Speakers

Ena Backus

Ena Backus is the Director of Health Care Reform in the Agency of Human Services. In this role she is responsible for coordinating health care reform efforts within AHS, across state government, and with the Green Mountain Care Board. Previously, Ena was a staff person to the Green Mountain Care Board and in that capacity served on the negotiating team for Vermont's All-Payer Accountable Care Organization Model Agreement. In 2011, Ena received her Master's Degree in Public Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

 

 

Charlie Baker

Charlie has over 25 years’ experience as a transportation and land use planner and organization leader. Charlie has served as the Executive Director of the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) since June 2008. Under Charlie’s direction, CCRPC is working with Housing Vermont and Champlain Housing Trust in leading the Building Homes Together Campaign. CCRPC also recently updated the sustainability plan for the region (ECOS Plan) with a focus on the areas of energy, transportation, and the economy and in working with the State and member municipalities on water quality projects.

Prior to joining the CCRPC, Charlie was the General Manager for New Castle County’s Department of Land Use from 2001-2008 and NCC’s Planning Manager in 2000. Previous positions include work with two other metropolitan planning organizations (Wilmington Area Planning Council (DE/MD) and Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (PA/NJ)); Burlington County, NJ County Engineer’s Office; and, the Cross County Connection Transportation Management Association in Marlton, NJ. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Cornell University and did graduate work at both Cornell University and Rutgers University.

He currently serves on a number of boards including Housing Vermont since 2013 and was elected to the position of Assistant Treasurer for the current term, Opportunities Credit Union, Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, Vermont Association of Planning and Development Agencies, Vermont Rail Council, Chittenden County Opioid Alliance, Chittenden County Public Safety Authority, National Association of Development Organizations, and University of Vermont Medical Center’s Community Health Investment Committee.

 

Betsy Bishop

Betsy Bishop is the President of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the largest statewide business organization in Vermont. She has held this position since 2009 and during her tenure she has restructured the benefit model to grow the organization’s membership and revenue with a renewed focus on economic growth. She is the founder of the Vermont Futures Project. Betsy also leads the lobbying team with a focus on health care, tax and economic development policy. She has advocated for issues in the State House for over 20 years both as a lobbyist and a member of the Administration.

 

Katie Buckley

In January 2017, Katie was appointed by Governor Phil Scott to serve as Commissioner for the Department of Housing and Community Development, in the Agency for Commerce and Community Development for the State of Vermont.  Under her leadership are: the Vermont Community Development Program (CDBG funding), Housing and Mobile Home Parks, the Division for Historic Preservation and the Division for Community Planning and Revitalization.  She has served in a broad range of roles: Town Administrator for the Town of Guilford, VT, Director of Housing Development for Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, Director of Parent Engagement for Vermont Academy, as well as managed a multi-million dollar retail business on the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, VT.  She has served on the Board of Directors for the Preservation Trust of Vermont (Secretary), the award-winning community non-profit, Friends of Algiers Village, Inc. (Vice President, now emeritus), Broad Brook Community Center (founding member) and was a Commissioner for the Windham Regional Planning Commission.  She currently sits on boards for: State of Vermont Downtown Development, Vermont Housing Finance Agency, Preservation Realty Holdings and Vermont Disaster Recovery Fund. Katie has a strong background in municipal government, community development, housing and historic preservation.  She is deeply committed to her community and is passionate about strengthening, protecting and revitalizing Vermont's downtowns and village centers.  She lives in Guilford, VT with her two children and her dog.  

 

Heather Carrington

Heather Carrington is the Community and Economic Development Officer for the City of Winooski. As such, she helped to establish the Winooski Housing Commission, and serves as the Commission’s staff liaison. With experience ranging from working as homeless shelter staff in Burlington, Vermont to facilitating multi-million dollar adaptive reuse housing developments in downtown Syracuse, New York, Heather is familiar with a broad variety of housing issues. In her current work with the City of Winooski, she is committed to providing the community with the resources and information necessary to make data-driven decisions.

 

Paul Cillo

Paul Cillo, founder of the Public Assets Institute, has been active in public policy work for over forty years, as a local and state political representative, consultant on health care, education finance, and other tax and budget issues; and on energy efficiency. He represented Hardwick, Walden, and Stannard in the Vermont House of Representatives for ten years, serving four years on the tax-writing Ways & Means Committee and four as Majority Leader. During those years he designed and led the Legislature to adopt a groundbreaking education financing system that equalizes opportunity for all Vermont children, regardless of where they live.

Paul has served extensively at the local level, as well, on Hardwick’s Select Board, Planning Commission, and other volunteer committees. He has been a member of numerous nonprofit boards and advisory committees, including the Lamoille Housing Partnership (Treasurer), Northern Counties Health Care (President), the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, National Conference of State Legislatures, and the Energy Foundation. He is a lifelong Vermonter, originally from Castleton. His parents, with Paul and his three siblings, ran a small summer restaurant and marina on Lake Bomoseen. He graduated the University of Vermont in 1975 with a BA in Philosophy.

