2024 Speakers and Presenters

Don Alexander
A&H Development

Don Alexander is a partner in A&H Development which is located in Crossville and offers services in Middle and East Tennessee. A&H specializes in development activities working with local PHAs and nonprofits. Don received a BS in Business Administration from Kansas State University, attending on an athletic scholarship. After college Don worked for a large retail company for 12 years before being selected in 1990 to be the Executive Director of the Crossville Housing Authority; a position he held for 27 years. Don achieved much in his time at CHA, including expanding the CHA capacity from serving 294 families to 1,275 families, setting up a homeownership program that built and sold over 110 homes and a childcare facility that serves 189 children, establishing a non-profit that administers homeless programs throughout Upper Cumberland, and a program that originates RD loans. Much of this expansion of rental programs was done using THDA tools including HOUSE, HOME, THTF, NHTF, LIHTC and CITC.

A&H has served nonprofits and housing authorities in Middle and West Tennessee. They have assisted small projects such as 6-unit new construction, as well as larger projects like a 48-unit LIHTC or a $4 million rehab project. Don was one of the founding members of the Tennessee Affordable Housing Coalition and has received several Tennessee’s Best awards from THDA including Advocate of the Year Legacy Award. In 2016 Don was elected to the Tennessee Affordable Housing Hall of Fame.

Eric Alexander
Director of Multifamily Programs

Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA)

Eric Alexander joined THDA in October 2022 as its Multifamily Programs Division Director. He has over two decades of experience in affordable housing finance. Previously, he served as the Multifamily Development Director for the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority (SCHousing), overseeing the 9% and 4% LIHC and MTBA programs along with South Carolina’s community development funding programs. Prior to that role, he served as the Assistant Director of Real Estate Development for housing programs at RIHousing, overseeing gap financing funds for the agency in Rhode Island.

Eric began his affordable housing career at the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, serving in a variety of program staff and leadership positions. In all of these roles, he has worked closely with non-profit and for-profit developers, as well as various municipalities, to fund the construction, renovation, and acquisition of affordable housing, public facilities, and commercial improvements supporting affordable housing.

April Atkins
Community Affairs Officer

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

April Atkins is a Community Affairs Officer at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), where she provides Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) technical assistance and community development resources to bankers, agency examiners and community stakeholders in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee. Her work facilitates partnerships between banks and stakeholders in community revitalization and stabilization, economic development, affordable housing and other community development-related needs in underserved communities.

Prior to the OCC, April worked in community affairs for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) covering Florida and worked on detail assignments with Minority Depository Institutions and in fair lending. She was the recipient of the FDIC’s Individual Mission Achievement Award. April was a part-time lecturer at Georgia Institute of Technology in the building construction program, where she developed and taught courses in residential development policy and finance. She has also served in various leadership roles in urban planning, community and government affairs roles with local government, development and home building trade associations.

A native of the Florida panhandle, April received her bachelor’s from the University of Florida in History and her master’s in City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and holds a professional certificate in community economic development from NeighborWorks America and in community development finance from Opportunity Finance Network and the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy. She is a graduate of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators Mentor Program, Leadership DeKalb Class of 2012, and LEAD Atlanta Class of 2011. She was honored to receive the Shirley Taylor-Prakelt Award from the Florida Community Development Association, in recognition of her professional excellence and support of community and economic development. She is a recent graduate of the Graduate School USA’s national Executive Leadership Program.

Separate from and unaffiliated with her role at the FDIC, April served as an appointed planning commissioner representing her district in DeKalb County, Georgia. She is on the rescue team and serves as an ambassador with an anti-human trafficking organization Atlanta, Georgia, and is a member of Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia. April also volunteers the Georgia Planning Association’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is a member of the Dogwood City (GA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. In 2019, she was selected to participate in CARE Global Innovation Hub’s national Pathways to Justice Experience through the Emerson Collective and the Equal Justice Initiative, related to the book and subsequent movie, Just Mercy. She holds multiple wine-related certifications, including the Level 2 in Wine with Distinction Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust.

Laurie Benner
Associate VP of Housing and Community Development

National Fair Housing Alliance

Laurie Benner is responsible for developing, implementing, managing, and evaluating innovative national programs designed to advance research, programs, and policies that provide equitable access to homeownership, housing, economic, and other opportunities. Her primary focus is to spearhead the Keys Unlock Dreams initiative – a 10-city program aimed at expanding affordable and fair housing options; increasing the homeownership rate and related benefits for people and communities of color; preventing an unbalanced recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic; and closing the racial wealth and homeownership gaps.

Ben Bentley
Executive Director/CEO
Knoxville's Community Development Corporation (KCDC)

In 2017 Ben Bentley became Executive Director/CEO of Knoxville's Community Development Corporation (KCDC). Bentley develops and implements strategic initiatives to improve affordable housing and foster development in the City of Knoxville and Knox County. Bentley's background includes significant national experience with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He also has a track record of successfully managing operations of large public housing agencies in the Region.

