MARDIE OAKES President
who support our work
Mardie combines experience in architecture, development and finance with a passion for creating inspired affordable housing. After earning her architecture degree from Rice University, she spent five years developing affordable housing to revitalize the Fifth Ward, Houston’s lowest income neighborhood. There, she co-created an exhibition and demonstration project, “16 Houses: Owning a House in the City” in partnership with the Rice School of Architecture and Diverse Works Artspace. As a result, Mardie recognized the need for creative financing and for building bridges across disciplines to help make cutting-edge projects a reality. After earning her MBA from Harvard Business School, she served as a Harvard fellow at Boston Community Capital, a nationally recognized CDFI. Mardie moved to the Bay Area in 2003 to be the Director of Real Estate Lending for Opportunity Fund, making investments in affordable housing and community facilities throughout Silicon Valley. Here, she was introduced to many people committed to creating a brighter future for the residents of Agnews Developmental Center, which led to the launch of Hello Housing in 2005. In 2006, Mardie was awarded the highly selective Echoing Green Fellowship and featured in the book, Work on Purpose.
JENNIFER DUFFY Vice Presdient
Jennifer brings 15 years of experience pioneering new models of housing and
service delivery for individuals with developmental disabilities. After receiving
her master’s degree in social welfare at the University of Kansas, Jennifer worked as a leader in the field of developmental disabilities at Community Living Opportunities, Inc. (CLO ), a nationally recognized private service corporation, based in Eastern Kansas and affiliated with the University of Kansas. At CLO, Jennifer directed her energy to helping adults and children with severe developmental disabilities to achieve personally satisfying and fulfilling lives in their communities. Throughout her career, Jennifer has researched and disseminated effective management and service technologies to assist people with developmental disabilities, and other challenging conditions. In her current role, Jennifer assesses feasibility of new projects, manages site selection, acquisition and resale of homes, and manages partnerships with REO lenders, homebuyer counseling agencies, government funders, service providers and partner developers.
TESLIM IKHARO Director of Business Development
Teslim Ikharo has worked as an investment advisor, real estate developer, financial services writer, and managing director of social service programs in the mental health, homeless, formerly incarcerated, and social justice disciplines. He uses finance, real estate development, social services, and policy to produce positive community change. Most recently, he served as Managing Director of Social Innovation for Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS) where he helped develop the county’s first pay for success agreement to reduce recidivism. An Oakland native, Teslim grew up in the city’s Dimond District, a neighborhood he credits with helping to shape his worldview and belief that diversity and equity are necessary components of resilient communities. He believes that proximity and access to public spaces, academic and cultural institutions, jobs and public transit are the bedrock of inclusive, diverse, safe and healthy blocks, neighborhoods, and cities. Teslim received his B.A. from Indiana University, Bloomington and his J.D. from the Paul. M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University.
MATT WARNER Program Director
Matt Warner is the Program Director for Hello Stewardship, a program of Hello Housing. Prior to joining Hello Housing in 2012, Matt served as a Certification Specialist for HomeBricks, Inc., where he gained experience in BMR housing, DPA loans, foreclosure recovery programs and monitoring of municipalities’ portfolios of affordable homes. His responsibilities included determining applicant eligibility, underwriting DPA loans, coordinating escrow and creating sales projections for two BMR developments, Mission Walk and Armstrong Townhomes in San Francisco, totaling over 250 units. In addition, he was responsible for the annual compliance and reporting for two East Bay municipalities’ portfolios of BMR and DPA loans. Matt also managed the marketing and sale process for several large developers’ inclusionary BMR units, in the cities of San Francisco and Dublin, and the marketing sales process for several NSP developers in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.
SARAH SHIMMIN Senior Program Manager
Sarah’s background in community development projects, green building and education brought her to Hello Housing as a Program Manager for Hello Stewardship. While working at GRID Alternatives, she interfaced with homeowners and developers of affordable housing to coordinate over 200 solar PV installations with low-income homeowners throughout Northern California and in Native American tribal communities. Her responsibilities included marketing, community outreach and education, partnership building and project management for the Single-Family Solar Affordable Homes (SASH) Program. She has since worked as a Project Manager for utility-funded energy efficiency incentive programs with the consulting firm Newcomb Anderson McCormick and spent a year teaching English in Chile. She is passionate about sustainable development, working with underserved communities and using her Spanish language skills. Sarah holds bachelor’s degrees in both Spanish and Environmental Studies, with an option in Land Use Planning and Management, from California State University, East Bay.
SARAH DUVAL Program Manager
Sarah started her career in non-profit housing in 2007 at a residential SRO hotel in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. Initially focused on supportive services, she transitioned to affordable housing property management and development with BRIDGE Housing in 2012. While at BRIDGE she supported the Senior Leadership Team in maintaining financial and program compliance, which led her to Eden Housing in 2014. At Eden, she took on a more elevated role as Compliance Manager, co-managing the organization’s compliance team. In 2016, her background in affordable housing brought her to Hello Housing as a Program Manager for Hello Stewardship. In addition to working in non-profit affordable housing, her passion for social justice has led her to several outside projects along the way, which have included collaborating on the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California’s miACLU campaign, where she worked toward appealing anti-immigrant laws at the state level, as well as serving on the board of a local bay area women’s networking organization, Good Ol’ Girls. Sarah hails from Sacramento, CA and attended the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology.