 

Maura Collins

In January 2019, Maura will become Executive Director of Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA). In her current role as Deputy Director, Collins leads the agency’s core programs of Homeownership, Multifamily Development and Financing, Multifamily Asset Management and Compliance, and Information Technology. In this role, she developed and implemented strategic goals and business plans, maximized capital resources for VHFA programs, and developed new business opportunities.

With the depth and breadth of her experience, Collins is a highly sought-after advisor to other organizations and communities on housing policy, homeless and supportive housing efforts. In a prior role at VHFA, Collins was Director of Policy, Planning and Administration where she was a state and federal legislative liaison and managed the Agency's research, communications, human resources, and administration departments.

In 2012, Collins was named as one of the top 40 professionals under 40 years old by Vermont Business Magazine. Collins is Chair of the Board of Directors of Pathways Vermont, a homeless service agency pioneering a rural version of the Housing First model.  Prior to joining VHFA, Collins worked at the Technical Assistance Collaborative in Boston, MA, a consulting firm that focuses on the intersection of affordable housing, health care, human services policy and systems development.

Collins has a Master's in Public Administration from the University of Vermont and served on UVM's faculty, teaching a graduate-level housing policy course. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from SUNY Buffalo.

Kevin Dailey

Kevin Dailey is the Chief Human Resource Officer and Vice President of Administration at Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC). He also serves as a Member of Healthy Homes for Bennington, an organization with a mission to revitalize local residential districts and to provide single family, first time home ownership opportunities to members of the local workforce who may not otherwise have the resources to pursue home ownership.  Healthy Homes acquires and completely renovates abandoned residences, which are then offered for sale to local employees, with most, if not all, of the purchaser’s closing costs paid for by the seller.  Prior to joining SVHC, Kevin was the Director of Human Resources for Mack Molding Company, Inc. in Arlington, Vermont, a custom plastics molder and medical device manufacturer.  He previously served as a Partner in the legal firm of Dailey & Dailey, P.C. in Manchester Village, VT.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont, and a Juris Doctor degree from Vermont Law School.

 

Molly Dugan

Molly is the SASH (Support And Services at Home) Director at Cathedral Square Corporation and over the past eight years has been responsible for overseeing the program design and statewide expansion which currently includes 138 SASH program locations in every county and Health Service Area in Vermont. Prior to joining CSC, Molly was Deputy and then Acting Commissioner of the Department and Housing & Community Affairs for the State of Vermont. Molly received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Vermont.

 

 

Kim Fitzgerald

Kim is the Chief Executive Officer for Cathedral Square.  Kim has worked for Cathedral Square for the past 19 years. Her previous roles include Chief of Operations and Chief of Finance, Director of Management, and Property Manager.  Prior to Cathedral Square, Kim worked for the Vermont Housing Finance Agency for almost 7 years in the Multi-Family Division as Management Coordinator.  She currently serves as the Vice President on the COVE (Community of Vermont Elders) board, as well as the Chair of their policy committee, she was recently appointed by the Governor to the DAIL Advisory Board, and she is on the Development and Property Management Board for Champlain Housing Trust.  She also served as Vice President on the ANEW Place Board.  Kim received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Vermont Housing Manager’s Association for her 19 years of dedication and commitment.  Kim is a certified Professional in Human Resources, Assisted Housing Manager, Tax Credit Manager, and RD Manager.  She graduated with a BS in Education from the University of Vermont. She lives with her husband in Colchester, and spends as much time as she can with her daughters’ family including her two beautiful granddaughters.

 

 

Alison Friedkin

Alison Friedkin is the Director of Real Estate Development at Downstreet Housing & Community Development.  Ms. Friedkin has been with Downstreet since 2006.  Downstreet currently has over 500 units of rental housing in Central Vermont. Ms. Friedkin works with communities to understand their affordable housing needs and desires.  Ms. Friedkin has collaborated with residents, civil leaders, community leaders and State agencies to bring projects to fruition. 

 

Thomas Getz, Jr.

Tom is the CEO of Summit Properties, a full-service real estate development and property management organization that has been developing real estate throughout New England since 1977. In the last 40+ years, the development arm of Summit Properties (formerly Green Mountain Development Group) has developed over 1,200 residential apartments, 250,000 square feet of commercial/office space, and over 200 homes and townhomes.  Summit currently manages over 1,300 apartments in Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York and continues to actively develop properties in the region, with an emphasis on affordable and mixed-income rental housing.