Prior to his current role, Bentley served as Chief Operating Officer of the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) in Nashville, with broad oversight of all Public Housing and Section 8 programs. During his time at MHDA, Bentley led efforts to convert and recapitalize the Agency's Public Housing portfolio under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program.

Bentley began his career at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Nashville Field Office in 2010 as a Presidential Management Fellow and Portfolio Management Specialist.

In 2014, Bentley was promoted to Division Director of HUD's Denver Regional Office of Public Housing with responsibility for financial and regulatory oversight of public housing agencies across a six-state region. Bentley also served as a Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) subject matter expert for HUD.

Jon Berestecky
Director of Development

Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition

Jon Berestecky currently serves as the Director of Development for the Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition, where he helps community providers and stakeholders work together to improve local systems and generate new solutions to address homelessness. Jon has nearly 20 years experience in social services. When he is not bringing diverse groups together to address complex social challenges, Jon is running around with his brilliant wife Sarah and their three children; 11 year Willow, 13 year old Eliah and 14 year old Sophi.

Brian Bills
East TN Mortgage Area Sales Leader

Truist Mortgage

Brian Bills currently serves as the East Tennessee mortgage area sales leader for Truist Mortgage. He has served in this role for over 20 years and has been in the mortgage and lending industry for more than 30 years. Brian has served on a variety of housing and related boards during his career; chairing the board of Directors with THDA, Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee, Knoxville Chamber diplomats along with work on other boards such as the Knoxville Area Urban League and First Book. Brian is a proud graduate of Maryville College. During his time in the lending and housing industry he has developed a great deal of care and understanding for the power of and value inherent in home ownership which continues to drive his professional purpose.

Ron Budynas
Vice President and COO

Wesley Living

Ron Budynas is the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Wesley Living. Wesley living has 30 elderly housing facilities housing over 2200 elderly families in assisted living and affordable apartment units in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Arkansas. Additionally, Wesley Living provides service coordination for third parties in Tennessee, and Alabama. In addition to operational oversight of the Wesley Living portfolio and Wesley Home Services, he develops and administers grants from various federal and local organizations. He graduated from the University of Memphis with a BS in Education, and after building airports for 20 years in the United States Marine Corps, he has generated over 27 years of Real Estate Management experience.

Vanessa Bullock
Fair Housing Director and Managing Attorney

West Tennessee Legal Services

Vanessa Bullock is West Tennessee Legal Services’ Fair Housing Director and Managing Attorney. Ms. Bullock provides fair housing enforcement and education across the State of Tennessee, through funding from HUD, in affiliation with Legal Services agencies under the FHIP Private Enforcement Initiative Grant and Eviction Prevention Pilot Project.

Ms. Bullock received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Mississippi and Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi, School of Law and is licensed to practice law in Mississippi and Tennessee. She has lectured on fair housing rights throughout Tennessee and has represented complainants in housing discrimination cases. In addition to her Fair Housing work, Ms. Bullock has assisted low-income residents in West Tennessee with other civil legal representation in areas impacting their housing stability, including homeownership and rental housing issues.

Ben Butler
Housing Director

Project Return, Inc.

Ben Butler has over 3 decades of experience in property management/renovation and manufacturing industries. Ben currently serves as the Housing Director at Project Return Inc., a non-profit dedicated to helping people achieve a free and full life after incarceration. In this role he, oversees a portfolio of 32 housing units that are made to be very affordable for Project Return participants. Prior to Project Return, worked with property management and investment companies in Memphis and Clarksville, where he project-managed the maintenance and renovation of hundreds of multi-family housing units. For over two decades, Ben also owned a manufacturer’s representative business in the boating and power sports industries. Ben’s mission-driven spirit can be explained by the following quote: “There are many things that I love about my job, but for me absolute best part is when I walk into a finished home with its new tenant. They slowly look around with what seems like amazement mixed with a little disbelief and joy and ask me as they tear up, I can live here? Yes, this is your new home made beautiful just for you!"

Rebecca Carter
Director of Community Services

Tennessee Housing Development Agency

Rebecca Carter currently serves as the Director of Community Services for Tennessee Housing Development Agency. Prior to joining THDA in 2023, Carter served in several capacities with United Way of Greater Nashville, most recently as the Director, Community Impact where she worked closely with health and human services agencies across the state on multiple initiatives. She also previously held leadership positions at The Next Door, Inc. and Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee where she developed, implemented and managed non-profit programs.

Carter earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Belmont University and a master of public service management from Cumberland University.

