Our Board of Directors

President

Arnulfo Manriquez

President and CEO

MAAC Project

 

Arnulfo Manriquez is a 22-year veteran of the nonprofit sector. He serves as President and CEO of MAAC Project, a nonprofit organization providing community services in Southern California.  Arnulfo has dedicated his career to working directly with underserved individuals, households, and communities of San Diego County by promoting self-sufficiency through housing, health, educational, and employment programs. MAAC has been a leading advocacy organization in the areas of immigration, living wage, and raising the minimum wage, and supporting a permanent source of affordable housing funding for California.

 

Arnulfo holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California, in San Diego and a Master of Arts degree in Leadership and Non-Profit Management from the University of San Diego. As a first-generation immigrant who grew up in San Diego, Arnulfo understands firsthand the challenges faced by underrepresented communities and is committed to ensuring opportunities for self-sufficiency and safety for families who need it most.

 

1st Vice President

Chione Flegal

Managing Director

PolicyLink

 

Chione Flegal, Managing Director at PolicyLink, leads an extraordinarily committed team working to promote social, economic, and environmental equity in California. With deep expertise on issues of infrastructure and environmental policy, Chione has nearly 20 years of experience building coalitions and leading policy campaigns to improve outcomes for low-income communities and communities of color in California. Prior to joining PolicyLink Chione managed Latino Issues Forum’s Sustainable Development program and directed the organization’s environmental health and justice work. She has worked as a consultant for organizations in the United States and abroad including CARE International and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Chione currently serves on the climate justice working group for the California Natural Resources Agency and on the board of directors of Housing California. She holds a master’s degree in city planning and a BS in environmental science, policy, and management from the University of California, Berkeley.

2nd Vice President

Tom Collishaw

President and CEO

Self-Help Enterprises, representing NeighborWorks

 

Tom Collishaw has been in the nonprofit rural housing development business since 1980. As President and CEO of Self- Help Enterprises, Tom has direct responsibility for all activities and operations of a multi-faceted community development corporation that was founded in 1965. The oldest and largest self-help housing organization in the country, Self-Help Enterprises was a pioneer in the development of sweat-equity housing for rural, low-income people. Since its beginning in 1965, the nonprofit organization has assisted 6,100 families in the construction of their own homes. The organization has also developed over 1,300 units of affordable rental housing which it owns and operates.

 

Tom served on the state Legislature's Housing Element Working Group, and routinely is sought out for input on legislative matters related to housing at both the state and national levels. He serves on the boards of Housing California, California Coalition for Rural Housing, National Rural Housing Coalition, National Farmworker Housing Directors Association, and the National Rural Self-Help Housing Association. Tom is a graduate of Colgate University and the Achieving Excellence in Community Development program at Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Secretary

Rachelle Reyes Wenger

Director, Public Policy and Community Advocacy

Dignity Health

 

Rachelle Reyes Wenger is the director of public policy and community advocacy for Dignity Health. Dignity Health, one of the nation's five largest health care systems, is a 20-state network of nearly 9,000 physicians, 55,000 employees and more than 380 care centers. Dignity Health is the largest private, not-for-profit hospital provider in California, dedicated to providing compassionate, high-quality and affordable patient-centered care with special attention to the underserved.

 

Rachelle has been with Dignity Health since 1995. She is primarily responsible for advancing the organization's public policy and advocacy priorities, mobilizing grassroots advocacy efforts critical to advancing Dignity Health's mission, and developing partnerships in the community. Among the many policy priorities, she manages issues related to health care reform, access and health equity, as well as social justice and environmental health issues, including immigration reform, human trafficking, homelessness, toxic chemicals, climate change and hospital resiliency. Rachelle has developed strong collaborations and partnerships at the local, state, national, and international arenas to seek and build common ground—raising awareness, fostering dialogue, and developing frameworks in support of health care system transformations and healthy communities. Furthering Dignity Health's sustainability commitments, she actively works to support Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) challenges and is a member of Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Climate Advisory Council.

