Speakers

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Laura Abernathy
Director, State & Local Policy
National Housing Trust
Laura Abernathy joined the National Housing Trust in 2010 and currently serves as the State and Local Policy Director. In this role, Laura oversees the Trust’s work on state and local public policy initiatives in all 50 states, working with elected officials, government employees, and advocates from around the country to shape public policy that promotes local affordable housing preservation, strengthens communities and provides access to opportunity for low-income families.

Before joining NHT, Laura worked at the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies (Shimberg) to promote affordable, suitable, and accessible housing throughout the state of Florida.
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Melanie Brazil-Aksland
Branch Chief Insuring and Underwriting Division
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Melanie has been with HUD for four years and has 30 years in the mortgage banking industry.
Websites:
HUD.GOV
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Ashly Amato
Administrative Assistant
Montana Housing/Department of Commerce
My name is Ashly Amato. I have been employed at Montana Housing in the Department of Commerce for five years. My role is to assist with the Section 8 waitlist program, with final loan docs for the Homeownership program and with customer service, as well as accepting payments for the Mortgage Servicing program. I absolutely love my job because I can tell that I make a difference in people’s lives and that they appreciate it. I enjoy going home each day feeling proud of what I have been able to accomplish each day.

I am a Montana girl, living in Helena most of my life. When we have free time outside of her busy sports schedule, my eleven-year-old daughter and I enjoy hiking, fishing, hunting, and playing in Montana’s lakes and rivers.
Websites:
Montana Housing
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Pat Anardi
Owner
Blue Collar Value Consulting
Pat was a journeyman electrician for more than thirty-five years and spent most of that time working for the Seattle Housing Authority. While employed there he oversaw the maintenance of more than six thousand homes and also led a large team to successfully develop and implement a preventive maintenance program for large and small buildings. Pat and his team received a NAHRO National Award of Excellence for their training program, as well as a Merit Award for creating a successful customer service program.

Although Pat claims to be retired, he continues to work as a consultant for public housing, assisting them in the development of strong maintenance departments
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Laura Arundel
Senior Underwrite
FHA
10+ Years with FHA
39 years in mortgage business, 26 years as an underwriter
Colorado Native
Websites:
HUD.GOV
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Patrick Barkey
Director, Bureau of Business and Economic Research
University of Montana
Patrick Barkey has served as Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research since 2008. He has been involved with economic forecasting and policy research for more than 30 years, in both the private and public sectors.

Before coming to Montana he served as Director of the Bureau of Business Research at Ball State University in Indiana for fourteen years. His recent research has been on the economic impact of energy development, the property tax treatment of the telecommunications industry and the economic impact of trade with Canada. He holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.
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Pam Bean
Executive Director
Montana Fair Housing
Pam Bean began working for Montana Fair Housing in 1994 as a testing coordinator. Since that time she filled the positions of Projects and Programs Coordinator, and in 2008 accepted the position of Executive Director.
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Lisa Beczkiewicz
Health Promotion Supervisor
Missoula Invest Health
Lisa has spent the last 20 years in a leadership capacity working to address prevention strategies and health disparities. She is the Health Promotion Supervisor at the Missoula City-County Health Department, directing the development, implementation and evaluation of population health programs in chronic disease and injury prevention. She is the team leader for Missoula Invest Health, a health equity initiative that connects community development and health. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in social work from Indiana University and a Certificate in Public Health. She is working to complete her Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Montana. Her passion for public health comes from previous work experiences as supervisor of the Flagship Program, Missoula’s largest after-school program; as executive director of Women in Action, a nonprofit organization working to provide affordable and accessible health and education services in a rural Montana community; and as coordinator of Let’s Move! Missoula, a childhood obesity prevention collaboration based at the health department
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Katie Biggs
Marketing and Resource Development Manager
NeighborWorks Montana
Katie Biggs is the Marketing and Resource Development Manager at NWMT, overseeing all aspects of marketing and outreach for the different program areas within NWMT. Katie is passionate about making a difference in the lives of Montanans and that’s what drives her work every day.
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Adrienne Bombelles
Policy Analyst
Montana Budget and Policy Center
Adrienne Bombelles is a policy analyst with the Montana Budget and Policy Center. Her research focuses on the policies and state budget decisions impacting child health and economic mobility for families, with a specific focus on affordable housing. She originally moved to Montana to serve two terms as an AmeriCorps volunteer, working to support college access, early childhood education, and conservation. After earning her Masters in Social Work, she moved back to Montana to serve in her current role leading research and advancing policy solutions to improve access to safe, affordable, and stable homes for Montanans.
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Laura Bolstad
Homeownership Center Director
NeighborWorks Great Falls
Laura Bolstad is new to her position but her experience of over 15 years with NeighborWorks Great Falls proves to be valuable. She provides the counseling department with experiences of individual counseling beginning with homeownership planning, financial coaching, and homebuyer education. She has continued to work with homeowners for the last 10 years in the areas of financial coaching, foreclosure prevention and reverse mortgage counseling and rehabilitation loans. In the last couple of years’, she has added to her knowledge base areas for rental counseling and education. She has a Bachelor of Science in Science from Central Michigan University and a Bachelor of Science in Education MSU Billings. She is HUD-certified for Counseling and Reverse Mortgage Counseling.
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Kati Bono
Communications & Strategic Projects Manager
ChildWise Institute
Kati joined the ChildWise team in 2017 and even though she hadn’t heard of ‘Adverse Childhood Experiences’ prior to working at ChildWise, she’s had a passion for this work from the beginning. Looking at herself and her family through an ACE-informed lens brought understanding and clarity to things she thought would never make sense. Kati is a trained ACE Presenter; she knows the difference this information can make in people’s lives because she knows it could’ve been life-saving within her own family.
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John L. Brady
Certified General Appraiser
Brady Appraisal Service, Inc.
John Brady has been self-employed in the Billings Real Estate Industry for 45 years. John is licensed as a Montana Certified General Appraiser with the endorsement of Real Estate Appraiser Mentor and is currently mentoring his Grandson Colton Brady. John also has a Montana Real Estate Broker License and in the 1970s-1980s he was involved with the development and build out of several Billings subdivisions, marketing of existing properties, and appraisal work for various Billings area lenders and the Department of HUD/FHA. John transitioned to full-time appraisal in August of 1987 and established Brady Appraisal Service, Inc in 1993.
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Carol Bronson
Director of Community Initiatives
NeighborWorks Montana
Carol Bronson is NeighborWorks Great Falls’ Director of Community Initiatives, managing several neighborhood revitalization programs. In the last year, she and NWGF worked as the as co-lead, with Benefis Healthcare, for Great Falls’ Housing is Healthcare Initiative. That work focused on addressing the intersection of frequent users of the healthcare, criminal justice and Continuum of Care services in this area. Carol serves on the state of Montana’s Historic Preservation Review Board and is on the Board of Trustees for the University of Providence. She is the former executive director for the national nonprofit, the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.
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Charlie Brown
Homeownership Program Specialist
Montana Housing
Charlie Brown: Been with Montana Housing for over 20 years. Supervise compliance and purchasing staff. Work with lenders to become approved to originate and sell MT Housing Loans and answer questions once lenders are approved. Respond to inquiries from Realtors, home buyers, lenders and all partners including down payment assistance providers and special programs such as Habitat for Humanity and Community Land Trust Organizations.
Websites:
Montana Housing
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Janice M. Brown
Executive Director
Montana Cooperative Development Center
Janice Brown became executive director of the Montana Cooperative Development Center (MCDC) in July 2015. She supervises four staff and a network of 10 economic developers who help MCDC organize new cooperatives across Montana. Based in Great Falls, MCDC has assisted with regional and local feasibility studies related to housing cooperatives over the past four years.