Russell Catron
Single Family Program Development Coordinator

TN Housing Development Agency

Russell Catron serves as the Single Family Program Development Coordinator for THDA, where he works under the SF Director and assists with monitoring funding sources, daily reporting and other reports, assisting lenders, hosting Lender Q&A, LOS testing and implementation, policy and procedure evaluations, and oversight of THDA’s New Start program.

Russell’s background includes real estate, appraisals, new construction sales, loan origination and processing, training new loan officers and CRA lending. Russell has 13 years of housing counseling and affordable housing development experience.

Dhathri Chunduru
Director of Research and Planning

Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA)

Dhathri Chunduru is the Director of Research and Planning at the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA). In her position, she oversees the various research and analytic initiatives of the agency as well as the Consolidated Planning process. In her tenure, Dhathri has established a program evaluation initiative to better understand and improve the agency’s various programs; led the development of more dynamic data products to increase efficiency and usage; and established protocols to increase the transparency, integrity, and replicability of the agency’s analytic processes. Prior to her work in housing, Dhathri held various program and policy leadership positions in the field of K-12 education, including leading large-scale education initiatives and managing long-term research initiatives. Dhathri holds a PhD in the Sociology of Education from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago.

Craig Cobb
VP of Affordable Housing
DGA Residential

Craig leads DGA Residential's affordable housing platform sourcing new construction and rehabilitation opportunities, debt and equity, and overseeing design. Craig brings over 14 years of experience and has played key roles developing over 55 projects and over 6,000 units of affordable housing across 7 states in the Southeast. Craig has experience developing LIHTC new construction, Section 8/LIHTC rehabs, and working with PHAs on RAD conversions and redevelopments.

Monica Evans
Engagement Senior Advisor

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Monica Evans is an Engagement Senior Advisor on the Community and Economic Development team in the Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Her focus is on housing and neighborhood focused place-based community development. Monica’s previous work includes partnering with neighborhood residents, community organizations, and funding partners in underserved communities to implement strategic investments in mixed-income housing, community organizing and engagement, inclusive economic and workforce development, education, and healthcare. Most recently, Monica was a community development consultant, focused on collecting and utilizing grassroots community-driven data to deploy high-quality, evidence-based community-supported investment strategies that result in self-sufficient, thriving communities. She has a bachelor’s degree from Salem College, a master’s degree from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s School of Government and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and is dissertating in Clark Atlanta University’s Humanities PhD program.

Ermal Faulkner
Director, BlueOval City & EV Sites

Ford Motor Company

Ermal M. Faulkner is currently Director, BlueOval City & EV Sites Ford Motor Company. He has been with Ford since June 1992 and started as the Director of BlueOval City & EV Sites in May of 2022.

Before becoming Director, BlueOval City & EV Sites, Ermal was the Director, Global Material Cost from May of 2018 to May of 2022. Prior to Ermal’s Global Material Cost role, Ermal was the Director, Global Powertrain Components Purchasing from August 2016 until May of 2018. Ermal was the Director of Purchasing for the Americas, a role he held from July 2015 to August 2016. Prior to that, Ermal was the Global Purchasing Director for Body & Exterior, Stampings, and Raw Materials from July 2011 to June 2015; and prior to this, Ermal was the Global Purchasing Director for Electrical and Electronics from December 2009 to June 2011.

Before assuming these Global assignments within Ford, Ermal lived with his family for 5 years in the United Kingdom, during which time he was Board Director of Purchasing for Jaguar Land Rover. During his time at Jaguar Land Rover, Ermal was part of the team that helped turn around the company, as well as part of the team that helped sell the company to TATA Motors. Also, as part of the sale process, Ermal was an executive on loan working for TATA Motors his last year at Jaguar Land Rover.

Externally, Ermal supports various charity events – but most notably, Ermal is a supporter and an Advisor to the Board of Vista Maria – a community non-profit organization located in Dearborn, Michigan. Ermal is also a Board Member for the Michigan American Cancer Society and is also on the Executive Committee for the American Cancer Society’s Golf event that raises thousands of dollars to support this worthy cause.

Ermal is a native of Muncie, Indiana; holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics from Michigan State University and a Master’s of Science in Business Administration (MBA Equivalent) in Corporate Finance and Corporate Strategy from Purdue University. He enjoys spending time with his two sons and his hobbies include family, sports, movies and music.

Tony Gibbons
Executive Director
Loudon County Habitat for Humanity

Tony Gibbons has 27 years of nonprofit leadership experience helping rural communities with programs that stabilize and empower impoverished families. He spent the first 10 years of his career in North Carolina administering court-based nonprofits focused on criminal justice and conflict resolution services. His tenure with Habitat for Humanity began in 2007 when he became CEO of the Blount County, TN affiliate. In 2016, he joined Loudon County (TN) Habitat for Humanity where he currently serves as its executive director.

