Tony Pickett is a LEED accredited professional with over 30 years of real estate experience in planning, financing and implementation of large scale urban redevelopment initiatives.
Prior to serving as Chief Executive Officer for the Grounded Solutions Network, Tony was the Senior V.P. of Master Site Development for the Urban Land Conservancy, leading efforts to plan, finance and construct multiple equitable transit oriented development initiatives, complementing the $7.2B Denver FasTracks regional transit system. ULC’s Master Site Development work led by Tony has been described by collaborators as innovative; thinking about and achieving equitable outcomes in a comprehensive and cross-disciplinary manner.
Prior to joining ULC, Tony worked as the founding Executive Director of the Atlanta Land Trust Collaborative; a non-profit Community Land Trust entity focused on achieving equitable development outcomes as part of the Atlanta Beltline transit oriented development initiative. The Atlanta Beltline vision included the creation of 5,600 permanently affordable housing units over a 25 year period, in order to mitigate potential displacement and gentrification impacts in existing underserved communities along a 22 mile transit oriented development corridor. Prior to that Tony served as the Atlanta Housing Authority’s Director of Real Estate Strategy and Development; successfully creating multiple new mixed-income communities using innovative financing and public/private partnerships. Tony’s experience includes planning, creating and using local tax increment financing districts to leverage private investments in combination with additional federal and state funding sources to revitalize distressed communities.
Tony is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Architecture, Art and Planning and a strong advocate for holistic and equitable neighborhood development efforts.
Rachel Silver brings more than 15 years of experience working with public and private agencies to create new affordable housing opportunities.
Prior to serving as Chief Operating Officer at Grounded Solutions Network, Rachel was the Director of Cornerstone Partnership. She has also worked with Cornerstone Partnership as a housing consultant, served as the Housing Development Manager for the City of Alameda, California, and held positions in nonprofit housing development, real estate finance, and teaching. While with the City of Alameda, she led a team of interdepartmental City staff through a collaborative process to design and draft an Inclusionary Housing Ordinance and guided its adoption and implementation.
Rachel received her BA degree from Williams College in Massachusetts and her MA in City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.
After graduating from college with a BA in English Literature and a passion for travel, Rachel spent her early 20s backpacking around the world, spending time in developing countries in South America and Asia. From those experiences came a deep interest in international development and the condition of women in the developing world, which led her to graduate school to pursue a Master of City Planning. Once there, her interest shifted to affordable housing as an exciting, tangible way to help people in her community find stability and access opportunity, while helping improve and revitalize neighborhoods. She switched her focus and has worked in affordable housing ever since.
Rachel is an avid reader, and when deep in a book, the rest of the world disappears. Unfortunately, she’s passed this trait on to her children, so she now knows how annoying this can be for the people around her. For vacations, Rachel loves large family gatherings with lots of food and wine, preferably spent at the beach.
Jenee Gaynor brings over 10 years of experience managing projects & grants in many sectors, including economic & community development.
Prior to serving as Capacity Building Senior Specialist at Grounded Solutions Network, Jenee was Program Officer at Cornerstone Partnership, where she supported Cornerstone Homeownership Innovation Program (CHIP) grantees to increase the scale and capacity of their long term affordable homeownership programs and to share their experiences with the field. In the past, Jenee has managed projects and grants in a variety of areas – ranging from green jobs training to transportation planning – most recently at the National Association of Regional Councils.
Jenee received her BA from the George Washington University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Community and Economic Development from Pennsylvania State University. After returning from a semester of studying international development in Northeast Thailand, Jenee became increasingly aware of the significant barriers to equality and opportunity in her own community. She shifted her interest to economic and community development and began work on economic, workforce and community development issues in various roles. Eventually, she joined Cornerstone Partnership, first as a Grant Administrator and then as a Program Officer.
Jenee loves to read, and as a new homeowner, she’s trying to read up on home improvement projects that she can try very soon!
Beth Sorce brings over 10 years of affordable housing, shared equity, and community land trust experience to Grounded Solutions Network.
Prior to serving as Director of Capacity Building at Grounded Solutions Network, Beth was the Community & Capacity Building Manager at the National Community Land Trust Network. Beth has also worked as both an urban planner with GCR, Inc. and a Community Development Finance Fellow with Providence Community Housing, a local nonprofit specializing in affordable housing development.
