Affordable Housing Advisory Council

Carol Ornelas
Chair

Chief Executive Officer, Visionary Home Builders of California, Inc.

Leadership

Photo of Carol Ornelas
Carol Ornelas
Chair

Chief Executive Officer, Visionary Home Builders of California, Inc.

Carol Ornelas is chief executive officer of Visionary Home Builders of California, Inc. (VHB) in Stockton, California. Under her direction, VHB has built and rehabilitated more than 1,400 units of rental housing and more than 900 homes for first-time homebuyers in the Central Valley. VHB is responsible for securing $700 million in grants and private funding to develop affordable housing in the San Joaquin Valley. Ms. Ornelas has been recognized as a national leader in the nonprofit housing development community, with a focus on building and creating partnerships within the communities she serves and collaborating with city, state, and national officials to provide quality affordable housing. VHB presently has four projects in construction or scheduled to begin construction (Oak Leaf Meadows, Liberty Square, Grand View Village, and La Passeggiata), totaling approximately 300 low-income housing units.

Ms. Ornelas has been the recipient of various awards and also serves on numerous boards, including the Stockton Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable and Workforce Housing, the California Housing Consortium, Housing California, the California Coalition for Rural Housing, the Haggin Museum, and the American Heart Association’s San Joaquin Heart Walk Campaign.

David Paull
Vice Chair

Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development, Nevada HAND

Leadership

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David Paull
Vice Chair

Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development, Nevada HAND

David Paull is senior vice president of real estate development for Nevada HAND, a nonprofit affordable housing provider that has been providing affordable housing and supportive services to working families and seniors on fixed incomes for over 27 years. Mr. Paull has more than 18 years of experience in real estate acquisitions, development, and asset management. Since joining Nevada HAND in 2011, Mr. Paull has overseen the development of 18 new affordable housing communities totaling over $300 million. In addition, he oversees portfolio financing and acquisitions. Prior to joining Nevada HAND, Mr. Paull held positions in acquisitions with Bixby Land Company and The Irvine Company. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Housing Partnership Equity Trust. He also serves on the Community Development Block Program Advisory Committee for the City of Henderson, Nevada. He received a B.A. in business administration from Concordia University in Irvine, California.

Iosefa Alofaituli

Executive Director, CIELO

Leadership

Iosefa Alofaituli
Iosefa Alofaituli

Executive Director, CIELO

Iosefa Alofaituli joined CIELO as Executive Director in 2021, after having helped to incubate the organization in 2015. Iosefa is leading CIELO through its next phase of growth and impact, as CIELO advances its mission to launch successful entrepreneurs by unleashing innovation, creativity, and passion. Prior to CIELO, Iosefa served in leadership roles at Opportunity Fund, the nation’s leading nonprofit CDFI lender to small businesses. As Regional Director in Southern California, Iosefa led the organization's regional expansion through fund, brand, and partnership development.

With a background in social entrepreneurship, Mr. Alofaituli previously helped launch and lead two nonprofit organizations focused on community and economic empowerment: an innovative place-based organization creating systems change in a low-income Latino community and an entrepreneurship center focused on young minority and underserved entrepreneurs. He was also a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, serving as an economic development advisor to a community of miners and artisans. Mr. Alofaituli graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.

Nikki A. Beasley

Executive Director, Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services, Richmond, California

Leadership

Nikki Beasley
Nikki A. Beasley

Executive Director, Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services, Richmond, California

Nikki A. Beasley is the Executive Director of Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc (RNHS). She joined the organization in 2016 after retiring from a 25-year career in banking and financial services. Although new to housing, she had a strong affinity for community and service. Because of her leadership, RNHS has doubled its property management rental portfolio for low- to moderate- income families through multifamily acquisition; established the organization's Changing the Narrative of Homeownership Initiative; started the Lender Ready program in 2017, assisting over 200 new first-time homebuyers secure ownership; established the RNHS Money Matters Series, which the organization hosts monthly; and became a small-site infill developer in 2018. RNHS has also become a staple in the housing conversation throughout the Bay Area and Region, advocating for tenant and landlord rights, consumer affairs, fair housing, and working with municipalities to address zoning and create equitable programs for its residents. Nikki serves on the Board of California Reinvestment Coalition, and serves on several working groups including Black Cultural Zone, Black Developers Forum, and Oakland Preservation Collaborative.

Holly Benson

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Abode Communities

Leadership

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Holly Benson

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Abode Communities

Holly Benson is executive vice president and chief operating officer of Abode Communities. Ms. Benson is responsible for executive oversight of the organization’s professional real estate and property management services, as well as its mission-critical resident services. In this role, she oversees the production of new affordable housing, creation of new business opportunities, management of existing real estate assets, and financial and operational performance of Abode Communities’ real estate portfolio and resident services program, Beyond Homes. Ms. Benson serves an integral role in operationalizing the organization’s strategic plan to ensure it meets and exceeds its strategic goals.

