Brook Smith is the president of Smith Manus, an Acrisure partner company and one of the largest surety bonding providers in the United States. Through his work throughout the country, across numerous construction/development related industries, Brook has a deep understanding of the impending workforce shortage that faces these employers. He’s a big believer in supporting creativity in both business and philanthropy, and has strategically and generously done both for uCC to create real-world career pathways for youth.
A proud New Orleanian and seasoned construction pro , Sterling got his start as one of New Orleans Habitat for Humanity’s first AmeriCorps members. Since then, he’s taught and trained new craftsmen and women at Delgado Community College, and continues to work in the industry as the owner of iLead Solutions Group. Sterling is incredible community supporter and always available to offer in depth consulting and advice based on experience.
As a former electrical engineer and management consultant, Hassan’s a wiz at making sense of seemingly complex problems. As the Director of Investments at 4.0 Schools, an early-stage education incubator, Hassan’s always ready with just the right kind of “What if…” or “I wonder…” to think through a challenge in our program design and iteration.
Brian Bordainick is is the Founder & CEO of Dinner Lab, a nation-wide social dining club that unites undiscovered chefs with adventurous diners in unique spaces. We admire how Dinner Lab brings diverse people together for a truly unCommon experience! As both a former New Orleans high school teacher and serial entrepreneur, Brian’s unique understanding of what it means to make mistakes and learn from them makes him a galvanizing advisor as we build our organization.
Since founding Liberty’s Kitchen in 2009, Janet’s work has has touched the lives of over 300 young people through its Youth Development Program. Janet is a firm believer that nonprofits and social enterprises should be managed like a business in order to realize their mission. As our Lead Mentor through social venture incubator Propeller’s Startup Accelerator, Janet helped make sure that uCC”s founders are “getting things right” from the beginning.
As the Founder & CEO of 4.0 Schools, Matt supports uCC ‘s founders in countless ways. Matt’s work in education spans classrooms in both public and private schools as a teacher, coach, principal and parent, along with opening and developing new school models with organizations like LearningNext, KIPP, NYC Charter Center and New Schools for New Orleans. Once his kids are asleep, Matt heads to the garage to build electric motorcycles at Nightshift Bikes because he knows the reward of thinking through problems and using his hands to make new things.
unCommon Construction's high school apprentices build a house in a semester, gaining technical, professional and personal skills. uCC's unique program model allows students to earn pay and school credit as they work together toward a more equitable future.