ROBERT LEPRE is co-founder and Vice President of Abracadabra Painting Co., Inc. Mr. Lepre is the Chief Operating Officer charged with overseeing a painting and construction crew of 25+ and managing the daily operations of the painting company including scheduling, customer relations, and employee training. In 2009 Mr. Lepre bought into and became co-owner of Avante Contracting Corporation. Mr. Lepre is the head of the Project Management Team and coordinates the management and field supervision of all ongoing work. He oversees the daily maintenance of all construction projects, client relationships and contracts, and construction labor.
Mr. Lepre is an EPA Certified Lead Renovator, Certified Mold Professional, and is OSHA 10 and 30 Certified. For many years, Mr. Lepre served on the board of the Mount Vernon Community Service Associates where he donated his time as well as labor and materials for special projects taken on by the CSA within the community. Mr. Lepre is a longtime supporter of the Mount Vernon Boys & Girls Club and was instrumental in securing the guest speaker for The Club’s 2014 Annual Gala. Additionally, Mr. Lepre was honored by the Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle in 2018, along with Ms. Lepre. For many years, Mr. Lepre was also a member of the Vestry at Christ the Redeemer Church in Pelham.
ALEXANDRA HANSON, Director of Development, joined Avante in April 2019 to expand the company’s development operations. Ms. Hanson brings over a decade of professional experience spanning affordable housing policy and development, as well as community organizing and planning. As Director of Development Ms. Hanson is responsible for evaluating and securing new development opportunities for Avante, as well as managing all phases of the development process, including initial site selection, contract implementation, public approvals processes, and financing.
Prior to joining the Avante team, Ms. Hanson served as Policy Director for the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH) and a member of the BFC Partners development team. During her tenure at NYSAFAH, Ms. Hanson was responsible for working with affordable housing leaders from the public and private sector to develop and implement high-level policy campaigns. As coordinator of the NYSAFAH New York City Policy Committee and a member of Housing First!, she was integral to the development of policy recommendations during the 2013 New York City Mayoral Campaign that were adopted as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York Plan. Similarly, NYSAFAH’s advocacy at the New York State level under Ms. Hanson saw the creation of the Rural and Urban Community Investment Fund, as well as a significant increase in affordable housing resources overall. Additionally, Ms. Hanson coordinated the affordable housing industry’s support for Mayor de Blasio’s proposed changes to the Zoning Resolution through Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH). Ms. Hanson was a fierce public advocate of the proposals, working in tandem with a team that ultimately succeeded with the 2016 passage of ZQA and MIH, the first major overhaul to the New York City Zoning Resolution in decades.
As a member of the development team at BFC Partners, Ms. Hanson managed affordable housing development projects in the company’s pipeline. Ms. Hanson was responsible for managing a $48MM 103-unit mixed-income, mixed-use development in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn, successfully securing required public approvals and financing to close in June 2018. Ms. Hanson served as one of the project managers for the Bedford Union Armory, coordinating community and non-profit partner engagement. Additionally, she assisted with the closing of Ingersoll Senior Residences, a 17-story 145-unit senior building being constructed at the NYCHA Ingersoll Houses in Brooklyn as part of NextGeneration NYCHA. The project is one of the first LGBTQ+ friendly affordable developments in New York City. She was also active in underwriting and evaluating potential development opportunities. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Humanistic Studies from McGill University and Master of Urban Planning from Hunter College and is a member of the NYSAFAH 2G Advisory Board.
In Memory of our Co-Founder
Ms. Lepre earned a Masters of Business Administration from Iona College. She held the following industry certifications: OSHA 10 and 30 Certification, Allied Member of the American Institute of Architects, Construction Superintendent Certification by the New York City Department of Buildings, Home Improvement Salesperson License issued by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. Ms. Lepre served on the boards of the Mount Vernon Boys and Girls Club, Pelham Family Services, the Pelham Arts Center, and was a member of the certifying committee for the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. She was a member of the National Minority Business Council, Women Builders Council of New York, American Institute of Architects Associate Member, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce, New York State Association for Affordable Housing, and the Supportive Housing Network of New York. Through her affiliation with some of these organizations she lobbied at the New York State Legislature and at the New York City Council in support of the preservation of affordable housing, as well as the participation of Women Business Enterprises in construction and the development of affordable housing.
In 2012, the New York City Women’s Chamber of Commerce presented Ms. Lepre with the Women of Excellence award for the testimony she presented to the New York City Council on behalf of Women Owned Businesses. In 2013 as well as 2017, Ms. Lepre was privileged to be a panelist in the Annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Forum sponsored by HOPE Community Inc. Also in 2013, at their 45th Annual Community Service Awards Dinner, HOPE Community Inc. presented Ms. Lepre with The George Calvert Community Service Award for her significant contributions to the East Harlem community. Ms. Lepre was dedicated to encouraging, supporting, and mentoring women in the construction industry and entrepreneurship as she always explored new avenues to promote and advocate for women in business.