BuildStrong Academy of Colorado
Allison Stepnitz, Director
Allison is a Michigan native and studied geology at Grand Valley State University before going to work as an exploration geologist at a gold mine in Alaska. She moved to Colorado in 2013 when she began working in the homebuilding industry in customer service, working her way up to operations manager for a local Colorado builder. She joins the BuildStrong Academy with a broad set of management skills and a passion for homebuilding and community impact. She hopes to lead the BuildStrong team to success by elevating their passion and experience with operational excellence and joining them in making a meaningful impact on the skilled labor workforce and the local Denver Metro community. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking with her little dog Kevin, camping, going to concerts, painting, spending time with her partner and his two kids, and neglecting her many, many houseplants.
Irazú Hernández, Project Manager [Bilingual]
After graduating from the University of Denver with a B.A in Sociology and Spanish, Irazu began her career in Community Engagement. After traveling to the heart of Community Organizing, San Jose, California- for a 9-month activist training, she soon realized that her passion was rooted within her community and the people. As a young immigrant Latina growing up in West Denver, she understood the importance of becoming the voice of those who do not have one. Irazu now supports students at the BuildStrong Academy of Colorado achieve their construction career goals by breaking down any social and economic barriers. Irazu enjoys exploring nature’s hidden gems while backpacking with her soulmate.
Corey Boudreault, Recruiter
Corey has a passion for stories, and it is his goal to help grow the story of those around him. He has spent his career working through public service, recruitment and management, and has always been looking to help other people ignite their passions to build a better quality of life. Being community driven, making a connection with others has always been at his core. At BuildStrong Academy of Colorado, Corey is excited to help others build a solid foundation for their futures. When not at work, Corey can usually be found at home, spending time with his spouse, Luka, and their four cats, playing D&D, designing a board game, or working on building new fantasy worlds.
Kristin Davenport, Career Coach
Kristin Davenport is a native Coloradan and graduated from the Art Institute of Colorado with a Culinary Arts degree. Kristin has spent much of her career working in Corporate America as a recruiter for several Fortune 100 Companies (IBM, Comcast, UnitedHealthcare). Kristin previously worked for the City and County of Denver on the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) Grant where she worked with employers all over the Denver Metro area to find the youth of Denver sustainable employment. Kristin has been a recruiter in the construction field for the last several years and looks forward to assisting BuildStrong Academy students/graduates with networking, resume building, interviewing skills and making introductions to employers in the BuildStrong Academy network. In her spare time, Kristin enjoys going camping, fishing and attending rock concerts with her husband, she is also known to throw dinner parties from time to time.
Sam Fowler, Career Coach
Although raised in Colorado, Sam spent most of the last 14 years outside of the United States living, learning, and working in Switzerland, Ireland, and France. With an academic background in International Relations and professional background in policy work, education, and trade, Sam also has a deep passion for community. From a young age, he has been a volunteer and activist, advocating for equitable education, housing, worker’s rights, and more. At Buildstrong Academy of Colorado, Sam intends to marry his professional expertise and passions in a way that gives the students their best shot at success.
Outside of work, Sam can be found in the gym training as a powerlifter, running tabletop games for his friends, or at home with his partner and their two cats. He has a deep love of sports, community organizing, and every kind of food.
Joe Otumfuor, Construction Instructor
Joe Otumfuor is a US Navy Seabee veteran. He graduated from Redstone College with a degree in Avionics and Advanced Electronics, after which he pursued another degree from the Ecotech Institute for Electrical Engineering Technology. As a Seabee and a Master Electrician, Joe brings a “can-do” attitude and over 19 years of electrical industry experience to the team. His devotion to learning and succeeding has helped him elevate throughout the different aspects of electrical careers.
Matt Fenton, Construction Instructor
Matt began working in the construction industry after graduating high school in 1994. After some entry-level experience in the HVAC/R industry, he decided to join the family industry of steel construction, and he joined Ironworkers Local Union #24 as an apprentice. He moved up through the ranks, and after becoming a journeyman, he worked as a general foreman, then later pursued a construction management degree and worked as a project manager, estimator, and operations manager before opening his own company.
After spending the last few years on a small farm/homestead in the Ozark Mountains, Matt has returned to Colorado and is excited to be an Instructor with the BuildStrong Academy of Colorado. Matt is looking forward to sharing his experiences from years in the construction industry with students and helping them develop the necessary skills to be successful in the construction industry.
Mohalab “Mo” Yosif, Construction Instructor
Mo began his academic pursuit in civil engineering by earning an associate degree in 1993, marking the inception of his passion for the field. Building on this foundation, he diligently worked towards his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering, which he successfully attained in 2014. Fueled by a strong desire to make a meaningful impact, Mohalab took the entrepreneurial leap in 2008, establishing his own business that specializes in residential and commercial projects. With over a decade of experience in the industry, he continues his passion by teaching others.
West Region | Starwood Land Ventures, LLC
Past President of Home Builders Association of Metro Denver
Chief Executive Officer
Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs
Precision Building Systems
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
University of Denver
Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate & Construction Management
Chief Operating Officer