OUR TEAM

Our team is fueled by a passion for crafting solutions that move our community forward. 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

STAFF

Robin Koskey, City of Seattle

Pearl Leung, Amazon

Markham McIntyre, City of Seattle

Blaine Pellicore, Ursa Major Technologies

Tali Reiner, Security Properties Residential 

William Shadbolt, Broad Reach Management


Samantha Tripoli, Zillow




 
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Carla Archambault

VP, Strategy & Business

Development

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Carla Archambault, Vice President of Strategy & Business Development

 

Carla is an experienced executive leader in Start-up, Fortune 500 and Non-profit organizations with an expertise and proven track record of developing and energizing high-level teams to achieve great results.  She has held leadership roles at Silvercar, Zipcar and Starbucks where she strategically built the business, from early stages to a thriving business. Over the years Carla has also served in leadership roles on several non-profit boards where she found her passion to make a difference within the communities where she lives and does business.

 

Carla is a native of the PNW and had lived in Downtown Seattle for the past 13+ years with her husband Curt until she recently moved back to her original stomping grounds, Tacoma. She has two grown children Andrea and Aric and in 2008 she was excited to have her granddaughter Audrina join her family and now celebrate their birthday together as she was born on the same date. She enjoys traveling, being a movie goer, spending time with family, volunteering and exploring all that our many cities have to offer.

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Chinnell Davis

Partner Success

Coordinator

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Chinnell Davis, Partner Success Coordinator

Before her time at Housing Connector, Chinnell co-managed a coding non-profit, connecting experts in the tech industry to under-resourced schools and providing classes and internships to high schoolers from non-traditional backgrounds. She cultivated a community of over 200 volunteer educators, facilitated expansion to San Francisco and Chicago, and is still witnessing the success of her now alumni network.

Chinnell has spent a decade volunteering with local non-profit organizations focused on environmental stewardship and servicing under-represented communities. This includes helping roll out the Sierra Club’s equity and justice training to incorporate bottom-up organizing and prioritization of goals created by local community groups.

Prior to settling in the PNW, Chinnell and her partner spent a year and a half circumnavigating the US in a van they built out together. When it’s too rainy to go camping and rock climbing, she enjoys cooking and vegetable gardening.

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Ramsey Ferguson

Community Partnerships 

Manager

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Ramsey Ferguson, Community Partnerships Manager

Ramsey is originally from Memphis, Tennessee but has called Denver, CO home for the past 10 years. Ramsey received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee and her master’s in social work from University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work. Ramsey’s educational experience centered on family systems and interpersonal trauma.  

Prior to joining Housing Connector, Ramsey worked for six and a half years serving youth experiencing homelessness in the Denver Metro area. Through her direct service work, Ramsey brings experience in advocacy, case management, housing navigation and program management. Ramsey is passionate about solving issues of housing inequality and is excited to continue building relationships in the Denver community in order to support in addressing issues of homelessness and poverty.

In her spare time, you can find Ramsey listening to true crime podcasts, playing with her dogs and chickens, going to concerts, spending time outdoors or enjoying a riveting game of Catan. Ramsey loves traveling and enjoys eating her way across the globe with her husband, Corey.

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Maria Izquierdo

Client Relationship

Manager

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Maria Izquierdo, Client Relationship Manager

 

Maria has lived in Washington state most of her life and has been a proud Seattleite for the last 7 years. She has a diverse work background and has found success through her strategic partnerships to create measurable success for her previous organizations. She hopes to contribute and grow Housing Connector's mission with her knowledge of the local housing markets and strong community relationships.

 

In her off time, Maria enjoys traveling and taking advantage of the beautiful scenery here in the Pacific Northwest. You can find her paddling across Lake Washington or discovering new trailheads in the Cascade Mountains during the summer. She also enjoys attending musical events with her husband and relaxing with her 2 yorkies, Milo and Mika

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Shkelqim Kelmendi

Executive Director

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Shkelqim Kelmendi, Executive Director

 

Shkëlqim immigrated from Kosovo to the United States as a refugee and his experiences growing up in a society torn by war have fueled his professional and personal engagements. Prior to joining Housing Connector, Shkëlqim worked with the Seattle Housing Authority and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

 

Currently, he serves on the Board of the Seattle Metro Chamber and is a member of the Leadership Tomorrow Class of 2018. Before moving to Seattle, he served on the City of Dallas Economic Development Commission and is the founder of the Young Albanian Professionals. 
 

Shkëlqim is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and is a member of the Harvard Business School Young American Leaders Program. He currently lives in Seattle with his wife, son, and their golden doodle, Sarah.

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Laura Kitts

Director of Property Partnerships

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Laura Kitts, Director of Property Partnerships

Laura grew up between Yakima and the Tri-Cities and has called the Seattle area home since 1999. She currently lives in Kenmore with her 2 young adult children (ages 18 & 21), 2 big dogs and 2 cats.