Tom is a real estate development professional and former practicing attorney.  Prior to joining Summit, Tom practiced law from 2004 to 2013, with a focus on environmental and land use law and business litigation. Tom’s legal career began as an associate in the litigation department of the multinational law firm Latham & Watkins in San Diego, California. Tom also practiced at a small firm in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and in the Burlington, Vermont office of Primmer, Piper, Eggleston and Cramer. Tom received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and his bachelor’s from the University of Vermont.

Tom lives in South Burlington with his wife Lindsay and their boys Griffin and Sullivan. Outside of work and family, Tom’s passion is fly-fishing and he has traveled the world chasing fish from New Zealand to Belize to Alaska and anywhere he can find fish in between.

Shaun Gilpin

Shaun Gilpin currently serves as the Housing Policy Specialist for Vermont’s Department of Housing and Community Development, within the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. Prior to this role, Shaun directed the Mobile Home Program for the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity. Having graduated from the University of Vermont in 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Community and International Development, he is currently enrolled at his alma mater in a Master’s program pursuing a degree in Public Administration. In his role at the Department, Shaun is providing staff support to the Rental Housing Advisory Board, created in Act 188 of 2018. This Board is tasked with providing recommendations to the General Assembly in 2019 on ways to improve the system for addressing habitability issues in Vermont’s rental housing.

 

Emily Higgins

Emily is the Community Services Program Manager at the state Office of Economic Opportunity. She works closely with community partners to provide funding and support for homeless shelter and services statewide, as well as core funding for the Community Action Agencies. She oversees federal and state funding of more than $10 million provided to over 40 providers. Her work includes technical assistance, monitoring, and results-based reporting and accountability. Prior to working for the state, Emily was the Homeownership Director at Champlain Housing Trust, and worked in affordable housing for a total of 14 years.

 

Phoebe Howe

Phoebe Howe works as an Associate Program Manager for Efficiency Vermont’s Residential New Construction program. She supports affordable housing organizations, builders, and Vermonters of all incomes in their quest for the healthiest,  most affordable, and most resilient home possible. Through her work with Efficiency Vermont’s ZEM (Zero Energy Modular) initiative, Phoebe has become particularly interested in mobile home park revitalization and finding new, holistic models to best serve residents in these communities. 

 

Mitzi Johnson

Mitzi Johnson of South Hero was elected Vermont Speaker of the House in 2017. She also represents Grand Isle County and West Milton in the House of Representatives. Prior to her election as Speaker of the House, Mitzi served on the Agriculture Committee from 2003-2006 and Appropriations Committee from 2007-2016, as Chair from 2015-2016.

Mitzi has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Vermont and a Master's in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. Her professional experience includes serving as the executive director of the Adaptive Leadership Network (a non-profit engaged in leadership training and complex problem solving), program and policy work for Hunger Free Vermont and the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force, as well as vegetable production at Allenholm Farm in South Hero. She currently is a board member for the Vermont Foodbank.

Seth Leonard

Seth is the Housing Programs Director, Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Mayor of the City of Winooski, Vermont. 

 

Dr. Mark Levine

Dr. Mark Levine was appointed commissioner of health by Governor Phil Scott and began service on March 6, 2017.

Prior to his appointment he was a Professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont, and most recently the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Designated Institutional Official at the College of Medicine and the UVM Medical Center. He also served as the Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Levine obtained his B.A. in Biology from the University of Connecticut and received his M.D. degree from the University of Rochester. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency and a Chief Resident year at the University of Vermont and a fellowship in general internal medicine at the University of North Carolina, which emphasized clinical epidemiology, research training, teaching, and administration of educational programs.

Dr. Levine has gained a reputation as an outstanding teacher and educational program innovator, receiving teaching awards from the medical school and the Department of Medicine. He maintains his faculty appointment and continues to actively teach. He has successfully directed large NIH and HRSA educational grants addressing the generalist physician and nutrition-preventive medicine competencies he cares deeply about from a population health perspective.

Dr. Levine actively practiced general internal medicine with special interests in solving complex diagnostic dilemmas, health promotion/ disease prevention, screening and clinical nutrition. This provided him with personal perspective on the challenges our healthcare system holds for physicians as well as patients. Further insights have come through leadership and advocacy roles he has assumed locally and nationally with the American College of Physicians (the largest physician specialty organization in the US), where he is on the Board of Regents and was formerly Governor of the Vermont Chapter, and the Vermont Medical Society, where he has been Vice-President and President-Elect. He has also been a longstanding member of the Vermont Department of Health Primary Care-Public Health Integration Workgroup. At the nexus of Dr. Levine’s clinical, education, public health and advocacy efforts is his heightened interest in improving health at the population level through health policy directed at fostering a culture of health.

As Health Commissioner, Dr. Levine takes great pride in leading the Department of Health’s efforts to fulfill its mission – To protect and promote the best health for all Vermonters, and is honored to represent its vision of Healthy Vermonters living in healthy communities.