 

Rachelle received her bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a master’s degree in public administration from the California State University, Northridge. Most recently, she was appointed to the Community Hospital of San Bernardino's Board of Directors.

 

 

Treasurer

Alan Greenlee

Executive Director

Southern California Association of NonProfit Housing 

 

As Executive Director of the Southern California Association of NonProfit Housing (SCANPH), Alan Greenlee is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization. SCANPH's mission is to create affordable housing opportunities for low-income people by expanding the knowledge, capacity, and influence of the nonprofit development sector serving Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. Its two major areas of focus are influencing public policy to build support for affordable housing financing and development and providing the latest education and research to its members about best practices in affordable housing development.

 

Before joining SCANPH, Alan held senior management positions at One Economy, a global nonprofit organization that leverages the power of technology and connects underserved people around the world to vital information that will improve their lives, and the Enterprise Foundation, an organization founded by developer James Rouse to improve the lives of low-income families through affordable housing. Alan also served as Legislative Representative for the American Bankers Association in Washington, D.C. and is a former staff member to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. He is a co-founder of Solar Network Solutions which provides data management solutions for the solar industry.

 

With more than twenty years' experience in policy development, operations management, and raising capital and foundation support, Alan brings a deep commitment to improving the lives of low-income families, seniors, the disabled and those that are homeless. Alan graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in Government.

Kirk Allen

Resident Advocate and U.S. Veteran

Kirk Allen, is a veteran who served in Germany. After returning home he eventually became a commercial truck driver. His goal was always to work for himself and, after years of driving for other companies, he finally got the chance to lease his own truck. His truck was his life; it was his business and it became his home.

 

Then, as a result of the physical toll of that work, he developed a hip injury that required surgery. He couldn't afford health insurance so he turned to the Veterans Health Administration for help. His surgery was a success, but the time taken to recover forced him to lose his truck and also his home. The only option he was given was to go and live on skid row . . . in a wheelchair. He refused. Only after that refusal did he get a different case worker who helped him gain transitional housing. 

 

Today Kirk lives in permanent, supportive housing built by New Directions and is studying at Los Angeles Valley College to become a real estate broker. From his experience, he wants to tell his story, "so that the system will change, and the people who need the information the most can get it."

Murtaza Baxamusa
Director of Planning and Development
San Diego Building Trades Council Family Housing Corporation

Murtaza H. Baxamusa, Ph.D., AICP is a certified planner, writer and thinker. He develops affordable housing for the San Diego Building Trades Family Housing Corporation, and teaches urban planning at the University of Southern California (USC). He has more than 12 years of experience in economic development and sustainable urban planning, and has previously worked for the USC Center for Economic Development as well as the Center on Policy Initiatives. He has doctoral and master’s degrees in Planning from USC, and a bachelor’s degree with honors from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.  He serves and has served on several nonprofit boards, including Civic San Diego, the San Diego City-County Reinvestment Taskforce and the Middle Class Taxpayers Association. He received the Ruby Award for Outstanding Advocate from the San Diego Housing Federation in 2012, as well as the John Lyons Memorial Fellowship, an honor that was read into the Congressional Record of the 112th Congress. The City of San Diego proclaimed June 17, 2008 to be “Dr. Murtaza H. Baxamusa Day” in recognition of his contributions to the city. He is a home-owner in Bay Park, and lives with his wife and two daughters.

Zelenne Cardenas
Director of Prevention Services
Social Model Recovery Systems 

 

As the Director of Prevention Services for Social Model Recovery Systems, Inc., a human services organization, Zelenne Cárdenas works diligently on behalf of people who face the most devastating manifestations of poverty in the downtown Los Angeles area known as skid row.  She has been an activist for the past 20 years, helping to build multi-ethnic coalitions and increase civic participation. 

 

Zelenne has served as a consultant to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as to several counties throughout the State of California.  She has co-authored reports and publications on engaging homeless youth in participatory research, barriers to health and wellness, and community-based prevention on a host of issues. 

