Innovative Housing Opportunities Names Leader

Rochelle Mills has been appointed president and CEO of Innovative Housing Opportunities (IHO), a nonprofit affordable housing developer and program provider headquartered in Irvine, Calif.

Rochelle Mills
Rochelle Mills

Mills, who was IHO’s vice president of development and programs, has been with the organization for the past 12 years. She has led new project and program development, implemented initiatives resulting in portfolio expansion, built strategic partnerships and opportunities, and launched IHO’s Economic Self-Reliance program. Mills represents the organization in legislative, policy, and advocacy matters relating to affordable housing, community development, and housing tax credit issues.

She takes over the top post from Patricia Whitaker, who retired in April.

Wallick Names Senior Vice President

Sarah Malone has joined Wallick Communities as senior vice president of asset management. She is responsible for ensuring all company-owned communities are performing financially and generating a return on investment.

Malone joins Wallick Communities after spending 10 years at Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, first as vice president of fund management and then as director of fund management. She oversaw the day-to-day activities of low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) asset underwriting including the approval process, construction management, and closing. She also worked closely with investors on proprietary fund investments.

BRIDGE Housing Names Vice Presidents

Damon Harris joined BRIDGE Housing as vice president of community development. He is responsible for deepening and expanding BRIDGE’s role in providing transformative community building and neighborhood improvements, particularly at the large-scale redevelopments of Jordan Downs in Los Angeles and Potrero in San Francisco.

Harris previously spent a decade at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he developed expertise in intergovernmental relationship management, community building and engagement strategies, and implementing neighborhood-based anti-poverty initiatives. Earlier, he was the director of resident services for Mission Housing Development Corp., where he developed the Community Services and Economic Development Plan for Valencia Gardens, a HOPE VI project in San Francisco.

Susan Neufeld, who joined BRIDGE in 2012, has been named vice president of evaluation and resident program design. She leads BRIDGE’s evaluation activities to measure impact across the portfolio, of specific initiatives such as Potrero and Jordan Downs, and of resident programs. She and her team are responsible for designing appropriate resident programming and services for BRIDGE developments, evaluating and selecting partners, and overseeing more than 350 resident programs that are offered at BRIDGE properties.

Headquartered in San Francisco, BRIDGE is leading nonprofit developer, owner, and manager of affordable housing.

SunTrust Community Capital Announces New Leader

Keitt King has been named president of SunTrust Community Capital (STCC).
He makes the move after serving as senior vice president at the firm.

Keitt King
Keitt King

King succeeds Adam Oates, who has been appointed head of the company’s Corporate Real Estate and Workforce group.

STCC is a wholly owned subsidiary of SunTrust Bank. It provides debt and equity capital for real estate projects and businesses that economically benefit communities throughout the SunTrust footprint. STCC leverages several tax credit programs, including low-income housing, historic, and New Markets tax credits to deploy capital for commercial real estate developments including multifamily, office, industrial, retail, and various other community facilities. Through STCC, SunTrust has deployed nearly $4 billion to finance more than 40,000 units of affordable housing for seniors and others throughout the community.

NCRC Makes Leadership Changes

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) has promoted its two top executives to co-leadership positions and announced the creation of a new political unit.

Longtime leader John Taylor was named president and founder, and Jesse Van Tol, who started as an assistant to Taylor in 2006 and most recently was COO, was named the organization’s CEO. They will co-lead NCRC to expand opportunities for affordable housing, economic development in low- and moderate-income communities, and fairness in financial services.

The NCRC board of directors also announced that Taylor will lead a new political arm of NCRC, called Americans for a Fair Deal, to help elect politicians who support upward mobility for poor and working-class Americans. That effort will launch later this spring. Taylor also will continue to oversee NCRC’s housing and workforce development programs and will advise Van Tol in his executive and strategic leadership of NCRC.

NCRC, with more than 600 grassroot member organizations, promotes access to basic banking services, affordable housing, entrepreneurship, job creation, fair lending, and investments in low-income communities.

Tennessee Official to Lead LHP Management

Robert J. Martineau Jr., commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, has been named president of LHP Management. He will assume the position May 1 and open a Nashville office for the firm.

Robert J. Martineau Jr.
Robert J. Martineau Jr.

In making the announcement, Phil Lawson, chairman and founder of LHP Capital, said that Martineau’s three decades of leadership experience and work in both the private and public sectors will serve him well at LHP.

As president of LHP Management, Martineau will be responsible for overseeing LHP’s multifamily rental properties and their staffs who provide quality and affordable housing for more than 7,200 families with limited incomes. LHP is a real estate development firm that specializes in the acquisition and renovation of government subsidized properties. LHP currently operates 56 properties in nine states and is expected to close nine deals in 2018.

Prior to serving as a state commissioner, Martineau was a partner in the Waller Lansden law firm in Nashville from 1995 to 2011. He was a senior attorney with the Office of General Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in Washington D.C. from 1987 to 1995.