Throughout his career Tony has been involved with local, state, and national advocacy efforts to secure and protect resources for low-income families. He is a member of Habitat for Humanity’s US Council where he is active on several committees and serves as Chair of the Governance Committee. Additionally, he is a current board member of Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee, a graduate of several local and regional leadership programs, a lifelong Rotarian, and has held numerous board leadership positions on statewide conflict resolution and alternative sentencing associations in North Carolina.

In 2015, Tony represented Habitat for Humanity as a panelist at the US Congressional briefing for HOME grant funding. More recently, Tony represented Habitat for Humanity as a panelist at the 2022 National Housing Conference in Washington DC and at the 2023 Habitat for Humanity International’s National Directors Conference held in Bangkok, Thailand.

Raised in Atlanta, GA, Tony is a graduate of Emory University and earned a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a concentration in public administration and organizational change. Tony and his family live in Knoxville, TN. His wife Melinda is a professor of counselor education at the University of Tennessee. They have two sons: Ben – a recent graduate of Emory University in Atlanta, GA; and Ryan – a student at Elon University in Elon, NC.

Noah Gray
Director of Business Development

Nickson General Contractors

Noah has over 14 years real estate development and management experience. In 2009, Noah joined the Binghampton Development Corporation (BDC), where he served for six years as Property Manager. It 2015, Noah became the BDC’s Executive Director and served in that capacity until 2022 when he moved into the private sector. Noah is now the Director of Business Development for Nickson General Contractors and is a co-founder and principal of Nickson Development Group and Nickson Management Company.

In his thirteen years in non-profit community development, Noah administered local, state and federal programs including PILOT, TIF, NMTC, HTF, and NSP. Noah led the BDC in its partnership with Nashville-based developer Elmington Capital Group to develop a 219-unit affordable housing development located on 8+ acres in the Binghampton community. In 2017, Noah led the BDC’s effort to establish a 30-year Binghampton Neighborhood TIF through Memphis and Shelby County’s Community Redevelopment Agency. Over the 30-year life of the 1.8 square mile TIF, the redevelopment trust fund will capture up to $26M to be used for blight abatement, infrastructure improvements, and the preservation of affordability in the Binghampton community.

Noah earned an Executive MBA from the University of Memphis and an undergraduate degree in Finance and Real Estate from the University of Missouri. He is a licensed affiliate real estate broker and was in the Memphis Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2018. Noah has served on several boards, including Impact America, Collage Dance Collective Holding Company, various BDC subsidiaries, CRA’s Binghampton TIF Advisory Committee, Community Development Council of Memphis/BLDG Memphis, and MLGW Neighborhood Advisory Council.

Felita Hamilton
Multifamily Programs Allocation Manager
Tennessee Housing Development Agency

Felita Hamilton is a Multifamily Programs Allocation Manager at Tennessee Housing Development Agency. In this role, she oversees the allocation and administration of the Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Multifamily Tax-Exempt Bond Authority programs. These programs are instrumental in the preservation and construction of affordable housing units across the state.

Hamilton has a proven track record in the development of safe, sound, and affordable housing. Having spent 18 years in the industry, in both Section 8 Contract Administration and Multifamily Programs Division.

Hamilton holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Studies with a concentration in Strategic Leadership from Tennessee State University.

Jim Hatfield
VP Redevelopment

Knoxville's Community Development Corporation (KCDC)

James "Jim" Hatfield III works alongside the City of Knoxville and other partners to assist with redevelopment projects.

Hatfield joined KCDC in 2019, previously serving as redevelopment and real estate director. He was the lead development project manager for First Creek at Austin and managed other initiatives and secured funding for housing development.

Prior to joining KCDC, Hatfield worked for Wyoming Housing Network in Casper, Wyoming, as real estate development director. Hatfield earned a bachelor's degree in hotel administration from Cornell University in New York. He is a member of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) and was named to the 2021 Knox.biz 40 Under 40 class.

He resides in Knoxville with his wife, Christine, and three children. He serves as a deacon at Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church.

Jennifer Hawkins
President and Executive Director

ONE Neighborhood Builders

Jennifer Hawkins is the president and executive director of ONE Neighborhood Builders. She has more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit community development and housing sectors, having worked in several cities, including San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Providence. She understands how to organize diverse partners, navigate an environment with unrelenting demand for scarce resources, motivate a talented team to generate high impact, and improve the health and equity of communities.

Jennifer has worked in senior management positions and as a member of the board of directors for organizations that tackle the most pressing housing and community health challenges, including Women’s Development Corporation, Providence Housing Authority, Rhode Island Coalition to End Homeless, Madison Park Development Corporation in Roxbury, MA, and Breaking Ground in New York City.

