Dear BUILD Partners,

I write to share the news of my departure from BUILD at the end of this year. Serving as BUILD’s executive director for the last six years has been the honor of a lifetime, and an opportunity for which I will be eternally grateful. I am pleased to share that Melissa Monbouquette will be stepping into the role in January. She has not only been with BUILD since its inception, but for the last several years has served as BUILD’s deputy director.

I leave with the fondest of memories and countless moments of appreciation:

When I first joined BUILD to lead its second cohort, I was handed a program filled with infinite possibilities. Helping me explore each avenue was a group of funders who served as BUILD’s funding collaborative. One of the greatest gifts that they gave me during those early days was the space and grace to find my own way as the new executive director. Since then, members of the funding collaborative have been incredible thought partners, mentors, and guides, allowing us to pave new pathways for change.

Soon thereafter I met with the BUILD communities and together, we forged a relationship that would take us far beyond what any of us thought was possible. Together we went on to transform policies, organizational practices, and funding streams, and we’re not done yet. That’s what’s so exciting about BUILD and the partners it brings together—it is always surfacing new opportunities. Thank you to the network of more than 55 communities for letting me be part of your journey toward health equity.

Helping me behind the scenes, was the de Beaumont Foundation team, and in particular Brian C. Castrucci, its president and CEO. We all know that social change work is taxing and can at times be daunting. The Foundation, which serves as the programmatic home for BUILD, rallied around me, and the team went out of its way to set me up for success. Their spirit of innovation and collaboration inspired me daily and helped make BUILD what it is today. I am proud to have been part of their team.

To the many partners, allies, and members of the Grantmakers in Health Board, who were so influential and shaped my time at BUILD, thank you. I look forward to finding new opportunities for collaboration and working together to realize our shared dream of better health for all.

And finally to Melissa, my colleague and friend. I am so thankful that we were able to be not only true thought partners but also collaborators, disruptors, and creators together. I have no doubt that you will take BUILD to even greater heights as you explore your own set of infinite possibilities.


Emily Yu


Melissa and Emily earlier this year.

Melissa and Emily earlier this year.