OUR TEAM

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

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

STAFF

Linda Chu, NBBJ Design
Robin Koskey, City of Seattle
Pearl Leung, Amazon
Markham McIntyre, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
William Shadbolt, Broad Reach Management
Samantha Tripoli, Zillow
 
Tali Reiner, Security Properties Residential 
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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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Nick Iza

Client Relationship

Manager

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Nick Iza, Client Relationship Manager

 

Nick was born in Chicago and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Spending most of his time in Pierce County, he has developed a deep connection and love for the Northwest. He moved to Southern California to go to college at Biola University, and that’s also where he met his wife, Lexi.

 

His professional career started with a mixture of food/beverage/hospitality, and over 10 years of experience involved with the youth of his local communities. After college, Nick pursued a career in sales within the financial industry, which taught him a lot about himself. He realized his true passion was to help people, and he believed he wasn’t able to do that in a genuine way. Nick and his wife moved back to the Pacific Northwest where he started working in the warehouse environment. As he moved his way up into the IT department, he wanted to find a way to get into an industry that facilitated his passions linked to all of his experience serving others. As a member of the Housing Connector team, Nick hopes to make a lasting impact on his community.

 

In his spare time, he loves to explore the beautiful Pacific Northwest with his wife, Lexi, and their dog, Jack. He also has quite a few hobbies to keep him busy. He collects and sells sports cards, is an avid gamer, considers himself to be an amateur connoisseur of craft beers. He loves making music, and enjoys playing team sports. If he’s not doing any of those things, he’s usually spending time with his family, or traveling… or both!

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Imani Jerome

Program Coordinator

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Imani Jerome, Program Coordinator

 

Imani has only lived in the Seattle area for only a short period of time but has already felt the strong levels of community support. She has an educational background in Political Science and Philosophy and currently in the final months of completing her master’s in public policy.

 

Throughout her education, Imani has spent her time researching the issues of urbanization and public housing. She has had the unique opportunity as a student to work in collaboration with housing officials in Orange County to map and evaluate the effectiveness of their services. Imani is excited for the opportunity to apply these skills to help with the further facilitation of Housing Connector services.

 

In her free time Imani loves visiting her local YMCA camp back at home in California, catching up with family and friends and hiking.

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Shkelqim Kelmendi

Executive Director

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Shkëlqim Kelmendi, Executive Director

 

Shkëlqim immigrated from Kosove 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, Shkelqim 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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Shelby Lyonais

Community Partnerships Manager

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Shelby Lyonais, Community Partnerships Manager

 

Shelby was born and raised in South King County and loves calling the Pacific Northwest her home. Shelby received her bachelor’s degree at Washington State University (go cougs!), and her master’s from Seattle University, both in Criminal Justice. Throughout her education she did extensive work on the intersections of the criminal justice system, homelessness, racism, domestic violence, and poverty. Her education mixed with early lived experiences sparked a deep passion for social services and supporting those with the least access to needed resources for safety & stability.

 

Prior to joining the team at Housing Connector, Shelby spent five and a half years at LifeWire, Washington State’s largest domestic violence agency, doing direct service housing advocacy, landlord engagement, program development, contract management, and nationwide technical assistance. In her current role, Shelby works to increase community partner engagement and satisfaction, create new streams of connection for folks experiencing homelessness, and supports the broader team with long-term expansion strategies. She is excited to bring her skills and experiences into this new role, and to continue supporting direct service agencies across the community.

 

Outside of work, Shelby’s favorite things to do are travel, hike, camp, explore, go to concerts, and soak up every minute of Seattle sunshine she can get with her partner & dog.

Kasey Mandich

Housing Navigator

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Kasey Mandich, Housing Navigator

 

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.

Doug Minkler

Product Manager

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Doug Minkler, Product Manager

 

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. As the newest addition to Housing Connector, 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.

Yulia Savelyeva

Senior Client Relationship Manager

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Yulia Savelyeva, Senior Client Relationship Manager

 

Yulia moved to the Seattle area from Russia over twenty years ago and considers herself a proud Washingtonian. She joined Housing Connector because it was a true calling and a chance to give back to the community in the same way that her family was supported during a tough transition in a new country.

Yulia holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing from Western Governor’s University and brings over ten years of experience in Corporate Housing and Sales. She is in constant gratitude for the opportunity to apply her skills and leverage her network to grow Housing Connector’s property partner relationships, which means more opened doors to individuals and families in need.

Some of Yulia’s passions are spending time outdoors with her twin sister, attending art shows and enjoying Seattle’s eclectic music scene. She enjoys being the go-to person among friends and family for things to do in Seattle, as she is always exploring and seeking out new experiences our city has to offer.

Juanita Unger

Senior

Program Manager

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Juanita Unger, Senior Property Partner Program Manager

 

Juanita has lived and traveled extensively – from Spain to Chicago, Philadelphia to Ecuador. Hailing originally from Canada, Juanita considers herself a world citizen and an adopted Seattleite.  

 

With an early career in the performing arts and education, and a degree in Anthropology, she has spent the last 10 years working to bridge the gaps between communities and use the ensuing collaboration to simultaneously uplift partners and provide service to the most vulnerable.

Juanita worked extensively with Compass Housing Alliance’s emergency services department in various capacities including case management, volunteer coordination, and as a community liaison. Most recently, she collaborated with El Centro de la Raza and Bank of America to build a bilingual workforce development training program from the ground up. She is excited to use her diverse skillset and empathy-first worldview to help Housing Connector bring the private and public sector together and build a more accessible, equitable, and unified Seattle. 

In her spare time, Juanita likes to explore Seattle’s arts scene and sits on the Board of Uptown Arts and Culture Coalition as co-chair of the Racial Equity and Social Justice Committee.  She also enjoys singing Jazz, dancing, getting into the wilds with her partner and dog, and eating delicious food with her loved ones.