 

Laura has spent the past 20+ years working in the multifamily industry on the supplier partner side. Being incredibly passionate about the housing industry and relationship building, she received her Certified Apartment Supplier (CAS) credentials from the National Apartment Association in 2020. Additionally, she serves on the Washington Multifamily Housing Association Board of Directors and is the Chairperson of WMFHA's Supplier Council. As an ally to all, volunteerism and advocacy are very important to Laura. In the past, this has included holding board positions with LGBTQIA+ and Black Lives Matter Employee Resource Groups, and volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Special Olympics and YouthCare.

 

Outside of work, Laura enjoys weekend getaways to explore other parts of Washington, live music (especially The Avett Brothers), reading, playing guitar, and spending time with her family.

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Bailee Lawrence

Project Manager

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Bailee Lawrence, Project Manager

Bailee Lawrence is originally from Las Vegas, NV but has called Colorado home for the past 3+ years. She has a B.A. in environmental studies and minors in entrepreneurship and marketing from the University of California Santa Barbara. After working in HR and finance roles and starting an off-the-grid coffee shop in Panama, she began to look for a career change right as covid hit the world. This "new normal" allowed her to continue her education at Colorado State University to complete an Impact MBA. She graduated from the program in December 2021 where, as a part of the social entrepreneur track, she and her co-founder developed a social venture to help address the issue of affordable housing called Hello Neighbor. Most recently, Bailee worked as a contract consultant with New Impact, a Seattle-based organization working in the social impact space.

 

Bailee is very excited to blend her previous operational based roles with her passion and knowledge of the affordable housing space with Housing Connector. She is particularly excited to jump in and learn from and contribute to a workplace that is in an exciting phase of growth with a dedicated team looking to make a difference.

 

In her free time, Bailee loves to climb, camp, make and drink coffee, and explore new places. 

Elizabeth Kirk

Community Partnerships

Manager

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Elizabeth Kirk, Community Partnerships Manager

Elizabeth is originally from the south end of Seattle and is excited to be back working in her King County community. Elizabeth received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and her Master’s in Public Administration from University of Washington School of Public Policy and Governance, where she focused on social policy, housing policy, and criminal legal system reform. 

 

Prior to Housing Connector, Elizabeth worked in a variety of roles including strategic research, project management, organizing, journalism, and teaching. Throughout her career, Elizabeth has gained experience in process improvement, strategic thinking, and community building. Elizabeth is passionate about increasing housing access for everyone in King County by helping community partners use Housing Connector’s services and tools. Her values include empathy, curiosity, social justice, and equity.  


Elizabeth loves reading novels, solo-hiking mountains at sunrise, rock climbing, and discussing public policy. Before moving back to Seattle, Elizabeth lived in Lebanon and Morocco, where she learned Arabic and developed lifelong cravings for Man’oushe and Meloui

Kasey Mandich

Housing Navigator

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Kasey Mandich, Program Manager

 

Kasey is a native of the Pacific Northwest and loves all that it has to offer, Including the Seahawks, Starbucks and sunshine (when it’s out).

 

Kasey has been in non-profit work for the last 4 years. Before Housing connector, she worked for one of Housing Connector’s community partners, REST (real escape from the sex trade). She worked as a Housing Specialist to help survivors of sex trafficking get into permanent housing. With the help of Housing Connector, she was able to house several clients this year. Kasey’s passion and purpose was revealed to her while working with survivors and has truly found her calling in housing case management. Prior to REST she worked at “Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission: Hope Place” (women’s recovery and domestic violence program), which is where she really got to see the weight of homelessness in our community.

 

Kasey’s lived experience with homelessness and recovery has been the catalyst for her in finding a true calling in helping those with barriers to see their worth, value and that they deserve a safe place to live regardless of their past.

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Stephanie Martinez

Community Partnership Manager

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Stephanie Martinez, Community Partnership Manager

Stephanie was born and raised in sunny Southern California, and despite the often-gloomy weather, the beautiful, green landscape captured her heart and she now calls the Pacific Northwest home. Stephanie’s passion for housing justice grew through her opportunities providing direct service and support to those experiencing housing instability, and seeing the continuous need to identify innovative solutions that immediately support our most vulnerable community.

 

With her passion for change to help our vulnerable neighbors, Stephanie’s excited for her new role with Housing Connector. Her professional experience is extensive from providing direct service, to managing statewide research related to Domestic Violence Housing First in California, and supporting local municipalities, such as the City of Bellevue and the City of Tacoma, in strategizing and addressing homelessness.

 

Stephanie graduated with her bachelors’ degrees at UC Irvine, and her master’s from Seattle University. She lives in Pierce County with her family and woof, Koa. Outside of work, she enjoys the adrenaline rush of mountain biking, excellent food, and reading a good book.

