Leadership


Christopher Persons Chief Executive Officer

Christopher Persons has served as CEO since 2007, bringing three decades of senior nonprofit leadership experience to Capitol Hill Housing. Prior to joining CHH, Chris served as executive director of Inspiration Corporation, a non-profit agency providing homeless and housing services in Chicago. Under his leadership, Inspiration Corporation grew from a neighborhood agency with a $415,000 budget to a city-wide, award-winning corporation with a budget of $2.8 million. Chris guided the organization through two mergers, started a housing program that has grown to over 100 units, and opened a full-service restaurant that doubles as a job training and employment center.

At CHH Chris has led the organization's 2010 strategic planning efforts, and is now implementing a vision framework that will drive the organization through a changed affordable housing landscape. Chris oversaw the creation of the Capitol Hill Housing Foundation, which leads the development of resources to support CHH's mission. He took CHH outside the city limits for the first time to develop a 30-apartment family building in partnership with local groups in White Center.

Chris has a long-standing commitment to community development work and leadership. He served as Chair of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce for three years and served on the Seattle Planning Commission for four years. He is active in the pressing issues that are setting the course for the future of the Capitol Hill community such as transit development and 12th Avenue growth. Chris is treasurer of the board of the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle and King County, is on the board of the Capitol Hill Housing Foundation and Impact Capital, and serves on the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Affordable Housing Incentives.


Jill Fleming Deputy Director / Chief Financial Officer

Jill Fleming, CPA, is Capitol Hill Housing's Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer. Jill oversees property management, asset management, finance and administration. She came to CHH in 2006 after 19 years in public accounting. Jill has extensive experience working with developers, owners and managers of affordable housing, and is well-versed in finance, accounting and compliance. She has also worked in commercial banking and mortgage lending. Jill currently co-chairs the Housing Partnership Network CFO Community of Practice and is a member the StrengthMatters CFO Working Group. Jill has served on the boards of the Affordable Housing Management Association of Washington and the Mt. Baker Housing Association. She holds an MBA from the University of Washington and a BA from The Evergreen State College.


Michael Seiwerath Director of Community Programs and External Relations

Michael Seiwerath coordinates community programs and relations and oversees all aspects of fund development. He is the founding Executive Director of the Capitol Hill Housing Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization that helps fund CHH's work to build vibrant and engaged communities. He coordinates CHH's extensive programs in the community, and manages the Capitol Hill Arts District. Prior to joining CHH in 2008, Michael was the Executive Director of Northwest Film Forum, the nationally recognized Capitol Hill film arts organization. Michael serves on the Seattle Arts Commission, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance State Legislative Committee, and the Cal Anderson Park Alliance Advisory Council.


Greg Elkerton Director of Real Estate and Impact Investments

Greg Elkerton joined Capitol Hill Housing in 2015 to lead the development of real estate projects and partnerships. Greg has more than 15 years of real estate development, financing and construction experience, specializing in affordable housing, mixed-use, and nonprofit buildings. He has either directly managed or advised on the development of dozens of housing projects and is versed in a wide range of financing sources. In addition, he has 10 years of experience in community and economic development in Seattle. Most recently Greg worked as an independent real estate development consultant to nonprofit organizations. Previously he managed housing development at Common Ground for nine years and at SouthEast Effective Development (SEED) for four years.


Billie Abers Director of Property Management

Billie Abers joined Capitol Hill Housing in 2006 as a member of the accounting and finance team. Billie now oversees the day to day operations of the property management team, including leasing, maintenance and management of commercial tenants. Prior to joining CHH she worked in Revenue Assurance for Alltel Wireless. Billie is currently on the Board of Directors for Affordable Housing Management Association of Washington and is a foster parent for Washington State.


Melissa Blankenship Administration and Special Projects Director

Melissa Blankenship has served on the administrative team at CHH since 2012. She is responsible for directing and overseeing the operations of the administrative services and information technology departments. Melissa also serves as the Public Records Officer. Before joining CHH she served as an operations and project manager at the technology company Digital Dog Inc., and Director of Operations and Special Projects for Entertainment Company iv, inc. both based in Nashville, TN. Melissa holds a BA in Mass Communication from Menlo College in Atherton, CA and is the Chair of the Alumni Association's Seattle chapter. She is a Director on the Board of WAPRO, Washington State Public Records Officers and volunteers with the ALS Association's Evergreen Chapter.


Brad Lange Director of Asset Management

Brad Lange focuses on the financial sustainability, physical viability and mission alignment of the real estate portfolio. Brad has over 20 years of experience in real estate analysis, acquisitions, asset management, financing and dispositions. Prior to joining Capitol Hill Housing in 2013, he held positions for a variety of investors. Brad is licensed by the State of Washington as a Managing Broker and is the designated broker for CH Real Estate Management Services LLC, CHH's third party management firm. Brad earned a degree in Real Estate Appraisal and Investment Analysis from the University of Wisconsin, and is active in the Asset Management and Property Management Affinity group of the Housing Development Consortium.


Joel Sisolak Sustainability Director

Joel Sisolak, LEED AP, coordinates Capitol Hill Housing's internal sustainability efforts and directs the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict and other neighborhood planning efforts. Prior to joining CHH in 2013, Joel was the Advocacy and Outreach Director for the Cascadia Green Building Council (2008-2013) and Executive Director of the Friends of the Cedar River Watershed (2000-2006). Joel holds a master of urban planning degree from the University of Washington. He is vice chair of the board for the Seattle 2030 District Board and serves on the Community Stewardship Advisory Committee for the Master Builder's Association. Joel lives in Seattle with his wife and daughter.


Deena Wallis-York Director of Finance

Deena Wallis-York oversees Capitol Hill Housing's accounting, insurance risk management and compliance functions. Deena came to CHH in 2015 with previous nonprofit affordable housing experience and she is well-versed in finance, banking, accounting and compliance. She has also worked as a controller in the manufacturing, construction, trading and health care industries. Deena has served on the boards of Listen to Kids, foster care organizations and food networks. She was an active foster parent for over 15 years. Deena holds a BA in Economics and International Relations and a BS in Accounting from the University of Washington and she has received certificates in financial planning and productivity management.