Her work has addressed issues of insecure and unaffordable housing; unsafe and physically blighted neighborhoods; and lack of access to parks, healthy foods, and community services. She previously worked as the deputy executive director for Olneyville Housing Corporation (which changed its name to ONE Neighborhood Builders after a 2015 merger) from 2011 to 2015.

She currently serves on NeighborWorks America’s Real Estate Advisory Group, Rhode Island House of Representative’s Special Commission to Study the Low and Moderate Income Housing Act, Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources Distributed Generation Contracts Board, Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission, and the Town of Smithfield Planning Board.

Jennifer received her Master of Public Administration from New York University and her Bachelor of Arts from Connecticut College. She resides in Smithfield, Rhode Island, with her husband and daughter.

Dr. Christopher Herbert
Managing Director

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

Dr. Christopher Herbert is Managing Director of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and a Lecturer in the Department of Urban Planning and Design. Dr. Herbert has extensive experience in research related to housing policy and urban development both in the U.S. and abroad. His research focuses on the financial, social and demographic dimensions of homeownership, the dynamics of the rental housing market, the nature and causes of racial and socioeconomic segregation, and the implications of a rapidly aging society for housing. Dr. Herbert is co-editor of A Shared Future: Fostering Communities of Inclusion in an Era of Inequality (2018) and Homeownership Built to Last: Balancing Access, Affordability, and Risk After the Housing Crisis (Brookings Institution Press, 2014). He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Freddie Mac. He holds a PhD and Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University, and a BA in History from Dartmouth College.

Lucile Houseworth
Chief Administrative Officer

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville

Lucile Houseworth joined Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville in 2009 where she serves as Chief Administrative Officer. Prior to joining Habitat for Humanity, Lucile held a variety of leadership roles in commercial banking, including with Renasant Bank and SunTrust, now Truist. Lucile was recognized in 2016 by the Nashville Business Journal as a Women of Influence winner and in 2023 by Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee as Affiliate Leader of the Year. Lucile is a graduate of Wellesley College and Harvard Business School.

Mayor Jeff Huffman
County Executive
Tipton County, TN

Jeff Huffman has served as Tipton County Executive since 1986 and served as a county commissioner from 1978-1986. Jeff graduated from UT Martin in 1975. He serves on the Megasite Authority Board, the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, and the Tennessee County Services Association Board of Directors. He also chairs several local, regional, and state boards and is former president of TCEA and TCSA. Jeff was named the 2007 Robert M. Wormsley County Official of the Year and has received Distinguished Service Awards from the Memphis Area Association of Governments and Dyersburg State Community College. Jeff and his wife, Darlene, reside in Brighton. They have two daughters and one granddaughter.

Lauren Kirk
Chief Innovation Officer

City of Jackson

Lauren Kirk currently serves as the first Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Jackson. In this role, she is responsible for managing the Mayor's Innovation Team and various initiatives to improve the quality of life for all Jackonians.

Prior to working with the City of Jackson, Lauren worked in the nonprofit sector in Memphis, serving with Historic Clayborn Temple, BLDG (Building) Memphis, and City Leadership.

In addition to her role at the City, Lauren remains actively involved with various nonprofits in her community, including serving as the current board president for Habitat for Humanity Jackson.

Lauren is a graduate of the 2019 class of Leadership Jackson and the 2021 class of the Delta Regional Authority’s Executive Leadership Academy, with a Regional Innovator Graduate Certificate. She is also a 2023 graduate of the Leadership Tennessee NEXT program.

Lauren is a proud first-generation college graduate. She received a Masters in City and Regional Planning and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Memphis, where she was also a Housing and Community Development Fellow. She also holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Union University.

Bill Lord
Director, Community Housing Division
Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA)

Bill Lord has over 25 years of management experience in the real estate development and management industry including 19 years working directly in the affordable housing arena.

Bill currently serves as the Director of Community Housing at the Tennessee Housing Development Agency where he is responsible for the HOME Investment Partnership program, the “National” Housing Trust Fund program, the Tennessee Housing Trist Fund Competitive Grants programs, Emergency Repair Program and various other affordable housing programs for the State of Tennessee.

Prior to joining THDA Bill served as the Senior Director of Leasing and Property Management for a statewide Tennessee residential property management firm and over 10 years in executive positions serving as Deputy Executive Director of the Murfreesboro Housing Authority and the Chief Information Officer for the Chattanooga Housing Authority.

Bill attended Mercer University and Georgia University. Bill is a Certified Public Manager and holds additional certifications in Government Performance Management, Public Housing Management and Federal Procurement and Contract Administration. Bill is also a graduate of the Tennessee Government Management Institute.

Bill is honorably discharged from the United States Navy and is married to Kristin and has three children, Aerin, Tyler and Adam.