Jan has 43 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations, national laboratories, and state and local governments across the Northern Rockies. A graduate of the Oregon State University School of Forestry, Jan has spent her natural resource career exclusively in Idaho and Montana.
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Cheryl Cohen
Operations Manager
Montana Housing
Cheryl joined Montana Housing as Operations Manager in October 2018. Ms. Cohen previously served over 8 years as a Community Development Specialist and Senior Community Development Specialist with the City of Seattle Office of Housing’s multifamily asset management unit. She has over 12 years of affordable housing compliance, property/asset management, and operations experience in the public and non-profit sectors. Ms. Cohen is certified in low-income housing tax credit compliance and is a Certified Specialist in HUD Occupancy. She has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington.
Websites:
Montana Housing
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Brendalee Connors
Director of Development
Metro West Housing Solutions
Brendalee Connors is the Director of Development at Metro West Housing Solutions. In that role, she is responsible for all real estate functions of the organization, including housing development and asset management. She assures overall health and optimal operation of all properties owned and managed by MWHS. Bren has worked in the affordable housing field for over 20 years. She has worked in non-profit, for-profit and governmental arenas. Her positions have included property management, asset management, and housing development, covering a wide range of geography primarily in the western US.
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Penny Cope
Outreach & Business Development
Montana Housing/Department of Commerce
Penny Cope is Outreach & Business Development for Montana Housing. She has passionately worked to create more understanding of the need for more homes in Montana that more households can afford, within their income. She knows that no one can grow toward their potential without a stable home.

In addition to designing and managing the Montana Housing website, Penny has worked on several iconic Housing Coordinating Team projects, including: the White Paper, the collective Inventory of Subsidized Housing in Montana, the Housing Resource Guide, and our Montana Housing Locator website.

Penny creats events, like the Housing Conference and the Rotunda Day, that allow all housing professionals and developers and advocates and federal and state program specialists, from across Montana to gather and discuss problems and then watch as the ideas for solutions flow. This is how the White Paper, and the LegCon Book were conceived, as well as many other ways to reach out

