, Texas Regional President
Kevin served as South Texas Market President since May 2009 when IBERIABANK entered the Houston market. The Bank has significantly grown its client base, resources and business portfolio in Houston and just recently announced the acquisition of First Private Bank in Dallas, which is expected to close this summer. His previous experience includes leadership and management positions with First American Bank, Washington, DC and Whitney National Bank from 1979 – 2009 in New Orleans, LA and Houston, TX. Kevin is a graduate of Tulane with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and has a Master of Business Administration in Finance.
Active in the community, Kevin currently serves on the board of numerous charitable and civic organizations, including Rebuilding Houston-Together, American Heart Association and The Woods Project. He also served as Chairman of New Orleans Lighthouse for the Blind, Chairman New Orleans Children's Museum and was a member of the Tulane Association of Business Alumni.
Brad Segal, Partner
Asphalt Shingle Recycling, Systems, LLC
After spending 28 years building Bradco Supply into one of the nations largest distributors of roofing and related building materials with over 150 locations nationwide, peak sales of $2 billion and 3500 employees, Brad left Bradco when the company was sold to help start ASR Systems, an asphalt shingle recycling company.
Brad’s passion for wine led him to purchase a retail wine store in Manhattan with his brother-in-law. He splits his time between the retail wine store and ASR Systems.
An Alumni of Syracuse University, Brad was a member of The Syracuse University Franklin Advisory Board, He has been involved with/served on the Harvard University Joint Housing Studies Policy Advisory Board, the National Roofing Contractors Association and The Alliance for Progress.
Brad is the former Board Chair of Rebuilding Together, the nations largest non-profit focused on providing necessary repairs and renovations to low-income homeowners and the communities in which they live.
Ann Woodroof, Realtor
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Gary Greene
Ann has been a top producting Realtor for Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate, Gary greene and now is the internal decorator of the company. She designs and decorates the Gary Greene offices and serves as chairman of the Gary Greene Realtors Foundation. This role gives Ann the opportunity to work with each of the firms, more than two dozen sales offices throughout the Houston area, to identify charitiable causes suitable for their respective communities.
Ann co-chaired a companywide event that brough 340 agents and employees together to work with Rebuilding Together Houston, restoring six homes in one neighborhood. She is also a member of Donne Di Domani, an Italian club for women, and has held many offices within the club. The sole purpose of the club is to raise money for charities through the sale of a secret spaghetti sauce. The sauce is only sold once a year at the Houston Nutcracker and all the proceeds are given to charities throughout the Houston area. The club usually donates over $100,000 each year. From 2000-2012, Ann was instrumental in growing charitable contributions for the Sunshine Kids within the Gary Greene Company. She chaired seven galas during that time and raised over $4,000,000.
Recognizing the importance of giving back, Ann also believes in volunteering in her industry. She has served as the Chairman of the Multiple Listing Service, Director of the Texas Association of Realtors and the Director of the National Association of Realtors.
Kathleen Wu, Partner
Kathleen Wu is known for a sophisticated understanding of her clients’ businesses, successfully guiding them through flawless execution of legal and business matters, and anticipating and planning for what might be needed as an issue evolves. Clients appreciate her energy, innovative thinking, and calm demeanor as she develops strategy and facilitates the “end game.” Her reputation as a trusted advisor has attracted a loyal and far-reaching audience for her work and insights.
As an influential long-time partner at Andrews Kurth, Kathleen brings a unique breadth and depth of experience across the spectrum of business and finance transactions to a broad-based national clientele. She has held leadership roles within the firm including Managing Partner of the Dallas office, Hiring Partner of the Dallas office, and currently sits on a number of national committees, including the Compensation Committee, Finance Committee, and Policy Committee, the firm’s highest governing body. Kathleen has consistently been recognized as one of the outstanding transactional lawyers in the nation. Her inclusion on “Best Lawyer” lists is routine and she has been recognized as: (1) a Top 500 Leading Lawyer in America; (2) one of the Extraordinary Women in Texas Law, (3) a Texas Super Lawyer; and (4) one of the Best Women Lawyers in Dallas, among others.
Kathleen’s advocacy for issues affecting women in the workplace, promotion of the Asian Pacific American community, and other work in diversity and inclusion has earned her many awards, recognitions, and appointments including the Women of Color Achievement Award from the 100 Black Men of America, “Women of Spirit” Award from the American Jewish Congress and the Justice David Wellington Chew Award from the State Bar of Texas. She also serves on the board of directors of both the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and the USTA Foundation, is Chair of the USTA Strategic and Creative Planning Committee and sits on the Executive Committee and Management Committee of the USTA Texas as well as serving as its General Counsel.
Kathleen holds a JD from George Washington University and a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University and is licensed to practice in Texas, New York, and Connecticut. She has been featured on the cover of the Texas Monthly/Super Lawyers and in the associated article “Ahead of the Game.” Kathleen was also recognized as one of only 30 “Extraordinary Women in Texas Law” by Texas Lawyer magazine and as one of “Dallas/Fort Worth’s Most Influential Women” in the Dallas Business Journal’s inaugural Women in Business Award program. She has also been selected to the “Most Powerful and Influential Women in Texas” list by Texas Diversity magazine, as well as being recognized as a member of Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Lawyers in America” and as one of the top real estate lawyers in Texas on several occasions.