A 22-year veteran in the affordable housing industry, Ms. Benson’s depth of experience is underscored by her contribution to the development of more than 1,000 affordable homes and the procurement of approximately $400 million in loans, grants, and equity from both private and public sources throughout California. She currently serves on the Housing California board of directors. She is past president of the Southern California Association for Non-Profit Housing. She received a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from University of California, Los Angeles.

Diana Yazzie Devine

Chief Executive Officer/President, Native American Connections

Leadership

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Diana Yazzie Devine

Chief Executive Officer/President, Native American Connections

Diana Yazzie Devine has been working with Native American urban and tribal entities since 1972 and has served as chief executive officer of Native American Connections (NAC) since 1979. NAC is a Native American-operated nonprofit corporation that provides comprehensive behavioral health, affordable housing, and community development services to all populations with a targeted mission to serve Native Americans living both in the Phoenix urban area and in tribal communities. NAC offers innovative, research-based behavioral health counseling, and substance abuse treatment that is integrated with Native American cultural and traditional healing practices.

Ms. Devine is a founding board member of Native Home Capital and People of Color Network and currently serves on the advisory boards of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Maricopa Integrated Health System Audit and Compliance, City of Mesa Housing, and Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation. She previously served on the AHAC from 1996 to 2006. Ms. Devine earned an M.B.A. from Arizona State University and holds international and state licenses for substance abuse counseling.

Dora Leong Gallo

President and Chief Executive Officer, A Community of Friends

Leadership

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Dora Leong Gallo

President and Chief Executive Officer, A Community of Friends

Dora Leong Gallo is president and chief executive officer of A Community of Friends (ACOF) in Los Angeles, a position she has held since joining ACOF in 2003. The mission of ACOF, a nonprofit affordable housing developer, is to end homelessness through the provision of quality permanent supportive housing for people with mental illness. Established in 1988, ACOF has completed over 2,000 units in 49 apartment buildings throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, with ten new projects in the pipeline. As CEO, she is responsible for conceptualizing and implementing the organization’s strategic priorities. Ms. Gallo serves on the board of trustees of Enterprise Community Partners and the National Low Income Housing Coalition, and is chair of the Los Angeles-based Supportive Housing Alliance. She holds a master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor's degree in public administration from the University of Southern California.

Stephen L. Hastings

Director of Real Estate, Foundation for Senior Living

Leadership

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Stephen L. Hastings

Director of Real Estate, Foundation for Senior Living

As director of real estate services for the Foundation for Senior Living (FSL), Stephen Hastings directs a full-service real estate department providing comprehensive services, including project feasibility, predevelopment, acquisition, financing, new construction, remodeling, and operations. During his tenure, FSL has expanded its affordable housing inventory to include over 900 units of safe, energy-efficient, green construction, affordable, subsidized, and service-enriched housing. Mr. Hastings has served on numerous community boards, including the City of Phoenix Neighborhood and Housing Committee, Novogradac Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Working Group, and the Childhelp Bridge Board. He earned a degree in real estate and land use economics from Wichita State University and was trained in single-family and multifamily appraisal by the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers.

Hilary Lopez

Senior Associate, Praxis Consulting Group

Leadership

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Hilary Lopez

Senior Associate, Praxis Consulting Group

Hilary Lopez, Ph.D., is senior associate at Praxis Consulting Group in Reno, Nevada. In this role, Dr. Lopez works with clients to structure and assemble public and private financing for affordable housing developments and manages the due diligence process through financial closing. She has successfully closed financing on projects utilizing 4% and 9% low income housing tax credits, tax-exempt bonds, Federal Home Loan Bank affordable housing program funds, HOME Investment Partnerships program funds, state and national housing trust funds, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s rental assistance demonstration program, and conventional sources. Prior to joining Praxis Consulting Group in 2013, Dr. Lopez served as the chief of housing programs for the State of Nevada housing division. In this role, Dr. Lopez administered the state’s low income housing tax credit program and served as lead underwriter for multi-family projects. Her team was responsible for regulatory compliance of over 25,000 units located in assisted properties throughout Nevada. She holds a master’s degree in applied economics from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a doctorate in geography, with a concentration in urban geography and planning, from the University of Denver.

Erin Rank

President and Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

Leadership

Erin Rank
Erin Rank

President and Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

Erin Rank is the President & CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA). Under her more than two decades of leadership, Habitat LA has helped build new affordable homes in partnership with thousands of volunteers each year. Habitat LA also helps people with critical home repairs, and recently Habitat LA helped families rebuild after the California wildfires. Rank has led the organization to become the top nonprofit residential home builder in Los Angeles as listed by the Los Angeles Business Journal four years in a row. She has held several leadership positions for Habitat for Humanity International, served as the Board Chair of Housing California, and is a licensed REALTOR and Mortgage Loan Originator. Erin was named among the “Top 100 Irish Americans” by Irish American Magazine and “Alumni of the Year” by Pepperdine University. Erin has built homes in countries all around the world, and this year she celebrates her personal 1,000th home completed in Los Angeles County.