Penny earned a BS in Computer Science from Bellevue University. She is an Air Force veteran and the wife of an Air Force retiree. They enjoyed living in Germany, Australia, Alabama and Nebraska. She now lives in Helena with her husband and their two Boston Terriers. In her free time, Penny likes to ride motorcycles with her husband and their two grown sons. Penny is now a grandmother of three deliciously wild boys.
Websites:
Montana Housing
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Daniel Covey
Program Manager, Redtail Ponds
Housing Catalyst
Daniel Covey is a dedicated leader who brings 15 years of experience working with diverse populations and low-income individuals to his work as the Program Manager at Redtail Ponds, Permanent Supportive Housing program in Northern Colorado. Daniel holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work with a minor in Ethnic Studies from Colorado State University. Most recently Daniel was honored as BSW alumni of the year from Colorado State University for his dedication and work to alleviate poverty and homelessness in our community.
Websites:
Housing Catalyst
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Andrea Davis
Executive Director
Homeword
Andrea is responsible for overseeing all facets of Homeword, including development (organizational and project-based), fundraising, marketing, policy and collaboration, and personnel issues. After earning a B.A. at the University of Montana, she joined Homeword in 2001 as Asset Manager and Community Builder. From 2003 – 2008, Andrea led the development of five projects ranging from homes for Veterans who experienced homelessness to new senior homes while working at the Missoula Housing Authority. Among other duties, Andrea was responsible for agency planning, provided leadership to the organization and served as a liaison with community stakeholders. Andrea returned to Homeword as Executive Director in 2008.
Websites:
Homeword Missoula
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Christine Smith-Dreier
Portfolio Management Specialist
Denver Office of Public Housing
Christine Dreier has been a Portfolio Management Specialist with HUD for 5 years. She is Denver’s “Subject Matter Expert (SME)” and coordinator for housing conversions. She is also a Repositioning Expeditor, assisting PHAs complete S-18 applications for a successful submittal to the SAC. Prior to HUD Christine worked at a nonprofit housing agency managing assets, providing outreach and education and specializing in portfolio management, policy and procedures.
Websites:
HUD at Work
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Tina Eblen
Director
ChildWise Institute
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Janelle Egli
Housing Development Program Specialist
Montana Department of Commerce, Community Development Division
Janelle Egli is a Housing Development Specialist in the Montana Department of Commerce’s Community Development Division. She specializes in the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, as well as the Housing Trust Fund (HTF) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs. Ms. Egli’s professional experience includes federal grant administration and management, technical writing, program reporting, copy editing, and data management.
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Shari Eslinger
Housing Director
HRDC, District IX
Shari oversees the housing programs in Gallatin, Park, and Meagher counties servicing the spectrum of housing needs ranging from homelessness to first-time homebuyers. Programs include three emergency shelter locations, Section 8, Housing First programs for Rapid Rehousing and homeless prevention, Housing Navigation, homebuyer education, and counseling.
Websites:
HRDC Bozeman
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Julie Flynn
Housing Development Program Manager
Montana Department of Commerce – Community Development Division
After starting in the housing world in 2000, Julie Flynn has been back with the Department of Commerce for a little over a year in the Community Development Division working with the HOME, HTF and CDBG Programs. She is thrilled to again be working with communities to help address their affordable housing needs. She has a BS in electrical engineering from Montana State and an MBA from Seattle University and enjoys traveling and recreating with her husband and 14-year-old daughter.
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Wyeth Friday
Director, Planning and Community Services Dept.
City of Billings and Yellowstone County

Wyeth Friday is the Director of the Planning and Community Services Department in Billings. The Department provides code enforcement, building and community development services to the City of Billings, and planning services to Billings and Yellowstone County. He oversees four division managers with a department of 34 staff. Wyeth has worked for the City of Billings and Yellowstone County for 15 years, serving as Planning Division Manager for almost 10 years and taking over as Director in late 2016. During his tenure, he has worked on current and long range planning projects, including amendments to the County Subdivision Regulations to address development transition between the city and county, participation on a complete streets working group to implement the City’s Complete Streets Policy, and ongoing leadership of the City’s Annexation Committee to administer the City’s Annexation Policy in coordination with the City’s Capital Improvement Program. In his role as Department Director, he is working to improve public outreach and communication tools, moving the department to electronic application and permit submittals, developing more resources for local community development efforts, and supporting Project Re: Code – an update to the city and county zoning regulations. Wyeth has been a member of the American Planning Association since 2001 and of the American Institute of Certified Planners since 2006. He has been involved with the Montana Association of Planners since 2005, including a stint as President of the organization.

