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

Leila Ahmadifar, Vice President of National Markets and the Western Region
Leila Ahmadifar, Vice President of National Markets and the Western Region, joined LIIF in September 2018. She has overall leadership for all of LIIF’s lending markets as well as leading LIIF’s lending in the Western Region. Leila works in close collaboration with Market Directors and other production staff in implementing LIIF’s strategy across all our markets. Leila’s long and distinguished career in community development, and the affordable housing industry in particular, spans three decades. Most recently, she was with Aegon Asset Management as a Senior Director in San Francisco. In her role as Senior Director, Leila was responsible for the origination, structuring, underwriting and closing of tax credit investments nationally as well as preservation and other investment opportunities related to affordable housing. Prior to Aegon, Leila was the Director of Low Income Housing Tax Credit Investments for Citigroup and held underwriting and acquisitions positions at various syndicators. Leila has deep experience leading teams to structure funds, raise capital and create innovative financial solutions to address the affordable housing crisis. Leila served on the Board of Governors for the Affordable Housing Investors Council (AHIC) and is also the former President of AHIC. She received a BS in Business Administration from Boston University and an MS in Real Estate from Columbia University.

Rachel Bluestein, Vice President of National Programs
Rachel Bluestein is the VP of National Programs at the Low Income Investment Fund, where she oversees LIIF’s Early Childhood Education Programs, leads LIIF’s participation in the Strong, Prosperous, And Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC), and develops and manages national partnerships and strategic initiatives. 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.

Sondra Ford, Diretor, SPARCC Initiative
Ms. Ford comes to LIIF with more than 25 years of experience in Community Development, as both a lender and a developer in Chicago and New York City. Most recently, she held the position of Vice President in the Community Development Banking Group at JP Morgan Chase, where she was responsible for lending relationships with national intermediaries. She has previously worked as a lender at First National Bank of Chicago and at the Illinois Housing Development Authority, and as a Developer at Shorebank Development Corporation on Chicago’s West Side and at Bridge Street Development Corporation in Brooklyn.

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.

Nick Collins, SPARCC Communications Officer
Lisa Endo, Program Officer, Strategic Initiatives
Abby Murray, National Lending Initiatives Officer
Joe Robertson, Senior Program Officer, Purpose Built Accelerator Initiative
Mona Wang, SPARCC Program Officer

Lending & Programs, Eastern, Central & Southern Regions

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, Manager, New Markets Tax Credits
Eliisa Frazier, Senior Loan Officer
Benton Heimsath, Underwriter
Ivan Levi, Senior Loan Officer

Washington D.C. Office

Holly Denniston-Chase, Deputy Director, Mid-Atlantic Region

Lending & Programs, Western Region

Amy Laughlin, Vice President of Structured Products and Capital Markets
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
Sue Uemura, Senior Loan Associate

Los Angeles Office

Eri Kameyama, Western Region Deputy Director

Child Care Program

San Francisco Office

Chris Bajarias, Program Officer, Child Care Facilities Fund
Kim Di Giacomo, Director, ECE Programs Western Region
Nori Dubon, Program Associate, Child Care Facilities Fund
Angie Garling, National Director, Early Care and Education Programs
Elizabeth Winograd, Senior Program Officer, Child Care Facilities Fund
Phranda Wolfe, Program Officer, Child Care Facilities Fund

New York Office

Amy Chea, Program Officer & Small Business Advisor, Early Care & Education

Washington, DC Office

Laura Jackman, Program Manager, DC Early Care and Education
Ruth Tesfaye, Sr. Program Officer/Small Business Advisor

Corporate Finance & Administration

San Francisco Office

Ammar Aljundi, Human Resources Business Partner
Carmen Baldizon, Senior Accountant of AP and Payroll
Aaron Baskin, Senior Accountant
Jo Bringazi, Head of IT
DeLisa Conway, Office Manager
Itzel Diaz Figueroa, IT Business Partner
Roxanne Huey, Vice President, Finance and Corporate Controller
Michael Kovitch, Human Resources Administrator
Diane Liang, Manager of Corporate Accounting
Victor Ortiz, Staff Accountant and Compliance Reporting
Afraa Salem, Senior Financial Analyst
Jessica Situ, Senior Accountant
Rick Skewes, Office Services Coordinator
Daniel Strack, Lead Portfolio Accountant
Yvonne Yin-Fong Tun, Director of Accounting
Isaac Yuen, Staff Accountant

New York Office

Christina Travers, Vice President, Financial Planning & Analysis and Capital Strategies

Strategy, Development & Public Affairs

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.

Jessica Standiford, Vice President, 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

Cristiana Baik, Deputy Director of Development
Taylor Davidson, Program Associate
Samantha Hojo, Director of Special Projects
Tyler Jackson, Impact Investment Officer
Clair McDevitt, Communications Manager
Hannah Taylor, Senior Communications Officer

Washington, DC Office

Olivia Barrow, Policy Officer

Portfolio & Risk Management

Susan Hyman, Senior Vice President
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

Kevin McVey, Deputy Director, New Markets Tax Credits
Maria Rosado, Fund Manager
Deanna Sandford, Senior Loan Associate
Leslie Swift Bernal, Portfolio Manager

Los Angeles Office

Karnit Mouchly, Senior Credit Associate

New York Office

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

Washington, D.C. Office

Tsegaye Y. Dessalegn, Senior Credit Associate
Jennifer Rancilio, Senior Asset Manager