MEET OUR STAFF

Executive Staff

Tom Willard

President Emeritus

Tom has accumulated over 40 years of experience in real estate development and consulting. During his 25-year tenure with the Foundation, Tom has supervised the acquisition and development of almost 5,000 units of affordable senior housing using commercial lenders, tax credits, and tax-exempt bonds. Tom holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Montana, with a focus in Business Management, Economics, and Marketing. He also served as an officer in the United States Army.

Deborrah Willard

Founder and President

Deborrah has overseen the acquisition and development of more than 6,800 units of affordable family housing during her 25-year tenure with the Foundation. She is responsible for business development, contract negotiations, and community and partnership relations. She received a B.A. in Social Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. Deborrah also is the president of Embrace, the resident services arm of the Foundation. Embrace serves family and senior communities in California and North Carolina.

Darrin Willard

President and CEO

Darrin Willard is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation for Affordable Housing.  Based in Bend, Oregon, Darrin has led the Foundation through significant growth over the past 15 years with a focus on structuring partnerships with the best developers in the affordable housing industry.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis on Real Estate finance and a minor in Law and Public Policy from the University of Southern California.

Melissa Vincent

Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Melissa oversees the daily functions of the organization, provides day-to-day leadership, and works closely with the Foundation’s Senior Management Team to ensure management and operational effectiveness, align policy and business goals, and leverage those goals to enhance direction and impact.

Dedicated to promoting a culture of high performance, inclusiveness, and a commitment to quality, Melissa participates in the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of key business and performance objectives and their application. She also evaluates operating results across the organization to ensure that growth and objectives are met. Melissa has worked in the housing industry for over 20 years and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Foundation.

 

Tommy Waldron

Chief Strategy Officer

Tommy Waldron is Chief Strategy Officer for the Foundation for Affordable Housing. Working in Bend, he oversees asset management, compliance, investments, and strategic planning. Tommy holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and minor in Entrepreneurship from Miami of Ohio as well as a Master’s in Real Estate from Georgetown.

Tarun Chandran

General Counsel

As General Counsel, Tarun oversees all legal matters for the Foundation, including transactions, corporate governance, compliance, and risk management.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Tarun was in private practice for eighteen years, representing a variety of clients in commercial real estate transactions (including acquisitions, dispositions, real estate-secured financing, and commercial leasing transactions). Tarun holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Transactions

Mei Luu

Director of Transactions

As Director of Transactions, Mei oversees all aspects of our transactional work here at the Foundation, working with partners, lenders, and agencies to complete applications and handle due diligence requests for new, as well as existing transactions. Along with those duties, works on the periodic filings required by the state and county municipalities to obtain property tax exemption. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mei was an Assistant Vice President at Deutsche Bank where she closed and administered over 100 asset-backed securities. She was responsible for working with outside counsel, transaction managers and client counterparts to negotiate terms in transaction documents in multi-billion-dollar securitizations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Gisselle Picard

Exemptions Manager

In Gisselle’s role as a Transaction Coordinator, she works with internal staff as well as outside parties to ensure a smooth closing and continued maintenance of the welfare exemption status of the Foundation’s portfolio of properties. Prior to joining the Foundation, Gisselle was an Associate at Deutsche Bank for over 10 years where she closed and administered commercial and residential trusts. Gisselle has her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and her Master in Business Administration from the University of LaVerne.

Nicole Dale

Transactions Coordinator

Nicole serves as the Foundation’s Transaction Coordinator, she works with internal staff as well as outside parties to ensure a smooth closing and continued maintenance of the welfare exemption status of the Foundation’s portfolio of properties. Prior to joining the Foundation, Nicole held various positions in Sales, Marketing and Account Management in her 18 year tenure with NTN Buzztime, Inc. Nicole also holds a degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Linfield College.

Amy Sugden

Transactions Coordinator

In Amy’s role as a Transactions Coordinator, she is responsible for assisting the Transaction Management Team with the day-to-day duties associated with due diligence items for closing new projects. Amy works with internal staff as well as outside parties to ensure a smooth closing and continued maintenance of the Foundation’s portfolio of properties.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Amy worked as a family law paralegal for over eleven years. Throughout her career, she worked with some of the top Certified Family Specialists in San Diego County assisting with complex and high conflict dissolutions. After years of working in private practice, Amy transitioned into the non-profit sector working for the Riverside County Department of Child Support Services as a level II Paralegal. Amy graduated with high honors from Maric College (Kaplan) in Paralegal Studies in 2005.

Asset Management

Jonathan Russo

Senior Asset Manager

Jonathan serves as Asset Manager for our Southern California portfolio. Prior to joining the Foundation, he was a key associate in managing a portfolio of affordable properties at WNC & Associates. Jonathan earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Real Estate Finance from California State University at Fullerton. Jonathan served as the President of CSU’s Real Estate Club and was a scholarship recipient with the California Association of Realtors.

Mike Ristow

Asset Manager

Mike serves as Asset Manager for our Northern California properties. After Graduation from Montana State University with a BS in Mechanical Technology, Mike was a pilot for Northwest Airlines from 1968 to 2005, starting on the Boeing 707 and retiring as a 747-400 Captain. During that span of 37 years, Mike served as the Chairman of the Board of the Airport Community Counseling Office, the Airport Chaplaincy in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Mike also was heavily involved in work for the Airline Pilots Association, serving as a Contract Administrator, and three elected terms as a Captain Representative to the ALPA Board of Director’s. From 1998 to 2006 Mike served on the Northwest Airlines Board of Directors.