https://project-recode.com/

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Autumn Gold
Portfolio Management Specialist
Denver Office of Public Housing
Autumn Gold joined HUD with the Office of Public Housing in 2016. Ms. Gold is a Portfolio Management Specialist, who works with a portfolio of over twenty housing authorities across the Rocky Mountain Region. Ms. Gold also serves on the Federal Regional Interagency Council on Homelessness and as a team lead for Public Housing Occupancy and SEMAP. Prior to joining HUD, Ms. Gold worked for the Colorado Division of Housing for 13 years. She also volunteers with several nonprofits that work to prevent homelessness. Ms. Gold is a graduate of Texas Tech. University, with a B.S. in Family Studies.
Websites:
HUD at Work
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Randy Hafer
FAIA, LEED APBD+C
High Plains Architects
Randy Hafer, Billings, Montana born and raised, founded High Plains Architects in Billings, Montana in 1999 after spending 18 years working for other firms in Chicago and Billings. Since then, High Plains has been a regional leader in sustainable design, historic preservation and urban revitalization/development. Randy has completed 11 certified historic tax credit projects, and 12 LEED Platinum Certified projects, resulting in numerous green building and historic preservation awards. Through Urban Frontier Development Services Randy is currently engaged in 4 historic development projects across Montana aiming to provide housing and services in vacant historic structures. In addition, he is the recipient of: the first Montana Better Bricks award for “Architecture in 2009,” the Roche Jaune Award for Civic Leadership Excellence in 2012, and the Montana Small Business Person of the Year in 2014. Recently, Randy and his wife Janna moved into their “Urban Frontier House,” a
completely self-contained, self-sustaining house in downtown Billings. With the Urban Frontier House, he is pursuing Living Building Challenge certification, currently the most rigorous green building standard in the world. Randy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture from
Stanford University and a Master of Architecture degree from Yale University; he is a LEED Accredited Professional, and a Fellow of the
American Institute of Architects.
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Dina Harmon
Community Development Program Coordinator
City of Billings Community Development
Dina Harmon has been managing the First Time Homebuyer Program and Affordable Housing Development Program for the City of Billings since 2007. Dina has a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology from Montana State University-Billings.
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Shelly Harris
2019 Billings Association of Realtors President
406 Realty Group
I have worked in the Real Estate Industry in one way or another for over 30 years. I began my career at Chicago Title in 1989 as a part-time employee while attending EMC (now MSUB). Little did I know it would turn into a career. After 20+ years of closing and mortgage lending, I obtained my RE Salesperson license in 2011. I became a Broker in 2013 and opened my own Brokerage. I hold a Bachelor Degree in Business Management and I am the current President of the Billings Association of Realtors.
Websites:
406 Realty Group
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Nancy Jacobsen
Rural Development Specialist – Montana/Colorado
RCAC – Rural Communities Assistance Corporation
Nancy Jacobsen has spent the last eighteen years working with the Rural Development Mutual Self-help program both as a project manager helping families build new homes and providing technical and management expertise to self-help grantees and community development organizations under the self-help program in Montana and Colorado.

Ms. Jacobsen’s expertise lies in developing and managing self-help housing programs, construction management, conflict resolution, and team building. She is an experienced mediator and still practices meditation and trains in conflict resolution and team building. Her passion is helping Self-help organizations be successful in bringing affordable, safe homeownership and rehab opportunities to their clients.
Websites:
RCAC
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Jennifer Keck
Program Manager, Family Health Services
RiverStone Health
Jennifer is currently a program manager in Family Health Services at RiverStone Health. She started out in Family Health Services 6 years ago as a Nurse-Family Partnership nurse home visitor and maternal child health RN case manager. As program manager today, Jennifer focuses on the Nurse-Family Partnership, an evidence-based home visiting program and KidsFirst, a RN medical case management home visiting program for children in foster care. Prior to working in Family Health services, she began her care as an RN and nursing supervisor for the RiverStone Health Clinic in 2007. Before becoming a nurse, Jennifer taught Family & Consumer Sciences in Parker, Colorado focusing on teaching teens healthy decision making, life and job skills to ensure long term success throughout their adult lives.
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Jacob Kuntz
Executive Director
Helena Area Habitat for Humanity
Jacob brings his experiences and training as an educator, mediator, home builder, and community organizer to the work of housing. He holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from Trinity College Dublin and spent many years working as a mediator on education for reconciliation projects in the Middle East and Northern Ireland. Jacob loves that he is able to combine his love of carpentry and non-profit management in his role as Executive Director of Helena Area Habitat for Humanity. Before taking the reins at Helena Habitat in 2015, Jacob served at Lexington Habitat for Humanity in Lexington, Kentucky as a project manager. Jacob is married to Jessica; they love living and working in Montana communities. Together, they enjoy exploring Montana’s historical sites with their two collies, Rainier and Lambert, named for the cherries raised on his family’s farm in the Flathead Valley.
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Gene Leuwer
Owner
GL Development LLC
- Owner of Development Company since 2009
- Experience as Ex Director of Non-Profit developer new construction and acquisition rehabilitation since 1999
- Affordable Housing development including new construction and rehabilitation of existing federally subsidized housing, Home Ownership assistance and First-time Homebuyer Education, transitional housing and emergency housing.
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Peter Lifari
Executive Director
Unison Housing Partners
Peter serves as Executive Director of Unison Housing Partners. In his role, Peter leads the activities and policies of Unison in support of the organization's mission and vision as established by the Board of Commissioners. Prior to joining Unison Peter served as Regional Director overseeing a $35 million business unit spanning thirteen states and US Territories for USIS providing national security solutions to federal government clients. Peter earned his Bachelors of Fine Arts from The Maryland Institute College of Art, a Masters of Fine Art from CUNY at Queens College, a Masters Certificate in Finance from Tulane University and an MBA from The Florida Institute of Technology with a focus in Project Management.
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Casey Lozar
Assistant Vice President, Outreach Executive
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Casey Lozar is the assistant vice president and outreach executive at the Minneapolis Fed-Helena Branch. He is responsible for economic intelligence gathering and regional outreach and moving forward key policy conversations in Montana. Prior to joining the Minneapolis Fed, Casey held leadership positions within the State of Montana, the State Tribal Economic Development Commission, the Notah Begay III Foundation and the American Indian College Fund. Mr. Lozar is an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and grew up on the Flathead Indian Reservation.
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Ted Madden
Chief Operating Officer
Montana Healthcare Foundation
Ted Madden serves as the chief operating officer for the Montana Healthcare Foundation. Ted oversees the Foundation’s investments, financials, and operations. He also directs the Housing and Health Care and Implementation of Value-Based Care Program initiatives.