Beth earned her masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans, where she conducted research on the role of CLTs in weak market cities, in the commercial realm and in the development and preservation of Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects.
Prior to moving to New Orleans, Beth served as the Director of Training at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB)—an organization dedicated to creating, supporting and sustaining limited equity cooperatives throughout New York City. She designed and implemented curriculum for co-op residents and staff and served on the management team that oversaw the cooperative development pipeline. She also served on the board of Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative, a neighborhood-based CLT located in Mid-City.
Jason Webb brings 25 years of experience in community revitalization, specializing in housing in his neighborhood of Roxbury, Boston.
Prior to serving as Capacity Building Specialist at Grounded Solutions Network, Jason was Community & Capacity Building Associate at the National Community Land Trust Network.
Before that, Jason worked for 15 years for Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) and Network Member Dudley Neighbors Inc. (DNI), serving in several roles such as Director of Real Estate and Technology, Director of DNI “The Community Land Trust,” and Director of Administration and Finance. He oversaw the development of several community land trust developments and created a youth development / youth jobs program called CommunityScapes. Over the years, this land stewardship and community outreach program has hired significant numbers of youth and young adults, including new immigrants and young people with criminal records. In addition, he has played a significant role with DSNI’s internal technology capacity as well as the use of technology innovations in the community building process.
Jason joined the DSNI staff after a long history of involvement as a dedicated resident volunteer, dating from the age of seven. He was a co-founder of Nubian Roots Youth Committee, and served on the boards of both DSNI and Dudley Neighbors, Inc.
Lauren Siegmund oversees the network’s annual conference, in addition to planning and leading smaller in-person and virtual learning engagements.
In addition to her full-time role at Grounded Solutions, Lauren is also the Catalyst Program Manager for the Revolve community, an initiative of the Schusterman Family Foundation. In this role, she recruits, trains, and coaches Catalyst event facilitators in their work to provide engaging programming to the community of social justice activists, educators, and nonprofit professionals. In the two years prior to her role as Catatalyst Program Manager, Lauren served as a Catalyst Facilitator, co-leading Catalysts on self-care (“Repair, Renew, Recharge” in January 2017) and values-based relationship building (“Partners” in October 2017). Lauren began her involvement with Revolve by attending the Reality Leadership trip led by the Schusterman Family Foundation in 2013.
Before joining Grounded Solutions, Lauren was the Manager of Knowledge and Impact at Teach For All, an organization that seeks to develop collective leadership to ensure all children have the opportunity to fulfill their potential. In this position, she supported 46 partner organizations in countries across the world to measure their impact and strengthen their classroom instruction and alumni support.
A 2012 Teach For America New York Corps Member, Lauren taught high school English for two years at a public school in the Bronx, followed by one year of teaching Writing at a high-performing charter middle school in Harlem, New York. During her time in the classroom, Lauren completed her Masters of Teaching at Fordham University, graduating as a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society.
Lauren began her career as an AmeriCorps fellow at UNICEF USA, where she managed a nation-wide college volunteer program, leading an annual conference, in-person leadership training sessions, and the day to day logistical and programmatic support of college students on over 100 college campuses across the United States, in their efforts to fundraise, advocate, and educate their peers on issues of child survival.
Adam Abraham brings over 10 years of communications and design experience supporting CLTs and small businesses.
Prior to joining the Grounded Solutions Network as Member Communications Specialist, Adam was an AmeriCorps*VISTA for two consecutive terms at member organization Yellow Springs Home, Inc. Adam has a passion for permanently affordable housing, economic development, and urban planning, and brings over 10 years of communications experience to the Grounded Solutions Network.
Before joining AmeriCorps, Adam studied Media Arts and Media Theory at Antioch College. He currently serves on his local Planning and Economic Sustainability commissions.
Adam lives in Yellow Springs, OH and enjoys food, film, hobbyist electronics and installation artwork.
Cheryl Curry brings over eight years of experience in training and driving adoption, using technology to meet these goals, and is a certified Salesforce Administrator.