 

In 2001, Zelenne was selected to receive The California Wellness Foundation's (TCWF) Community Leader Fellowship to support her violence-prevention projects. In 2004, she was named a Local Hero of the Year by KCET-TV and Union Bank of California during Hispanic Heritage Month, and honored with California Peace Prize for her work in skid row by TCWF. In 2007, she was awarded the Mujeres Destacadas/Outstanding Woman award by La Opinión (a leading Spanish-language daily newspaper in the U.S.) for her leadership. In 2008, Bank of America through their Neighborhood Excellence initiative named her a Local Hero for work in the skid row community.

Alfred Diaz-Infante

President and CEO
Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association, Inc. (CHISPA), representing California Coalition for Rural Housing

 

As President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association, Inc., (CHISPA) and CHISPA Housing Management, Inc. (CHMI), Alfred Diaz-Infante is responsible for the implementation of board policy, the overall administration of the development and direction of corporate programs. To date, CHISPA has developed more than 2,300 affordable housing units in the Central Coast of California.

 

Alfred has 26 years of experience in the real estate development industry.  His experience includes project financial analysis, project and property management, and land acquisition.

 

Alfred serves as a trustee on several nonprofit and educational institution boards, including current President of the Hartnell College Foundation, the Community Foundation for Monterey County, Big Sur Land Trust, York School, Youth Orchestra Salinas (YOSal), and Salinas Regional Sports Authority. He also serves on the Citizens Advisory Committee of 1st Capital Bank. Mr. Diaz-Infante served as a member of the Monterey County Planning Commission from 1993-1998.

He is the recipient of the 2003 Distinguished Fellow Award from California State University Monterey Bay for his work in community and public service. In 2004, he received the Ben Heller Award for Leadership and Courage from the Center for Community Advocacy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving housing conditions and opportunities for farmworkers and other low-income families in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. He is also the recipient of the Junior Achievement 2015 Monterey Bay Business Hall of Fame award.

 

Alfred holds an MBA degree from the University of California, Berkeley, with an emphasis in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics and B.S. degree in Finance from California State University, Sacramento. 

Alfred was born and raised in Salinas, California.  He is married and a father of three children.

Amie Fishman

Executive Director

Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California

 

Amie Fishman, the Executive Director of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH) has more than 20 years of experience in the affordable housing and community development field. Prior to NPH, she was the Executive Director of East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO) from 2006 to 2014. During her tenure there, she initiated major affordable housing advocacy campaigns with broad based community coalitions, initiated a resident organizing program, deepened EBHO's work throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties to advance local and regional policies for affordable housing and equitable transit-oriented development, and grew EBHO's membership by 300 percent to nearly 400 organizations and community leaders. 

 

From 1994 to 2004, Amie worked at Mission Housing Development Corporation (MHDC) in San Francisco as the Director of Supportive Housing. In this capacity, she directed MHDC's programs and community organizing collaborations for homeless and formerly homeless adults and families, and spearheaded policy and electoral initiatives. 

 

Immediately prior to her tenure at EBHO, she was a Dean's Scholar at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service, and received her MPA in public policy analysis with a focus on affordable housing and community development. Her Master's thesis was on grassroots anti-displacement strategies and the potential of nonprofit community development corporations to strengthen neighborhood movements.

Fernando Gaytan

Managing Attorney, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, representing Child Care Law Center 

 

Fernando Gaytan is a member of the Board of Directors for the Child Care Law Center (CCLC) and a Managing Attorney with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, practicing in the areas of civil rights litigation, housing rights and community economic development.  He is based in South Los Angeles.  

 

Fernando believes in creating positive social change on behalf of poor and low-income individuals through dedicated and strategic legal advocacy. Throughout his career, he has worked on a broad range of cases including impact litigation challenging gender and race discrimination in the workplace, habitability, fair housing, preservation and expansion of affordable housing, enforcement of local and state tenant protections, as well as civil rights cases aimed at protecting the rights of individuals experiencing homelessness. 

 

He joins the Housing California board as a representative of CCLC, a statewide legal services and advocacy group aimed at promoting the expansion of quality, affordable child care for low-income families and communities.

 

Rich Gross

Vice President and Northern California Market Leader 

Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. 