Ted brings 25 years of non-profit foundation and health care administrative experience to his position at the Foundation. He served as the executive director at the Park County Community Foundation, the founding chief financial officer of Community Health Partners, and assistant to the treasurer and subsidized housing director at the Wilder Foundation in St. Paul Minnesota. He currently serves as the chairman of the board of the Livingston, MT School District.
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Betsey Martens
Founder and President
Bringing School Home
Betsey Martens left Boulder Housing Partners as its long-time executive director to found Bringing School Home, a consultancy that supports the intersection of housing, education, and health. She is a president emeritus of national NAHRO, a fellow at the Affordable Housing Institute, adjunct faculty at the University of Colorado and a passionate skier.
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Lauren Marks
Trial Attorney
United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Lauren Marks is a trial attorney with the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing, and Civil Enforcement Section. Lauren, who has been with the Department since early 2014, focuses on enforcement of the Fair Housing Act and the land use portions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.
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Martin Matsen
Director of Community Development
City of Bozeman
Marty’s expertise stems from serving a variety of positions since earning his Master’s Degree at the University of Iowa. From working in private consulting for a firm in Arizona to serving in Wyoming as a Development Director and Assistant Director of State Lands & Investments. More recently, Marty spent time in Washington D.C. as a Planning Supervisor for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and the Planning Division Chief for the City of Gaithersburg.

Marty now proudly serves as the Community Development Director for the City of Bozeman, overseeing Building, Planning, Affordable Housing, and Historic Preservation.
Websites:
City of Bozeman
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Brendan McCarthy
Assistant U.S. Attorney
U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Montana
Brendan McCarthy has been an Assistant United States Attorney with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana in Billings since January 2013. Since 2017, he has also been the civil rights coordinator for the district. In that capacity, he has conducted outreach and worked on cases involving the Fair Housing Act.
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Jim McGrath
Director of HUD Programs
Missoula Housing Authority
Jim McGrath is the Director of HUD Programs for the Missoula Housing Authority, administering the Housing Choice Voucher and Continuum of Care programs and overseeing compliance for public housing, Section 8 Mod rehab, and HUD multifamily programs, as well as participating in planning and policy development. For the past 13 years, he has overseen the administration of MHA’s permanent supportive housing vouchers as well as serving on the Missoula local Continuum of Care Coalition (the At-Risk Housing Coalition, or ARHC) and the state Continuum of Care Coalition. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Montana C of C. Jim also serves as Vice President of the Montana chapter of NAHRO.
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Heather McMilin
Housing Development Director
Homeword, Inc.
After graduating with a Master of Architecture degree and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Montana State University, Heather moved to Missoula in 1998 where she worked with several different architectural firms and deepened her understanding of the need for more sustainable building practices in construction and development. Heather is a licensed architect. Since joining the Homeword team in early 2003, Heather has received extensive training and experience in affordable housing and gained additional expertise in sustainable design.
Websites:
Homeword Missoula
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Sandi Messinger
State Multi-Family Housing Specialist
USDA; Rural Development; Housing Services
Sandi started her federal career on August 3, 1977, at the age of two. She worked as a Contract Negotiator for the Department of Navy until moving to Montana in 1984. There she was employed with the Forest Service until 1986. In 1986, she came to work for Farmers Home Administration, which is now the USDA Rural Development. Sandi has worked in affordable housing for almost 20 years. She enjoys the challenges and the rewards that come with the Multi-family Program. Sandi has three grown children that all lie in Bozeman. She likes to hike, ski, water sports, and travel.
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Katie Miller
Housing Resource Manager
Salish and Kootenai Housing Authority
Katie graduated from Carroll College with a Bachelor in Communication Studies. Katie has been dedicated to working for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes since 2005. She has been the Housing Resource Manager of the Salish and Kootenai Housing Authority since 2010. As the Resource Manager she is responsible for; all stages of developing new Housing Resources with direct oversight of the Community Development Block Grant, the Transitional Living Center, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, Home Improvement Program, Weatherization Program, Flathead Head Finance Homeownership Program, Development and Construction, the In-Take for Low Income Housing, and the ROSS program. Katie has also served on the MT/WY Tribal Housing Coalition.
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Dan Nackerman
Vice President
Salt Lake City Housing Authority
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Laura O'Bleness
VP | County Manage
Chicago Title Compan
As VP | County Manager of Chicago Title Company in Billings, Laura O'Bleness brings over 20 years of experience to the escrow industry. During her career with this company, Laura has served as an Escrow Officer, Escrow Manager and was appointed to her current position in 2015. As County Manager, Laura oversees the day to day management of the operation, the development, and maintenance of policies and procedures, compliance with federal regulations and the development of staff for retention and growth.

