Somers, NY Resident Chosen as New Executive Director for Ossining-based International Not-for-profit Organization, Bridges to Community

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International not-for-profit organization looks to strengthen its mission with long-time National Audubon Society executive at the helm.

New Executive Director John Hannan visits the BTC Nicaraguan office.

We have found a new leader with a unique combination of skills, experience and values perfectly suited for implementing our new vision

The board of Bridges to Community announced that John Hannan has been chosen as their new Executive Director. Bridges to Community is an international, not for profit organization that sends service learning delegations to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic building cross-cultural understanding while improving the lives of the impoverished communities they visit.

As Executive Director, Hannan will lead and implement the new vision and goals the Board recently approved, expanding on Bridges’ mission to build a more just and sustainable world through service learning and community development.

“Hannan’s diverse skill set and professional experience are exactly what our organization needs as we move into our third decade of service and we're lucky to have him join Bridges at this pivotal moment," said Bridges to Community Board Chair Frank Pepe. "He's a proven leader on strategic planning, sustainable economic development, volunteer management and fund raising, and that's a great fit for Bridges."

"It is an honor to have been selected as Executive Director of Bridges to Community” Hannan stated. “I have had a longtime connection to the social justice work in Central America having led delegations, developed on-going “sister” relationships with communities while promoting human rights in Central America and the demilitarization of the region. What attracts me to Bridges is the people to people connection that creates common understandings across cultures while building long-term sustainable growth for our partners in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic” he continued.

Bridges to Community is a twenty year-old nonprofit community development organization that takes volunteers to developing countries to work, learn, and reflect. The organization is made up of people from different cultures, countries, ages, professions and socio-economic backgrounds that work together to build relationships of empathy, respect and support.

Hannan jumped right in to his new role, having just returned from Nicaragua. “My first trip was a great success. "I had the opportunity to meet with Westchester delegations from Bedford Presbyterian Church, Temple Shaaray Tefila and Congregation B'Nai Yisrael who were there helping Bridges build houses, schools and clinics." I crossed more than half the country and saw more than sixteen projects. I spoke with adult members of the Westchester group who almost all shared the same thought, that this trip was one of the most meaningful events in their lives.”

Hannan’s commitment to social justice for Central America began in the 1980’s. He helped form the Connecticut Central America Network, an organization that educated the public about Central America while encouraging the empowerment of Central American communities. He has also worked to address other problems of civil society. As CFO at the Greentree Foundation he helped protect thousands of acres of virgin Long Leaf Pine forest in Georgia and turn a gilded age Long Island estate into a Center for International Peace Conferences. As Director of Strategic Planning at New York Cares he created volunteer programs to assist the poor and disabled in New York City. At Riverkeeper he worked to protect the Hudson River and its surrounding watershed.

Most recently Hannan was the National Audubon Society’s Connecticut Director of External Affairs, where he led efforts focusing on creating hemispheric conservation plans and strategies that will ensure sustainable environments and economies for humans and wildlife alike. He was also in charge of Audubon’s media, marketing and communications efforts for the Connecticut operations.

A 1980 graduate of St. Michael's College in Vermont, John holds a master's degree in non-profit management from the New School of Social Research. He currently resides with his wife and two children in the Northern Westchester County town of Somers, NY.

About Bridges to Community:
Now in its third decade, Bridges to Community ( promotes community development by taking volunteers to developing countries to work, learn, and reflect. Bridges to Community is made up of people from different cultures, countries, ages, professions and socio-economic backgrounds that work together to build relationships of empathy, respect and support.

About Swee Brand Works:
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