Urban Alliance

Board of Directors

George Thompson

George earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Connecticut School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Wesleyan University. He is Vice President of WorldBusiness Capital, where he is responsible for their lending, underwriting, and marketing activities in Eurasia, Africa, and the United States. He previously served as Associate Director for ORIX Growth Capital and worked as a Senior Associate for Smith Whiley & Company, where he led business development, deal analysis and portfolio management with a focus on subordinated debt and minority equity investments. George enjoys coaching his two children in basketball and baseball and believes that “have fun every day” are great words to live by.

Jeff Bass

Jeff is the Executive Director for Emmanuel Gospel Center, Inc. in Boston, Massachusetts, where he has worked since 1991. He is responsible for all aspects of the Center’s operation, including strategic planning, program design, development and implementation, financial management, partnership development, and fundraising. He oversees EGC’s research and development, and also engages in teaching, training and consulting with leaders, churches and organizations. Jeff also holds a B.S.E. in Civil Engineering from Princeton University. When not at work, you can find Jeff on the tennis court playing doubles or video chatting with his new granddaughter, who lives in England.

Romanita Hairston-Overstreet

Romanita Hairston-Overstreet is President & Founder of MORE320, a non-profit consulting, leadership development, and publishing organization, Director of Philanthropies Engagement for Microsoft, and Program Advisor for the Murdock Charitable Trust, a top 100 foundation. Prior to the Murdock Charitable Trust, she spent 20 years at World Vision, starting as a Program Director just prior to completing her MBA. Romanita is a nationally recognized thought leader on issues impacting vulnerable populations and, in 2016, she was recognized for her service by the National Council of Negro Women. Romanita writes a regular blog called the “Power of One” and is a seasoned marathon runner.

Jeffrey J. Vanderploeg, Ph.D.

Dr. Vanderploeg is the President and Chief Executive Officer at the Child Health and Development Institute (CHDI), based in Farmington, Connecticut. He also leads the Children’s Fund of Connecticut, a public charitable foundation that serves as the parent organization to CHDI. He serves on a number of state committees and task forces in the pediatric health care and behavioral health care arena, including serving as Co-Chair of the Behavioral Health Partnership’s Quality Access and Policy Subcommittee, and as a member of the Children’s Behavioral Health Plan Implementation Advisory Board. Dr. Vanderploeg received a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a Ph.D. in child clinical psychology from Bowling Green State University. He lives in Farmington, Connecticut with his wife and two children and attends Calvary Fellowship in West Hartford.

Erica Dean

Erica serves as Director of Human Resources for Comcast’s Western New England Region, which employs 2,000 individuals and serves more than 800,000 customers in over 300 communities in CT, NY, VT, western MA and western NH. In this role she is a strategic business partner to the leadership within the Customer Care and Inbound Sales organizations. Erica works with these teams to institute the best possible organizational design and delivery, with ultimate responsibility for translating business needs into HR policies and practices. She attended the Pennsylvania State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Management Science and Information Systems, her Graduate Certificate in Industrial Relations and Human Resources, and her Master’s degree in Industrial Relations and Human Resources. Erica also loves to dance, plays the clarinet and is a self-proclaimed huge Steelers fan.

David Brooker

Dave is currently Chair of the Board of Directors at Urban Alliance. He is a founder of UA and previously served as its President and CEO. He has decades of experience as business owner, an investment manager of a large financial institution, and a senior manager with an international public accounting firm. Dave, who has been married to his wonderful wife Jeanne for 42 years, is a self-described crazy New England Patriots fan and enjoys the competition of card and board games.  

Russell Jarvis

Russell is the President and CEO of Urban Alliance. He is part of UA's founding team and has provided ongoing leadership for the development and growth of the organization since 2008. Russell is a graduate of Duke University with a BA in religion and psychology and earned an MA in sustainable international development from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Russell and his wife, Amy, enjoy being the parents of two delightful children and proudly make their home in Hartford's north end.