NAHRO Fellows

The NAHRO Fellows Program honors individuals for their accumulated wisdom and mastery as seen by their achievements and their actions within their own communities. NAHRO Fellows have demonstrated, over a sustained period of time, their commitment to improve the housing conditions of their fellow citizens and/or the viability and sustainability of the community in which they live and work. Recipients may use “NAHRO Fellow” professionally as a designation and will be called on to mentor and serve NAHRO and its members.

NAHRO instituted an “Ask a Fellow” program to provide emerging leaders with access to the Fellows knowledge of the industry and their leadership skills to help guide them up the ranks in their own agency or the association. Fellows are also available as presenters to share their knowledge with your attendees, if their schedule permits.

If you would like to “Ask a Fellow” for leadership advice or to speak at an upcoming event, please select the Fellow you would like to contact below. Please note, the information listed was provided at the time of their induction. Nomination applications for the next class of Fellows will be available shortly.

Photo of Don Cameron

President & CEO
Housing Authority of the City of Charleston
Charleston, SC.

  • Created an internationally recognized Scattered Site Infill Housing Program
  • Planned and implemented the creation of 1200 affordable housing units throughout Charleston
  • Leader in the establishment and consistent funding of the South Carolina State Housing Trust Fund
  • CHA created Transitional Housing for homeless and mentally ill adults
  • Advocate and speaker on infill housing and transitional housing
  • 50th Annual Report won an ADDY Award for its design and content
  • Founding member and Chair of Charleston Affordable Housing
  • President of NAHRO 2005-2007

Contact Donald Cameron

Photo of Larry Cobb

Executive Director
West Melbourne, FL 

  • Former Commissioner of the Butler County (PA) Housing and Redevelopment Authorities
  • Guided the early use of Section 8 Vouchers for historic building conversion/preservation
  • Advocated for Resident Commissioners on Authority Boards
  • Supported a training program for maintenance staff at community college
  • AmeriCorps Program Evaluator and Trainer
  • Site-visitor for accreditation of Masters in Public Administration Programs
  • Launched regular program sessions on professional ethics at NAHRO conferences
  • Executive Director of the Middle Atlantic Regional Council
  • Member (former Chair) of the NAHRO Board of Ethics & Credentialing Trustees and former NAHRO Vice President-International

Photo of Montez Martin

Lowcountry Housing and Economic Development Foundation
Charleston, SC 

  • Created and operated a 501(C)3 foundation to serve the citizens of the Lowcountry of SC
  • Developed performance measures and a Management Team retreat to improve authority operations
  • Advocates for the Affordable Housing Coalition of SC
  • Mentors youth interns of the Charleston Trident Urban League
  • Member of Charleston Green Committee, which is responsible for developing plans for future land use
  • Member on the Mayors Council on Homelessness and Affordable Housing
  • Chair of the Board of the Association of Community College Trustees
  • NAHRO Vice President of Community Revitalization and Development, 2005-2007

Contact Montez Martin

Photo of Jerome Ryan

Tampa Housing Authority
Tampa, FL 

  • Developed new sources of income to reduce THA dependency on HUD
  • Implemented aggressive fraud detection and prevention program
  • Found alternative funding to outreach to the homeless population
  • Active with Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Involved the Authority with Scouts and received the Whitney Young Award for his participation
  • Developed plans for an inner-city boarding school for young men between ages 15-19
  • Helped to create the FAHRO Model Disaster Preparedness and Response Program
  • President of FAHRO, 2003-2005

Photo of Austin Simms

Executive Director
Lexington Housing Authority
Lexington, KY

  • Acquired scattered site properties throughout Lexington with the focus on seemless integration into the neighborhood
  • Demolished all the traditional 1930s and 1940s public housing
  • Created homeownership program for residents
  • Advocated for the Black Church Coalition since early in its inception to provide financial assistance to those who fall through the cracks
  • Went paperless with checks for employees and landlords
  • Created Authority’s calendar/annual report to showcase achievements
  • Created the Leadership Public Housing Progam that allows senior staff to gain information about the community and business knowledge from local companies and government agencies
  • SERC-NAHRO President 1997-1999
  • NAHRO Board of Governors 1995-2008

