Wesley Housing Names President and CEO
Kamilah McAfee has been appointed president and CEO of Wesley Housing, a longtime nonprofit developer in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. She will take the top post effective Jan. 2, succeeding Shelley Murphy, who has led the organization for the last 15 years.
McAfee has held leadership roles at Wesley Housing since 2008. As senior vice president of real estate development, she has been leading the firm’s real estate development team through an unprecedented five-year period of growth initiated by the award of four competitive funding projects in 2018 and capped by the 2022 construction completion of seven communities with 571 units, representing $231 million in total development costs.
In addition to her 14 years of service at Wesley Housing, McAfee brings public-sector and private-sector experience, previously serving as director of public finance for the D.C. Housing Finance Agency and a development associate for Forest City Washington.
Standard Communities Appoints Chief Development Officer
Feras Qumseya has been named chief development officer at Standard Communities, a leading national affordable housing investor and developer. Based in Washington, D.C., Qumseya steps into a newly created position that will lead the firm’s new construction division, a national platform focused on leveraging 4% low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) financing to build affordable housing in major metropolitan areas.
Standard recently launched three dedicated business lines—acquisition redevelopment, new construction, and essential housing—to better leverage and align the strengths and diversity of its people and enable them to execute faster and more efficiently.
Qumseya brings 20 years of experience working on all aspects of affordable housing, economic development, public-private partnerships, large mixed-use projects, and transit-oriented developments. He joins Standard from Foulger-Pratt, a real estate investment and development firm, where as vice president of development he was responsible for creating and preserving affordable housing nationwide.
With headquarters in New York and Los Angeles, Standard has a national portfolio of over 14,600 apartment units and has completed more than $3.8 billion of affordable housing acquisitions and rehabilitations nationwide.
Jonathan Rose Cos. Names Chief Administrative Officer
Carolyn Au has been appointed chief administrative officer at Jonathan Rose Cos., where she will oversee the internal operations of the New York City-based company.
Her areas of oversight will include the firm’s shared business services across marketing, talent, and culture, Rose Digital Services, and risk management, and the program areas of property management, social services, Rose Community Capital, and Mission Title.
Au recently served as executive vice president and chief operations officer of the Community Preservation Corp. (CPC). During her 34 years at CPC, she led day-to-day corporate and loan servicing operations of the nation’s largest affordable housing lender, including direct oversight of a $4 billion permanent loan portfolio. She also was responsible for change management duties such as the integration and update of the organization’s IT Infrastructure.
Jonathan Rose Cos. is one of the country’s leading developers and investors in sustainable, affordable, and mixed-income multifamily real estate, with approximately 18,000 units owned.
National Church Residences Welcomes Chief Diversity Officer
Damita R. Brown has joined National Church Residences as its chief diversity officer. In addition to focusing on building a thriving, diverse, and inclusive culture, she will be involved in the organization’s procurement, recruitment, and promotion practices as well as its servant leadership training.
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, National Church Residences provides an array of health care services and a variety of housing options to 46,000 seniors.
Brown comes to the organization from the city of Columbus, where she served in three positions since 2016. Over the last three years, Brown was the leader and chief architect of the city’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy. She was responsible for setting priorities across city government operations, instituting the city’s first employee engagement survey and citywide racial equity and implicit bias training, and developing DEI performance measures and comprehensive plans to achieve greater accountability and transparency.
Before joining the city, Brown advanced diversity and inclusion initiatives at Huntington National Bank and the Columbus Regional Airport Authority.
Kitchen & Associates Rebrands as Thriven Design
Kitchen & Associates, a leading multidisciplinary design firm, has rebranded to Thriven Design. Officials said the move exemplifies the New Jersey-based organization’s continued focus on client service and impact-driven design.
The new name is a nod to the firm’s legacy of creating places where people thrive and its commitment to serving others and enacting positive change.
Since its founding by architect and urban planner Benjamin Kitchen, the firm has been a pioneer in socially responsible and environmentally conscious work. Its experienced team of architects, engineers, community planners, and interior designers oﬀer the firm’s national client base comprehensive design and building services. The firm’s extensive portfolio spans affordable, market-rate, and student housing, adaptive reuse, asset preservation, large-scale site planning, and commercial facilities.