Prior to joining Grounded Solutions Network as the HomeKeeper Training and Support Specialist, Cheryl was a Salesforce Associate at Enterprise Community Partners, on their Customer Success team, where she helped create housing opportunities, by using Salesforce to solve problems and empower users. Before working with Salesforce on housing, Cheryl taught digital literacy and other life skills at the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton & Mercer County.
Cheryl holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in English, and has applied her communication and writing skills at a variety of nonprofits. She served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at EducationWorks in Trenton, New Jersey, which gave her valuable perspective on community-based programs, mindful distribution of resources, and capacity-building work.
A proud Jersey native, Cheryl now loves calling Portland, OR her home. She is a bookworm and a Toastmaster, who also enjoys biking, volunteering, and yoga.
Tiffany Eng brings more than 16 years of experience working in the housing sector, community development field, and real estate industry.
Prior to serving as Director of HomeKeeper at Grounded Solutions Network, Tiffany was HomeKeeper Product Manager at Cornerstone Partnership, where she managed (and now continues to manage) the marketing, development and support of our HomeKeeper Salesforce app. She has also worked with first-time homebuyers as a realtor and done independent consulting in affordable housing and community development
Tiffany received her BA from Carleton College and Masters in City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. After college, Tiffany spent a year as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer at the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), a community development corporation. At EBALDC, she was inspired by the creativity of nonprofits to address complex community development problems at the local level using a wide variety of strategies. She was particularly intrigued by the intersection of community development and the affordable housing sector. Everything she’s done since then has strengthened her interest in affordable housing. (Tiffany actually met her husband at EBALDC. He still works there, so the topic of affordable housing comes up quite a bit at the dinner table.)
After graduating from high school, Tiffany spent a year as a Rotary exchange student in Joensuu, Finland, not far from the Arctic Circle and the Russian border. She lived with three host families, went to school and even learned to speak Finnish. It was really cold and dark half the year, and really sunny and lush the other half. It was back before the web and email, so it really was a world a way.
Valerie Rogers brings over 10 years of experience working in affordable housing and economic development in New York City, San Francisco and Chicago.
Before serving as the HomeKeeper Marketing and Support Specialist at Grounded Solutions Network, Valerie was the Stewardship Coordinator for a consortium of community land trusts in the Bay Area (San Francisco Community Land Trust, Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County, Bay Area Community Land Trust and Northern California Land Trust), where she led the creation of shared asset management and stewardship systems including the onboarding and migrating of all program data to HomeKeeper. Before working with CLTs, Valerie worked for the New York City Economic Development Corporation in the Compliance Department monitoring industrial and commercial properties which received City benefits.
Valerie received her BA from University of California Santa Barbara. Having always had a passion for housing and architecture, Valerie decided to move to New York City to get a Masters in Nonprofit Management with a focus on community development finance from the New School. Graduate school introduced Valerie to the many different types of affordable housing including CLTs.
In her free time, Valerie likes to explore different Chicago restaurants. With a husband who is a chef, Valerie enjoys all of the different types of cuisines and restaurants that Chicago has to offer. In her free time she also likes to go sailing on Lake Michigan and hang out with friends.
Emily Thaden brings over 10 years of experience in applied research, focusing on community and organizational development issues.
Prior to serving as Director of National Policy & Sector Strategy at Grounded Solutions Network, Emily was Research and Policy Manager at the National CLT Network. Before that, Emily built and managed a new shared equity homeownership program called Our House at The Housing Fund (THF), a Community Development Financial Institution in Nashville, TN. During her two years at THF, funding for the program’s first 100 homes had been secured, the development of 22 homes was completed, and stewardship policies and practices were established.
Additionally, Emily acted as a research consultant for the Network conducting the 2009 CLT Foreclosure and Delinquency Survey and The 2011 Comprehensive CLT Survey. Her work on CLTs has been published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Landlines and working papers and by the National Housing Institute in Shelterforce.
Emily completed her doctorate in Community Research & Action at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. Her dissertation focused on low-income and minority homeownership and the solution of shared equity homeownership. Her teaching has focused on organizational development, community development, and applied research. During graduate school, she directed a community organizing and documentary photography program with youth in public housing, organized to develop a local Housing Trust Fund, and consulted with the TN Dept. of Human Services to revamp their welfare system.