Nicole Lucas
Sr. Director of Information Technology

Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA)

Nicole Lucas is the Sr. Director of Information Technology at the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA). She joined THDA in 2003 when she was hired as a Senior Network Administrator and was later promoted in 2010 to the Director of Information Technology. She became an Executive Officer and the Sr. Director of IT in 2019. Prior to joining THDA, Nicole held various positions and responsibilities in Information Technology, both in the private and public sectors.

In her current position she supervises a staff of 28 and oversees all IT operations, cybersecurity efforts, system implementations, and reporting for the agency. During her tenure, the agency has successfully established its own independent LAN/WAN infrastructure, built a robust development team, launched the agency’s in-house built Loan Origination System, and created a customized in-house enterprise solution to manage all Tax Credit business. Nicole and her team have also worked diligently to strengthen the agency’s cybersecurity posture, and as a result, the agency obtained its SOC II Type I attestation earlier this year.

Nicole holds a Bachelor Degree of Science from Western Kentucky University and various other IT-specific certifications, most notably the GIAC Strategic Planning, Policy, and Leadership.

Gay Oliver
Director of Internal Audit
Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA)

Gathelyn (Gay) Oliver, has been the Director of Internal Audit for Tennessee Housing Development Agency since 2013. She oversees the Internal Audit function as well as the Quality Control functions for Mortgage Origination and Mortgage Servicing. Her team facilitates THDA’s agency wide Enterprise Risk Management process and is responsible for THDA’s Third Party Risk Management function. She earned a bachelor's degree from Middle Tennessee State University, a Graduate Certificate in Public Policy from Tennessee State University and an MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Gay is also a CPA and is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors, the Association of Government Accountants and the AICPA.

Isa Reeb
Community Planner

HDR, Inc.

Isa Reeb is a Community Planner with HDR, Inc. and has more than seventeen years of experience working across disciplines collaborating, problem-solving, and leading complex urban growth projects. She provides customized, multi-disciplinary guidance to help communities grow responsibly. Utilizing an evidence-based approach to align stakeholders, she is well-versed in urban planning and policy, transportation and infrastructure systems, housing, funding, and implementation mechanisms. Isa is currently focused on planning and municipal support for West TN as an integral part of the West TN Planning team for Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

Mark C. Reid
Executive Director

Jackson Housing Authority

Mark Reid is the Executive Director of the Jackson Housing Authority. He is a graduate of the University of TN at Martin where he received his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in Marketing. Mr. Reid has been employed with the Jackson Housing Authority for 32 years. As the Director, he oversees the Public Housing and Mixed Financed Properties/Programs consisting of over 1032 families, the Housing Choice Voucher Program consisting of over 1,300 families, Family Self-Sufficiency Program, and the ROSS Program. Mr. Reid was/is instrumental in the on-going conversion of the Jackson Housing Authority’s portfolio from public housing to RAD, Rental Assistance Demonstration program, using Low Income Housing Tax Credits to sustain and create affordable housing.

Mr. Reid serves on the Tennessee Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities as the Senior Vice-President, Board of Directors for the Tennessee Housing Authority Risk Management Trust, Jackson Madison County African American Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and a Deacon at the Historic First Baptist Church where serves as the Benevolence Team Leader.

Thomas Robinson
Vice President of Acquisitions & Development

Alco Management, Inc.

Since joining Alco in 2014, Thomas has helped the company grow through the acquisition and preservation of affordable apartment communities across the Southeast. He leads the company’s property acquisition efforts from deal sourcing to closing and manages redevelopment projects with a focus on project planning, financing, and regulatory approvals. He has an undergraduate degree from Colorado State University and worked in nonprofit social services in Memphis prior to joining the Alco team.

Jason Ronnow
Assistant Director of IT

Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA)

Jason Ronnow is the Assistant Director of Information Technology and Information Security Officer for THDA. He has been with THDA for the past 18 years, where he leads a diverse team of a dozen IT professionals. Jason has nearly 30 years combined information technology and cybersecurity experience. He has a passion for cybersecurity, with a focus on keeping the internet safe for THDA and its customers. Jason believes that making everyday computer users more security conscious will bring about a better internet experience for everyone. Jason holds several certificates including SANS GIAC Information Security Professional.

Jeboria Scott
Director of Rental Assistance
Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA)

Jeboria Scott is the Director of the Rental Assistance Division at Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) and has more than two decades of experience furthering fair housing opportunities and non-profit sector service within the state of Tennessee. During her 16-year tenure with THDA, Jeboria has served as the Assistant Director of Rental Assistance, Policy and Program Coordinator, and Family Self-Sufficiency Manager.

Prior to her service with the State of Tennessee, Jeboria was employed with Catholic Charities where she served as the Outreach Coordinator in the Bridges to Care Program. As a graduate of the of NCSHA’s Executive Development Program with Indiana University, a graduate of Tennessee Government Executive Institute (TGEI), and a former volunteer with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee, she is committed to professional development and community service.

