Get To Know Us!
Bonnie Bessor, Executive Director
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”.
Jim Diel, Project Manager
Jim Diel joined Rebuilding Together Baltimore in 2008 as a member of the CapacityCorps program, and was hired as full time Project Manager in August of 2009. Before joining the CapacityCorps, Jim served in the AmeriCorps as a carpenter for Opportunities in Industrialization Center of Washington. His service with O.I.C. consisted of new home construction for low-income homebuyers and weatherization of low-income homes in Washington State. Prior to his service in the AmeriCorps, Jim attended the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater for Sociology with an emphasis on Social Inequality, and Environmental Studies with a focus on Sustainable Institutions and Communities. While attending UW-W, Jim launched a successful student organization that promoted social and environmental sustainability on campus and within the community by utilizing the Natural Step Framework for sustainability. Jim enjoys snowboarding, reading, and long walks on the beach.
Candace Handy, Program Manager
Gail Dener, Volunteer Office Assistant
Gail Dener joined Rebuilding Together Baltimore in March of 2012, a few months after retirement from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Looking for a rewarding volunteer job where she could continue to be of service, RTB was a perfect fit. Prior to joining RTB, she held a position as a clinical pharmacist at the VA hospitals in Perry Point and Fort Howard, Maryland, as well as Memphis (TN), Richmond (VA) and Buffalo (NY), where she earned her pharmacy degree in 1972. Currently she lives with her husband, Perry Evans, and rescued Shih Tzu dogs, Murphy and BooBoo, in Parkville, where she stays out of her husband’s hair by enjoying scrapbooking, trips to New York with friends and gardening.
Isaak Dearden, Intern
Issak Dearden joined Rebuilding Together Baltimore at the beginning of 2015. He is currently a sophomore at Loyola University Maryland majoring in finance. Isaak was born and raised in Yarmouth, Maine. Before joining us, he worked with general contractors in Maine during the summer. He has been very active volunteering with various youth and other non-profits in his hometown. Isaak enjoys almost all outdoor activities, playing or watching sports, trying new food, and traveling most of all.
Riley Russell, AmeriCorps Program Coordinator
Riley Russell joined Rebuilding Together Baltimore in August 2016. Riley was born and raised in Baltimore County, and attended CardinalGibbons High School. He then went to Frostburg State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in education. After graduation Riley decided he wasn’t ready to pursue a teaching career, but he wanted to become more involved in the community. Before joining Rebuilding Together Riley worked as a general contractor and wanted to use the skills he has learned to serve the Baltimore community.
Arielle Faulkner, AmeriCorps Community Partner Coordinator
Larry, CCO (Chief Cuddling Officer)
Larry the schnoodle joined the RTB team in November 2016 after being adopted from the Harford County Humane Society. Larry is full of energy, and loves to run up and down the hallway of the RTB offices. He enjoys dancing and cuddling.
His favorite toys are his rubber ducky and a squeaky-mouse cat toy.