Andrew Winkle

Associate Asset Manager

Andrew serves as an Associate Asset Manager for our California portfolio. Prior to joining the Foundation, he was a senior associate at WNC & Associates focusing on ground up development for Tax Credit projects. While working in Asset Management, he takes an active approach to monitor the financial, physical, and regulatory health of our assets. Andrew was awarded a scholarship to the University of San Diego for his academic and extracurricular involvement, during which he obtained his bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in Real Estate.

Compliance

Rima Wilson

Compliance Manager

As Compliance Manager, Rima is charged with ensuring that the Foundation’s portfolio remains in compliance with the requirements of all of our public and private funding partners. Rima holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography and Anthropology from the University of Colorado, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude, and a Master’s Degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of British Columbia, where she was the recipient of the highly competitive University Graduate Fellowship. Rima brings to her role 25 years of experience in the field of affordable housing, from planning and public policy to affordable housing finance and development. For the past 17 years, Rima has been involved with all aspects of the development of affordable housing projects around Central Oregon.

Accounting

Anna Halbur

Director of Finance/Controller

Anna leads the accounting department and financial reporting for the Foundation. Prior to joining FFAH, Anna worked in the auditing and assurance practice for KPMG, a Big Four accounting firm. While working in public accounting, she specialized in real estate, asset management, and not-for-profit clients. Anna is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Chapman University.

Cameron Sordahl

Senior Accountant

Cameron serves as Senior Accountant for the Foundation. He works directly with our Controller and Senior Accountant to complete daily accounting and banking tasks along with financial reporting processes to ensure completeness and accuracy of the Company’s accounting records.

Christopher Salisbury

Staff Accountant

Christopher serves as Staff Accountant for The Foundation. He works alongside the accounting team to maintain complete and accurate accounting records and to deliver timely financial reporting. Prior to his current role, he served as an Accounting and Asset Management Intern for the Foundation. Christopher holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from Arizona State University, Tempe.

Marketing

Paige Germany Willard

Director of Marketing & Business Development

Paige is the Foundation’s Director of Marketing and Business Development. She specialized in Business Development and Marketing for several Fortune 500 companies, such as CRC Health and ABC Television Network. Her career with CRC solidified Paige’s desire to serve people in need, which makes the Foundation a perfect fit. Paige has spent her career helping businesses establish long-term partnerships that enhance communities all over the U.S. Paige also sits on the boards of several charities in both Bend, Oregon and Southern California. She attended the University of Southern California and received a Bachelors in Political Science and English from Millsaps College, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Administrative

Bonnie D’Alesandro

Director of Employee Resources

Bonnie serves as the Foundation’s HR & Admin Services Manager where she supports the Executive Team and company growth as a whole. On the day to day, her focus is on employee relations + retention, office oversight and policies & procedures. Prior to joining the Foundation, Bonnie was the Office & Culture Director for award-winning digital marketing agencies and creative studios, helping to ensure growth, team support and success within all departments. Bonnie studied Sociology with an emphasis on Inequality in the Media at West Virginia University while on a full-ride athletic scholarship for D1 Women’s Volleyball.

Cayla Tyrrell

Administrative Assistant

Cayla is the Foundation’s Administrative Assistant housed out of our Irvine, CA office. Her main focuses are attending to office & employee needs as she continues to create a more functional and organized space. Serving under the Administration department, Cayla manages the Irvine office and its employee relations all while maintaining an inviting & thriving atmosphere. She offers support to all departments to further rapid growth and success at every level of FFAH. Prior to working at the Foundation, Cayla worked in the service industry for 11 years as a server, bartender and events and staffing manager. She studied Psychology and Business Marketing at California State University, Fullerton.

Kaylee Francis

Administrative Assistant

Working under the Administration Department, Kaylee serves the Bend office and its employee’s needs while maintaining the beautiful and welcoming aesthetic of FFAH. She offers support to all departments to further inclusiveness and success at every level in the organization.  Kaylee has prior experience in human and primate behavioral health and has been a teacher for at-risk youth. She has served on the board and/or staff of several non-profits in the Pacific Northwest as well as in Buriram, Thailand. Kaylee double majored in Psychology and Theologies. Currently, she is a master’s candidate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Capella University.

Resident Service Coordinators

Judy Frye

Resident Services Coordinator at Coventry Heights & Cambridge Heights

Judy is currently a Resident Services Coordinator at three senior properties –  Coventry Heights, Cambridge Heights, and Sterling Court.  Judy has been with FFAH and Embrace since 2013

At Sterling Court, she arranged for Walgreens Pharmacy to provide the flu shots to the senior residents.  She has also arranged for a Medicare representative to provide annual Open Enrollment workshops.

During 2020, she was able to connect with Second Harvest to schedule a food program twice a month, and with the help of a Second Harvest volunteer, she delivered an assortment of dry goods and fresh farm produce.  As she got to know the residents, she was able to set up outdoor activities such as Bingo, workshops, birthday events and holiday door decoration events with prizes for the winners. She has also started a community vegetable garden, which was a huge success.

Patricia Hernandez

Resident Services Coordinator at Harvest Glen

Patricia serves as the Resident Services Coordinator at Elwood Family Apartments in Glendora, CA and Cypress Senior Living in Glendale, CA.  She ensures successful implementation of resident services to both the 85 unit family community and the 18 unit senior housing property. Patricia joined Embrace in 2019 and she holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from California State University, Los Angeles.

Katie Hin

Senior Activities Coordinator at Northgate Terrace

Katie serves as the Senior Activities Coordinator for Northgate Terrace, a senior community in Oakland. Katie develops programming for the residents, including Bingo, exercise classes, yoga, arts and crafts, and various wellness events. In addition to the many activities, Katie works closely in partnership with Spectrum to serve on-site hot lunches to residents. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Conservation and Resource Studies and a minor in Food Systems at the University of California, Berkeley.

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