Prior to graduate school, she worked as a researcher and practitioner with youth diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses and as a crisis counselor and curriculum developer for the Anti-Violence Project, which serves LGBTQ communities in New York. She received her undergraduate degree from New York University in Psychology and Gender & Sexuality Studies.
Vince Wang brings a background in applied research, focusing on affordable housing, geography of inequality and residential mobility.
Prior to serving as Research Manager at Grounded Solutions Network, Vince was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies at the University of Florida, where he spent over six years conducting research on affordable housing. Vince led a project to develop an online housing search tool for low-income households to find affordable, available housing in opportunity-rich neighborhoods. His publications appear in leading peer-reviewed urban planning and policy journals such as Housing Policy Debate and Urban Affairs Review.
Vince received his PhD from University of Florida’s College of Design, Construction, and Planning. His dissertation focused on relocation decisions and location outcomes of government subsidized low-income renters.
Additionally, Vince had experience in planning and community development from non-profit, local government, and consulting perspectives. His commitment to serving people and communities is anchored with a blend of professional experience: a designer appreciating aesthetics and creativity, a planner longing for understanding various forces that drive the built environment, and an advocate of the poor and promoting social integration.
Amanda Bennett brings a background of working in marketing, administrative and accounting support in the organic food industry.
Amanda grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area until she graduated high school, and left to earn her BA in Politics and Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Inspired by her interest in organic agriculture and urban food systems, she began her career working with California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and New Leaf Community Markets, providing marketing, administrative and accounting support.
Over the years, Amanda’s interest and concern for social inequality inspired her to depart from the for-profit food industry and become involved in community development within the nonprofit sector. She is excited to be back home in Oakland where she is now providing administrative support for Grounded Solutions Network.
In her free time, Amanda enjoys riding her bike, following political news, and traveling as much as possible.
Jessica Grant brings over 15 years of experience in nonprofit administration, with more than eight years of experience working with community land trusts.
Prior to serving as Operations Manager at Grounded Solutions Network, Jessica was at the National Community Land Trust Network. Just prior to working for the CLT Network, Jessica worked for Outside In, where she managed a county funded program for homeless youth in downtown Portland.
Before that, Jessica lived in Berkeley, California, working as the Director of Operations for Global Routes. This innovative nonprofit specializes in experiential education in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Prior to moving to Portland, Oregon, Jessica worked for Yosemite Institute as the Site Manager of Crane Flat. She oversaw all daily operations at this environmental education campus, located in northern Yosemite National Park. In addition to her work with nonprofits, Jessica spent two years working in the classrooms of the Berkeley Unified School District
Hong Ly brings over 10 years of experience in housing and community development through volunteering, consulting, and program management.
Prior to serving as Director of Operations at Grounded Solutions Network, Hong was Programs Manager at Cornerstone Partnership, where she led Cornerstone’s Social Innovation Fund (SIF) program, Cornerstone Homeownership Innovation Program (CHIP) and all of Cornerstone’s technical assistance and community engagement activities. She began her career as an Americorps VISTA in Lowell, MA before joining Abt Associates as an evaluation consultant. She later developed affordable housing and commercial real estate projects at Urban Edge CDC in Boston.
Hong received her BA from Carleton College and MBA from Boston University. Hong grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, among suburban, residential neighborhoods. After graduating from college, she relocated to Boston, Massachusetts, where she learned to navigate life in walkable, dense urban neighborhoods. Through her commutes throughout the city, she saw rapid fluctuations in economic disparity as rows of beautifully maintained Victorian homes would lie within blocks of dilapidated storefronts and apartment buildings. She began to appreciate how the complexity of affordable housing issues shaped these outcomes, and her interest continued to grow through her early professional experience working in housing consulting and later in community-based real estate development.
In her spare time, Hong loves to cook meals for friends and family. She experiments with a range of cuisine, most recently with Indian dishes. As a recent transplant to the San Francisco Bay Area, She’s also been enjoying taking day trips to local parks and beaches.
Larry has extensive experience in nonprofit operations, specifically with implementing and managing organizational technology, and is a certified Salesforce Administrator.
Prior to serving as the Technology Solutions Specialist at Grounded Solutions Network, Larry was the Operations Manager at New Door Ventures, a youth development organization that owns and operates two social enterprises, where he ensured the systems and technology were in place to function on a day-to-day basis. Before that, Larry spent two years with an organization in Guatemala implementing new organizational systems.