Jeboria left her home in The Bahamas to attend Nashville’s Fisk University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree, after having completed a study abroad program in Belgium and Spanish Studies in Madrid, Spain. Jeboria went on to pursue a Master of Public Administration degree from Tennessee State University where she graduated with honors. Jeboria is passionate about serving those in need. She has dedicated her career to supporting federal and state programs that provide affordable housing opportunities in an increasingly complex world.

Sabrina Seamon
Deputy Executive Director

Clinch-Powell RC&D Council

Sabrina Seamon is the Deputy Executive Director of Clinch-Powell RC&D Council, a nonprofit serving the rural areas of East Tennessee in affordable housing, environmental conservation, and community development efforts for 34 years. Sabrina has been with Clinch-Powell since 2012. She provides supervision to the various departments of the non-profit, serving as the second-in-command to the Executive Director. She oversees program compliance, grant writing, and plays a key role in the evolution of internal operations and policies in addition to any ‘duties as assigned.’ Sabrina is on the Morristown Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals, the FAHE Big Picture Policy Committee, as well as an Ambassador for the Morristown-Hamblen Chamber of Commerce. Sabrina has previously served on THDA’s Homebuyer Educator Advisory Board and the Governing Council of the Tennessee Valley Coalition on Homelessness. Sabrina is a HUD-Certified Housing Counselor. Sabrina also holds an MSSW from the University of Tennessee, and received her Bachelor degrees in Government and Sociology from McNesse State University in Lake Charles, LA. She is also an alumni of the University of Tennessee Haslam College of Business Consortium for Social Enterprise Effectiveness Program, and Boston College Carroll School of Management’s Center for Corporate Citizenship Nonprofit Leadership program, and a previous recipient of FAHE’s Emerging Leadership award. Originally from Collierville, TN, Sabrina currently resides in Morristown, TN with her husband, Brandon, and their blended family of pets.

Toni Shaw
Housing Program Manager

Tennessee Housing Development Agency

Toni Shaw is a Housing Program Manager in THDA’s Community Programs Division. She has been employed by THDA since 2005. She is responsible for the administration of the Community Investment Tax Credit Program and the Tennessee Housing Trust Fund Programs including the Competitive Grants Program, Challenge Grant Program, the Capacity Building Pilot Program, and the Creating Homes Initiative – 2 Program. Prior to THDA, Toni was employed for 15 years by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and the Davidson County Community Services Agency.

Toni earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, Magna Cum Laude, from Fisk University and an M.S. degree in Public Service Management from Cumberland University.

Laura Swanson
Advisor for Civil Rights Compliance & Strategy

Tennessee Housing Development Agency

Laura Swanson has worked at the Tennessee Housing Development Agency in various positions for more than 25 years. Currently, she serves as the Advisor for Civil Rights Compliance & Strategy where she oversees the agencies civil rights planning and compliance activities, including the Title VI and Fair Housing plans. Laura previously worked as a Research Advisor for the agency and in the Rental Assistance Division as the Director of THDA’s Housing Choice Voucher and Family Self Sufficiency Programs. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; a Master of Arts in Sociology with an emphasis in Public Policy from Middle Tennessee State University and is a graduate of the Tennessee Government Executive Institute (TGEI) and LEAD Tennessee.

Amanda Thomas-Wilson
Acting Community Affairs Specialist

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Amanda Thomas-Wilson is an Acting Community Affairs Specialist within the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection, Consumer & Community Affairs Branch. Her role involves promoting economic inclusion and community development through local collaborations within internal and external stakeholders committed to strategic initiatives that impact low- and moderate- income individuals and communities.

Her career with the FDIC over the past 15 years includes several roles within the Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection, including Examination Specialist in the Compliance & Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Examinations Branch in Washington, D.C. where she provides oversight of examination programs for compliance with consumer protection laws and regulations, enforcement or other supervisory actions arising from consumer compliance examinations and supervisory activities. She also served as a Financial Institution Examiner where she conducted or directed examinations of insured depository institutions relating to consumer protection laws and regulations, CRA, and other related enforcement responsibilities involving sensitive or complex issues.

Amanda earned her Master of Arts degree in Management and Leadership from Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Management from Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. William Towns
National Market President of Community Revitalization and Public Housing
Gorman & Company

Dr. William W. Towns is a notable adjunct professor at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. His extensive experience and academic background have made him a respected figure in the realms of community development and public policy.

Dr. Towns holds a Ph.D. and an MBA, qualifications that underpin his deep understanding of complex organizational and societal challenges. His academic journey is marked by a commitment to exploring the intersections between business strategy and social impact, particularly in the context of urban development and housing.

