Board Profiles

Ryan Ammann

Vice President of CRA/Community Development, BB&T

Ryan leads BB&T’s national community development outreach initiatives and manages regional and national community economic development relationships for BB&T. Ryan began with BB&T through the Leadership Development Program in 2006. During his career with BB&T, Ryan has worked in community economic development in Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, and West Virginia. For five years, Ryan led the bank’s community development lending, investments, and outreach for the state of Virginia. In July 2012, Ryan began his current role as CRA Service Manager and relocated to Winston-Salem, NC. Ryan formerly served on Virginia LISC's Local Advisory Committee, ULI Richmond's Executive Committee, and CAPUP's Board of Directors. In 2012, Ryan was recognized by Virginia Housing Coalition with a Top 40 under 40 Housing Award. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Housing Virginia and serves on the Winston-Salem Community Development Support Collaborative.

Nathalia Artus (Board Secretary)

Community Development Banker, Atlantic Union Bank

Nathalia is a community development banker with Atlantic Union Bank. Her focus at work is promoting community economic development through financial assistance - including within the nonprofit and governmental sectors. A native Brazilian, Nathalia has lived and worked in Richmond for the past seven years.

Orlando C. Artze

President/CEO, Orlando Artze Consulting LLC

Orlando C. Artze is the President and CEO of Orlando Artze Consulting LLC, a consulting group providing services to nonprofit and faith-based organizations, government agencies and for-profit companies in the fields of affordable housing and community development. Orlando has over thirty-five years of experience, having previously served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Community Housing Partners (CHP), a nonprofit regional affordable housing developer. During his tenure, CHP completed the acquisition, rehabilitation and development of over 2,500 multifamily rental apartments in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Kentucky and Maryland. Before joining CHP, Orlando was the Vice President of the Southeast Region and Minnesota for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) where he served as Chief Credit Officer for the region. He was responsible for reviewing an annual portfolio of $30 million in loans and equity investments and $4 million in capacity building grants to community development corporations and nonprofit organizations engaged in neighborhood revitalization. Orlando holds an MBA from Baruch College and an MA in American History from Stony Brook University. He joined the Board of the Virginia Housing Coalition in 2006, serving as President from 2009-2013 and subsequently as a member of the Executive Committee until the merger with VCEH in 2016.

Heather Mullins Crislip

President & CEO, Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia

Heather holds a BA in Economics and Political Science from Mary Washington College and a JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law. While living in New Haven, Connecticut she directed the region’s welfare to work one-stop center and served as Assistant to the Mayor for Policy Analysis where she worked on workforce development and homeownership issues. In New Haven she also oversaw a large investigation to assess the region’s compliance with the Fair Housing Act, conducting analyses of impediments and making recommendations to improve the education, outreach, and enforcement of fair housing laws. After moving to Honolulu, Hawai'i, Heather served as the Chief of Staff to a Hawai'i state senator and the Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant to the Chancellor of the University of Hawai'i, where she oversaw all external relations and advocated for the University’s legislative agenda in the state legislature. Returning to Virginia in 2009, Heather oversaw the bipartisan policy projects for the Miller Center at the University of Virginia for former Governor Gerald Baliles. She also served as the Staff Director of the Goode National Transportation Policy Project, which was honored by President Obama in a Rose Garden ceremony in 2010, and described as a "landmark” policy report by the Washington Post.

Susan F. Dewey (Executive Committee At-Large Member)

Executive Director, Virginia Housing Development Authority

Susan has served as the Executive Director of VHDA since 1999. Prior to this, Susan served for three years as a VHDA Commissioner. Susan directs all operations of VHDA, a $9 billion independent, self-supporting authority that is responsible for addressing the statewide housing affordability needs of low and moderate-income Virginians. VHDA provides a variety of rental and homeownership lending programs, and free homeownership education. VHDA also administers the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program and a statewide Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Basil Gooden

Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, Commonwealth of Virginia

Basil became the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry for the McAuliffe administration in September 2016. The Secretariat oversees and provides policy guidance to three agencies – the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), the Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF), and the Virginia Racing Commission (VRC). Previously, he was appointed as Virginia State Director of USDA-Rural Development by President Obama in April 2014. Earlier in his career, he served as the Principal Deputy Director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, having been appointed to this position in May 2002 by former Governor Mark Warner and re-appointed by Governor Tim Kaine.

