Our cross national team is driven by a commitment to directness, transparency, and hard work - balanced with teamwork, humor and the desire to do good work.

A note from Avery

Our team at Bridges to Prosperity shows up to work every day committed to providing safe access to the world’s rural last mile. We are driven by the belief that isolation is a root cause of poverty, and connection is the key first step to helping communities to thrive. Each and every member of our global team shares a deep commitment to our partner communities and our shared vision powers us forward.

I consider myself singularly lucky to lead such a stellar team – we act with integrity, believe in equality and collaborate to ensure quality and impact are optimized. When our founder, Ken Frantz, built our first trailbridge in 2001, he drew on the knowledge and support of his friends and family and the expertise of local partners. That tradition continues today, more than fifteen years later. Each new team member lends their own unique expertise and enthusiasm to achieving our mission. Together, we're changing the world.

Avery Bang

President & CEO
Since joining B2P as a volunteer in 2006, I’ve worked alongside a growing team of leaders and game changers who, in partnership with isolated communities around the world, provide safe year-round access to education, healthcare, and markets through pedestrian bridge-building. Together, we’re connecting the rural last mile.

Meet the Team

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Avery Bang
Avery Bang
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Avery Bang
President & CEO

I believe that every person has a right to safe access – and the innovative, scalable approach B2P embraces is built to act on that belief. Since joining B2P as a volunteer in 2006, I’ve worked alongside a growing team of leaders and game changers who, in partnership with isolated communities around the world, provide safe year-round access to education, healthcare, and markets through pedestrian bridge-building. Together, we’re connecting the rural last mile.

My passion for engineering began early – I was a passionate fan of legos as a kid (still am, as a matter of fact). I pursued a BSc. degree in Civil Engineering and a BA in Studio Art at the University of Iowa, and later completed a graduate degree in Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. My graduate research was conducted with National Academy of Engineering member Bernard Amadei, and considered locally-appropriate geotechnical survey and pedestrian bridge design for rural applications. I have taught Cable-Supported Pedestrian Bridge Design at the University of Colorado in the Mortenson Center for Engineering in Developing Communities, and in 2016, took a sabbatical to complete an MBA at Säid Business School at the University of Oxford, where I served as the Managing Director for the Oxford Seed Fund. In this role, I selected and managed a team of 10 fellow MBAs to oversee deal flow, due diligence, and term negotiation for high growth Oxford-led startups, while also being responsible for screening applicants of the Skoll Venture Awards.

As exciting and inspiring as my time across the pond was, I’m excited to be back with the B2P team and in the state I love. When I’m not mulling over the next exciting step for the organization, I’m usually enjoying a good brew in the Colorado sunshine, rock climbing, or tackling my newest home renovation project.

Where you’ve seen Avery:

Speaking at…

TEDWomen 2018
TEDx Boulder
ASBI Annual Convention
USGBC’s Greenbuild Nation
International Footbridge Conference
IABSE International Conference
CURT Annual Convention
SEAOI’s Midwest Bridge Conference
D80 Conference at Michigan Technical University
ENR’s Women in Construction
International Bridge Conference
ASCE’s International Conference
Engineering for Change (E4C)
Engineers Without Borders – USA (EWB) International Conference

Writing for…

Acumen’s blog
Engineering News Records’s Future Tech blog
ASCE’s Structure Magazine (guest editorialist)

Being honored as…

ENR’s Top 25 Newsmakers of 2012
ENR Mountain Region’s Top 20 Under 40 list in 2013
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Fresh Faces in 2011
Distinguished Young Alumni of The University of Iowa
Recent Alumni Award winner at The University of Colorado at Boulder
Clarkson University honorary PhD in 2014

Serving as a board member for…

Helvetas USA
Posner Center for International Development
The University of Iowa Department of Civil Engineering
CauseLabs Digital Solutions for Social Change B-Corp
Christina Barstow
Christina Barstow
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Christina Barstow
Chief of Staff

I’m a program development and management enthusiast who believes rural infrastructure can provide a catalyst to economic empowerment. I’ve spent my career striving to use data driven research to design, implement and ultimately prove benefits of large scale international development programs. At Bridges, I’m excited to bring my passion and focus in using rigorous research-driven evidence to support the development of impact-based innovative financing solutions.