David Lipsetz

David Lipsetz is the CEO at the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) and a leading expert in affordable housing and sustainable community development. David came to HAC after holding several White House-appointed positions, most recently serving as the Associate Administrator for Rural Housing and Community Facilities at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). His office oversaw policy development and program administration of more than $100 billion in direct lending, mortgage guarantees, grants and technical assistance for community and economic development in rural America.

Prior to USDA, David was at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), where he served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary and Senior Advisor for Public and Indian Housing, and as an Acting Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary. Prior to HUD, David managed policy, large-scale initiatives and organizational development for housing agencies in New York City and Oakland, CA. He also worked for the San Francisco Bay Area’s regional planning authority; and Dresden, Germany’s Institute for Ecological and Regional Development. His career began as a Legislative Assistant for domestic policy issues in the Office of U.S. Congressman John Dingell.

David was born and raised in Ohio. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Michigan State University, and Master’s degrees in Sociology and City and Regional Planning from the Ohio State University. He currently resides in Washington, DC with his wife and kids.

 

Jim Lovinsky

Jim has a strong background in a number of realms including: construction, manufacturing, management and owning a small business.  Jim transitioned from his role as a consultant for the Vermont Fuel Efficiency Partnership (VFEP) to Lamoille Housing Partnership in 2012.  He has also been active in the local community serving as a long-time member of several local and regional school boards and as a member of the local Chamber of Commerce.  Jim and his wife Mary-Ellen live in East Hardwick on an old dairy farm where they and their two children raise garlic, vegetables, beef cattle, goats, chickens, and horses.

Bethany Lunn

Bethany Lunn is the intake coordinator at Vermont State Housing Authority (VSHA).  VSHA was established in 1968, and has the distinction of being the first statewide housing authority in the nation.  She’s been with the organization for the past 10 years. Prior to VSHA, she worked with other local social service organizations providing direct service to Vermont’s vulnerable individuals and families.  She lives in Montpelier with her husband. 

Erhard Mahnke

Erhard has worked in housing, community development and municipal government in Vermont for over 30 years.  He has served as Coordinator for the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition since 1997.  His work includes representing the interests of Vermont's affordable housing and homeless community at the State House in Montpelier, where he also served as legislative liaison for the City of Burlington for eleven years.  He also follows federal housing policy closely.

 

Prior to working for the Coalition, Erhard directed the Champlain Valley Mutual Housing Federation, a non-profit devoted to organizing, developing and supporting resident-controlled, limited equity housing cooperatives.  He also worked as Housing Rehab Specialist and Community Development Director for the City of Winooski.  Erhard served on the Burlington City Council for four years under Mayors Bernie Sanders and Peter Clavelle, including one year as Council President.  He is a long time community representative on the board of the Northgate Residents’ Ownership Corporation and is a founding board member of one of the two nonprofits that merged to become the Champlain Housing Trust, the largest community land trust in the country.  Erhard holds a Masters in German Literature from the University of Vermont.

 

 

Tiffany Manuel

Tiffany Manuel is vice president of knowledge, impact and strategy at Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. She drives the collection and dissemination of data and information from within Enterprise and across the affordable housing industry through innovative solutions that demonstrate achievable impact. She also leads Enterprise’s strategic planning processes and the continued development and execution with the organization’s strategic goals.

Dr. Tiffany Manuel is an experienced social scientist, strategist and cross-sector leader committed to social impact. She has worked to expand opportunity for low-income workers, families and communities through 25+ years of professional and volunteer experience spanning the private and non-profit sectors, government and academia. As vice president for Knowledge, Impact & Strategy at Enterprise Community Partners, she leads Enterprise’s work to measure impact and build the capacity of the community development field to make a stronger case for its work. She leads the strategic vision on Enterprise’s innovative Opportunity 360 platform, the most comprehensive set of tools and resources for measuring opportunity in the United States. Tiffany is passionate about translating the insights harvested from this work to increase opportunities for public deliberation and public will-building around the issues of poverty, inequality and social exclusion. Tiffany is a frequent writer and speaker on these issues – especially as they relate to community development, social change and cross-sector partnerships.

Tiffany holds doctorate and master’s degrees in public policy from the University of Massachusetts Boston, a master’s degree in political science from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago.

 

Meg McCarthy

Meg McCarthy is the Compliance and Enforcement Advisor in the Environmental Health Division at the Vermont Department of Health, working with its regulatory programs, including lead and asbestos and food and lodging, as well as managing the Town Health Officer program. Previously, Meg consulted on international development projects for the U.S. Agency for International Development, and developed and implemented regulations at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Michael McNamara

Mike McNamara is the Field Office Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Burlington Field Office, serving the state of Vermont. He has served in that capacity since 1999.  Mr. McNamara has 40 years' experience in the field of affordable housing, serving as Executive Director of the Clinton (MA), Burlington (VT), and Alexandria (VA) Housing Authorities. He served as Deputy Director of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency prior to joining HUD.  Mr. McNamara holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MPA from Clark University in Worcester.  He lives in Colchester with his wife Ida.

