Board of Directors
Manuel Cordero Alvarado
President and Founder
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Manuel received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and earned a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a licensed architect in Rhode Island, with several years of experience in large-scale institutional projects, with a focus on educational and community planning projects. Manuel currently works as Assistant School Construction Planner for RIDE. He is an active member of the Providence community and has served on the Board of the West Broadway Neighborhood Association. He has taught design to students of all ages, including high school students through ATDP (the Academic Talent Development Program), middle school students for DownCity Design in the PASA AfterZone, and as adjunct faculty in the Architecture Department of the Rhode Island School of Design.
Cynthia is Director of Real Estate Development for ONE Neighborhood Builders, an organization that builds and renovates housing units for purchase by first-time homebuyers or for rental at affordable rates. She has over ten years experience in the field of resource development, community and economic development, planning and implementing neighborhood development strategies, promoting sustainable and healthy communities, planning and executing development programs and projects. She is dedicated to building stronger communities, working with residents and stakeholders in urban neighborhoods to improve the local quality of life by bolstering the local economy and investing in the built environment. In her earlier career, she worked as a carpenter, architect, urban planner, non-profit executive, real estate developer and educator.
Sandy teaches American Studies and Urban Studies at Brown University. He is a cultural, intellectual, and urban historian with particular interest in 20th century cities, the built environment, United States history since World War II, and nonfiction writing. He has written articles and reviews for a number of publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Reviews in American History, The Baffler, Metropolis, American Studies International, Southern California Quarterly, Cabinet, and In These Times. He earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. His book Manhattan Projects: The Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal in Cold War New York is available from Oxford University Press.
DownCity Design Treasurer Lynne Prodger currently serves as Financial Reporting Analyst for the City of Warwick. In this capacity, she manages the annual budget as well as grants for the city. Her in-depth knowledge of budget administration and grant management were honed in her previous roles at Pawtucket School Department and the New England Foundation for the Arts. Lynne is a member of the Cranston Arts Commission and a Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership mentor. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business from Skidmore College.
Bob Vierra has been in the construction industry for over 36 years and with Gilbane for the past 15 years. He has a degree in civil engineering and experience working on complex program management projects. Bob enjoys passing on his construction experience to the next generation.
Aaron is the founder and designer at 2Story, a Providence design/build firm. He focuses on small scale, high quality design and construction with projects ranging in scale from one off furniture pieces, small commercial interiors and residential renovation as well as ground-up construction. Aaron received his BFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University and went on to receive an MArch from the Rhode Island School of Design. Prior to starting 2Story, Aaron worked at the Providence architecture firms 3six0 and Site Specific. He also is an adjunct professor of architecture at RISD and Roger Williams University
As the Associate Director of Community Relations at RISD, Bethany works closely with community and campus leaders to develop partnerships that address key economic challenges in the local marketplace, align with RISD’s priorities as a leader in art and design education, and serve to enhance positive interaction among members of the RISD and regional communities. Prior to coming to RISD, Bethany spent 10 years working at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, where she directed the development and implementation of organization's communications and public policy strategies.
Anastasia is Principal Designer at Oblique Studio, a design/build practice and furniture fabrication studio with her partner Michael Larsen. She has over ten year’s experience working as an architectural designer and photographer in Providence, New York and Memphis. She received a Master of Architecture from RISD and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Memphis. She is also Adjunct Faculty at Roger Williams University in the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation as well as Visiting Critic at RISD in the Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Foundation Departments. Anastasia was a Design Educator for DownCity Design from 2011-12.