The ProsperityME Team: 

Senior Staff: 

Claude Rwaganje, Founder & Executive Director 

 

Claude Rwaganje is the Founder and Executive Director of ProsperityME.  Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Claude learned through his own immigration experience that financial stability is essential to building a new life in the United States.  It was his vision to create a non-profit organization where new Mainers can go for free financial education and support.

 

In addition to his leadership responsibilities at ProsperityME, Claude currently serves on the board of the Portland Chamber of Commerce and was appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Community Development Advisory Council in the Spring of 2017. Claude also serves as a member of the Financial Literacy Advisory Council (FAME) and the Avesta Housing Home Ownership Center Advisory Committee. Previously, he served a three-year term as a member of Portland’s Community Development Block Grant Committee. Claude has received numerous awards for his service to the community, including Bowdoin College’s Spirit of Service Award (2012), Bates College Harward Center’s Community Partner Award for Outstanding New Initiative (2013), Portland Press Herald’s “10 Mainers to be Thankful For” (2012) and the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce award for Public Sector Leadership (2017). Claude holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and is a certified coach and housing counselor through NeighborWorks America.

Joanna Caouette, Director of Programs

 

Joanna and her mother moved to Maine from Burundi in 2015.  She first worked for Greater Portland Health as an outreach provider, helping underserved and at-risk patients access vital health care and social services. In this role, she was able to apply the financial literacy skills she learned when she took ProsperityME’s Basic Money Management class. In fact, she was so inspired by the impact her newfound financial knowledge had on her life and the lives of those she served that she decided to join ProsperityME as an instructor. Since then, she has helped countless New Mainers gain their financial footing.

 

Prior to coming to Maine, Joanna held the position of Knowledge Management and Communication Officer for Global Health Corps at Care International in Burundi.  She holds a B.A. in Communication Sciences from Lumiere University of Bujumbura, Burundi. Joanna, who speaks five languages, lives in New Gloucester with her husband, Matthew, and their daughter.

Byron Bartlett, Director of Administration

 

Byron Bartlett, a Maine native who grew up in Poland, manages all day-to-day operations at ProsperityME including facilities, finance, human resources and information technology. Byron’s experience in the corporate world, which includes more than 20 years at large financial institutions, coupled with his most recent role as School Administrator at Wayfinder Schools, made him the ideal candidate for the job. In addition, he has experienced firsthand the positive contributions immigrants make in our state and is dedicated to keeping the ProsperityME organization running smoothly as we continue to grow and serve an ever-expanding client base. Byron attended Roanoke College, Fitchburg State College and the University of Southern Maine. He has served on the Board of Directors of The Maine State Chapter of the March of Dimes and the Portland Ballet, and has fundraised for countless nonprofit organizations throughout Maine. Byron lives in Portland with his husband, Chris, and their Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Stella Blue.

Dieudonne Nzeyimana, Director of Housing

 

Dieudonne has over 20-year experience in business and project management both in the private and public/nonprofit sectors. His latest roles included Operations Director of the Rwandan chapter of Population Services International,  a US-based global health nonprofit. He also worked as a Project Management Consultant for Sybrin Ltd, a South African IT company specializing in banking/financial software development. He serves as a Board member for MANA (Maine Association for New Americans). Dieudonne completed his MBA studies with focus on Project Management, in addition to a first degree as a Statistical Works Engineer. (Translated from French – “Ingenieur des Travaux Statistiques.”)

 

Dieudonne is a former ProsperityME classroom student, completing Basic Money Management and Saving to Build Wealth. He volunteered for the Immigrant Welcome Center, the Manufacturers Association of Maine and the DHHS Office of Family Independence.

 

Dieudonne came to Maine in 2017 from Rwanda with two daughters. For more than 10 years, Dieudonne has been a part-time certified instructor of Transcendental Meditation, a scientifically validated technique for stress management and personal development that is taught worldwide.