 

Mike Miller

Mike Miller is the Director of Planning & Community Development for the City of Montpelier and has been there since 2014. In this role he oversees four employees in a department that is responsible for all planning activities in the City as well as oversight of permitting and the housing programs. Prior to working in Montpelier, Mike worked five years for the City of Barre as the Director of Permitting and Planning. From 2001 to 2008 he worked for Lamoille County Planning Commission as a Senior Land Use Planner and, at times during that span, also had his own planning consulting company among other planning related jobs. Mike got his professional planning career started in 2000 at Northwest Regional Planning Commission as a staff planner. He is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) as well as being a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) by the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM). He has an M.S. in Natural Resource Planning from the University of Vermont and a B.A. in Biology from Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York.

 

 

Michael Monte

Michael Monte joined the Champlain Housing Trust's executive leadership team in 2007 as Chief Financial and Operating Officer, providing strategic leadership, direction, and oversight of Champlain Housing Trust’s operations and financial systems.  He was a founder of Burlington Community Land Trust and a board member for Lake Champlain Housing, the two organizations that merged to form CHT. Michael has over 40 years of leadership experience in the community and economic development field, serving as the Executive Director of several nonprofit organizations including the King Street Youth Center. He also worked at Burlington's Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) from its creation and was its longest serving Director. Michael was a founding partner of the independent community development consultant group, Burlington Associates, where he works with Community Land Trusts around the country.

 

CHT’s organizational strength has increased substantially due to Michael’s strategic, innovative thinking and focus on sustainability. Under his inspired operational leadership, CHT has increased its total assets more than 2 ½ times while undertaking the purchase of Harbor Place to help house the area’s homeless, and the preservation of Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) like South Meadow Apartments in Burlington and Dorset Commons in South Burlington.

 

Michael received the Con Hogan Award in 2016 recognizing his creative, entrepreneurial, and persistent community leadership, and is a graduate of the Achieving Excellence Program at the Harvard Kennedy School.

 

Liz Ogbu

A designer, urbanist, and social innovator, Liz is an expert on social and spatial innovation in challenged urban environments globally. Through her multidisciplinary design and innovation consultancy, Studio O, she collaborates with/in communities in need to leverage the power of design to catalyze sustained social impact. Among her honors, she is a TED speaker, one of Public Interest Design’s Top 100, and a former Aspen Ideas Scholar. 

Ogbu has a long history of engagement in the design for social impact movement. Currently, she has her own multidisciplinary consulting practice that works with nonprofits, municipalities, and companies to tackle wicked social problems through creative transformations of places, systems, and communities. Her clients include the Nike Foundation and PG&E. And her network of collaborators have been equally dynamic including the likes of HealthxDesign, envelope a+d, FOURM design+build, and Rebar. In 2011, Ogbu was part of the inaugural class of Innovators-in-Residence at IDEO.org, IDEO’s sister nonprofit dedicated to fostering global poverty reduction through design and innovation. Prior to that, she was Design Director at Public Architecture, a national nonprofit mobilizing designers to create social change. In addition to her practice work, Ogbu has had a long commitment to bringing social impact work into the classroom where her courses and research explore opportunities at intersection of design, innovation, and community engagement. She has taught at the California College of the Arts and d.school at Stanford. Ogbu has written for and been profiled in publications such as Places Journal, Metropolis, Core 77 and the Journal of Urban Design. Her work has been exhibited at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Rotterdam Biennale and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Ogbu earned a B.A. in Arch. from Wellesley College and M.Arch. from Harvard University.

 

Eileen Peltier

Eileen started at Downstreet in July 2007. Previously she worked in nonprofits in Vermont and Massachusetts, primarily within healthcare. Eileen lives in Montpelier and has two daughters in college, Marta and Olivia. She is inspired by Downstreet’s mission and excited about being part of a great team.

 

Rebecca Ramos

Rebecca Ramos is a Senior Managing Associate at the Necrason Group. Rebecca has worked with some of Vermont’s finest political leaders since stepping into the Vermont political landscape in 1998. She was legal counsel and political liaison for Governor Howard Dean and then worked with now Congressman Peter Welch when he was Pro Tem in the Vermont Senate. Prior to joining Necrason Group, Rebecca completed a two-year stint as Chief of Staff for Vermont Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell. She also spent a number of years working with individuals, non-profits, and businesses on leadership development, strategic thinking, and mentoring. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Auburn University and a JD/Master of Studies in Environmental Law from the Vermont Law School. She lives in Burlington with her two children, and is an avid hiker, artist, and writer.