Laura is a Montana Native and with her husband, Matthew resides in Billings, where they both grew up and also raised their two sons.
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Marcus Omeasoo
Affordable Homeownership Coordinator
Blackfeet Housing Authority
Marcus Omeasoo is the Affordable Homeownership Coordinator for Blackfeet Housing. In 2017 Marcus helped to create, and start the Affordable Homeownership Program at Blackfeet Housing in Browning Montana. Starting from nothing Marcus has grown Blackfeet Housing’s homeownership program to where it is today. Over the course of three years, Marcus has been helping the members of the Blackfeet reservation realize their dreams of homeownership, and financial management.
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Michael O'Neil
Executive Director
Helena Housing Authority
Michael O’Neil, Executive Director of the Helena Housing Authority, is the Director of the Helena Regional Housing is Healthcare project. He has worked in Montana for over 25 years to eliminate homelessness, expand affordable housing opportunities, and develop intensive community services to promote successful community living for persons with disabilities including those who are homeless. Michael is a board member of the MT Homeless Continuum of Care, NW MT, Lewis and Clark County Human Services Task Force, and the Montana Housing Coalition.
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Kaia Peterson
Assistant Director
NeighborWorks Montana
Kaia, the Assistant Director of NeighborWorks Montana, is passionate about the power of CDFIs putting financial tools and knowledge into the hands of people and communities who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to have safe, quality, affordable housing. She uses that passion to drive her work in overseeing the education and counseling program manufactured housing and resident-ownership work and the marketing and outreach efforts at NeighborWorks Montana. Kaia is a ROC USA board member, a member of the NeighborWorks America’s Homeownership Manager Advisory Committee and sits as a member of the board of commissioners for the Missoula Housing Authority.

When she isn’t working she spends her time with her husband and their two elementary school-aged children enjoying all the wonderful outdoor opportunities Montana has to offer.
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Eileen Piekarz
Rural Development Specialist II
RCAC
Eileen Piekarz of RCAC has 25 years experience providing technical assistance and training to nonprofit housing developers, resulting in development of more than 1,800 affordable housing units. Ms. Piekarz is a part of RCAC’s Development Solutions team. Recent work includes development consulting for a 38-unit senior rental project, and partnering with a local nonprofit agency to preserve a 32-unit rental project in Kalispell, Montana. She manages and is a lead trainer for the Tribal Housing Excellence Academy, a training and TA program to increase the volume of housing developed on native lands by leveraging resources not regularly accessed by tribes.
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Stephanie M Crider-Pridemore
Housing Development Program Specialist
Montana Department of Commerce, Community Development Division
Stephanie Crider-Pridemore is a Housing Development Specialist in the Montana Department of Commerce’s Community Development Division. She specializes in the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and Housing Trust Fund (HTF) programs. She has been working in affordable housing for four years. Ms. Crider-Pridemore is a certified National Housing Development Finance Professional. Her experience includes grant administration and management of projects with complex funding sources and regulatory requirements, technical writing, program reporting, data analysis, and budgeting.
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Ellie Ray
Planner II/Grants Coordinator
City of Helena
Ellie has over five years’ experience in public sector planning. As a planner with the City of Helena, she serves as a housing policy coordinator, grant coordinator, and ADA coordinator in addition to assisting with general municipal planning duties. She has been the staff lead on the City’s downtown zoning code update, and assists in the formulation and management of the City’s urban renewal districts. She previously worked as a regional planner in Vermont, handling regional and town plan updates, hazard mitigation planning, grant application assistance, and research/policy work associated with a Partnership for Sustainable Communities grant for East Central Vermont.
Websites:
City of Helena
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Kristin King-Ries
Legal Counsel & Program Manager
Trust Montana, Inc
Kristin King-Ries is the staff attorney at Trust Montana, a statewide Community Land Trust with a mission to promote community land trusts and hold land in trust to facilitate workforce housing, farmland affordability, and the preservation of vital community assets that keep rural and urban areas livable for Montanans of varied economic means. In addition to her work for Trust Montana, Kristin sits on the Board of Directors for the Northwest Community Land Trust Coalition, a regional community land trust umbrella organization. She has recently joined a national committee of Community Land Trust and sustainable agriculture experts from around the U.S. convened by Agrarian Trust and the Sustainable Economies Law Center for the purpose of designing legal tools and national best practices for agricultural community land trusts. Kristin is a graduate of Washington University School of Law. Her practice areas include real estate, contracts, nonprofit, and Community Land Trust law.
Websites:
Trust Montana, Inc
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Sheila Rice
Interim COO
NeighborWorks America
Sheila Rice was Executive Director of NeighborWorks Great Falls for 15 years, simultaneously serving as ED of NeighborWorks Montana for 10 of those years. She was called out of retirement for an interim position at NeighborWorks America, where she has gained an appreciation for the broad field of community development. In her earlier life, she spent 25 years in various executive positions at Energy West, a local gas utility. She holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of Great Falls and an MBA from the University of Montana. She loves to be outdoors, on the water or on a hiking trail.
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Nate Richmond
PRESIDENT AND CEO
BlueLine Development, Inc.
Nate Richmond is the President and CEO of BlueLine Development, Inc. Nate has been developing affordable housing throughout the country for more than a decade. He collaborates with clients in order to maximize each partner’s unique strengths. His vast knowledge in this field lends confidence to the partnership to ensure each development will be an asset to the community, owner, and equity provider. He has utilized Low Income Housing Tax Credits, State Tax Credits, HOME funds, Rural Development loan guarantees, 1602 Tax Credit Exchange Funds, Tax Credit Assistance Funds, Federal Home Loan Bank-AHP, NAHASDA, RAD, and many other financing methods to create housing that serves populations ranging from workforce housing to chronically homeless. Nate and BlueLine partner with communities and non-profit agencies to assist them in identifying and meeting the local unfulfilled housing needs.
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Wendy Compton-Ring
Senior Planner
City of Whitefish
Wendy has 23 years of land use planning experience working at both state and local levels. She has worked for the City of Whitefish since 2005 and is an appointed member of the Whitefish Strategic Housing Steering Committee. She has been an active participant on many of the ad hoc housing work groups leading up to the Plan creation and its subsequent implementation.
Websites:
City of Whitefish
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A. C. Rothenbuecher, MPH
Operations Manager
Montana Department of Commerce, Community Development Division
A.C. Rothenbuecher has worked in the public sector for over 12 years in state and federal programs in the areas of public health policy, social determinants of health, healthcare systems, and community development. Prior to joining the Montana Department of Commerce, she worked at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, where she managed grants in the areas of early childhood, family and community health, and health policy. Her background also includes work with non-profit health care access organizations, international NGOs, and public health and green energy grant programs at higher education institutions.
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Maureen Rude
Executive Director
NeighborWorks Montana
Maureen has nearly 30 years’ experience in housing finance, beginning with MT Board of Housing, then Fannie Mae, then 11 years at NeighborWorks Montana.
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Doug Ryan
Sr. Director of Affordable Homeownership
Prosperity Now
Doug Ryan is Prosperity Now's Senior Director of Affordable Homeownership.