Program Team: 

Bright Lukusa Musuamba, Program Coordinator

 

Bright is a Congolese native who moved to Lewiston 5 years ago with her family. Her work experience includes being an educator, community advocate and a home healthcare professional in her community. She graduated with her Associate’s degree in Business Administration from Central Maine Community College and in 2020, Bright was recognized by Uplift LA as a "40 Under 40" award recipient for her activities and commitment as a Local Government and Civic Leader.

 

In her new role with ProsperityME, Bright will be coordinating the programs that we offer and working to offer financial education to the communities we serve. Bright speaks three languages and is passionate about empowering, educating and uplifting individuals through the work that she does. Bright feels that she is best described by this quote from Maya Angelou, which reads, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style!”

Divine Selengbe, Small Business Coordinator

 

An immigrant who moved to to the United States from the DRC with her family when she was five years old, Divine moved to Lewiston/Auburn when she was 11 and has lived in Maine ever since. She is a recent graduate of St. Thomas College where she majored in in Communications with a concentration in marketing and public relations. Divine will help us to survey immigrant small businesses in Lewiston/Auburn and develop a report that will identify the specific barriers and challenges immigrant entrepreneurs face.

Administration and Development Team: 

Matteson Nadeau, Event and Marketing Manager

 

Matteson manages all of ProsperityME’s events and marketing programs.  Her daily responsibilities include all outbound communications, our social media and website, and orchestrating our donor and community recognition campaigns and events. She is ProsperityME's primary proposal writer and works closely with our many partners to ensure that our life-changing financial empowerment programs are accessible to all immigrants living and working in Maine. 

 

A graduate of the University of Southern Maine, Matteson holds a B.A. in English Literature and a professional certificate in Grant Writing.  For over a decade, she has worked in the nonprofit and private sectors throughout southern Maine with expertise in marketing, communications, graphic design and office administration. 

 

Matteson lives in Auburn with three humans, two cats, and an adorable, three-legged Chihuahua mix appropriately named Bucky Barnes. Her hobbies include creative journaling, fitness, and yoga. 

Housing Team: 

Clemence Mugabire, Housing Case Manager

 

Clemence Mugabire comes to ProsperityME with eight years work experience in social services in both a Direct Support role and as a Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician. In her new role as a Case Manager, Clemence will be interviewing, educating, and qualifying program applicants for a variety of assistance programs. Clemence emigrated from her Rwandan homeland eleven years ago with her family. After learning to speak English stateside, she completed her Business Administration associates degree at Southern Maine Community College in 2015. Her personal experience as an immigrant and her close work with some of Maine's most vulnerable populations gives her a unique perspective on the challenges facing ProsperityME clients.

Francisco J. Garcia, Housing Case Manager

 

Francisco J. Garcia joined ProsperityME in 2021 as Housing Case Manager. Francisco is originally from Angola and holds a degree in Mechatronics - an emerging field that blends mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science to design, build and operate smart machines - from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and a BA in Project Management from the University of South Africa (UNISA).

Francisco has been in the US for two years and has worked in administrative roles in a variety of industries. As a member of the Housing team, he will help Immigrant Mainers to access social support programs designed to help them become and remain housed. He is fluent in 7 languages. His interests include science, ancient civilization, religion, and mythology. 
 

Additional Staff: 

Clement Yombe, Part-Time Instructor

 

Clement joined ProsperityME in 2012 and served as our Program Coordinator and Program Director for eight years. Clement is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo and holds a law degree from the Protestant University of Congo.  He continued his education after arriving in the United States earning an  M.A in Community Development Policy and Practice from the University of New Hampshire. Prior to joining ProsperityME, Clement held training and managerial positions at Staples, International Paper and Windham Hotels.  He serves on the board of HomeWorks, a Maine-based non-profit dedicated to consumer homebuyer education.  When he is not helping New Mainers achieve financial stability, Clement enjoys a busy home life with his wife Nancy and three children.