Takao Suzuki

Director of Community Economic Development, Little Tokyo Service Center Community Development Corporation

Leadership

Photo of Takao Suzuki
Takao Suzuki

Director of Community Economic Development, Little Tokyo Service Center Community Development Corporation

Takao Suzuki currently serves as director of community economic development for Little Tokyo Service Center Community Development Corporation (LTSC CDC). Mr. Suzuki manages a department that consists of real estate development, asset and property management, community organizing and planning, and Little Tokyo small business assistance. He began his tenure at LTSC CDC in 2000 as a community organizer through the AmeriCorps program, and joined the real estate development department in 2004, where he has overseen the completion of nine projects consisting of approximately 300 housing units, along with the Little Tokyo development of the California Japantowns projects. He currently serves on the boards of the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing, Esperanza Community Housing Corporation, and Mercado la Paloma, Inc. Mr. Suzuki also serves as the District 1 appointed Housing Commissioner for the Los Angeles County Development Authority. He earned a B.A. in social work from the California State University of Los Angeles and an M.A. in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Tunua Thrash-Ntuk

Executive Director, Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Leadership

Photo of Tunua Thrash-Ntuk
Tunua Thrash-Ntuk

Executive Director, Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Corporation

A native Angeleno, Tunua Thrash-Ntuk is executive director of Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC LA). Ms. Thrash-Ntuk is a seasoned community and economic development practitioner of more than 15 years with both nonprofit and private sector experience. Her strengths range from community advocacy to asset and real estate development around neighborhood revitalization. Prior to joining LISC LA, Ms. Thrash-Ntuk served as executive director of West Angeles Community Development Corporation. During her tenure, she was responsible for the asset management and oversight of a real estate portfolio valued at $150 million. Ms. Thrash-Ntuk serves as a board member or advisory board member to many entities, including Housing California, City of Los Angeles Measure HHH Citizens Oversight Commission, Greenlining Institute, Union Bank Community Advisory Board, Frontier Communications Community Advisory Board, and the Los Angeles Development Fund, which is the City of Los Angeles’ New Market Tax Credit implementation group. She is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned her master’s degree in city planning, as well as an alumna of University of California, Berkeley where she received her B.A. in interdisciplinary studies.

Tyrone Roderick Williams

Chief Executive Officer, Fresno Housing Authority

Leadership

Tyrone Roderick Williams
Tyrone Roderick Williams

Chief Executive Officer, Fresno Housing Authority

Tyrone Roderick Williams is the deputy executive director leading development on behalf of the City and County of Sacramento at the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency. Mr. Williams is an industry leader in affordable housing finance, organizational management, community development, and cross-sector collaborations. He has spent the past 20 years successfully leading comprehensive revitalization initiatives totaling over $1.5 billion. Mr. Williams directs funding for community development federal entitlement programs and initiatives addressing homelessness. His department provides financing for the development and preservation of long-term multifamily affordable housing. He also directs first-time homebuyer programs and compliance monitoring for over 1,200 single-family loans and portfolio management of 1,300 loans totaling $321 million. In addition to development activities, Mr. Williams leads the Sacramento Promise Zone. In 2018, he was appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission’s Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group. Mr. Williams received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Prairie View A&M University and a master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Anne Wilson

Principal, MeridianSky Development

Leadership

Photo of Anne Wilson
Anne Wilson

Principal, MeridianSky Development

Anne Wilson has 30 years of success in multifamily affordable housing real estate development, finance, and investment. Ms. Wilson joined Chelsea Investment Corporation in 2019 as director of development and leads a team of project managers responsible for financing and building a pipeline that includes mid- and high-rise communities, and over 400 permanent supportive housing units for the homeless. From 2002 to 2018, Ms. Wilson was senior vice president of real estate development at Community HousingWorks, where she completed over $600 million in affordable apartments and mixed-use facilities, growing the portfolio from 700 to over 3,400 apartments. Previously, Ms. Wilson founded San Diego programs for two national intermediaries, the Local Initiative Support Corporation and the Corporation for Supportive Housing. She also worked for the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the City of Boston’s Neighborhood Housing Services. Ms. Wilson was awarded a fellowship at the Center for Real Estate and earned a master’s degree in city planning and urban studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her bachelor’s degree in history from Wesleyan University. Her community service includes positions on the boards of directors of Housing California, the San Diego Housing Federation, the San Diego LGBT Center, and Fenway Community Health Center. Ms. Wilson is also appointed to statewide strategic task forces for the California State Treasurer’s Tax Credit Allocation Committee, the San Diego Foundation, and the Hewlett Foundation.