 

Rich Gross is Vice President and Northern California Market Leader for Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. He oversees Enterprise's affordable housing, community development, investment, and strategic programs for the San Francisco Bay Area. Those efforts include launching Enterprise's role in a groundbreaking program to revitalize public housing in San Francisco, greening existing affordable housing, working with Bay Area communities on the foreclosure crisis and initiating investment in new affordable housing. He leads the Northern California effort to coordinate Enterprise solutions with partners and supports efforts to raise more capital for work throughout the state. Previously, Rich managed and underwrote Low-Income Housing Tax Credit investments in California for Enterprise.   

 

Rich has more than 25 years of experience working in and with nonprofit housing development organizations. Prior to joining Enterprise, he was a senior associate with Devine and Gong, a consulting firm in San Francisco, specializing in the development and finance of affordable housing with nonprofit clients throughout the United States. Prior to that, Rich spent 10 years as the founding executive director of a nonprofit development corporation in Wisconsin, where he developed affordable housing, assisted small business development and was a strong advocate for low-income residents.   

Rich has taught in the graduate program in urban and regional planning at University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and was elected and served on the Madison, Wisconsin City Council. He is on the Board of Directors of both Housing California and Jamestown Community Center in the Mission District of San Francisco.   

 

Rich received a Bachelor of Arts in American history and a Master of Science in urban and regional planning from University of Wisconsin-Madison.  

David Howden

Director of the Los Angeles Program

Corporation for Supportive Housing

David Howden has nearly 20 years of experience assisting communities with sound strategies to address and end homelessness. As the Director for CSH’s Los Angeles Program, David has worked closely with public- and private- sector partners to align systems and increase resources. He has spearheaded efforts to strengthen the capacity of service providers and developers to bring supportive housing to scale. Over the past few years, David has worked with partners to design a Coordinated Entry System through the region. David also led a community-based planning effort to develop a regional homeless strategic plan for San Gabriel Valley, which included both a comprehensive needs assessment and an implementation strategy.

 

Prior to joining CSH, David was with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, where he was Funding Manager from 2001 to 2008. His responsibilities included oversight of the annual Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Programs application for one of the largest COC’s in the United States. David has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Master of Public Administration from Rutgers University.

Lisa Motoyama

Senior Affordable Housing Finance Consultant

Community Economics, Inc.

 

Lisa Motoyama joined Community Economics in 2018, bringing together her experience and expertise from work across the public, nonprofit and for-profit affordable housing development sectors, and through the life cycle of development from feasibility to refinance and recapitalization.  With more than 20 years of housing development experience, Lisa brings her passion and expertise to improving the lives of low-income people. 

 

Prior to Community Economics, she served as a program director at the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development where she was primarily responsible for the infrastructure and real estate aspects of the nation’s first large-scale public housing transformation and reparations effort. During her tenure, 643 units were completed or started construction, and entitlements and development agreements approved for 3,300 units. Before her transition to the public sector, Lisa was an affordable housing developer and advocate in the nonprofit sector. In her previous position as Housing Development Director at Resources for Community Development, she was responsible for the development of more than 1,100 units serving 3,000 low income adults and children, many with special needs. 

 

In addition to her work experience, she has served in volunteer positions ranging from the Contra Costa County Affordable Housing Finance Committee, and the EBHO Board of Directors, to the El Cerrito Planning Commission and the Oversight Board of the San Francisco Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure. She earned her master’s degree in City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley.

Carol Ornelas

Chief Executive Officer

Visionary Home Builders of California, Inc., representing UnidosUS

 

For the last 30 years, Carol J. Ornelas has served as Chief Executive Officer for Visionary Home Builders of California, formerly ACLC, Inc.; a nonprofit residential development company and provider of social services in housing-related issues. VHB is headquartered in Stockton, California. Carol is highly recognized as a leader within the community, as well as nationally in the housing industry. Her strength is in building and creating partnerships, and collaborating with city and state officials and other agencies to provide quality affordable housing for the communities she serves.  

