Twenty-five students who reside in assisted-housing properties or receive voucher assistance were recently awarded scholarships funded by donations to the National Leased Housing Association (NLHA) Education Fund.

NLHA formed the Education Fund in 2007 to raise money for the sole purpose of encouraging self-sufficiency through education by providing tuition and related assistance to eligible students. The fund has four types of scholarships. The most recent addition is the AIMCO Cares scholarship that is directed to college-bound applicants. AIMCO has pledged half of its proceeds from its annual charity golf outing, which will be held Aug. 2, to the NLHA Education Fund. The other scholarships are named in memory of former NLHA members and housing professionals: The Neil Churchill Scholarship is directed at current undergraduates (the criteria will be revised this fall for that scholarship); The Mary Lou Manzie Scholarship is directed at nontraditional students; and The William Gandert Scholarship promotes continuing education in any trade or vocation.

Successful applicants included Trameciea White, a voucher resident from Memphis who is studying nursing at the University of Memphis. White, who was awarded an AIMCO Cares scholarship, excelled in high school and volunteered at the Union Mission Center and Wonder City Boys and Girls Club. Another AIMCO Cares winner is Cedric Jones who won high praise from his teachers for his leadership abilities and high grades. Jones will study architecture at the University of California at Berkeley. 

The William Gandert Scholarship winners include Kai Hawkins, a nursing student in Los Angeles who plans to continue with her schooling to achieve a doctorate in nursing. A mother of three, she had put her educational goals on hold to raise her children.


A resident of Houston, Lynn Spriggs is a Sec. 8 voucher holder who is studying criminal justice at the University of Houston with the help of a Mary Lou Manzie Scholarship. Her goal is to help domestic abuse survivors by running a group home for teens and young adults.

The 21 other winners are highlighted in a PowerPoint presentation posted at on the Education Fund page along with additional information.

In other news, Terri Preston, principal at the nationwide CPA and consulting firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, has been named NHLA president during its annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

With 23 years of experience in underwriting and financing real estate development and 17 years of experience in compliance with an emphasis on affordable housing and government-regulated housing, Preston intends to use her expertise to continue NLHA’s efforts to preserve the existing stock of federally assisted housing in a manner that is fair and balanced to owners, tenants, and the government regulators.

Other officials elected through June 2011 include:

• Alex Sanchez of Santa Clara Housing Authority as senior vice president;

• Isha Francis of Benchmark Management, Deloris Sawyer of the Las Vegas Housing Authority, Joe Caffey of Omni Development, John McMahon of Belmont Housing Resources, John Bentz of Property Advisory Group, Bob Moss of Boston Capital, and Carlos Hernandez of Rhode Island Housing as vice presidents;

• Karen Lally of Davenport Associates as secretary;

• Rosemarie Harris of AIMCO as assistant secretary;

• Jennifer O’Neil of Quadel Consulting as treasurer; and

• Jonette Hahn of Reznick Group as assistant treasurer.