Contact Austin Simms

Photo of Frank Wilcox

Executive Director
Housing Authority of the City of Monroe, Monroe, LA

  • Established a Homeownership Program
  • Partnered to provide permanent housing to developmentally disabled adults
  • Developed 8 retirement communities allowing seniors to age in place
  • Consistent HUD High Performer since the award was implemented
  • Achieved High Performer status in SEMAP scoring since its inception
  • Developed Comprehensive Maintenance Training
  • Maintains an internship program for college and high school students
  • Active with Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Former President of the Louisiana Chapter and on the Regional Board

Contact Frank Wilcox

Photo of Abraham Williams

Executive Director
Housing Authority of Bowling Green
Bowling Green, KY

  • Created a six month Welfare to Work training program
  • Offers Homeownership preparation training and homeownership opportunities using a variety of methods and funding
  • Conceived small business training on-site at the Housing Authority
  • Set up After-School Learning Centers
  • Developed special educational programs for kids grades K-8 and conceived intervention program for middle school kids at risk of failing
  • Created adult literacy program
  • Partners with the Western Kentucky University on a variety of programs
  • Former Vice President of Professional Development and Housing Committees, SERC-NAHRO

Contact Abraham Williams

Photo of Julie Williams Mitchell

Retired Executive Vice President
Idaho Housing & Finance Association
Boise, ID 

  • Responsible for Idaho’s 5 year plans and the HOME, ESG, and SHP annual administrative plans
  • Chairs Idaho’s Homelessness Coordination Committee
  • Created a statewide partnership of Housing and Service Providers to coordinate resources
  • Created “Return on Investment” reporting for FSS programs
  • Developed an online housing locator tool for affordable rental housing
  • Created and developed homeless prevention counseling program
  • Former Chair of the NAHRO Budget and Administration Committee
  • Former President of the Pacific NW Regional Council of NAHRO

Contact Julie Williams Mitchell

Photo of Tina Akers Brown

Chief Executive Officer
Greensboro Housing Authority
Greensboro, NC 

  • Initiated the creation of the NC Public Housing Authorities Finance Corp. to issue bonds on a pooled basis
  • Collaborated with NC A&T University and the University of NC, Greensboro on a Student Intern Unit program that brought students to work at the Housing Authority
  • Received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Assn. for the agency’s comprehensive annual financial report for four straight years
  • Organized SERC to assist its member agencies impacted by Hurricane Katrina
  • Formed the “40 under 40” group to recruit younger housing/cd professionals while she was President of SERC, 2005-2007
  • National NAHRO Board of Governors, 2003-2009

Contact Tina Akers Brown

Photo of Jim Hargrove

Former Executive Director
Authority of Bexar County and the Austin Housing Autority
San Antonio, TX 

  • Through one of its nonprofits, led the Authority in acquiring more than 700 additional affordable housing units
  • With the City of Austin and the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, developed a small business incubator to provide a one-stop shop for small business owners
  • First Authority in Texas to do Energy Performance Contract to reduce water consumption, which has saved more than 164 million gallons of water and more than $1.5 million
  • Developed a private Homeownership/Down Payment Assistance Program that has helped more than 43 families
  • Within two years of his arrival, turned the agency from troubled to a high performer in Public Housing and Section 8
  • President of Texas NAHRO, 2003-2005

Photo of Renee Rooker

Executive Director
Walla Walla Housing Authority
Walla Walla, WA 

  • Developed housing that provides 48 beds for homeless veterans
  • Provided affordable housing and revitalized neighborhoods in Walla Walla through the creative use of a variety of funding mechanisms
  • Created downtown affordable housing targeted to developmentally disabled and chronically mentally ill
  • Testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Sub-Committee on Financial Services on housing and community opportunities for the Section 8 Voucher Reform Act
  • Member of the Walla Walla Downtown Foundation Steering Committee responsible for the adoption of the Downtown Master Plan including an affordable housing component
  • President of National NAHRO, 2007-2009

