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 footbridge 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
Arnold Bugingo
Arnold Bugingo
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Arnold Bugingo
Uganda Industry Coordinator

I’m an Engineering Trainee and since June 2016 through to December 2017, have volunteered with the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Uganda Chapter, handling registration and event organization for the SPE events and Distinguished Lectures. Consequently, I got a contract with the SPE for 3 months on temporary employment from September – November, 2017 as a Manual/Curriculum writer on a Renewable Energy Project; Energy-4 U – a project focused on teaching Primary School pupils (8 – 11 year olds) practical ways to use renewable energy sources (Solar, Wind, Hydro and Biomass) with materials that are readily available and easy to find in and around their places of abode.

I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Geoscience and Production from Makerere University, Kampala Uganda where I graduated in February 2017. I also hold a Diploma in French – Diplôme d’Études en Langue Française B1 (DELF B1) from the French Ministry of Education through Alliance Française Kampala with which I started up a French Language Tutoring Company in July 2017; Premier Français, where I tutor people in the language as well as doing translation on a professional level.

During my time in high school, I was a student leader, a position I also took on at university in the capacity of Class Representative throughout the four years of the course. As such, I have exceptional leadership qualities and good writing skills, having been Editor in Chief of the Secret Treasure Magazine, 2014/15 at Makerere University – an annual publication that served to keep the students abreast with the dynamics, news and current affairs concerning the Oil and Gas Industry in Uganda.

When I’m not doing work-related assignments, I write poems and also write on matters in the society, I have a heightened inclination to psychology and philosophy, I love to read many books on these subjects. I enjoy playing soccer and interacting with others. I’m currently living in Kampala, Uganda.

As any good native born Coloradan, I love the outdoors and the sunshine.
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.

Teodoro Mamani Canaviri
Teodoro Mamani Canaviri
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Teodoro Mamani Canaviri
Bolivia Foreman

I was born in Siquipampa, Province of Arque of the municipality of Tacopaya, one of the poorest regions of the Department of Cochabamba. I had experience as a mason in the city working on construction of houses, and currently work with Bridges to Prosperity in the construction of pedestrian bridges. I like to learn about new construction techniques and my desire is to be a bridge construction professional. I live with my wife Francisca in Cochabamba, and we just welcomed a baby girl, Aide, into our family.

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 Foreman

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.

Throughout my work, I strive to continually provide Bridges to Prosperity with collaborative and innovative ideas.
Holly Bartelt
Holly Bartelt
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Holly Bartelt
Senior Program and Accounts Manager

Whether driving along a multi-span bridge of a congested interstate or walking across a suspended cable bridge over an impassable river, I believe that everyone deserves safe access. My passion for people, engineering, and sustainable infrastructure fuels me to provide safe and replicable bridge design as part of Bridges to Prosperity’s technical team.

I grew up in Huntingburg, Indiana and attended college at the University of Southern Indiana, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. In addition to my demanding course work at USI, I competed in cross country and track.

For three years before joining Bridges to Prosperity, I worked as a bridge engineer at HNTB, Indianapolis. During this time, I actively volunteered with Engineers Without Borders. As an EWB volunteer, I helped replace a footbridge in western Kenya, which inspired my drive to reach more lives, move to Colorado, and join the team.

I started my career at B2P as a Staff Engineer, producing individualized bridge designs for unique and challenging sites, and standardized designs that were widely implemented. I moved into the role of Programs Manager in 2016, leading the development of structures and support for our growing global team. Throughout my work, I strive to continually provide Bridges to Prosperity with collaborative and innovative ideas.

When I’m not working on bridges, I’m enjoying the Colorado outdoors to a soundtrack of great music.

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 bridges have the power to provide that access to thousands of isolated communities throughout the world. As Director of Evaluation, I work to understand the impacts that our projects have in communities around the world.

Born in Colorado and raised in Florida, I’ve always been passionate about fundraising for the causes near to my heart, hosting events through my home, university, and volunteer positions, and ultimately working in development and communications in the Denver nonprofit world for several years before joining Bridges to Prosperity in 2014. I live in Denver with her husband, son and a house full of pets, and 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.

Clemente Guarachi
Clemente Guarachi
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Clemente Guarachi
Bolivia Superintendent

I was born and raised in the department of La Paz, Bolivia. I’m married and have two daughters attending university and a younger son in high school. I worked for many years weaving fabrics in clothing factories. About 15 years ago, I started working as a mason and specialize in stone work and crew management.

I love doing different do-it-yourself work and in my spare time, I help friends and family to renovate and maintain their houses. I work with B2P during construction season, and when there are no B2P projects, I work for partner Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo.

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.

Hannis Whittam
Hannis Whittam
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Hannis Whittam
Rwanda Program Director

I grew up in London, UK before studying Engineering at Cambridge University and graduating with a Masters in Civil and Structural Engineering. After graduating I spent some time travelling overland through rural Africa which helped inspire me to return years later with B2P.

I worked for COWI in the UK for 5 years, primarily working on technical designs of bridges and sports stadia. In 2015 I returned to Rwanda with B2P on an industry partner programme build and saw first-hand the impact a bridge can have on a community. This was pretty life-changing, gave new purpose to my work as an engineer, and motivated me to use the skills and knowledge I was gaining to help provide access to those that need it most. Over the following years working for COWI I increased my involvement with B2P: organizing events; giving talks and presentations; and publishing a paper on aspects of B2Ps work.

Having become a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Civil Engineers and completing a 5 year long major bridge project in the UK I decided to join B2P in a permanent role. In 2018 I moved to Rwanda to take up the position of Procurement Manager. At the end of 2018 I became the Rwanda Program Director, responsible for all of our exciting and ambitious plans to scale-up operations in Rwanda.

In my spare time I love doing anything outside, most enthusiastically: white water kayaking; snowboarding and skiing; and trail running.

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