BROOK BAIRD Program Manager
Prior to joining Hello Housing, Brook was a residential real estate agent with Gimme Shelter in Oakland, CA, representing both buyers and sellers in the sale of single family, condo, and multi-unit properties. For seven years, she managed the successful closings of short sale, foreclosure, probate and traditional transactions. As a brokerage supervisor, she created and implemented training programs for new sales agents, support staff and transaction coordinators. Brook recently earned her MBA from Mills College Graduate School Business and Public Policy where she crafted much of her coursework around exploring the current Bay Area housing crisis, including an internship with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development Small Sites program. Before her career as a realtor, Brook was the co-founder and director of the Bay Area Visual Art Network (BayVAN), an art consulting business dedicated to bridging communities and creating economic opportunities for artists. Brook received her BA in Studio Art from San Francisco State University and her MBA, with an emphasis in Socially Responsible Business, from Mills College in Oakland. She is a licensed California Real Estate Broker.
JACKSON RABINOWITSH Project Manager
Jackson became involved with affordable housing in 2009—in the depth of the recession following the subprime mortgage crisis—working with applicants at a development in West Oakland. After a year working on lease ups and distressed properties at various developments, he moved to the BRIDGE Housing corporate office where he qualified applicants for affordable housing, managed tax credit compliance and reporting to senior leadership and monitoring agencies, created a training curriculum for site and office staff, and managed funder and investor requirements while meeting occupancy deadlines. In 2013, he joined Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco where he assisted in managing four simultaneous construction projects in San Francisco, Novato, and Redwood City. Jackson’s responsibilities included construction risk management, due diligence reporting, managing consultants and public partnerships, securing project financing, pro forma analysis, and coordinating key staff to project milestones. Jackson also engaged in affordable homeownership advocacy efforts on the regional, state and federal levels. Jackson joined Hello R&D in 2016 to help implement new housing development and home repair opportunities as well as identify future development opportunities as part of Hello Housing’s anti-displacement and affordability preservation strategies. Jackson grew up in Santa Rosa, California and is passionate about social justice, environmental protection, and smart growth. He attended the University of Colorado Boulder where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in Psychology.
SODANY (JUDY) KEO Program Compliance Manager
Prior to joining Hello Housing in 2017, Judy spent six years serving low-income residents as a housing counselor with Asian Inc. and Habitat for Humanity. Judy has worked closely with more than 230 clients to prevent foreclosure by accessing local and Federal foreclosure prevention programs and assisted over 760 of first time homebuyers by coaching them through various affordable homeownership programs, including; Down Payment Assistance (DPA) and Below Market Rate Programs including MCC, FHA, CalHFA, WISH, San Francisco’s DALP and Mortgage Assistant Loan Program (MALP). Judy most recently has been performing application processing, credit analysis, income calculation, and income eligibility. In addition, Judy managed the Homebuyer Readiness Program at Habitat for Humanity, which included financial literacy and coaching using proven strategies for obtaining financial objectives. Judy is fluent in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Cambodian. Judy is a graduate of San Francisco City College and is completing her BA in Business Finance at San Francisco State University.
JOEY SHIELDS Program Associate
A southern California native, Joey graduated from Mount San Jacinto Community College, graduating with two A.A. degrees. Soon after, Joey transferred to UC Berkeley where he took courses in Political Science and City & Regional Planning – thus cementing his passion and interest in affordable housing, public-private partnerships, and their social impacts. At UC Berkeley, Joey was involved as a social media and outreach coordinator for Fossil Free Cal, a student-led fossil fuel divestment campaign. Prior to joining Hello Housing, Joey interned at the Housing Assistance Center at the City of Oakland where he began supporting Hello Housing, the City of Oakland’s Community Buying Program Administrator. Joey graduated from UC Berkeley in May 2015, earning his B.A. in Political Science and joined Hello Housing full time as a Program Associate. Among (many) other things, Joey helps low and middle-income families find and maintain affordable homeownership in the competitive Bay Area housing market.
JASMINE FUNG Eligibility Specialist
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Jasmine received her B.S. at UC Berkeley with a major in Environmental Economics & Policy. Prior to finishing her last year of college, she joined Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco in the summer of 2015 as a program coordinator intern which started her interest in helping low-income families access affordable housing. Ever since the internship, she’s been passionate about connecting Bay Area residents to housing opportunities, facilitating a new start for families and their children. Her goals are to raise awareness of housing conditions in the Bay, to increase access and availability of affordable homeownership, and to spread the message of gratitude and community — by helping others she hopes that they will, in turn, pay it forward and help others.