Message from the President of
Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust, Luis Sanchez
I grew up in the inner city. I shared a one bedroom, run-down, overpriced apartment in a neglected neighborhood with my single mother and brother. We all shared the seemingly far-fetched dream of moving into a house of our own. I remember spending hours hanging outside our chipped, lead-painted windows, observing the neighborhood and yelling shout-outs to passing friends. At night we stocked up on blankets, as those same old windows gave way to the cold while we were in our deepest sleep. Every month we added our high heating bill to the pile, until one day they sent us a yellow notice indicating a shut-off was near. We knew we had to make arrangements to hopefully get us through until April, when the weather would start to break. Frustrated, as a young adult I began looking for options. There had to be a better life for us out there.
How many people in Bridgeport share a similar story?
At Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust, we take pride in knowing that our efforts are making a meaningful difference in the community, and directly impacting the lives of the hundreds of people that we serve each year. On a daily basis, we work to provide low-income families with access to safe, healthy, high quality, affordable housing. In addition, we also provide educational opportunities and programs—not only for those buying a home for the first time, but for current homeowners. We believe that it’s one thing to own your own home, but what’s even more important is to be able to afford it and prepare for the future.
Our reputation for consistently demonstrating integrity and professionalism in all we do has earned us the support and confidence of local, state, and national organizations and government. Whether they are collaborating with us for our project expertise, supporting our ongoing programs, or trusting our management of grant money and donations, it is clear that our partners recognize both the need for, and dependability of, Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust. Everyone from our board of directors to our efficient and hard-working staff—dubbed “The Mighty Bunch”—works hard with determination and focus, keeping our organization’s vision in mind.
When I see the impact our work has had on families, I cannot help but think that had my own family had access to the services of BNT, my childhood could have been changed for the better—kids could have lived in lead-free homes and been spared mental or learning disabilities; families caught in the cycle of renting could have had the opportunity to responsibly achieve homeownership and all its benefits. Who knew that the only thing that separated us from better living conditions was information?
BNT has grown considerably over the years and, despite the current economic climate, we are continually expanding our reach in the community. I encourage anyone who is interested in creating affordable, safe, and healthy neighborhoods in Bridgeport to call our office and find out how you can become part of our team at Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust.
Luis Sanchez, President
BNT Board of Directors
Select a board members name to view bio
Luis Sanchez, President
Bridgeport native, Luis Sanchez is a real estate broker with RE/MAX Right Choice and serves on the board of the CT Association of Realtors and Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce. He served previously as president of the Greater Bridgeport Board of Realtors. He has worked previously in accounting and business development. He currently lives in Wilton, CT with his wife and two children, and maintains an office in the Park City, where he remains active in his community.
Terence Floyd is vice president and affordable lending manager in the Residential Lending Department. Floyd is responsible for developing products and services and implementing effective programs to meet the affordable lending needs of lower-income borrowers. In addition, Floyd manages the homebuyer education and outreach programs to ensure their effectiveness with lower-income borrowers. He also develops and maintain effective relationships with leaders in communities throughout the state to promote the People’s United commitment to affordable housing issues and lending practices. Having attended the University of Connecticut, Floyd holds a Masters’ Degree in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.
Ms. Harriman brings over a decade of fundraising, communications and event planning experience to both small business and non-profit clients throughout the greater Bridgeport region. She is a highly experienced grant researcher and writer, whose proposals have netted over $35 million in funding. In addition to securing funding, she is experienced in public relations and marketing, and provides one-on-one training and support to start-up non profit organizations.
Ms. Harriman previously served as grant writing professional for the City of Bridgeport, where she researched, and was awarded funding from proposals to federal funders.
In her role with the City, Ms. Harriman worked with Connecticut’s Congressional delegation to coordinate a number of funding forums, bringing federal and state agencies together with community organizations to share information and ideas additionally served as grant coordinator.
Prior to her role with the City of Bridgeport, Ms. Harriman was employed by the Greater Bridgeport Area Foundation. At the Foundation, she was tasked with building media relationships, planning special events, creating an annual appeal, and drafting the annual report to funders. She served as Executive Director for Common Cause/CT, lobbying for ethics and campaign reform; Organizing Director for Ocean State Action, promoting events and organizing around health care reform; and as a field organizer for a Congressional campaign.
Ms. Harriman is a graduate of the Central Connecticut State University School of Social Work and Leadership Greater Bridgeport, for which she serves on the Board of Directors.
Roxanne Reyes-Vélez works as community liason for Casey Family Services, an organization that provides comprehensive services that support safe, stable, and lifelong family relationships for children and youth. She received her Master's of Science in Human Services from Springfield College in 2007. In addition to her work in human services, she has extensive experience in youth education and counseling, including her work at the Youth Continuum, Inc and the Bridge Academy Charter High School.
Angela Rossi Zurowski is the Director of Program & Development at the International Institute of Connecticut, a statewide nonprofit serving immigrants, refugees and their families. In her graduate work at Southern Connecticut State University, Angela studied international relations, focusing on forced migration movements and refugee policy. A resident of the Greater Waterbury area, she has worked in Bridgeport for more than 5 years and has enjoyed partnering with other service providers to improve the quality of life to our community's underprivileged populations.
Luis Sanchez, President; Terence Floyd, Vice President; Edward Lomax, Treasurer; Alison Laing Murphy, Secretary.
Non Voting Members:
Mona Jackson, Frank Parisi
Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust is seeking candidates for Board of Directors who have a passion for helping the Park City, and its people, succeed. We're looking for creative, committed, and energetic people who live or work in Bridgeport to join the Board this Spring. We are especially interested in prospects who are community leaders, have prior Board experience, and those with legal, fund development and marketing backgrounds. If interested, please contact Executive Director Liz Torres at 203 332 7977 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.