Kit Hale (Board Chair)

General Manager / Managing Broker, MKB, REALTORS®

MKB, REALTORS® is a group of 130 agent firms specializing primarily in residential real estate sales. He has been in the real estate business since 1991. Kit served as President of the Virginia Association of REALTORS® in 2006 and received the Virginia Association of REALTORS®’ REALTOR® of the Year in 2007. That same year Kit also received the Virginia Housing Coalition Outstanding Achievement Award. Kit currently serves on the National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors, the Virginia Housing Development Authority Board of Commissioners, as well as with many other REALTOR® organizations at the local, state, and national level.

Erik Johnston

Director, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

Erik is responsible for the management and policy oversight of the agency, which provides community development and housing program support to communities across the Commonwealth. The Department also administers statewide building codes. Bill works closely with the Secretary of Commerce and Trade and with the Governor to advise on community development, economic development, affordable housing, and state uniform building code issues. Erik served as Chief Deputy at DHCD in 2016-2017. In that capacity, he supported the Director across a broad range of management and oversight functions. Prior to joining DHCD, Erik was Deputy Policy Director under Governor McAuliffe. He also served as Director of Government Affairs for the Virginia Association of Counties.

Michelle Krocker

Executive Director, Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance

Michelle Krocker is a community development and public policy consultant, assisting private sector organizations and local governments in creating diverse, sustainable communities through housing and land use policies. Currently she serves as the Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance, a regional advocacy coalition engaged in public outreach, education, and housing research that addresses the unmet housing needs of Northern Virginia’s low and moderate income households.

Michelle has served on several citizen advisory boards. She was a member of the Tysons Land Use Task Force, charged with planning the redevelopment of 1700 acres of Tysons Corner, and Chair of its Affordable Housing Committee. She also served on the Housing Advisory Board to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, acting as Chairman for two years. Current advisory boards include: the Local Advisory Council to Enterprise Community Partners Mid-Atlantic office; BB&T’s Community Development Advisory Committee; the Fairfax County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee; the Alexandria Affordable Housing Advisory Committee and the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group.

Laura Dillard Lafayette (Board Vice-Chair)

CEO, Richmond Association of REALTORS® / Central Virginia MLS

Laura Lafayette is the Chief Executive Officer of the Richmond Association of REALTORS® and the Central Virginia Regional Multiple Listing Service—two organizations that serve the over 4,700 REALTORS® in the Central Virginia area. In addition, she serves as the Executive Director of the Partnership for Housing Affordability, a non-profit dedicated to ensuring that an adequate and diverse supply of affordable housing is a public policy priority in central Virginia.

Within the broader community, Laura serves as a gubernatorial appointee to the Virginia Housing Commission and Governor McAuliffe’s Housing Policy Advisory Council; is the Vice Chair of the statewide non-profit Housing Virginia; sits on the Board of Homeward; and serves as the Chair of the Board of the Better Housing Coalition.

Laura received her BA in Religion from the College of William and Mary; and pursued post-graduate work at both Yale Divinity School and the University of Virginia. She resides in Henrico County, Virginia, with her husband and three children.

Steve Lawson

President, The Lawson Companies

Steve is a third-generation builder and developer who in 1993 joined the Lawson Companies, a single and multi-family builder, developer, and manager based in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. For more than thirty-five years, the company has been active in the financing, development, and management of single and multi-family housing, serving affordable and luxury clients with consistently excellent service and value. As President of The Lawson Companies, Steve oversees a portfolio of five thousand apartments, more than forty limited partnerships, and $15 million in annual construction and development.

Overton McGehee

Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Virginia

Habitat for Humanity of Virginia is a support organization for the 51 Habitat affiliates in Virginia. Habitat Virginia participates in a number of partnerships with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Housing Development Authority, the National Community Stabilization Trust, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, the Virginia Housing Coalition and other non-profits, private foundations and government entities. From 1997 to 2008, he served as executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville, which develops mixed income communities and grew to have the second largest land inventory among U.S. Habitat affiliates.