At Kellogg, Dr. Towns leverages his rich professional background to enrich his teaching. He specializes in courses that focus on social impact, urban development, and public-private partnerships. His approach to education is deeply rooted in real-world applications, drawing upon his experiences in leading significant community revitalization projects and public housing initiatives.

Beyond the classroom, Dr. Towns is the National Market President of Community Revitalization and Public Housing for Gorman and Company a nationally recognized firm known for its leadership in managing large-scale redevelopment initiatives. This practical experience provides invaluable insights to his students, offering them a unique perspective on how theoretical concepts are applied in real-world settings.

In Tennessee Dr. Towns' is working with the Clarksville Housing Authority to help reimagine it’s Lincoln Homes development ensuring that high quality affordable housing remains an options for years to come.

His commitment to social impact and community betterment extends beyond his professional endeavors. Dr. Towns is an advocate for equitable and sustainable urban development, often engaging in public discourse and advisory roles to influence policy and practice in this area.

Lindy Turner
Executive Director
Clinch-Powell Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc.

Lindy Turner has led Clinch Powell, a not-for-profit organization focused on building strong communities, caring for people and protecting natural resources in Tennessee for 35 years. Entering the housing development arena in 2001, Clinch-Powell is a HUD approved counseling agency, a Community Housing Development Organization, a licensed Mortgage Broker, a certified USDA loan packager, an Energy Star builder and a Rural LISC Financial Opportunity Center. Serving primarily the Appalachian region of Tennessee, Clinch-Powell also manages a related construction company, an emerging CDFI and the largest and oldest continuous AmeriCorps program in Tennessee. With net assets nearing $10 million the organization has developed several mixed income neighborhoods, owns and manages single family rentals in seven counties, packages $20 million in home loans and home repair loans annually and is a leader in housing counseling in Tennessee.

Lindy has been recognized for her service to rural communities including the USDA Public Service Award, Conservationist of the Year from The Nature Conservancy and the National Rural Community Action Award from the U.S. Forest Service. She enjoys being a grandmother of three and is happiest with a good book, a porch swing and a warm ocean breeze.

Don Watt
Chief Program Officer

Tennessee Housing Development Agency

Don is the Chief Program Officer with the Tennessee Housing Development Agency where he oversees implementation of financing programs that create or preserve rental and homeownership housing, offer tenant-based or project-based rental assistance, or support local governments and non-profit housing organizations serving low-income families, households who are homeless or have disabilities, or families with high-energy cost burdens. Prior to joining THDA in 2015, Don worked for more than 20 years with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs/Georgia Housing and Finance Authority directing a variety of federal grant and loan programs to expand housing options and improve housing stability of Georgians. He possesses a Masters of City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University.

Archie Willis III
President and Founder
ComCap Partners

Archie Willis Ill is the founder and President of ComCap Partners and leads the firm's affordable housing, community development and real estate development activities. Working in tandem with partners Pamela Clary and Alicia Willis, the firm provides financial advisory services in the areas of affordable housing, municipal finance, and community development. Since the company's formation, the firm has served as financial advisor to numerous nonprofit sponsors, private developers and governmental entities in the financing of more than 4,200 units of affordable housing and more than $11 billion in municipal finance transactions. The firm's real estate development activities include co-developing over 1,100 units of mixed-income multifamily housing on various HOPE VI sites. The firm also partnered with a local development company in the redevelopment of Central Station in downtown Memphis.

Currently, Mr. Willis leads the firm's development activities, in partnership with a national real estate development company in the South City Choice Neighborhoods Initiative; and in partnership with a local development firm and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in the Orleans Station community in the Memphis Medical District. Mr. Willis also leads the firm's community development efforts in the Frayser Community in partnership with The Works, Inc.; and the adaptive-reuse of Northside High School in north Memphis and the MLK Transition Academy in south Memphis.

Prior to forming ComCap, Mr. Willis was an investment banker with a regional investment firm and also spent 10 years working in the areas of real estate development and mortgage banking.

Currently, Mr. Willis is the President of the Board of Urban Renaissance Partners, Founder and Board Chair of the South City Museum and Cultural Center and a member of the Board of the Urban Child Institute. Mr. Willis is also a member of the Advisory Boards of BlueHub Capital (Boston, MA) and MBS Urban Initiatives COE (St. Louis, MO).

Mr. Willis recently served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Tri-State Bank of Memphis, a minority­ owned community bank that recently merged with Liberty Bank (New Orleans, LA). Mr. Willis served on the Board of Commissioners for the legacy Memphis City Schools; and also served on the Pension Board of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division. Mr. Willis has been active on the boards of numerous civic and community organizations including the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, the Urban Land Institute, Community LIFT, Neighborhood Preservation, Inc., the Shelby County Health Educational and Housing Facility Board, BRIDGES, Girls Inc., the NAACP, United Housing, United Way and Centenary United Methodist Church.