Contact Renee Rooker

Photo of David Zappasodi

Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Dallas Housing Authority
Dallas, TX

  • Issued $12 millon in single family mortgage revenue bonds to facilitate homeownership for first time homebuyers assisting 125 families
  • Developed Arlington’s 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness and helped bring $20 million in state funding for homelessness
  • Designed and implemented the Arlington Neighborhood Stabilization Program to facilitate homeownership untilizing NSP funds to acquire and rehabilitate vacant foreclosed homes
  • Developed partnership with JP Morgan Chase Bank to adopt the Pay Card Program that facilitates low cost delivery of utility assistance payments to clients
  • Served on National NAHRO’s Housing Committee since 1995
  • Texas NAHRO President, 2001-2003

Contact David Zappasodi

Photo of Ray Bender

Former Executive Director, Redevelopment
Redevelopment Authority of the County of Lebanon
Lebanon, PA 

  • Helped to create Community Homes of Lebanon Valley, Inc., a community-based housing non-profit that owns three HUD Section 202/8 senior projects and three low income housing tax credit projects
  • Developed new construction and existing first-time homeowner programs and recent economic development activities in Lebanon’s downtown
  • Established a locally-funded Access Program for persons with disabilities and is working to create a Senior LIFE (PACE) Center
  • Recognized for development of  both new construction and existing first time homebuyer programs and for recent economic development activities in Lebanon’s downtown
  • Served as the Chair of the NAHRO Housing America Campaign
  • Has served for 15 years on the NAHRO Board of Governors and in many other national, regional, and chapter positions

Contact Raymond Bender

Photo of Jane Vincent

Regional Administrator
HUD and
Former Senior Vice President for Development
Delaware Community Foundation
Wilmington, DE 

  • Reorganized and refocused the Wilmington Housing Partnership, raising $10 million from private sectors
  • Initiated a program to waive real estate transfer taxes for all first-time homebuyers in Wilmington to stimulate home buying and increase the homeownership rate
  • Conducted research, public input, writing and legislative support for the Brookmont Farms Redevelopment Plan, a 550-unit development
  • Worked with the New Castle County Board of Realtors to develop a partnership with the City of Wilmington to promote city neighborhoods to the public as good places to live, and in the process educated the Realtors about city neighborhoods and opportunities
  • Initiated a partnership with the University of Delaware and NAHRO International Committee for a study exchange in the Netherlands; led NAHRO delegation to Shanghai and participated in Tri-Country Conference
  • NAHRO member since 1979, serving in many capacities at chapter, regional and national levels, including Vice President – International, 2007-2009

Contact Jane Vincent

Photo of Jim Inglis

Executive Director
Livonia Housing Commission
Livonia, MI 

  • Grew the Livonia Housing Commission from a small housing authority near bankruptcy to one of high performing status
  • Supervised the building of two city-owned senior housing complexes
  • Administers the CDBG Program, HOME Partnership Consortia, Neighborhood Stabilization Program, and the Energy Conservation Block Grant as well as a variety of housing programs
  • Facilitated collaborative partnership and administered a “Housing Stability Program” for persons that were HIV-AIDS positive
  • Developed a partnership and policies to enable the Livonia Public Schools Building Trades Program to rehabilitate vacant NSP foreclosed homes
  • Testified before the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee and the Michigan Legislature on various issues to advocate affordable housing and community development
  • Mentored residents, staff, and university interns resulting in staff going on to be hired as executive directors and in influential positions at HUD
  • Served from 1989-2011 on the NAHRO Board of Governors and as NAHRO’s President from 2003-2005
  • Served NAHRO in many other capacities at the chapter, regional and national level

Contact James Inglis

Photo of Mary Paumen

Former Senior Project Manager
Training and Development Associates, Inc.
Coatesville, PA 

