Vesta Leader Announces Retirement

Steve Erie, managing director, principal and co-founder of Vesta Corp., announced that he is retiring after 35 years. He and his partner, Arthur Greenblatt, have built their Connecticut-based company into a leading developer, owner, and manager of affordable housing.

Steve Erie
Steve Erie

Greenblatt will continue to lead Vesta as president and CEO.

The firm has delivered more than $1 billion in financing for the development of more than 20,000 apartment homes in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

Erie and Greenblatt began a relationship in 1970 as neighbors and friends. In 1981, they saw a need and an opportunity to develop affordable housing. Together they eventually began producing and owning affordable communities, with the goal of creating apartment homes which provide high-quality housing where residents can strive to reach their potential.

Industry Veteran Joins Homeport

Jim Baugh has been hired as senior vice president of real estate at Homeport, a Columbus, Ohio–based affordable housing developer.

Jim Baugh
Jim Baugh

From 2005 to 2011, Baugh was vice president, multifamily acquisitions and development, for National Church Residences, the largest nonprofit owner of senior affordable housing in the United States. The last five years, Baugh has worked for Riverside Capital and National Equity Fund. Each company sources funding for low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) developments, the method of financing Homeport has traditionally used for building.

From 2012 through 2016, Homeport has added an average of 76 rental apartments or single-family homes per year to its portfolio. Entering its 30th year, Homeport has over 5,700 residents in more than 30 apartment and single-family home communities.

BRIDGE Housing Adds to Team

Diane Olmstead has joined BRIDGE Housing as executive vice president and chief investment officer. She will oversee capital aggregation activities, including fund development and securing equity and debt for non-LIHTC deals.

Diane Olmstead
Diane Olmstead

Olmstead has 33 years of experience in investing, corporate finance, and capital raising. She has originated and closed more than $2 billion in loans, property acquisitions, and joint ventures. She has also executed the workout and restructuring of over $1.3 billion of real estate assets.

In 2009, Olmstead co-founded W3 Partners, a fully integrated real estate operating company and investment manager with national expertise, and served as its co-CEO. Prior to W3, she was a principal at CIM Group.

BRIDGE also announced that Smitha Seshadri will rejoin the firm as vice president, effective mid-January 2017. She will oversee construction and design standards, policies, and procedures across BRIDGE’s real estate development footprint from San Diego to Seattle.

Smitha Seshadri
Smitha Seshadri

Seshadri will also take on a number of development projects at BRIDGE, a San Francisco-based nonprofit developer, owner, and manager of affordable housing.

She recently served as vice president of real estate at Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco. Prior to Habitat, Seshadri worked for BRIDGE for nine years, as a senior project manager and then director of development. During her tenure, she delivered $175 million worth of projects under budget, including St. Joseph’s in Oakland, which won a 2015 ULI Global Award for Excellence.

At BRIDGE, she supervised a team of project managers, guided feasibility analysis for projects in predevelopment, and negotiated with market-rate partners on structuring a $360 million joint-venture development with inclusionary housing.

Enterprise Announces Moves

Marion Mollegen McFadden has been named vice president of public policy at Enterprise Community Partners.

Marion Mollegen McFadden
Harry Connolly Marion Mollegen McFadden

She will lead the day-to-day activities that advance Enterprise’s long-term policy platform, which focuses on building communities of opportunity across the country by creating affordable homes connected to good schools, jobs, transit, and health care.

She joins Enterprise from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), where she served as deputy assistant secretary for grant programs. Over the past 15 years at HUD, she oversaw multiple initiatives that involved affordable housing, including the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the HOME Investment Partnerships program, the National Housing Trust Fund, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, and CDBG Disaster Recovery Program.

Scott Hoekman, senior vice president and chief credit officer at Enterprise Community Investment, will also expand his ongoing engagement with Enterprise Community Partners’ public policy team, becoming a senior adviser.

Allison Knapp Womack
Harry Connolly Allison Knapp Womack

In another move, Allison Knapp Womack has been named senior vice president and chief marketing officer. She will lead branding, digital, and overall marketing strategies to expand Enterprise’s impact and advance the organization’s mission of providing opportunity to low- and moderate-income people, starting with affordable housing in diverse, thriving communities.
Womack recently served as global strategy officer at Omnicom’s business communications agency, Doremus & Co.

California HCD Appoints Assistant Deputy Director

Zachary Olmstead has been appointed assistant deputy director of homeless and housing policy at the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

Olmstead has been senior assistant in the office of California state assemblymember Toni G. Atkins since 2013. He was director for homeless policy at Housing California from 2006 to 2013. In addition, he served as case manager for permanent and short-term housing at St. Vincent De Paul Village from 2002 to 2004.

TAHG Becomes Mosaic Development Group

The Affordable Housing Group announced it has rebranded itself as Mosaic Development Group.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., the nonprofit organization recently celebrated its 50th year. During its history, it has developed or sponsored more than 3,300 affordable housing rental units at 60 apartment complexes within 33 North Carolina counties, as well as developed or sponsored more than 475 single-family homes for low-income persons in 19 North Carolina counties.

Mosaic is led by Kathy Stilwell, executive director.

Hunt Mortgage Expands Affordable Housing Team

Hunt Mortgage Group, a leader in financing commercial real estate throughout the United States, has added three new executives in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions to bolster its affordable housing team.

William Jones joins the firm as managing director, Matt Meskill as director, and KC Peterson as vice president.

Jones and Meskill will operate out of Hunt’s New York office, while Peterson will be based in Tysons Corner, Va.

Jones was with Love Funding for 16 years, most recently as a senior director, loan originator. He was responsible for the origination of more than $500 million of commercial mortgages, including Sec. 221(d)(4), Sec. 223(f), Sec. 223(f) LIHTC pilot program, and commercial mortgage-backed securities multifamily loans.

Meskill also was with Love Funding, joining the New York office in 2011. While there he focused on loan origination for market-rate and affordable multifamily properties and health-care facilities nationwide. He previously held the position of production analyst, where he worked strategically alongside two originators contributing to the production and closing of approximately $100 million in Federal Housing Administration financing.

Peterson comes to Hunt from Pillar Capital Finance, where he was an underwriter and originator responsible for new loans for multiple asset classes, primarily senior housing, health-care, and multifamily deals, with emphasis on HUD-insured programs.

Housing California Announces Executive Director

Lisa Hershey has been named executive director of Housing California, a statewide housing advocacy organization.

Lisa Hershey
Lisa Hershey

She has served as associate director since January and acting executive director since the departure of Shamus Roller in October. Roller has become executive
director of the National Housing Law Project.

Hershey started at Housing California as the sustainable communities coordinator in May 2014, working closely on implementation of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program.

Bellwether Enterprise Names Director of Equity Products

Todd Johnson has been appointed director of equity products at Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital, the commercial and multifamily mortgage banking subsidiary of Enterprise Community Investment. He is based in the New Orleans office.

Johnson was the founding and managing partner of Brush Island Capital, a boutique, private equity real estate firm specializing in arranging institutional joint-venture equity for real estate transactions and real estate operators throughout all markets. His work primarily focused on transactions involving multifamily developments, acquisitions, and recapitalizations.