Larry lives in San Francisco and in his free time, enjoys experiencing the world through the eyes of his two little ones. He also loves watching European soccer, and playing various sports.
Sasha Hauswald brings over 10 years of experience in policy research & program design in the local government context and nonprofit sector.
Prior to serving as Director of State and Local Policy at Grounded Solutions Network, Sasha was Senior Program Officer at Cornerstone Partnership, where she led Cornerstone’s inclusionary housing engagements and activities. Before that, Sasha worked in at the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development where she oversaw legislative affairs, strategic planning, and program evaluation projects as Public Policy manager.
Sasha received her BA from Wesleyan University and her Master of Public Policy Degree from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Before working in housing policy, Sasha was a caseworker with foster youth in New York City. Family reunification was a near impossibility for parents without stable housing, and she saw many children trapped in foster care while their parents struggled to find adequate homes for their families. She came to fully appreciate that having a home is a prerequisite for nearly any type of personal achievement. Whether it’s overcoming addiction, career advancement, improving health, or simply bonding with children, decent and affordable housing provides an essential foundation.
Sasha loves the outdoors, especially camping, hiking and biking in them. She is also a pretty huge cinephile, though she suffers from a terrible memory for movie titles and celebrity names. She will always jump at the chance to watch a new documentary, and in fact, in her non-work hours, is producing a documentary film about single room occupancy hotels in San Francisco.
Stephanie Reyes brings over 10 years of experience in policy research, program design and advocacy in the housing and environmental fields.
Prior to serving as State and Local Policy Manager at Grounded Solutions Network, Stephanie held multiple roles at Greenbelt Alliance, where she led the organization’s efforts to ensure that San Francisco Bay Area jurisdictions provide sufficient homes at all income levels in sustainable locations. This work included overseeing policy research and publications, including Fixing the Foundation: Local Solutions for Infill Housing, and guiding advocacy campaigns. Before that, she held positions in communications and advocacy at HomeFirst, an affordable housing and homeless services provider in Santa Clara County, California.
Stephanie received her BS from Brown University. When she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area after college, she quickly saw the negative social and environmental impacts of the lack of sufficient affordable homes in areas of high opportunity. As quickly as she could, she made a career change from software engineering to the nonprofit sector to help cities grow more equitably and sustainably.
In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys dancing of all types: ballroom, Latin, country-western, and square. She is also addicted to futuristic, dystopian young adult novels.
Matt is a municipal lawyer, urban planner and policy analyst with over 15 years of experience helping communities craft practical solutions to their housing and community development challenges.
Matt joined Grounded Solutions Network from a doctoral program in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan, where he researched the ways that depopulation and disinvestment in legacy cities (places like Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, etc.) can lead to widespread title and tenure-security issues there, with far-ranging consequences for both residents and policymakers. Matt also taught courses in land use law, neighborhood planning, and affordable housing development, and organized a speaker series aimed at understanding the policies and practices that make a difference in what legacy cities become.
Earlier in his career, Matt taught in a clinical program at the University of Michigan Law School where he helped guide community development corporations in Detroit through the affordable housing development process. He later served as legal counsel to municipalities across Wisconsin on land use and other matters. Matt also spent a couple of years as a program evaluation consultant for legal aid organizations around the country. Matt earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and his juris doctorate and Master’s of Public Policy from the University of Wisconsin.
Namon Freeman is an urban planner committed to fostering sustainable and inclusive communities. Namon’s experience traverses the fields of architecture, planning and policy.
As State and Local Policy Senior Specialist he supports municipalities and community organizations across the country in implementing effective affordable housing policy.
Prior to joining Grounded Solutions Namon worked at the New York City Department of City Planning where he managed the review of development proposals, revamped the agency’s neighborhood planning processes, and coordinated the outreach of groundbreaking inclusionary housing policies. He also spent time with the Urban Planning and Design Branch at UN-HABITAT where he designed city extensions and provided technical assistance for planning institutions. Namon brings a passion for public service and a comprehensive understanding of municipal governance to the Grounded Solutions team. He holds a Master of Urban Planning Degree from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and a Master of Architecture Degree from Hampton University.