Martha Ratcliffe

Martha brings nearly thirty years’ experience in financial analysis, risk underwriting, capital raising and deployment, and project management with affordable housing, mixed-use, light industrial, and health care projects. Martha leads projects from feasibility studies, budget development, the complexities of funding with LIHTC, HTC, HUD and USDA RD, private, local and state funding procurement and closings, through construction management and grant compliance. She has helped create 120 affordable housing units and nearly a dozen single family ownership units through the HARP program. Previously, she was responsible for risk underwriting, including navigating the complexities of investor (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, and non-government investor) guidelines and regulations.

 

Rebecca Regan

Rebecca Regan joined Housing Partnership Network as president of the Capital Markets Companies in April 2011. In this role, she develops and manages the Network's capital market relationships and oversees its philanthropic equity, CDFI and external communications work. As a member of the executive team, she plays a critical role in business collaboration and peer exchange among HPN’s high-performing affordable housing organizations and CDFIs and engages in the development of new social enterprises.

Through its unique networked approach, Housing Partnership Network organizations and leaders accelerate and scale innovation to more rapidly respond to changing market challenges and opportunities. As the head of Capital Markets, Ms. Regan has successfully raised over $200 million for social enterprises including a vehicle created to purchase non-performing single family notes, $150 million for the HPN sponsored social venture REIT, Housing Partnership Equity Trust, and philanthropic capital for HPN and its social enterprises. Currently, the Capital Markets group is incubating concepts for two new social enterprises: the Build Opportunity Fund, aimed at raising enterprise- rather than project-level capital from impact investors to advance members’ affordable housing efforts at scale, and an initiative to bring together multifamily housing developers and the health system to prevent health risk, reduce costs and improve health outcomes through cross-sector health and housing efforts and reallocate savings to build needed affordable housing

Ms. Regan previously served as chief operating officer for Boston Community Capital as well as president of its Loan Fund, a $125 million loan fund focused on community development investments including affordable housing, charter schools and health centers. Prior to joining Boston Community Capital, she held executive, real estate lending and management positions with Bank of America, Fleet Bank, Bank of Boston and BayBank.

She was appointed by the governor of Massachusetts to MassHousing's Home Ownership Advisory Committee and serves as a director on the boards of New Ecology, Inc., a nonprofit that seeks to become a catalyst for sustainable development in urban communities; Community Health Center Capital Fund; COHIF; NeighborWorks Capital and is a member of the Regional Advisory Committee of the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF)

Ms. Regan holds a BSBA from the Boston University School of Management and an MBA from Babson College.

 

Cindy Reid

Cindy is the Director of Development at Cathedral Square Corporation (CSC), where she develops and preserves service-enriched affordable housing for seniors and persons with disabilities and works on policies and programs to support CSC's mission, Advancing Healthy Homes, Caring Communities, & Positive Aging.  Cindy has worked in the field of affordable housing for 31 years. She previously served as the Assistant Director of Development at Vermont Housing Finance Agency. She currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston and as Chair of the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition Steering Committee. Cindy holds an MS in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University and a BA from the University of Vermont.  She is certified as a Housing Development Finance Professional by the National Development Council.

Sarah Russell

Sarah Russell is the Director of Housing Retention and Services at the Burlington Housing Authority, administering innovative programs such as the Housing Retention and Rapid Re-housing Program and the Offender ReEntry Housing Program.  Ms. Russell has worked for over a decade in the development, management, and delivery of support services for vulnerable households in federally subsidized housing and advocates for eviction prevention as a means to ending homelessness.

 

Danny Sagan

Danny Sagan is an Architect, a Carpenter, Associate Professor of Architecture at the Norwich University School of Architecture and Art where he teaches Design, HVAC, and Design Build. Together with students he has built over 10 community projects throughout Vermont. With Alisa Dworsky, as their company DS Architects, Danny has been designing and building  energy efficient, passive solar,  and zero-net-energy homes for almost 25 years. Danny also serves as Associate Director for the Architecture Program at Norwich.

Jenney Samuelson

Jenney Samuelson, MS is currently the Special Assistant to the Commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access, Vermont’s Medicaid agency.  Formerly, Ms. Samuelson was a founding leader of the Vermont Blueprint for Health, serving almost a decade in various senior leadership roles for this nationally-recognized program established by the Governor and Legislature to spearhead health care delivery system transformation. The Blueprint has developed an approach to reforming how healthcare is delivered in Vermont by supporting the establishment of patient-centered medical homes, regional community health teams, complex care models, Hub and Spoke for treatment of opiate use disorder, preventive care in women’s health practices, innovative payment reforms, and collaborative community-based networks.

Prior to her work with the Blueprint for Health, Ms. Samuelson administered diverse community and statewide public health programs directed at health care workforce development, tobacco cessation in health systems, lead poisoning prevention, and long-term care.

Ms. Samuelson is a member of the National Academy for State Health Policy Public and Population Health Advisory Group and has spoken nationally and internationally on state health policy and delivery system reform. She holds a Master of Science degree in Community Health Education from Southern Illinois University.

