Collectively, uCC’s founders have worked in dozens of schools, managed over 100 construction-based projects, and leveraged thousands of unskilled volunteers – all while creating a sense of accomplishment and community along the way. They’ve had one foot in the classroom and one on the job site for the last 10 years.
Aaron Frumin: Founder & Executive Director
Aaron Frumin dropped out of college, and responded to Hurricane Katrina with the Red Cross. Later that year, Aaron learned grit when he took his first job in construction as the least skilled worker at a day labor company. Later, Aaron spent years leading volunteers, AmeriCorps, and partner families rebuilding New Orleans with Habitat for Humanity. When he returned to college at Tulane University, it was on his own terms with a renewed sense of purpose. As a Teach for America member, Aaron worked to bridge the gap between his students’ experience and his own. He’s most proud of the fact that he has not paid for a haircut in nearly 10-years.
Aron Michalski: Founder & Operations Director
Aron Michalski went to a rural public high school that had a strong vocational training program where he learned how to work with his hands. When he graduated from Haverford College with a degree in Astrophysics, but no job, he joined AmeriCorps and worked for Habitat for Humanity. For six years Aron worked in non-profit construction in California, Mississippi, and Louisiana with Habitat for Humanity, YouthBuild and KaBOOM!. Then he transitioned to education, where through his most recent work managing operations for schools in New Orleans, Aron has brought more choices, access and opportunities to New Orleans’ youth. Aron’s most memorable high school experience was when he toured Europe as a tuba player in a National Honor Band.
Sydney Kastner: Jill of All Trades, Community Manager
Sydney is a former educator with a passion for the city of New Orleans and social justice. She’s a proud alum of The University of Virginia, and you can always find her cheering for the Hoos to a fault. Sydney moved to New Orleans in 2012 as a Teach for America Corps Member and stayed for the feeling of family, the welcoming community atmosphere and the MUSIC & FOOD. After three years in a classroom on the “Best Bank,” she transitioned to find out how to impact and empower students outside of the classroom.
uCC’s Board of Directors is comprised of five smart, collaborative, and insightful members. Individually they bring a range of experience and perspective. Collectively they provide counsel, feedback, and oversight.
Board of the Directors
Joshua Schoop: Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor
Joshua Schoop is a Social Innovation Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor in the Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking at Tulane University. Working in international development for the past eight years, he has conducted research on youth development, entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and urban United States. Joshua recently completed his PhD at the Payson Center for International Development. His research explored socially innovative ecosystems to cultivate capabilities in youth, where he conducted a case study of Grow Dat Youth Farm in New Orleans. Joshua is also a returned Peace Corps volunteer from Samoa.
Michael Stimpfel: Financial Manager
Michael Stimpfel is a Finance Manager with 4th Sector Solutions and serves as financial consultant and advisor for several non-profits in Louisiana and New York. Michael assists non-profits with financial management, reporting, budgeting, forecasting, grant reporting, and audit preparation. Michael is a also a co-founder of avant-gardED, a data science start-up that focuses on advancing student achievement through data science. Michael has experience in financial accounting, budgeting, and data analytics. Michael Stimpfel is a graduate of Tulane University and is a graduate of the Education Pioneers Analyst Fellowship.
Ashley Aleman – K-12 Industry Liaison
Ashley is committed to ensuring economic self-sufficiency and prosperity for all Greater New Orleans youth. As a former vocational technology high school student and first-generation college student, Ashley understands the multiple ways Career Technical Education can support post-secondary success. Through her work, she strives to dispel the college or career myth by championing CTE preparation as a pathway for all students to succeed in school and life. Ms. Aleman is especially skilled at designing school-based programs and engaging a variety of stakeholders in raising student achievement. She has earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of New Mexico and a master’s degree in Education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.
Byron Bishop: Teacher, Internship & Career Coordinator
Byron Bishop is a carpentry teacher at NOLA TECH at Clark High School, and serves as the Internship Coordinator for The NET Charter High School, and believes that students need a safe space to fail so that they can learn and gain confidence. Through his nationally recognized “Workforce Works” program, Byron has created new programs to get young people involved in trades and affordable home building technology. In class, Byron uses National Curriculum for Construction Engineering and Research (NCCER) to expose his students to post graduation career opportunities. Over the years, Byron has coordinated youth engagement with several of New Orleans’ organizations including from City of Hope, Make it Right, Pontchartrain Park Housing Project and Habitat for Humanity.
Scott Pointer: Construction Manager
Bio coming soon...
uCC would not be where it is today without the support of the following people. Each of them has been instrumental at some critical development point and we look forward to continuing to work together in the future.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.