LIIF Team Members

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For individual contact information or to view staff by office location, visit the San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. office pages.

Office of the President & CEO

Cres Van Keulen, Executive Assistant to the CEO

Lending & Programs, National

Rachel Bluestein, VP of Strategic Initiatives and Programs
Rachel Bluestein is the VP of Strategic Initiatives and Programs at the Low Income Investment Fund, and as part of that role she manages the Partners in Progress program. Previously, Rachel served as the Sr. Director of Business Development and Finance at Civic Builders, a nonprofit developer of charter school facilities. Rachel also has extensive lending experience, having worked at Citi Community Capital underwriting loans to CDFIs and large multi-lender funds, and at the Nonprofit Finance Fund lending to community facilities and charter school projects. She holds both a BA and an MBA from Yale University.

Martina Valentine, Director of Lending Operations

Lending & Programs, Eastern, Central & Southern Regions

Melissa Garcia, Director, National Lending Initiatives
Ms. Garcia leads LIIF’s Central region and Washington, D.C. lending operation and is responsible for business development, portfolio performance and growth strategy in the region. She joined LIIF in 2012 as the first lending officer in the Washington, D.C. office. Prior to LIIF, Ms. Garcia served as a Vice President at Citi Community Capital, managing a $500 million national multifamily housing portfolio and executing over $200 million in housing and charter school loans. Before Citi, she spent three years as a consultant in San Francisco, specializing in affordable housing, redevelopment, real estate and economics. Ms. Garcia graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics and received her Master’s in Public Policy and Urban Planning from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Sajan Philip, Director, Central Region and Washington D.C
Mr. Philip is responsible for lending production in LIIF’s Central and Washington D.C. regions and our forge into the Southern U.S. He previously served as a Deputy Director of these regions. Before joining LIIF in 2011, Mr. Philip served as a loan specialist at Seedco Financial in New York City where he was responsible for closing $2.8 million in small business loans. Mr. Philip is based in our New York office.

Kirsten Shaw, Director, Eastern Region
Ms. Shaw leads LIIF’s Eastern Region lending operations with responsibility for regional originations, business development and portfolio monitoring. Ms. Shaw previously served as the Deputy Director of the Eastern and Central Regions for LIIF. Before joining LIIF in 2010, Ms. Shaw managed development projects at The Hudson Companies, Inc., a leading developer of affordable and market rate housing in New York City. Previously, she served for five years at the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), where as Vice President she managed public-private development transactions and strategic planning initiatives. Prior to joining NYCEDC she was an Associate at Economic & Planning Systems in Berkeley, California. Ms. Shaw has a Master of City Planning degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Atlanta Office

LaToya Kyle, Senior Loan Officer

New York Office

Amir Ali, NMTC Portfolio Manager and Senior Credit Associate
Eliisa Frazier, Senior Loan Officer
Ivan Levi, Senior Loan Officer

Washington D.C. Office

Holly Denniston-Chase, Senior Loan Officer

Lending & Programs, Western Region

Amy Laughlin, Director, National New Markets Tax Credits
Ms. Laughlin manages the implementation of LIIF’s national New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program and provides leadership in closing all transactions. She has closed more than $100 million of LIIF’s NMTC allocation and provides technical oversight for its over $300 million NMTC portfolio. Ms. Laughlin previously served as Senior Loan Officer for LIIF, managing all aspects of its charter school originations and NMTC transactions for the Western Region. Prior to joining LIIF, Ms. Laughlin was a Senior Underwriter for Capital Impact Partners, conducting credit analysis of charter schools and community health centers across the country. Ms. Laughlin received a B.A. from Duke University and an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management.

San Francisco Office

Sarah Garrett Simms, Deputy Director, National Charter School Lending
Peter Ho, Senior Loan Associate

Los Angeles Office

Eri Kameyama, Western Region Deputy Director
Thomas Yee, Initiative Officer – LA Thrives

Child Care Program

Candace Wong, Director, California Child Development Programs
Ms. Wong oversees all of LIIF’s child development programs, including the child care facilities development grants programs and the business capacity building programs. Ms. Wong has over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She has served as director and fiscal of family and children’s programs. In addition to her role at LIIF, Ms. Wong serves on numerous committees, including past chair of the San Francisco Child Care Planning and Advisory Council, and the Preschool for All Advisory Committee. She has a B.S. in Business Administration from San Francisco State University.

