Environmental SustainabilityJob Creation & TrainingPreservation & Conservation
ASWD Logo ASWD Title Environmental Sustainability Job Creation & Training Preservation & Conservation

Who We Are


The ASWD is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization with a President, Board of Directors, and an Advisory Board.

De-construction, donations, retail and inventory inquiries:

Alvin Johnson
Warehouse Manager
313-896-8333
aswdetroit@att.net

Board of Directors

Rebecca Binno Savage
Born and raised in Detroit, Rebecca holds a Master of Science degree in historic preservation from Columbia University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. She has extensive experience in the preservation field as a consultant, and now works for AKT Peerless Environmental Services as a Senior Project Manager. Rebecca previously served as a board member of the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, Preservation Wayne, the Greening of Detroit, and the Hamtramck Downtown Development Authority. She currently serves as the Vice President of the Detroit Area Art Deco Society as well as a board member of the Hamtramck Economic Development Corporation, the Brodhead Armory Preservation Society, and Preserve Our Parks. Rebecca co-authored the book “Art Deco in Detroit” published by Arcadia Publishing in 2004.

Phillip Cooley
Phillip opened Slows Bar B Q with three others in the fall of 2006. He also started a design
collaborative called Los Pistoleros that specializes in deconstruction and reclaimed lumber
and is a general contractor with O'Connor Development. During the financial crisis, Cooley
has found great joy in volunteering for groups such as ASWD, Detroiters Working for
Environmental Justice, Greater Corktown Development Corporation, The City of Detroit,
Southwest Solutions, and many others. Phillip, along with G.C.D.C., has led an effort to
beautify Roosevelt Park, in front of the abandoned Michigan Central Station, that continues
and has already brought close to $300,000 worth of park improvements.

Elena Fracassa
Elena is an Environmental Health Specialist with the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at Wayne State University. She holds a Masters of Urban Planning degree from Wayne State University, and is a former board member of Cityscape Detroit. Elena and her siblings own and operate The Pioneer Building, a former factory on E. Grand Blvd. that has been converted to artist studio workspaces. She is a lifelong resident of Detroit's eastside.

Michael Poris, AIA
Michael is principal of McIntosh Poris Associates, an architecture, interiors, and planning firm dedicated to adding meaning and vision to the built environment.  A Detroit native, Poris lends his expertise to revival efforts for such landmarks as Mies van der Rohe’s Lafayette Park, Michigan Central Depot, North Corktown, and the Park Shelton, in addition to designing original residences, housing, restaurants, and galleries.  Poris is currently on the board of directors of Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles (SCI-Arc), a member of Cranbrook Museum committee, and previously served on the boards of  Museum of New Art in Detroit, Encore Group that began Bravo Bravo at the Michigan Opera Theater, Artmembers @ Cranbrook, and the Heidelberg Project.

Gerald Underwood
Gerald is licensed in residential home construction. He works for Detroit Edison, is Vice-President of the Hawthorne Park Community Advisory Council, President of the Greendale Avenue Block Club, and Board Member of the 11th Precinct Community Relations Council. Gerald has been instrumental in developing training programs for the deconstruction crews at ASWD.

Advisory Board
Marilyn Wheaton
Marilyn is well connected with the arts, cultural, and philanthropic communities. She is also a published writer and has her own strategic planning and communications consulting firm.

Kathleen Hahn Wendler
Kathleen is the President of the Southwest Detroit Business Association.

Will Wittig
Will is assistant professor at the University of Detroit Mercy, School of Architecture.

Anne Fracassa
Anne is an artist and art instructor with an MFA from Wayne State University. Anne's children purchased and refurbished The Pioneer Building on E. Grand Blvd. where she is one of 30 artists with studio workspace.

Eric Gaabo
Eric Gaabo is employed as an attorney for the City of Detroit. He is a longtime resident of Woodbridge and very involved in the Greening of Detroit.

Kathryn Underwood

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