Cynthia Parker, President and Chief Executive Officer, BRIDGE Housing; Board Chair, Housing Partnership Equity Trust
Ms. Parker is responsible for the overall direction of BRIDGE Housing, as well as its major affiliates, including BUILD, an investment advisor to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System under the California Urban Real Estate Program, and BASS, a licensed life care provider. She joined BRIDGE Housing as President and CEO in February 2010. Ms. Parker brings over 35 years of diverse and relevant experience, most recently as Regional President for Mercy Housing and President of Intercommunity Mercy Housing. Prior to her tenure at Mercy Housing, she served as Senior Vice President for Seattle-Northwest Securities, a public finance firm, where she oversaw affordable housing, commercial and public facility real estate financing in five Northwest states.
Previously, Ms. Parker worked for the City of Seattle, where she established the new Office of Housing, doubled the agency’s housing production and managed a $61 million biannual budget. Earlier, she served as the Executive Director of Anchorage Neighborhood Housing Services and General Board of Portland Student Services. A former President of the National Neighborhood Housing Network and a former director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Ms. Parker has chaired the Sound Families Initiative for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She currently serves as a director of the National Affordable Housing Trust, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle, the Housing Partnership Network, the OneCalifornia Foundation and the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California.
Ms. Parker holds a BA in Political Science/Urban Studies from Portland State University.
Board Vice Chair
Cindy Holler, Owner, CHoller Real Estate Consulting Services, Board representative for Mercy Housing, Inc.; Vice Chair, Housing Partnership Equity Trust
Ms. Holler is the founding principal of CHoller Real Estate Consulting Services, a firm that specializes in providing financial advice to housing organizations and public agencies involved in the production and preservation of affordable housing.
Ms. Holler was previously a Senior Vice President of Mercy Housing responsible for Mercy’s national real estate acquisition platform. Prior to that, she was President of Mercy Housing Lakefront. Ms. Holler was responsible for implementing a regional strategy for creating a continuum of affordable housing options for homeless, low income and working adults and families who are struggling to make ends meet. She also oversaw the operations of supportive and affordable housing spread out across Chicago’s Austin, Lakeview, Roseland, South Loop and Uptown communities.
Ms. Holler was previously a National Director for Housing and Community Development for Fannie Mae, where she was responsible for over $500 million in housing and community development investments with for-profit and not-for-profit developers, housing authorities and state and local governments.
Prior to joining Fannie Mae, Ms. Holler was the Chief Operating Officer at Shorebank Development Corporation (“Shorebank”) in Chicago and President of Shorebank’s real estate development company in Cleveland, where she was directly responsible for development of four major projects, resulting in the new construction of more than 300 units of housing and more than $65 million in capital investments in Shorebank’s targeted communities.
Ms. Holler was the Executive Director of New Cities Redevelopment Corporation in Harvey, Illinois, and was the New Project Director of Progress of People’s Development Corporation, a part of Brooklyn Catholic Charities. She developed more than 1,595 units of low- and moderate-income rental and ownership housing, and a series of commercial projects for underserved neighborhoods in Chicago and New York.
Ms. Holler received a Bachelor’s degree in political science/rhetoric and communications from Kent State University and a Master’s in City and Regional Planning/Real Estate from the Pratt Institute in New York City. Her honors include a Henry W. Miller Fellowship from the Urban Land Institute and the Robert S. Weinberg Award for Academic Excellence in Urban Planning.
David Adame, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.
Mr. Adame serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. (“CPLC”). He served as CPLC’s President and Chief Economic Development Officer with responsibility for economic development operations in Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico, including overseeing property management, real estate and commercial development, single and multi-housing services, housing counseling services, small business lending, employment services, and social ventures. Previously, he served as CPLC’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer.
Mr. Adame has more than 20 years of operational management experience in both for-profit and non-profit environments. Prior to joining CPLC, Mr. Adame served as Vice President of Arizona Operations for McCormack Baron & Salazar. Prior to joining McCormack Baron & Salazar in 2003, Mr. Adame was the Senior Deputy Director of Fannie Mae’s Arizona Partnership Office. Mr. Adame also spent three years as Program Officer with the Phoenix Office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (“LISC”). He also worked for Bank One Arizona for eight years, managing and underwriting residential and commercial loans.
Mr. Adame is chairman of the Arizona Housing Commission, a position appointed by the Governor of Arizona. He holds a BS in Business from Arizona State University (“ASU”) and an MBA from the ASU School of Global Management.
Luke Apicella, Manager, Prudential Impact Investments Private Equity, LLC
Mr. Apicella, Manager of Prudential Impact Investments Private Equity, LLC, has over nine years of impact investing experience. As a manager with Prudential Impact Investments, he is responsible for origination and asset management activities that have grown the portfolio to $1 billion. He covers numerous relationships, industries, private asset types, and impact objectives. Mr. Apicella serves on the boards and/or committees for several portfolio companies, including the Company, a community development financial institution, and a local start-up. His signature transactions include a term loan for an innovative charter school in New York City with performance pay for teachers, a co-investment with a leading private equity fund in a high growth sustainable consumer goods company and a next vintage investment in a top performing affordable housing private equity fund. Mr. Apicella started his career with Prudential and soon after became an analyst with Impact Investments responsible for portfolio management activities including valuation, forecasting and reporting.