San Francisco Office

Itzel Diaz Figueroa, Senior Program Associate
Joyce Robinson, Senior Program Officer
Elizabeth Winograd, Senior Program Officer, Child Care Facilities Fund
David Ziegler, Senior Program/Loan Officer, Child Care Facilities Fund

New York Office

Kim Di Giacomo, Deputy Director, Early Care & Education Programs

Washington, DC Office

Laura Jackman, Program Manager, DC Early Care and Education

Corporate Finance & Administration

San Francisco Office

Ammar Aljundi, Human Resources Generalist
Ki Allen, IT Director
Carmen Baldizon, Senior Accountant of AP and Payroll
Sabrina Baptiste, Human Resources Director
Aaron Baskin, Senior Accountant
Priscilla Chiu, Staff Accountant, Loan Portfolio
DeLisa Conway, Office Manager
Craig Fox, Director of Accounting
Roxanne Huey, Vice President, Finance and Corporate Controller
Michael Kovitch, Senior Administrator, Finance & Administration
Diane Liang, Manager of Corporate Accounting
Afraa Salem, Financial Analyst
Daniel Strack, Lead Portfolio Accountant
Isaac Yuen, Staff Accountant & Compliance Officer

Strategy, Development & Public Affairs

Craig Adelman, Managing Director of SPARCC
Craig Adelman began his career in real estate and community development in 1993 on the building and design end of the industry. With more than 25 years of real estate development, finance and public sector experience, Craig now serves as LIIF’s Managing Director of SPARCC, a national initiative investing in and amplifying local efforts in six regions to make sure that major new investments lead to equitable and healthy opportunities for everyone. Craig has previously lead AMCAL Multi-Housing’s Northern California office, served as the Deputy Director of the San Francisco’s Mayor’s Office of Housing, was a Vice President at AF Evans Development, and a Vice President at Bank of America. Craig also spent 10 years with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) after graduating from U.C. Berkeley, where he studied architecture and business.

Jonathan Harwitz, Managing Director, Federal Policy & Government Affairs
From mid-2009 until he joined LIIF in December 2013, Mr. Harwitz served as Deputy Chief of Staff to then-HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. In 2008, Mr. Harwitz became staff to Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Housing and Transportation Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee. In early 2007, Mr. Harwitz became Counsel to Rep. Maxine Waters (D43rd-CA) then-Chair of the Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee. From 1997-2007, Mr. Harwitz worked in various policy-related position at the Corporation for Supportive Housing. Mr. Harwitz is an honors graduate of Yale College and the Harvard Law School. Prior to entering the field of federal policy, he clerked for two federal District Court judges and practiced law in New York City.

Samantha Hojo, Director of Communications
Ms. Hojo leads LIIF’s marketing, communications and public relations efforts. Since joining LIIF in 2008, she has focused on raising the national profile of the organization, launched its digital communications strategy and led its rebranding effort. While at LIIF, she has also led communications for several high profile collaborations, including the book Investing in What Works for America’s Communities with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Her experience includes marketing and communications roles with Sterling Stamos Capital Management, Social Venture Network and the Commission on Presidential Debates. She holds a B.A. in Communications and M.A. in Sociology from Stanford University.

Jessica Standiford, Director of Development and Impact Investing
In Ms. Standiford’s tenure at LIIF, she has worked closely with funders and investors successfully raising New Market Tax Credits (NMTCs), CDFI Fund Healthy Food Financing and Financial Assistance awards, and PRI and grant capital from foundations and corporate partners to support LIIF’s financing programs. She serves as an advisor to several Bay Area nonprofits and a Board member of the Heffernan Foundation. She holds a B.S. in Engineering from the University of California at Davis.

San Francisco Office

Laeesha Cornejo, SPARCC Program Associate
Lisa Endo, Development Manager
Tyler Jackson, Impact Investment Officer
Clair McDevitt, Senior Communications Officer
Hannah Taylor, Development & Communications Officer
Lauren Valdez, SPARCC Program Officer

Washington, D.C. Office

Jenny Kessler, Policy Officer

Portfolio & Risk Management

Susan Hyman, Chief Credit Officer
Ms. Hyman directs the credit and risk management functions for LIIF’s lending programs. She is responsible for credit approvals and processes, credit policy and overseeing asset management. Prior to joining LIIF Ms. Hyman spent over 20 years with JPMorgan Chase Bank as a senior banker and team leader in the Community Development Real Estate business. Previously, she served as the Director of a Neighborhood Preservation Office in the Bronx with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development. She started her career with the Bureau of Labor Statistics as an Economist and later worked at the U.S. Small Business Administration as a Program Officer for the Office of Private Sector Initiatives. Ms. Hyman holds a B.A. in Economics and Government from Cornell University and a Master of Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

San Francisco Office

Arlecia Durades, Senior Loan Associate
Kevin McVey, Deputy Director, New Markets Tax Credits
Maria Rosado, Senior Loan Associate
Deanna Sandford, Senior Loan Associate
Kellen Stevens, Legal & Compliance Analyst
Leslie Swift Bernal, Portfolio Analyst

Los Angeles Office

Karnit Mouchly, Senior Credit Associate

New York Office

Celeste Griffin Krishna, Manager of Asset Management and Underwriting, Eastern Region

Washington, D.C. Office

Tsegaye Y. Dessalegn, Senior Credit Associate