 

Under Carol’s direct leadership, VHB has built and rehabilitated more than 1200 units of rental housing and more than 500 residential homes for first-time homebuyers within San Joaquin, Sacramento, Stanislaus and Merced Counties.

 

Carol is one of 49 leaders nationwide selected for the NeighborWorks® Achieving Excellence in Community Development program in collaboration with Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Through her leadership, she has been able to bring more than $600 million in grants and private dollars to develop affordable housing in the San Joaquin Valley.

Victoria Ramirez

Director - Policy

Jamboree Housing Corporation

 

Vicky Ramirez, is the Director-Policy for Jamboree, a nonprofit affordable housing development company that has developed more than 8,300 affordable rental homes for families, seniors, and those with special needs in California. In her current role Vicky is tasked with monitoring, reviewing, and responding to proposed state and federal legislation that affects the affordable housing industry.  During her time at Jamboree she also served as a Senior Project Manager and was directly responsible for the production of 550 affordable homes and securing more than $150 million in financing for these developments, including one of the very first loans issued by the Strategic Growth Council’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program, which awards competitive grants and loans from the state’s greenhouse gas reduction fund proceeds. The community she developed in West Sacramento was the first to break ground in the state and the first to be completed with funds from this program.  

 

Vicky is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles where she received both a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Chicana/o Studies and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning. Before turning 30, Vicky was recognized by Multifamily Executive Magazine as an Up and Coming Young Leader.  A resident of Anaheim, she previously served on the City’s Planning Commission (2008 - 2016) and currently serves on the City’s Public Utilities Board.

Sarah Ropelato

Managing Attorney, Sacramento County Office

Legal Services of Northern California

Sarah was admitted to the bar in 2007 and is a graduate of University of California-Davis School of Law.  Sarah has worked with Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC) since 2007 representing low-income clients and community-based organizations in individual cases as well as broader impact litigation.  She has litigated before a variety of courts and administrative tribunals including the California Supreme Court, Third District Court of Appeal, Sacramento County Superior Court, Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, California Department of Social Services, Social Security Administration, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Stephen Russell

Executive Director

San Diego Housing Federation

A 2005 graduate of the NewSchool of Architecture & Design, Stephen has a 20-year history working in community and economic development in the Mid-City region of San Diego. He served as Executive Director of the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement District, where he was responsible for implementing an economic development strategy for an aging commercial district. He later served as an advisor to then-San Diego City Councilmember Toni Atkins on issues related to redevelopment, infrastructure financing, small business support, and the City’s General Plan (the “City of Villages”).

Since then he has served as volunteer board member and President of the City Heights Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing affordable housing, employment opportunities, and quality neighborhoods in the community of City Heights. Stephen has served on the NewSchool Foundation Board since 2009 and as President of the Board since 2011.

 

Prior to joining the Federation as its Executive Director, Stephen was a member of the firm Platt/Whitelaw Architects, Inc., a full-service architecture firm specializing in sustainable design.

Tunua Thrash-Ntuk

Executive Director

Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), Los Angeles

 

 

Tunua Thrash-Ntuk is the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) office.  A native Angelino, Tunua is an established leader in the city's community and economic development industry.  Before coming to LISC, she spent five years as the executive director of the prominent West Angeles Community Development Corporation. 

 

Her strengths range from community advocacy to asset and real estate development around neighborhood revitalization.  She has already led a number of important urban initiatives in Los Angeles focused on affordable housing and commercial development as well as transit-oriented projects.

 

After doing her undergraduate studies at University of California at Berkeley, Tunua continued her education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she received a Master's degree in city planning with a focus on urban economic and real estate development. With her passion for the industry, Tunua will lead LA LISC into a new era of helping low-income families and L.A. neighborhoods.
 

 

Vision

A California in which no one is homeless and everyone can afford a safe, stable place to call home in a healthy and vibrant community.

Reach Us

Housing California

1107 9th Street, Suite 560

Sacramento, CA 95814

p. 916.447.0503

f. 916.447.1900

staff@housingca.org

  • emailicon
  • Wix Twitter page
  • Wix Facebook page
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Flickr Social Icon

© 2018  by Housing California