Doug also worked as Assistant Director of Federal Programs at the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, Maryland, as a legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate, with the Federal Housing Finance Board and as project manager for the Housing Development Institute at Catholic Charities in New York. Doug graduated from Fordham University and has an M.P.A. from New York University. He is an adjunct instructor at American University’s School of Public Affairs and a graduate advisor at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies.

Doug is a former Montgomery County Commissioner on Human Rights and a graduate of Achieving Excellence, a joint program of the Harvard and NeighborWorks America.
Websites:
Prosperity Now
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Joan W. Smith
Metro West Housing Solution
Joan W. Smith has been a board commissioner with Metro West Housing Solutions in Lakewood Colorado since 2002. Joan also is the dean of the Continuing Education Division of Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, CO. Joan has extensive experience in building new programming and designing budgets as planning tools to grow and sustain programs. Joan has adapted logic models used in education to support governing boards with user-friendly tools to monitor program outcomes.
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Debbie Sokoloski
Loan Officer
Opportunity Bank
Debbie has been In banking since 2000, working for Western Security Bank before joining Opportunity Bank in March of 2019.
She has been working residential real estate since 2007, and handles multiple loan types, from purchasing your first property, deciding to upgrade or downsize, or building your dream home.
Debbie is a Montana native, growing up in eastern Montana, and currently resides east of Billings
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DeDe Stoner
Sales Manager/Loan Officer
Guild Mortgage Company
DeDe has a bachelor degree from MSU Billings. She also has 11 years in banking with two years as a mortgage processor, two years as a mortgage underwriter, 12 years in mortgage lending with two years as a VP at a bank/home loan center.
Websites:
Guild Mortgage
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Revonda Stordahl
Executive Director
Public Housing Authority of Butte
Revonda has been in the field of affordable housing for 29 years. The Public Housing Authority of Butte applied for Shelter Plus Care funding in 2000 and has had permanent supportive housing since that time. She is currently the co-chair of the Southwest Montana Continuum of Care and the Board President for the Montana Continuum of Care.
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C. Supaman
SUPAMAN
Apsaalooke Nation-Crow Agenc
As a member of the “Apsaalooke Nation”, Supaman makes his home on the Crow reservation in Montana. “Supaman” Is Christian Takes Gun Parrish, a Native American dancer and innovative hip hop artist who has dedicated his life to empowering and spreading a message of hope, pride, and resilience through his original art form. He has been the recipient of the 2017 MTV VMA award for “Best Fight Against the System”! He is also a Nammy “Native American Music Award” winner, “North American Indigenous Image Award winner, and 7 “Tunney Award winner. He was awarded The Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Award in Canada for best video and was voted MTV’s new Artist of the Week! His 2018 nominations brought him home awards for Best Hip Hop Album and Best Producer for the Indigenous Music Awards. His latest video’s titled “Prayer Loop Song” and “Why” both have gone viral and have received millions of views on

youtube and facebook which has put him in high demand touring extensively throughout the U.S.A and internationally. He has performed for Google at the Google headquarters in San Francisco. He recently was asked to audition for America’s Got Talent and the Broadway play Hamilton. He is currently working with Taboo from the multi-grammy award winning group Black Eyed Peas looking to complete a project in the coming months.

Supaman’s one of a kind presentation combines Native culture, comedy, and urban hip hop culture which dazzles audiences and captivates listeners. For this, he has gained the respect of his community and generation. The communicative talent along with the compassion that exudes from his music allows him to connect with people from all walks of life. His uncanny ability to motivate, encourage and inspire through dance, and hip hop music keeps him at the forefront among his contemporaries which gives him a platform to educate on Indigenous issues.
Websites:
About Supaman
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Autumn Tigart
Program and Administrative Assistant
NeighborWorks Montana
Autumn is a Program and Administrative Assistant with NeighborWorks Montana, based in the Great Falls office. She has years of experience in administrative support and enjoys bringing her organizational skills to her role.