  • Partnered with Biloxi Housing Authority as well as other authorities affected by hurricanes to help in their recovery, and is still involved years later
  • Worked with 45 Housing Authorities across the country to create affordable housing using multiple funding sources and partners
  • Worked with LHAs on successful HOPE VI and Choice Neighborhoods planning applications
  • Developed training courses on Low Income Housing Tax Credits for PHAs as well as a development course for PHAs
  • As LISC Director of the Housing Authority Resource Center, co-sponsored three symposia with NAHRO on development and financing for the public housing industry
  • Represented NAHRO at the 2nd UN Conference on Human Settlements, 1996, served as a member of the US Delegation to the UN/ECE Committee on Human Settlements, 1987-1999
  • John D. Lange International Award Recipient 1999
  • NAHRO 25-year member, serving in many capacities at the chapter, regional, national and international levels, including MARC NAHRO President 2003-2005 and National NAHRO Vice President – International, 1997-1999

Photo of Rick Gentry

President and CEO
San Diego Housing Commission
San Diego, CA

  • Developed a three-year work plan to facilitate transit-oriented affordable housing development (TOD)
  • Raised $95 million in equity from SDHC’s portfolio of former public housing properties for the execution of an entrepreneurial investment strategy
  • Developed the Choice Communities program designed to enable low-income families to move into communities with better schools and more employment opportunities
  • Conducted a study to establish guidelines for the integration of sustainable design practices in the construction, acquisition and improvements of affordable housing properties
  • Directed a $2 million loan and 89 project-based vouchers to a one-stop homeless service center with an on-site community health clinic
  • Developed an investment partnership with the Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD)
  • Served on the NAHRO Board of Governors from 1997-2005 and as its President from 1995-1997; currently serves on NAHRO’s Budget and Administration Committee
  • John D. Lange International Award Recipient in 2008

Contact Richard Gentry

Photo of Chris Pegg

Executive Director
Housing Authority City of Longview and Joint Pacific County Housing Authority
Longview, WA

  • Collaborated to negotiate a MOU to enable the State to more effectively provide housing and services to children in foster homes
  • Developed a highly acclaimed Family Self-Sufficiency Program for three separate housing authorities
  • Authored successful HOME grants to provide rental assistance to families with chronic mental illness, victims of domestic violence, participants of Drug Court, and homeless veterans.
  • Developed the first rural permanent supportive housing projects in Cowlitz, Pacific, and Lewis Counties
  • Acquired, preserved and rehabilitated two USDA Rural Development 515 elderly/disabled projects in two different cities
  • Created Longview Housing Authority’s award-winning Self Help and Rehab Equity program (SHARE), a self-help homeownership model
  • Developed and entered into a longstanding MOU with neighboring authorities to administer their FSS and Section 8 Homeownership programs
  • Served on the NAHRO Board of Governors from 2001-2009 and from 2011-2013, served as NAHRO Legislative Network Chair 2011-2013, served as Vice President-Housing 2001-2003, served as PNRC Regional President 2005-2007 and past president 2007-2009.

Photo of Carlos Sanchez

Executive Director
Grand Rapids Housing Commission
Grand Rapids, MI

  • Expanded the number and scope of the Grand Rapids Housing Commission’s (GRHC) programs and services, at times pioneering the way for other housing commissions throughout the country.
  • Increased the number of housing units during his tenure by 3,294 bringing the total number of units the GRHC provides to low-income families, seniors, and disabled persons to 4,500 and increased the Commission’s budget from $3.8 million in 1983 to $20 million in 2010.
  • Served as chair of the Public Act 18 Committee, which embarked on a two-year effort to amend the enabling legislation that created housing commissions across the state of Michigan.  Passed in 1996, the amendments gave housing commissions’ greater authority and autonomy
  • Serves on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Hospital Board, as well as several other local boards and committees in the Grand Rapids area.  Also served on several housing related committees including the Grand Rapids Area Housing Continuum of Care/Vision to End Homelessness Advisory Committee, the State Policy Academy on Homeless Families & Children’s Working Group 1, and others.
  • Received the 2009 and 2011 Presidential Award and the Charles A. Thompson Memorial Award for Distinguished Service in 2001 from the North Central Regional Council of NAHRO, as well as other local awards from the Chamber of Commerce and City of Grand Rapids for his contributions to the community.
  • Serves on the NAHRO Board of Governors and is President of the North Central Regional Council.

