Avesta Housing Names President and CEO
Rebecca Hatfield has become president and CEO of nonprofit affordable housing provider Avesta Housing. She joined the Portland, Maine-based organization in 2015 as an assets and acquisitions officer and received several promotions, serving as director of real estate development, vice president of real estate development and management, and senior vice president of real estate.
Hatfield steps into the top role after the retirement of longtime leader Dana Totman.
Prior to joining Avesta, Hatfield was a senior vice president at Citigroup, where she worked in various roles within the commercial and corporate banks. She has over 15 years of experience in finance, with a focus on deal structuring, underwriting, risk analysis, and portfolio management, and has extensive experience completing real estate transactions. Her previous employment also included five years as a software and network management engineer.
She was named a Mainer of the Year in 2022 by Maine magazine and a Woman to Watch in 2021 by Mainebiz magazine. She is the board vice chair and loan committee chair for Genesis Community Loan Fund and serves on the boards of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Camden National Corp., the parent company of Camden National Bank.
Avesta Housing has 50 years of experience as a leader in affordable housing development and property management in the Northeast. It operates 110 affordable properties and two assisted-living facilities, providing safe, affordable homes and support services for more than 4,600 people every day.
Mercy Housing California Announces Promotions
Ramie Dare and Elizabeth Kuwada have been promoted at Mercy Housing California (MHC).
Dare has been elevated to regional director of real estate development for the Bay Area. Dare joined the nonprofit in 1997, and, since 2008, she has overseen the community-based real estate development plan at Sunnydale HOPE SF, an ambitious 50-acre public housing transformation initiative in San Francisco. Dare launched MHC’s real estate efforts at Sunnydale in partnership with co-developer Related California in 2008 and has served as director of real estate, housing, and community infrastructure since 2018, driving the development of a 1,700-plus home mixed-income housing community, 70,000 square feet of new neighborhood-serving retail, recreation center and youth spaces, 4 acres of new open spaces, and new streets and utility grids.
In addition to her work at Sunnydale, Dare has significantly expanded MHC’s affordable housing portfolio in the greater Bay Area and Southern California, including being part of the team to create San Francisco’s first LGBTQ-welcoming affordable senior community.
“I am looking forward to building on the foundation of retiring regional director of real estate development Barbara Gualco’s amazing leadership as well as my 25-year tenure at Mercy Housing to continue the important work of creating more equitable communities,” Dare said. “This work can be hard and the challenges daunting, but we are at our best when we work together to solve problems. We have a great team at Mercy Housing who exemplify this spirit, and I am so honored to lead them as regional director.”
Kuwada has been promoted to director of real estate development. She joined MHC in 2019 as a senior project developer and, in 2020, was promoted to associate director of real estate development for Sunnydale HOPE SF. Kuwada will now serve as director of real estate development for Sunnydale HOPE SF, overseeing the development of all housing, neighborhood-serving commercial, and infrastructure for the community-led public housing revitalization initiative. She has played a significant role in implementing an equity-centered development plan as well as engaging Sunnydale residents in decision-making about the transformation of their neighborhood. She will oversee the construction of more than 1,700 apartment homes, including replacement housing for every current Sunnydale resident; the Sunnydale Hub, a recreation and community center serving the entire Visitacion Valley area; and community-serving retail and open spaces.
Kuwada will also continue to oversee MHC’s work on Treasure Island, creating much-needed affordable housing in one of San Francisco’s most rapidly changing neighborhoods. Prior to MHC, she served as a project developer and senior project developer at Eden Housing.
Aeon Adds to Leadership Team
Leslie Goedken and Tyler Parette have recently joined the leadership team at Aeon, a nonprofit affordable housing developer and owner based in Minneapolis.
Goedken, senior vice president of development and capital investment, has extensive experience in leadership roles in the real estate, finance, and health care industries. Previously, she worked in real estate investing for Marathon Asset Management, in real estate investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and as an architect on projects built in New York and Asia. She has also worked in investment and financial leadership roles in leading organizations at Allina, Medtronic, DocSpera (a venture-backed company), and American Express. During her career, she has helped value, structure, and close more than $37 billion of transactions for both public and private companies that created value for investors and the community.
Parette, vice president of resident support, recently served as director of outreach and engagement at Housing Solutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While in Tulsa, he was awarded a key to the city for his efforts focused on important community-based work with people living without shelter. Parette also has experience working in advocacy and public policy and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science. A new arrival to Minnesota, Parette grew up in northeast Oklahoma and moved to Tulsa after college to work in public policy.
In addition, Aeon announced that Greg Werner, senior vice president at Mortenson, a Minneapolis-based developer, builder, and provider of engineering services, has joined its board of directors.
Enterprise Housing Credit Investments Announces Promotions
Enterprise Housing Credit Investments (EHCI), an affiliate of Enterprise Community Partners, has named Philip Porter as senior vice president and head of acquisitions; Whit Spencer as vice president, asset finance, development, and stabilization; and Jennifer Buxtin as vice president, national field operations.
Porter manages the originations and underwriting team at EHCI while also personally originating investments with sponsors based in Alaska, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Northern California, Northern Virginia, Oregon, and Washington. Since joining Enterprise in 2001, he has managed the investment of over $3.75 billion in tax credit equity in 367 developments that contain 28,742 homes across 26 states.
Spencer leads the development risk management, development equity monitoring, asset finance and analysis, and asset resolution teams, which are now under a single leader to further streamline and align Enterprise’s processes, risk management, and customer service, with an increased focus on projects in construction and lease-up. Spencer most recently served as senior director, asset finance and analysis, at EHCI.
Buxtin provides enhanced training and optimal utilization of the asset management coordinators, evaluates opportunities for portfolio redistributions given the growing number of new deals entering the portfolio, and works closely with the credit and compliance team. After three years of virtual visits, she also leads the extensive planning efforts for 2023 in-person site visits, particularly initial site visits.
Attorney Joins Polsinelli’s Tax Credit Practice
Tax credit finance attorney Ruth Kelso Sorrell has joined Polsinelli as counsel to the firm’s growing tax credit practice. She will join the firm’s St. Louis office in December.
Sorrell has dedicated her career to facilitating affordable housing. She has extensive experience in partnership taxation, real estate finance, and partnership syndication. Her clients have included tax credit syndicators, as well as for-profit and nonprofit developers across the United States. She has structured low-income housing and historic rehabilitation tax credit transactions toward maximizing the multitude of local, state, and federal governmental incentives available for affordable housing development. Included in those incentives are tax credits, grants, soft loans, and tax increment financing. In addition, Sorrell has substantial experience negotiating traditional debt and equity financing.
Polsinelli’s Real Estate and Financial Services Department now has more than 30 attorneys in St. Louis and over 300 across all offices.