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Nick Merriam

VP Programs and

Operations

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Nick Merriam, Vice President of Programs and Operations

Nick is a seasoned social impact executive with global strategy and operating experience across the nonprofit, for-profit, and philanthropic sectors. With more than a decade of social impact leadership experience, Nick has launched programs, grown organizations, and built market-based solutions to drive social outcomes. Over the years he’s worked on a variety of issues including homelessness, senior housing, global social entrepreneurship, microfinance, and collaborative impact. Most recently Nick was the CEO & Co-Founder of sea.citi, building local social impact, volunteerism, and civic engagement with Seattle area tech companies.

A Pacific Northwest native, Nick enjoys outdoor activities like gardening, hiking, and skiing. He, his wife, and their two small kids regularly camp during the summer, enjoy great vegetarian food, and love international travel. Nick has a Bachelor of Social Work from Seattle University, an MBA from Pepperdine, and is currently an Advisor to a startup, City Pods.

Doug Minkler

Product Manager

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Doug Minkler, Senior Manager of Product and Technology

 

Doug comes to the Housing Connector team with a background in local and regional economic development. Prior to joining Housing Connector, Doug oversaw Greater Seattle Partner’s research program, designing and developing data products to help clients locate or expand their business in the greater Seattle region. Doug looks forward to leveraging his background in data product development and collaborating through partnerships to help build platforms that will allow households to connect to more affordable and stable housing opportunities. 

In his spare time, Doug enjoys running, live music, and Gonzaga Basketball.

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Ana Nau

Program Manager

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Ana Nau, Program Manager

 

Ana is of Polynesian descent and fairly new to the PNW area, since moving from Waianae, Hawaii 3 years ago. Although she was hesitant to move from her home in the islands, Ana feels like the PNW reminds her of the diverse beauty in Hawai’i. Ana has worked in multiple social service settings through her professional and volunteer work in the last 13 years. Through her personal life experiences, she has learned the value of community and how improving one’s situation can greatly improve quality of life. Ana’s educational background is in Social Services and Indigenous Studies which allows her to connect past and present social issues through political, economic, cultural and ecological lenses, from the various perspectives of Indigenous peoples locally, nationally, and globally.

 

Ana focuses her time on an increased awareness and sensitivity to the diversity of people’s experiences, contexts, and perspectives concerning social and economic issues. She does this by contributing her time to research, advocacy, and maintaining a connection to the community. Her passion is to see people succeed from all walks of life without being categorized by their past.

 

In her spare time Ana enjoys hiking, camping, and spending time with her family. She also continues to keep herself grounded by working at the HYPE center in Tacoma and her volunteer work at Catholic Community Services.

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Lauren Novack

Conflict Resolution

Specialist

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Lauren Novack, Conflict Resolution Specialist

 

Lauren is an experienced housing law attorney with over 16 years of experience representing both low-income residents as a tenant advocate and residential and commercial for-profit and non-profit housing providers. When Lauren started practicing housing law she was drawn to the excitement of litigation, but she soon found that she did not like the adversarial nature of litigation. Practical by nature, she developed a talent for negotiation with both landlords and tenants to identify alternative dispute resolutions. Then came the 2020 pandemic, which turned the world and housing law upside down. The proverbial bell was rung, and Lauren found what she was meant to be all along – a housing mediator.

 

Lauren is thrilled that she can start her conflict resolution practice with Housing Connector, having been an early Housing Connector supporter as a member of the original steering committee.

A native to the Pacific Northwest, Lauren enjoys all things outdoors; snow and water skiing, back-packing, hiking, and cycling. Lauren and her husband have 3 grown children, and with time on their hands as empty nesters are trying to master bridge.

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Keith Sellers

Property Partner

Manager

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Keith Sellers, Property Partner Manager

Keith Sellers is a Property Partnership Manager with Housing Connector focusing on the Puget Sound Market. Born in Seattle and raised in Washington state, Keith’s educational background is in behavioral health and his passion is in fighting for the underdog and being a voice for the voiceless. He has worked in social services for over a decade, including as a King County Diversion Coach, a mental health provider, and a Program Manager of Outreach and Navigation for a non-profit organization on the eastside.

 

Keith has a passion for all things real estate, and is an investor, landlord, and former real estate agent. 

 

In his spare time, he loves fishing, camping, and traveling with his family and finds relaxation playing the piano and golf.

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Emily Wellmann

Program Manager

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Emily Wellmann, Program Manager

Emily Wellmann grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and is extremely proud of her East Coast roots. After spending a few years in Dayton, Ohio for school, she made her way to Denver to continue her career in homeless services. She came for the work and stayed for the mountains and the sunshine.

 

Emily comes to Housing Connector with a background in direct service, working primarily with youth and most recently, families and survivors of domestic violence. Her degree in Human Rights Studies fueled her passion for finding creative solutions to the issues facing people experiencing homelessness. Emily has a growing knowledge of the nationwide housing crisis and is so excited to help find innovative ways for Housing Connector to best serve its communities. 

 

Outside of work, Emily enjoys hiking, cooking, watching television and movies, and spending time with her friends. You can also find her trying new things, like weightlifting, figure drawing, and acting classes.