Over the last decade my work has focused on the research and implementation of appropriate technologies across a range of international development sectors including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition, energy and infrastructure. After moving to Rwanda in 2011, I came on for a brief, but very rewarding time, as a Country Manager for Bridges to Prosperity where I established and built the Rwanda program. Having fallen in love with Rwanda’s rolling hills, I spent much of the next five years at DelAgua Health, where I led the in-country design and operations of a nation-wide campaign, distributing household water and energy products to almost half a million rural Rwandese. Most recently I received the Science and Technology Policy fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where I served as the Water Evaluation and Behavior Change Advisor at the US government funded foreign aid agency, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). I earned a PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Colorado where I focused on the benefits of large scale program implementation in developing communities. I’ve very much enjoyed the diversity of perspectives I’ve been awarded across public, private, academic and government sectors, and look forward to the continued growth at B2P.

As any good native born Coloradan, I love the outdoors and the sunshine. On most weekends you can locate me in the mountains; hiking or rock climbing. But also a huge lover of the city of Denver where you can find me running around City Park or teaching at the yoga studio.

Claude Munyaneza
Claude Munyaneza
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Claude Munyaneza
Rwanda Program Engineer

I was born in Rubavu District, the Western Province of Rwanda, in 1990 and am the youngest of four children. I completed secondary school in 2009 at the Nyanza School of Science, where I studied physics, chemistry and mathematics. In 2014 I received my B.Sc degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Rwanda, College of Science and Technology.

I first encountered Bridges to Prosperity as a senior when I attended a footbridge-building seminar at the University of Rwanda put on by Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Germany. I proceeded to collaborate on the design and construction of a suspended footbridge with EWB and B2P in a rural area of Rwanda.

After graduating, I was hired on as an engineering intern with B2P to conduct a bridge needs assessment. I spent seven months visiting rural districts and villages throughout Rwanda and carried out thorough social and technical assessments of potential bridge sites. In January 2015, I was hired on full time as a Project Engineer.

When I am not out on site, I live in Kigali City with my wife.

Erica Brandt
Erica Brandt
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Erica Brandt
Uganda Program Manager

Though I had originally planned to work with B2P for only 6 months as a Haiti Bridge Corps Fellow, I was inspired to stay on longer by the resilience of my neighbors in Haiti. Living there, I saw how their daily lives and their plans for the future were often tied to the wide, flooding river – which could be a source of life for the farming community but also a major barrier. The community pulled together to build that bridge; the celebration upon the completion was one I’ll never forget.

As the Uganda Program Manager, I’m most excited about building a strong team and building lasting partnerships with the local government. I’m proud to be able to work on projects which bolster social justice, empower communities, and bring attention to regions that can sometimes be neglected due to difficult access.

Before I joined the team, I graduated with honors from the University of Colorado with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering, a master’s degree in Civil Engineering, and a certificate in Engineering for Developing Communities (EDC). I also spent time working on a USAID water and sanitation project in Zambia, designing drinking water infrastructure projects with Denver Water, volunteering with Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying in India, and traveling in East Africa and South Asia. In my free time you can find me practicing yoga, reading, or exploring the beauty of Uganda.

Damascene Ntaganira
Damascene Ntaganira
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Damascene Ntaganira
Rwanda Senior Foreperson

I was born in 1977 in the Southern Province of Rwanda where I grew up with four brothers and one sister. I attended primary school in Rwanda and studied construction and carpentry for three years at Maranatha Technical School in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I have been working in construction since 1992 and joined B2P in 2012. I’ve been with B2P Rwanda the longest of all our current staff.

I speak Kiswahili and Kinyarwanda. When I’m not building bridges, I enjoy watching movies, listening to gospel music, playing soccer and cheering on my favorite soccer team, Chelsea. I am married with four children, all girls.

Abbie Noriega
Abbie Noriega
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Abbie Noriega
Vice President of Evaluation

I believe that all people should have access to education, employment, and basic healthcare, and that for isolated communities, footbridges can be a powerful tool for creating that access. At B2P, I work to understand the impacts that our projects have in communities around the world, and to develop ways to collect, manage, and use data to make informed decisions in every program and department.

Over the last decade my work has spanned operations, development, systems, monitoring and evaluation, and research, with focuses in agriculture, marine resources, environmental policy, gender, and poverty. When I’m not working with the incredible B2P family of staff, volunteers, and partners to build access through bridges, I spend my time in the kitchen, the garden, or the mountains.

Ann Cannella
Ann Cannella
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Ann Cannella
Chief Financial Officer

I’m passionate about improving the human condition. I believe that safe access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunity is essential and should be made available to all. Inspired by the simplicity of bridges providing this much needed access, I joined Bridges to Prosperity.

