Skip to main content

Academy Operations Team

Allison, Colorado Operations Manager

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.

Irazu

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, Colorado Recruiter

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.

Kristen

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.

Coming Soon

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.

Instructors

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. 

Ricardo Martinez, Construction Instructor

Ricardo began his career graduating as an Architect from Mexico City, after a life long passion for building. Moving to the US a few years later, he used his skills to build a business as a contractor. Ricardo has found a deep connection with remolding, and takes pride in leaving a lasting impact in the homes he works on. He looks forward to doing the same with his students, helping them to build their own foundations and help them to build their own paths. 

Advisory Team

Craig Campbell

President
West Region | Starwood Land Ventures, LLC
Past President of Home Builders Association of Metro Denver

Renee Zentz

Chief Executive Officer
Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs

Jay Small

President
Precision Building Systems

Amy Schwartz

Executive Director
BuildStrong Education

Pat Hamill

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Oakwood Homes

Eric Holt

Scott Thorson

Chief Operating Officer
Oakwood Homes

Our Partners

Donate

Support BuildStrong Academy of Colorado