Leah Sare

Leah Sare is a Housing Analyst with Vermont Housing & Conservation Board underwriting multi-family housing applications. Prior to coming to VHCB she worked with the Vermont State Housing Authority for over 6 years in their Section 8 program. Leah lives in Cabot with her family and serves on the Board of Cabot Commons, the local affordable rental housing property.

 

Joshua Schwartz

Joshua Schwartz is Executive Director of the Mad River Valley Planning District, a unique three-town planning entity developed by the towns of Fayston, Waitsfield and Warren and Sugarbush Resort to carry out a program of planning for the Mad River Valley directed toward its physical, social, economic, fiscal, environmental, cultural and aesthetic well being. He works in all aspects of planning, with a focus in economic development, flood resilience, recreation, housing, and transportation. Previously, he served as Planning & Zoning Director for the City of Barre and Staff Planner with the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission. He holds a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech. Joshua received the 2012 Professional Planner of the Year Award from the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association and was selected as a Vermont Rising Star in 2015 through Vermont Business Magazine’s 40 under 40 program.

 

Gus Seelig

Gus Seelig has served as the Executive Director of the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board since its inception in 1987. Under his leadership, VHCB has invested $342 million in state funding to develop or rehabilitate 12,762 affordable homes, to conserve 719 farms comprising 167,000 acres,  and 267,000 acres of natural areas and recreational and forest lands, and to restore nearly 69 historic community buildings.

Prior to his work for the Board, Mr. Seelig served as the Executive Director of the Central Vermont Community Action Council, a low-income advocacy and community development organization. Gus has also served on the Affordable Housing Program Advisory Board for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston. He is a past chair and current board member of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, and Vice-Chair of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency. He is Town Moderator in Calais, Vermont. In 2010 Mr. Seelig was presented with the Art Gibb Award by Smart Growth Vermont for safeguarding Vermont values and our unique landscape. He received a B.A. from Goddard College in 1976 and completed the Harvard University’s Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government in 1995.

John Simson

John Simson is a retired affordable housing consultant with Economic and Policy Resources, Inc., an economic and public policy firm. In 2004, he sold his insurance and financial advisory business.  Prior to founding his business, John served 5 years as Vermont State Planning Director.  During this time, John was elected by his peers to two terms as president of the National Association of State Planning and Policy Advisors.   John was the first executive director of the Bennington (VT) Regional Commission.  John has served on boards of non profits in the fields of economic development, United Way, medicine, education and horticulture.  He was a founding member and past chairman of the board of Housing Vermont, a non-profit affordable housing developer.  John is a Past President of his local Rotary Club.  John holds a Master of Public Administration from George Washington University and a B.A. in Sociology from Middlebury College.  He lives with his wife, Nancy, in South Burlington where he chairs the City’s Affordable Housing Committee.  He enjoys golf, gardening, woodworking and travel.

 

 

Bob Stevens

Bob Stevens is a principal of M&S Development, the founder & president of Stevens & Associates, and a graduate of the University of Vermont. As a principal for M&S, he directs a team of professionals to organize and guide business leaders, institutions, and communities to redevelop and revitalize main streets & downtowns.  In addition to his development projects, Bob is a professional engineer and owner of Stevens &Associates with over 25 years of experience designing projects, as well as, planning, urban design, public bond campaigns and project finance & development.  By integrating his experience of design & engineering with his knowledge of new markets tax credits, historical tax credits, grants, equity and debt,  Bob successfully identifies project needs and develops sound solutions. 

 

Jillian Tomaselli

Jillian Tomaselli, a registered architect for Stevens & Associates, is interested in how the built environment can shape human experience and impact community, and has incorporated this interest into the Brooks House restoration project in Brattleboro, the planning of the Putnam Block redevelopment project in Bennington, and more recently for the design of the Snow Block affordable housing project in Brattleboro.  She strives to create responsible designs that contribute to comfortable, engaging, and sustainable communities, while expanding her knowledge and understanding of the trends and demands for urban housing. 

 

Before joining S&A, Jillian earned her Master of Architecture degree from the University of Hartford and accepted the 2016 AIA Henry Adams Medal and Certificate of Merit award upon graduation. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from Keene State College, during which time she spent a semester abroad in Torino, Italy, and was the 2013 Marvin Design Studio Challenge Winner. Jillian was awarded the Tai Soo Kim Traveling Fellowship to study mass timber and how it responds to the architectural, economic, and environmental demands of the urban building industry in Europe.

 

Brenda Torpy

Brenda Torpy has 38 years of experience in affordable housing, starting with rural community development and advocacy in rural Vermont. As Burlington’s Housing Director when Bernie Sanders was mayor, Brenda led the development of the Burlington Community Land Trust, now Champlain Housing Trust (CHT), and served as founding Board President. In 1991, she joined the staff as Executive Director.