A graduate of the University of Missouri and a certified public accountant, I have spent more than 25 years serving the missions of public and private organizations primarily in the service industry. My expertise in project accounting, financial planning, cost analysis, and budgeting are instrumental to our growth and success.

Born and raised in Missouri, I’ve called Denver home for many years, along with my husband and two daughters. Together, we enjoy all that Colorado’s beautiful mountains have to offer. When I’m not number crunching for B2P, you’ll find me enjoying yoga, hiking, reading and just hanging with my girls.

Fabrice Kayisire
Fabrice Kayisire
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Fabrice Kayisire
Rwanda Project Engineer

I am passionate abouting serving local communities and improving their living standards. I am civil engineer and graduated in 2012 from the University of Rwanda. I have seven years of combined experience in the fields of construction, road infrastructures and dams, civil and structural designing/drafting, site supervisory and monitoring as well as project coordination in different organizations and private companies such as American Refugee Committee, Daiho Corporation and RDCC. I also hold a certificate with the Associate Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (ACIARB) for contract conflict resolution.

In November 2018, I joined B2P as Project Engineer due to the organization’s exciting mission and vision to serve local Rwandan communities. I am thrilled to contribute my skills and knowledge towards its mission. Outside of work, I love to spend my time with my lovely wife and son.

Devin Connell
Devin Connell
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Devin Connell
Industry Program Director

I grew up in a small town in Oregon where I spent my childhood biking, skiing, climbing, and camping. In high school I worked on rural projects in Costa Rica and Honduras that sparked my passion to work in community development. I graduated from Portland State University with a Civil Engineering degree in 2013. While in school I was part of a team that helped design and build B2P’s El Trentino project in Nicaragua. This project inspired me and influenced me to work with B2P years later.

After college, I spent time as a Project Engineer in Oregon, designing pedestrian and vehicle bridges including The Threemile Creek interstate bridge in the Columbia River Gorge. My passion to work with communities inspired me to shift paths and join the team at Bridges to Prosperity. I’m the Program Manager in Panama, where I work with partner communities to build access to essential services.

Alan Kreisa
Alan Kreisa
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Alan Kreisa
Director of Engineering

Before joining Bridges to Prosperity, I gained more than ten years of bridge related experience including inspection, design, and construction engineering primarily on major highway and light rail structures. My love of bridges and a desire to fulfill a greater purpose led me to this organization in 2015, where I have since served as the Director of Engineering.

I currently oversee all bridge design and technical development, quality control documents, and bridge inspections. I also support and train our Program Engineers and Bridge Corps Fellows in their roles in each program country. I am responsible for more than 100 footbridges serving communities around the world.

Originally from Virginia, I now live in northern California with my lovely wife and family. An outdoor and adventure enthusiast, I enjoy getting out and experiencing all the rivers, lakes, mountains, and trails this area has to offer.

Didier Harerimana
Didier Harerimana
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Didier Harerimana
Rwanda Foreperson

I was born in 1988 in the Rulindo District of northern Rwanda. I completed my primary schooling at St Famille Primary School, before enrolling at Don Bosco Gatenga where I graduated with an A3 in Construction in 2011. Following graduation, I worked as a Foreman for various subcontractors. However, I’m always looking to learn new skills, so when a previous classmate told me about the opportunity at Bridges to Prosperity I jumped at the opportunity and joined B2P in 2019. Knowing how to construct a pedestrian bridge is always useful.

Whilst at secondary school I was a member of the Rwanda National Acrobatics Troupe, with whom I travelled throughout East Africa. However, I settled on the career of Foreman in order to provide for my wife and son – although I still work on my back flips.

Evariste Mushakashatsi
Evariste Mushakashatsi
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Evariste Mushakashatsi
Rwanda Program Engineer

I was born in 1989 in the Southern Province of Rwanda where I grew up with three sisters and a brother. In secondary school, I took classes in construction at the Ecole Technique Officielle Gitarama. I won a scholarship to pursue my university studies at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center of Kigali (IPRC-Kigali), one of B2P’s partner institutions.

In March 2014, I graduated in Civil Engineering with an A1 advanced diploma. I speak English, French and Kinyarwanda, my mother’s native tongue. I began working with B2P as a student intern during the summer of 2013 where I helped on both the Muregeya Suspension Bridge with Arup and the Cyamutunda Suspended Bridge. I joined B2P full-time in October of the same year as Construction Manager and have since been promoted to Projects Engineer.

My favorite part of bridge construction is crossbeam installation. When I’m not building bridges, I enjoy playing soccer, being with my family and sharing a drink with friends.

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