Mr. Apicella has degrees in sustainability management from Columbia University (MS), finance from New York University (MBA) and entrepreneurship from Syracuse University (BS).
Thomas Bledsoe, President and Chief Executive Officer, Housing Partnership Network, Inc.
Mr. Bledsoe is the Chief Executive Officer of HPN and three of its affiliates: Housing Partnership Company, Housing Partnership Ventures and Housing Partnership Insurance Exchange. He is Vice Chairman of the Charter School Financing Partnership, launched by HPN in 2008 in collaboration with five member organizations. Mr. Bledsoe is also board chairman of the Gulf Coast Housing Partnership, a New Orleans-based nonprofit development company created by HPN in response to the 2005 hurricanes that devastated the Gulf Coast region. He became the first full-time President of HPN in 1998. Under his leadership, HPN has become a leading voice for high-capacity, partnership-based nonprofits in the affordable housing industry, has launched innovative, high-impact efforts and business enterprises, and been repeatedly recognized by Fast Company magazine as one of the leading social capitalists in the country.
Prior to joining HPN, Mr. Bledsoe was the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (“MBHP”), one of the nation’s first public/private housing partnerships. He facilitated the merger of two nonprofit housing agencies, creating a comprehensive regional organization that operates a continuum of programs from services for the homeless to homeownership. While at MBHP, he spearheaded the growth of the National Association of Housing Partnerships (which became the Housing Partnership Network) as its board president. Previously, Mr. Bledsoe served as Deputy Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Communities and Development and as Director of the City of Boston’s Office of Neighborhood Services.
Mr. Bledsoe holds a BA from Wesleyan University (CT) and a Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Collete English Dixon, Executive Director, Marshall Bennett Institute and Chair of Real Estate, Heller College of Business, Roosevelt University
Ms. English Dixon is Executive Director of the Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate and Chair of Real Estate, Heller College of Business Roosevelt University.
Ms. English Dixon has more than 30 years in investment management with a focus on commercial real estate investing. Prior to her current role at Roosevelt University, she was Executive Director—Transactions for PGIM Real Estate (formerly known as PREI), a business unit of Prudential Financial, and co-leader of PREI’s national investment dispositions program. In that role, she oversaw the sale of more than 201 investment properties located throughout the US, with a total value of more than $8.7 billion, on behalf of PREI’s investment funds. Prior to her role in dispositions, she was responsible for sourcing more than $2.75 billion of wholly-owned and joint venture real estate investment opportunities in the Midwestern markets covering all property types, including office, multi-family, hotel, industrial and retail properties. Ms. English Dixon’s experience also includes property development and asset management.
She is a Past President of CREW Network, a Past Chair of the CREW Network Foundation, a Past President of CREW Chicago, a full member of ULI and the 2016-2019 Chair of the UDMU Council/Purple. She is a former member of the Advisory Board for the Graaskamp Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a board member of Lambda Alpha International-Ely Chapter and of the Chicago Forum of the International Women’s Forum. Ms. English Dixon is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry.
Neal Drobenare, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions, The NHP Foundation
Mr. Drobenare is the Senior Vice President, Acquisitions of The NHP Foundation. As Senior Vice President, Mr. Drobenare is responsible for new business development for The NHP Foundation, including the acquisition of new affordable housing developments. Prior to The NHP Foundation, Mr. Drobenare was a principal at Northstar Development and Consulting where he was responsible for developing 346 units of LIHTC multifamily housing and provided real estate advisory services to non-profits and governmental entities, including the Washington, DC Mayor’s Office and the DC Housing Authority.
Mr. Drobenare also serves on the Board of the National Affordable Housing Trust. He holds a JD from SUNY Buffalo Law School.
Aaron Gornstein, President and Chief Executive Officer, Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc.
Mr. Gornstein became the President and Chief Executive Officer of Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc. in June 2015. He provides overall leadership and oversight of the organization, including strategic planning, financial management, supervision of the executive team, and external relations and partnerships.
From 2012-2015, Mr. Gornstein served as undersecretary for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, under former Governor Deval Patrick, where he greatly expanded rental assistance and homeless prevention programs, reformed and improved state public housing, and launched a comprehensive supportive housing initiative.
Prior to that, he served as executive director of Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association for 21 years, where he spearheaded passage of state and federal legislation, launched innovation programs and helped to form numerous coalitions.
Mr. Gornstein earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University. He is a Senior Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and serves on the board of directors of the Technical Assistance Collaborative and the Massachusetts Community Preservation Coalition.
Linda Mandolini, President, Eden Housing, Inc.
Under Ms. Mandolini’s leadership, Eden has become one of the most productive and successful nonprofit affordable housing developers in California. Eden has received numerous awards including being named to Best Places to Work in the Bay Area in 2012, 2015, and 2016 and Healthiest Employers in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times for the past five years in a row (2012-2016).
