Kuia Taiaroa has been the executive director for White Sands Habitat for Humanity for six years and has been a part of Habitat for 10 years as an employee and volunteer. She also served as the state secretary for Habitat for Humanity of New Mexico for five years. Ms. Taiaroa has helped develop and manage programs for affordable housing and has a passion for giving a "hand up” to those who are ready to help themselves. She has managed the House by House rehabilitation program for low-income homeowners for seven years and does extensive training on the topic. During her time at White Sands Habitat, Ms. Taiaroa has assisted more than 230 individuals through the rehab program. Ms. Taiaroa also works as a grant writer and strategic planner and is responsible for the organization’s budget and financial management. She has increased profitability and affiliate recognition through an expanded social media presence.
Eric Tengren began his career in the behavioral health field 27 years ago on the East Coast where he helped transition clients from closing institutional facilities into group homes. In 2006 he relocated to Phoenix to manage a facility for clients on the autism spectrum. Later, he worked as a case manager for clients released from Arizona State Hospital into court-ordered treatment in the community. Mr. Tengren joined The Life Link this year as member of the PATH team. He does outreach to homeless individuals and provides case management and referral services with a focus on obtaining housing. He is also a facilitator for the Better Way program.
Zach Thomas joined the Santa Fe Community Housing Trust in September 2016 as the organization’s land use and development director. He has experience in all facets of land use and land entitlement, development, project management, regulatory compliance and program and policy development in California and New Mexico. Mr. Thomas moved to New Mexico in 2013 and worked for the City of Santa Fe and the New Mexico Finance Authority. Prior to 2013, he worked for and provided consulting services to jurisdictions throughout Northern California. Mr. Thomas holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
A residential rental property owner and manager since 1986, Liz Thomson is committed to providing affordable housing in troubled neighborhoods. Early in her career, Ms. Thomson incorporated the Crime Free Multi-Housing program into her property management, which resulted in remarkable reductions in crime at the properties she managed. She then partnered with the Albuquerque Police Department to provide Crime Free Multi-Housing training to landlords and property managers. Seeing first-hand how community policing partnerships created real change in the community, Ms. Thomson was inspired to join APD in 1999. As a patrol officer and later as a sergeant, she helped developed strategies to reduce crime and strengthen community partnerships. In 2012, Ms. Thomson became sergeant of APD’s Homicide Unit, where she supervised the investigation of murders and serious violent crimes. Since her retirement in 2017, Ms. Thomson has provided consulting services utilizing her unique training and experience in the areas of policing, crime prevention and property management.
Kellie Tillerson joined HopeWorks in 2009 as a community support worker for the organization’s comprehensive recovery team. She has worked in a variety of roles including service care coordinator and program manager for the Services Management And Resource Team (SMART), self-sufficiency program manager, interim director of shelter services and co-director of housing. Ms. Tillerson currently serves as HopeWorks’ director of employment services and Hope Found – a new family housing initiative. In 2017, Ms. Tillerson added a vocational rehabilitation job development component to HopeWorks’ Employment Service Department by partnering with the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. The department employs two job developers and manages a training program at Hope Café. The group also manages Albuquerque’s panhandling program, which employs up to 20 panhandlers per day, five days a week. Ms. Tillerson has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.
Shannon Tilseth is MFA’s program manager for the Rental Assistance Program, which provides short- and medium-term rental assistance to individuals experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness. She also manages MFA’s Linkages Program, a supportive housing rental assistance program for homeless or precariously housed individuals with severe mental illness. Ms. Tilseth has been with MFA for 13 years in its Community Development Department.
Floyd Tortalita is from the Pueblo of Acoma and has been the executive director of the Pueblo of Acoma Housing Authority (PAHA) since 2009. He has more than 18 years of experience in the planning, design and construction of housing development projects on Acoma and Laguna Pueblos. Mr. Tortalita served as the Region 8 representative on the National American Indian Housing Council Board of Directors for six years and is currently the Region 8 representative to the AMERIND Board of Directors.
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