She offers support for NWMT ROC program staff and residents with tasks like data management and event planning. She aims to use her skills to increase process efficiency and facilitate further program growth across the state.
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Adrianne Todman
CEO
National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO)
Adrianne Todman is the CEO of NAHRO, the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. NAHRO, established in 1933, is a Washington, D.C.-based membership organization of almost 20,000 housing and community development agencies and professionals throughout the country who house 7.6 million people. Before joining NAHRO, Ms. Todman served as the Executive Director at the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA) from 2009-2017. At DCHA, Ms. Todman created a national award-winning model to house homeless veterans, opened the first public housing assisted living facility, increased homeownership opportunities by 50 percent, increased the number of affordable units available for low-income families, and managed 12 concurrent large redevelopment efforts. She prioritized youth empowerment programs, workforce development, and commissioned the first citywide needs assessment of public housing residents. Prior to her tenure at DCHA, Ms. Todman served as a policy assistant in the Office of the Secretary at HUD and a legislative director in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Ms. Todman serves on Brooking’s “Housing as a Hub” workgroup and the DC Promise Neighborhood Board. She served as Vice-President of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities and a Trustee with the National Housing Conference and was also named a "Woman of Influence" by HousingWire. Ms. Todman co-founded the Women in Housing Leadership Initiative and served on the Smith College President’s Council and Alumnae Association Board. She has received the federal Distinguished Service Award, the Hammer Award from Vice President Al Gore, the NAHRO Herman award of excellence, and the DC Building Industry Association’s Government Partner award, among many other recognitions. She is a graduate of Smith College.
Websites:
NAHRO
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Kyle Trafton
Operations Specialist
Housing Authority of Billings
Kyle Trafton serves as the Operations Specialist for the Housing Authority of Billings. He has five years of professional housing experience from his time working in Higher Education. During that time, he passionately worked to build healthy relationships, empower leadership, and promote self-care among the campus community. His newest adventure began in July 2018 with the Housing Authority of Billings, where he hopes to add value to an incredible organization.
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Katina Uecker
Housing Program Director
USDA; Rural Development; Housing Services
Katina recently joined USDA RD Housing. Worked the last 20 years in the housing industry primarily in 3rd party property management and development. She started her housing career after leaving the Army and Worked as a Community Manager in Denver, CO. Upon returning to her home town of Billings in 2001, housing proved to be her career path. She worked for a third party management company for nearly 16 years- working up the ladder from being an assistant to the Director of Property Management. Katina took some time off and returned to housing by accepting her current position.
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Mary Jo Vogl
Lead Homeownership Analyst
Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines
Mary Jo Vogl, Lead Homeownership Analyst for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines has 12 years of experience with the Bank working in their Community Investment Department and administering Bank’s AHP program. She has experience working with a variety of organizations including Habitats, Community Action Agencies, and Cities in constructing or rehabilitation of housing stock in their communities. Prior to joining FHLB Des Moines, she worked in residential lending in various positions over 16 years including loan processing, closing, post-closing and underwriting for a large commercial bank in the Greater Des Moines area.
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Lori Yurko
Loan Specialist
NeighborWorks Montana
Lori has been a Loan Specialist with NeighborWorks® for 15 years. Prior to joining the NeighborWorks® team, she worked in the real estate title insurance business. Lori has a Full Mortgage Lending certification from NeighborWorks® America; NCHEC (NeighborWorks® Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling) Homeownership Counseling certification from NeighborWorks® America; bachelor’s degree in business from Montana State University-Northern. Greatest accomplishment in life: being the grandmother of two wonderful, amazing boys – Ralston, 3 years and Rhodes, 7 months – both, by the way, live in BILLINGS!
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Jolene Wenzel
Single Family Housing Specialist
USDA; Rural Development; Housing Service
Jolene has been with USDA Rural Development for the over ten years. She started her career with RD as an Area Technician working beside the Specialists in Housing, Business and Community Facility Programs. Currently, she is the Bozeman Area SFH Specialist serving 14 counties within the 502 and 504 Direct programs and Statewide in the Guaranteed Loan Program. Currently servicing three Mutual Self Help Grantees in Butte, Helena, and Bozeman with new builds and repair/rehab projects. Prior to coming RD, Jolene worked in the mortgage industry and Manufactured housing sales/service.
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Kim Wilford
Deputy Executive Director
Housing Authority of the City of Salt Lake
Kim Wilford is Deputy Executive Director at the Housing Authority of Salt Lake City (HASLC) and has been at the agency for several years. She holds a bachelor’s in finance, an MBA and a master’s in accounting from well-known Universities. She has helped lead the agency towards extensive real estate development along with progressive homeless responses through programs and properties.
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Erika Willis
Executive Director
Tumbleweed
Erika has 25 plus years of experience in nonprofits and social services. In her current role as Executive Director of Tumbleweed, Erika is mobilizing the organization and the community around Tumbleweed's vision to end youth homelessness in our community. Erika has been honored to lead several organizations through substantial change initiatives. She has a B.S in Human Services and an M.S. in Mental Health Counseling.
Websites:
Tumbleweed
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Colin Woodrow
Grants Administrator III & ARHC Coordinator
City of Missoula Office of Housing and Community Development
Colin Woodrow is a Grants Administrator for the City of Missoula, operating both HOME and CDBG and is the At-Risk Housing Coalition Coordinator. Colin has managed Public Housing and LIHTC properties and has served as the President of the Western Montana NARPM Board as well as an officer for the Poverello Center’s Board. Colin is dedicated to the world of housing and has worked for urban planning and real estate groups, housing advocates and social service providers.
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