Toni Ostrowski (Board President)

Senior Community Housing Officer, Virginia Housing Development Authority

Toni has over 30 years experience in affordable housing finance including mortgage loan originations, real estate appraisal, SF and MF underwriting and community development. She assists in VHDA’s affordable lending and relationship building initiatives by developing strategies to finance affordable housing in response to identified housing needs, designing new loan products and forming partnerships with community leaders. She served as president of the Virginia Mortgage Lenders Association in 2004 and received the VMLA Alex McCrone Member of the Year award in 2002.

Vaughn Poller (Board First Vice-Chair)

Housing Director, James City County

Vaughn has been a resident of James City since 1991. He worked in the James City County Office of Housing and Community Development as the Community Development Planner, for ten years and was a founding member of the County’s Neighborhood Connections Office. From 2005-2011 he was the Housing Division Manager for York County. Vaughn has affiliations with neighborhood organizations, non profits and regional coalitions, including the Hampton Roads Housing Coalition. He has also served on the Trustee Board of St. John Baptist Church in upper York County, as an Assistant Scout Master with Boy Scout Troop 195, and is Chairman of the Board of Directors for Child Development Resources.

Lisa Porter

President, VAHCDO; Deputy Director, Marion RHA

Lisa serves as the current president of the Virginia Association of Housing and Community Development Officials (VAHCDO) and the Deputy Director of the Marion Redevelopment and Housing Authority. She also currently serves on the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) Small Agencies Task Force and as Chair of the Southeast Regional Council (SERC-NAHRO) Small Agency Task Force.

Lisa has been with the Marion RHA since 2000, when she began work as the Director of Special Projects. During that time, she also served as President of the Little Ten Housing Authorities of Southwest Virginia, Inc. until 2015. Prior to working at the Marion RHA, she has been with the Bristol Redevelopment and Housing Authority, the Housing Authority of the City of Yuma, and the Cumberland Plateau Regional Housing Authority, where she worked extensively in community development and grants coordination.

Andrew K. Ryan (Board Treasurer)

Partner, Gray Ryan Communications

Andrew is a co-founder and partner with Gray Ryan Communications, which is a diversified holding company consisting of Commonwealth Partnerships, an award-winning communications firm, and Dogwood Real Estate Fund, a private real estate investment fund. He has extensive experience working with organizations in the real estate, A/E/C, senior living, nonprofit, and professional services sectors on public relations, communications strategy, social media, content marketing, and video development. A communications expert, Andrew has been recognized nationally for his work by Bulldog Reporter as one of 2015’s top three PR professionals under 40 and by PR News as one of 2009’s "15 to Watch” best PR professionals. He also has been honored locally as one of Style Weekly’s 2013 "40 Under 40.” A graduate of the University of Richmond, he holds an PR accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and a social media for business certificate from the University of Richmond. Andrew is active in a number of volunteer roles in the Richmond region and was named the 2013 Blob Sledd Volunteer of Year by Virginia Supportive Housing.

Michelle Winters

Executive Director, Alliance for Housing Solutions

Michelle joined AHS in May 2016. She is also president of Winters Community Strategies LLC, a consulting practice that focuses on the intersection of affordable housing and sustainable communities and served as Senior Visiting Fellow for Housing at the Urban Land Institute from 2014-2016.

She previously led capacity-building initiatives in sustainability and affordable housing preservation for NeighborWorks America and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, two of the country’s largest affordable housing organizations. Michelle worked on housing policy issues for nine years at Fannie Mae and the Fannie Mae Foundation. From 2007 to 2010, she served on Arlington’s Housing Commission, chairing the Bricks and Mortar committee and serving as Commission chair in 2008.

She received her BA in Urban Affairs from Virginia Tech and her Master in City Planning with a specialization in housing, community and economic development from MIT. Michelle lives in Arlington and currently serving as President of the Tara-Leeway Heights Civic Association.