Cinnaire Appoints Detroit Market Leader

Lucius Vassar has been appointed senior vice president, Detroit market leader, at Cinnaire, a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution that provides creative loans, development services, and investments to support community development.

Lucius Vassar
Lucius Vassar

Vassar will lead Cinnaire’s Priority City Initiative in Detroit. As part of the initiative, Cinnaire will continue to dedicate resources to support community and economic development investments in the market, with accelerated investment over the next three years. Cinnaire has invested over $500 million in Detroit in the last 25 years.

In this new position, Vassar will be responsible for identifying resources and opportunities to further comprehensive community development objectives within the Detroit region by working closely with investors, nonprofit leaders, public officials, developers, and network associations to identify areas where Cinnaire can create and advance healthy communities.

Vassar most recently worked as the director of government affairs for the Clark Hill law firm. Prior to joining Clark Hill, he served in several leadership capacities in local and state government. He served as director of the Detroit Workforce Development Department, Michigan’s largest workforce agency with an annual budget of more than $70 million. He also served as chief administrator officer for the city.

MidPen Hires VP of Human Resources

Tremayne Bess has been appointed vice president of human resources at MidPen Housing Corp. Since its foundation in 1970, MidPen has developed over 8,000 affordable homes for residents across 11 Northern California counties and employs a staff of nearly 450 people.

Tremayne Bess
Tremayne Bess

Bess will oversee all aspects of human resources, including talent acquisition, leadership development, employee relations, employee benefits, and strategic initiatives related to diversity and inclusion.

He brings nearly 20 years of diverse HR experience to the organization. Most recently, he supported 900 employees in the engineering, data science, and international divisions at LinkedIn.

In addition, he has a personal connection to MidPen’s mission. Growing up at Liberty Square in Miami, the first public housing project for blacks in the southern United States, he saw firsthand the need for a better way to provide affordable housing.

LIHTC Advisors Adds Partner, Seattle Office

Brandon Grisham has become a third partner at LIHTC Advisors, a national affordable housing real estate brokerage firm based in Boise, Idaho.

He previously spent seven years with CBRE Affordable Housing.

Grisham will be based in and manage LIHTC Advisors’ new office in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood. He will focus on expanding the firm’s national presence and leverage his vast experience working on approximately $1.5 billion worth of affordable housing transactions while in his previous role.

Unison Housing Partners Adds Executives

Unison Housing Partners has announced that Drew O’Connor will join the organization as deputy director and Dana Miller will be director of finance, effective April 23.

Drew O'Connor
Drew O'Connor

Based in Brighton, Colo., Unison Housing Partners was formerly known as the Adams County Housing Authority.

O’Connor has served as the poverty reduction administrator with Adams County government, working to develop community and system level strategies to reduce poverty across Adams County. As deputy director, he will work hand in hand with executive director Peter LiFari, providing a focus on community engagement and intergenerational poverty reduction to Unison’s property operations, housing development, management, and program strategies.

Dana Miller
Dana Miller

Miller recently served as budget director for Adams 12 Five Star Schools, where she garnered an appreciation for the complexity of the state of Colorado’s funding model while managing 13 separate funds and over 100 individual reporting units for the district.

As director of finance at Unison, Miller will manage all of Unison’s core financial functions. She will work with the leadership team to assure implementation of program-wide strategic initiatives and policies.

Hunt Mortgage Group Adds to Team

Jeff Payne has joined Hunt Mortgage Group as a vice president. He is based in the firm’s Houston office.

He is responsible for originating debt for the firm’s conventional and small balance Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan programs and Hunt’s proprietary commercial, bridge, and mezzanine loan programs for clients in the South Central region.

Payne comes to Hunt Mortgage Group from PlainsCapital Bank where he was senior vice president of commercial real estate lending covering the Houston market. Prior to that, he served for 22 years as first vice president and Houston market head with Citibank’s commercial real estate group (First Gibraltar/Cal Fed until it was acquired by Citibank in 1999), where he originated more than $1 billion in multifamily and commercial mortgage loans for Citibank’s Commercial Real Estate portfolio.

In Memoriam: Debra King

Debra King, the longtime CEO of nonprofit affordable housing developer CASA in Raleigh, N.C., died April 14 after a battle with blood cancer. She was 59.

A passionate advocate for affordable housing, King was CASA’s CEO for 23 years. Under her leadership, the organization grew from 15 to nearly 500 apartment homes in Durham, Orange, and Wake counties, according to CASA, which serves low-income families, individuals living with disabilities, and veterans. Many of CASA’s tenants have a history of homelessness.

“She often said ‘the greatest gift we can give people is the chance to be who they are without labels,’” said longtime co-worker Mary Jean Seyda on CASA’s website.King received the A. Robert Kucab Professional of the Year award from the North Carolina Housing Coalition in 2017.

Her family has requested that in lieu of flowers memorials can be made in her name to CASA or The North Carolina Coastal Federation.