 

CHT is the nation’s largest community land trust with over 6,000 members, 100 employees, and 3,000 affordable homes in northwest Vermont, including over 2,200 rentals, 610 in the shared appreciation homeownership portfolio and non-profit facilities, retail and commercial tenants. CHT’s most recent innovations in health and housing have produced significant reductions in regional homelessness.  CHT received the 2008 UN World Habitat Award and Brenda travels extensively as a speaker and to assist start-ups of community land trusts both nationally and internationally. CHT does $90 million in development annually, has an operating budget of $12 million and over $285 million in assets under its stewardship. 

 

Brenda also worked as Development Director for the Vermont Housing Finance Agency and led the buyout of Vermont’s largest rental community to preserve its affordability and give residents control through non-profit ownership; she was a Ford Foundation Leader for a Changing World 2002, completed the Achieving Excellence in Community Development program at the Kennedy School of Government in 2003, is past President of the National Community Land Trust Network and now board member for its successor, Grounded Solutions Network, and serves on the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston’s Advisory Council.

 

Eric Vorwald, AICP

Eric has been a professional land use planner for the past 17 years. He has worked for regional planning agencies in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. His work in regional planning included municipal assistance on comprehensive plan updates; zoning and regulatory updates; regional wastewater planning; and redevelopment analyses. In July of 2018 he became the Planning & Zoning Manager for the City of Winooski where he works to implement the City’s unified land development regulations and support the City’s vision for the future. Eric received his degree in Community and Regional Planning from the Iowa State University of Science and Technology and became a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners in 2004

Mia Watson

Mia Watson is the Research & Communications Coordinator at Vermont Housing Finance Agency.  She oversees social media and press communications for the agency, as well as researching and visualizing housing data, and developing resources for housing policy and planning. She was instrumental in redesigning the Vermont Community Profiles, recently relaunched by VHFA. The profiles display interactive data on residents and homes in every Vermont community, county and at the state level. Mia holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Vermont and a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University.

 

Alex Weinhagen

Alex Weinhagen is the Director of Planning and Zoning for Hinesburg, Vermont – a town of 4,500 people in southern Chittenden County. Like most small town planners, Alex wears several different hats, from land use planning to development review to GIS map making to economic development to neighbor dispute therapy. He has worked for the Town of Hinesburg for over 15 years, during which time the community has seen significant change and positive growth – both in terms of village area development and rural land conservation. He is extremely fortunate to work in a community with a long term commitment to progressive planning. He also serves as the Legislative Liaison for the Vermont Planners Association (VPA), and is a member of the Executive Committees for the VPA and the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association.  Alex has a MS in Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont, and a BS in Zoology from the University of Rhode Island. In his previous profession, he spent time chasing after all manner of wildlife including black-backed woodpeckers, cormorants, and woodcock. He resides in Burlington.

 

Stockton Williams

Stockton Williams was appointed Executive Director of the National Council of State Housing Agencies in March 2018, having worked for the organization for five years at the beginning of his career.

Stockton has held senior leadership positions in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors throughout a career dedicated to expanding housing opportunity. He has been an advisor to many local communities across the U.S., an author of original research, a speaker at industry events around the country, and a frequent commentator in the media on a wide range of real estate and economic development issues.

Stockton was previously executive vice president of content and executive director of the Terwilliger Center for Housing at the Urban Land Institute (ULI). Before joining ULI, Stockton was Managing Principal of HR&A Advisors’ Washington, D.C. office. He previously served as Senior Advisor in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Energy. He has also held senior leadership positions at Enterprise Community Partners, Living Cities, and with an affordable housing developer.

Stockton holds a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Princeton University.

Kenneth Willis

Kenneth is currently First Vice President and Director of Housing and Community Investment at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, where he is responsible for implementing the Bank’s strategic vision for administering housing and community investment programs, processes, compliance and reporting.  In addition, he is responsible for designing and conducting community development outreach activities that educate and promote effective working relationships with lenders, state, and local housing finance agencies, development organizations, nonprofit organizations, state and local officials and others that are involved in affordable housing and community economic development.

 

Before joining the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, Kenneth was a CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) loan officer, residential mortgage originator, and underwriter for the formerly Bank Boston, where he gained expertise in developing and implementing special community development lending programs.

 

Kenneth graduated magna cum laude from Eastern Nazarene College in Massachusetts with a Degree in Business Administration. Subsequently, Kenneth received his MBA from the University of Maryland (College Park) in Maryland. Kenneth also received a Graduate Certificate in Financial Services from the New England College of Finance/ U.C. Berkeley with Distinction.

 

Kenneth also serves on the board of directors for the Boston Society of Architects Foundation, Citizens Housing and Planning Association, Inc., Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts, and the Roxbury YMCA.