Contact Carlos Sanchez

 Photo of Dianne Hovdestad

Deputy Director
Sioux Falls Housing and Redevelopment Commission
Sioux Falls, SD

  • More than 37 years of professional experience in the housing and community development field
  • Has held leadership positions within state, regional, and national NAHRO
  • Has been active in multi-cultural issues in her city, is active in her church, and provides technical assistance to her colleagues on a regular basis in South Dakota
  • Is the lead South Dakota "NAHRO voice" to Congress
  • Is a trainer, policy-writer, video producer, team leader and team player
  • Nationally recognized expert in all facets of Section 8
  • Has served on numerous committees including NAHRO’s Housing Committee
  • Is the recipient of the 2012 Mary K. Nenno Advocacy Award  

Contact Dianne Hovdestad

Photo of Carl Richie

Austin Housing Authority
Austin, TX

  • Grew up in affordable housing
  • Has had an exceptional career in public service working to develop and protect programs and services which assist the most vulnerable populations
  • Provides strategic counseling to housing authorities and mentoring to public housing commissioners
  • Held many leadership positions within the local, state and national levels and serves as the Parliamentarian for the NAHRO Board of Governors
  • Represents some of the nation’s leading companies on issues before the Texas Legislature through his private practice
  • Has won numerous awards, most notably Texas NAHRO’s Commissioner of the Year (twice) and NAHRO’s Elizabeth B. Wells Memorial Award

Contact Carl Richie

Photo of Winston Henning

Executive Director
Jackson Housing Authority
Jackson, TN

  • More than 38 years of experience in the field
  • Regarded as an innovative housing professional who is one of the “go-to” people in his region on CR&D issues
  • Served on several boards and committees at the national, regional and chapter levels including serving as the Tennessee State Association’s President
  • Active at the local level as well, serving as a deacon, treasurer and trustee for his church and involved with the United Way

Contact Winston Henning

Photo of Richie Herrington

Executive Director
Housing Authority of the City of Hot Springs
Hot Springs, AR

  • More than 34 years of experience in the field
  • During the span of his career, he has led seven housing agencies out of troubled status
  • Instrumental in helping the NAHRO Professional Development Committee map out a blue print for its current professional development system, including its certification program
  • Served on numerous boards and committees at the national, regional and chapter levels
  • Serves as a mentor to youth, a lay minister in his church, and is active in the United Way

Contact Richard Herrington

Photo of Jake Oglesby

Executive Director
Housing Authority of the City of Augusta
Augusta, GA

  • More than 38 years of experience in the field
  • Served on various committees and in leadership roles for NAHRO, SERC and GAHRA for more than 20 years
  • His out of the box thinking has made his agency not only well-respected, but a high performer as well
  • Has won numerous awards including the Georgia Head Start Association’s Corporate Award for Outstanding Services to the Head Start children, parents and staff of Georgia in 2012; the Georgia HAP Administrators for Service as Chairman of the Board in 2009; the Medical College of Georgia President’s Award for Partnership in 2008; the SERC-NAHRO President’s Award for Service in 2007; and more

Contact Jacob Oglesby

Photo of Thomas Rowe

Executive Director
Murfreesboro Housing Authority
Murfreesboro, TN

  • More than 35 years of experience in the field
  • Served on several boards and committees at the national, regional and chapter levels, including serving as SERC’s President from 2011-2013
  • His knowledge and skills are often sought after by HUD to assist other agencies
  • Has served as a mentor to his colleagues
  • Active in his community and has volunteered for many civic affairs and town events, and serves as a deacon in his church

Contact Thomas Rowe