Paul Fortino has developed affordable housing in eight states. A senior vice president at Southport Financial Services in Tacoma, Wash., he has been in the industry for 11 years.

“I love that it’s never the same; it’s always evolving,” Fortino says about developing affordable housing. “It also presents the unique opportunity to work with great people to do great things.”

Southport, which presently holds about 12,000 units in 18 states, is involved in the development, construction, and management of multifamily housing, with its work largely concentrated in affordable housing. Fortino’s primary role has been to assemble new deals. He has similarly been involved with the syndication of equity for Southport’s developments.

Fortino’s beginning in affordable housing development came when he met his mentor and Southport’s leader, J. David Page. They were introduced when Fortino was finishing his master’s degree at Notre Dame, and he joined the firm immediately thereafter in 2003.

With hard work, Fortino, 39, has risen up the ranks and has been involved in the development of more than 30 affordable housing communities. He recently helped acquire and transform a struggling property in Hawaii.

In his home state of Washington, Fortino serves on the Housing Trust Fund’s Policy Advisory Team while remaining involved with the King County Housing Development Consortium and the Tacoma Pierce County Affordable Housing Consortium.

“What makes Paul a great leader is his ability to juggle many transactions at once while empowering his less-experienced colleagues,” says Robert Charest, senior vice president at Boston Financial Investment Management. “He’s able to ‘let go’ from a transaction but somehow plug back in at the exact moment a deal needs it. His ability to identify material ­issues early and then work through them quickly is what sets him apart.”

Fortino and his wife, Krista, have two sons, Mac and Finn.