GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Construct, a nonprofit provider of affordable housing and supportive services to south Berkshire County residents in need, has appointed five new members to the Board of Directors.
Joining the board are Hinda Bodinger, Wanda Houston, Laura Jordahl, Christa Montano, and Richard Slutsky.
"We regularly evaluate our board and concluded that the time was right to fill the limited available seats," Board President Elizabeth Rosenberg said. "The newest members bring a wealth of complementary and diverse perspectives and skills. We are honored and excited that they chose Construct and look forward to their partnership and contributions for the years to come."
The new members of the Board of Directors assumed their official duties on June 2, 2021. Officers this year include Board President Elizabeth Rosenberg, Board Vice President Rabbi Neil Hirsch, Board Treasurer Keith Seidman, and Board Secretary Elaine Silberstein.
"We're delighted to welcome such esteemed members to our board," said Jane Ralph, Construct's executive director. "They join Construct at an exciting time. We are in the planning stages of a new capital campaign, and we are confident each member will bring valuable experience and insights as our team comes together to expand our mission."
Hinda Bodinger moved to the Berkshires full-time in 2013 with her husband, Bill. In 2016, they started Berkshire Baby Box, a non-profit with the mission of helping all new families feel welcome and connecting new families to resources and services, regardless of income or immigrant status. In 2021, having given out over 1,000 safe-sleep Boxes and their "baby shower in a box," they found a new home for Berkshire Baby Box with the Community Health Program (CHP). Hinda wants to devote her energy to combatting food and housing insecurity in Berkshire County and hopes to impact both areas.
Wanda Houston is a performer, bandleader, music/choir director, and teacher. She comes to the Berkshires from Chicago, Ill., via Los Angeles and New York City. She has worked in Film, Television, and the Broadway Stage. She's also performed and lived in Europe and Australia. Wanda first worked in the corporate worlds of Property Development and Management. Currently, Wanda is the Minister of Music at First Baptist Church in Pittsfield and Band Leader for The Wanda Houston Band, HBH Band, and a private vocal teacher/coach.
Laura Jordahl has long been committed to reducing housing and food insecurity through her volunteer leadership and philanthropy. In her former home on the outskirts of Chicago, Laura became involved in Housing Forward, a local nonprofit focused on ending housing instability. For nearly two decades there, Laura oversaw the nightly meals and bed setup for 25 homeless individuals once a month. After becoming a full-time Great Barrington resident, Laura volunteered at Construct, overseeing the front desk and working with staff on various projects. Professionally she has backgrounds in architecture/project management and early childhood education.
Christa Montano grew up in the Berkshires and recently moved back to Great Barrington full-time with her fiancé, Tyler, and puppy Opie Bear. After attending New York University, she began working in marketing for food brands and CPG startups. Christa currently works remotely for an indoor urban farming company based out of Brooklyn, handling their marketing and PR. Becoming familiar with Construct, Inc. through her stepdad Mark Rosengren, she has volunteered in small ways over the years. She is excited for the opportunity to have a more significant impact now as a board member.
Richard Slutsky retired with his wife Alyson to the Berkshires in 2019. Originally from Omaha, Neb., he graduated from Washington University and Emory University School of Law. Richard practiced general civil law in Kansas City for five years. For 12 years, he served consecutively as the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City and later at the Jewish Community Foundation of Metrowest, New Jersey. For 20 years, Richard served as the Senior Vice President and Institutional Sales Director for the Philanthropic Solutions Group at U.S Trust and Merrill Lynch in New York City.
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