Ms. Mandolini is a leader in housing policy on the local, state and national level. She serves or has served on the Board, and held leadership positions with The Housing Trust of Silicon Valley, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, California Housing Consortium, National Housing Conference, Enterprise Communities’ Leadership Council and International Housing Policy Exchange.
Ms. Mandolini was inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2017 and has been honored with the 2016 SF Business Times Forever Influential Women” award, 2011 SF Business Times “Northern California Real Estate Women of Influence” award, 2011 Affordable Housing Management Association (AHMA) Pioneer Award and 2008 East Bay Business Times “Women of Distinction” award.
Ms. Mandolini received her AB from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, and MBA from Boston University.
Jeff Meyers, Director, Structured Lending and Investments, Citi Community Capital
Mr. Meyers is a Director in the Structured Lending and Investments group of Citi Community Capital, a department within Citi’s Municipal Securities Division responsible for the bank’s impact investing and community development lending activities.
Since joining Citi in 2010, Mr. Meyers has been involved in the origination, structuring, closing and portfolio management of various structured debt and equity investments, including those in the affordable housing, charter schools, healthcare, energy efficiency and alternative financial services sectors. Prior to joining Citi, Mr. Meyers spent six years in the Investment Banking and Debt Capital Markets divisions of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he focused on debt and equity financings for clients in the real estate, gaming and lodging sectors.
Mr. Meyers holds a BS in Economics and Mathematics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Series 7 and 63 securities licenses from FINRA.
J. Michael Pitchford, President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Preservation and Development Corporation
Mr. Pitchford, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Preservation and Development Corporation (“CPDC”), is responsible for the overall strategic direction and management of the real estate development and community development programs of its affordable housing communities.
Through his decade of service on the board of the National Housing Conference, including a three-year stint as its President, Mr. Pitchford has developed a strong understanding of how national and local policy impact housing affordability. This understanding, coupled with his leadership skills in generating a shared vision with employees, has helped him build a strong infrastructure at CPDC for stable and rapid growth.
Mr. Pitchford has participated in or led associations, workshops, conferences and forums on policy, networking and affordable housing best practices. He has served in leadership roles with the National Equity Company, the Urban Land Institute, the Washington Area Housing Partnership, the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, the Maryland Building Industry Associations and the Old Dominion University Board of Visitors.
Previously, Mr. Pitchford led the Community Development Equity Group at Bank of America Corporation (the “CDEG”) in Charlotte, North Carolina. During his tenure, the CDEG developed or rehabilitated 23,000 units of affordable housing and increased equity commitments by 3,000%. These affordable housing communities featured Make A Difference Centers, community life programs tailored to the needs of the resident population and providing such services as computer training for residents of all ages, career and academic mentoring, and on-site health clinics.
Mr. Pitchford is a member of the Urban Land Institute and chairs its Affordable Housing Council. He serves on the Board of the National Equity Company, the National Housing Conference and the Center for Housing Policy, and is the Immediate Past Chairman of the National Housing Conference.
Mr. Pitchford holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Old Dominion University.
Brian Shuman, Chief Financial Officer, Forum Real Estate Group
Mr. Shuman is the Chief Financial Officer of Forum Real Estate Group. In this role he directs the back office functions of the company with primary responsibility for accounting, tax, treasury management, financial planning and analysis, compliance, risk management and financial reporting.
Prior to joining Forum Real Estate Group, Mr. Shuman served as Chief Financial Officer for Griffis Residential, Carmel Partners and Mercy Housing. He also served as Senior Vice President of Finance for Aimco, an S&P 500 multifamily housing REIT. Mr. Shuman has served on the board or as a trustee of HPN, Mercy Loan Fund, Stewards for Affordable Housing and the National Affordable Housing Trust.
Mr. Shuman holds a BA in Economics and Accounting from the University of Maryland and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Peter Vilim, Co-Founder and Vice Chairman, Waterton
Mr. Vilim co-founded Waterton in 1995 and serves as Vice Chairman. Waterton is a vertically integrated private equity real estate investment manager which owns and operates a portfolio of 20,000 apartment units and 12 hotels across the U.S. on behalf of institutional investors. Mr. Vilim focuses on Waterton’s strategic initiatives and leads the firm’s audit committee. Mr. Vilim also participates on Waterton’s leadership and investment committees.
Prior to co-founding Waterton in 1995, Mr. Vilim was an investment officer with Berkshire Realty Company, Inc. (“Berkshire”), responsible for Midwest acquisitions, dispositions and financings. Prior to joining Berkshire, Mr. Vilim was the investment officer for Amli Realty Co. Mr. Vilim started his career as a certified public accountant, working in the national real estate tax practice departments of both Coopers & Lybrand and Peat Marwick Mitchell.
Mr. Vilim is President of the board of directors of All Chicago – Making Homelessness History, serves on the Programming Development Committee for Inspiration Corporation and the Development Committee of The Cara Program, is a trustee of The Cuore E Mani Foundation and is an Executive in Residence at Elmhurst College.
Mr. Vilim holds a Bachelor’s in Accountancy from the University of Illinois and a Master’s in taxation from DePaul University.