Christopher Persons Chief Executive Officer
Christopher Persons has led Capitol Hill Housing since 2007. Chris has more than three decades of senior nonprofit leadership experience. Prior to joining CHH, he was executive director of Inspiration Corporation, a homeless and housing services agency in Chicago. Under his leadership, it grew from a neighborhood agency to a city-wide, award-winning corporation. Chris guided the organization through two mergers, started a housing program and opened a restaurant doubling as a job training and employment center.
Chris has led CHH through the development of two strategic plans and has refined a vision framework to drive the organization forward. In 2010 he oversaw the creation of the Capitol Hill Housing Foundation to develop resources to support CHH's work. Under Chris's leadership, the organization has grown significantly - adding several buildings and more than 350 affordable apartments to the portfolio as well as much more commercial space. 12th Avenue Arts, completed in 2014, is the organization's biggest project to date. This $47 Million development houses two performing arts theaters, 88 apartments, nonprofit offices and local retail, and has received several awards. Capitol Hill Housing continues to expand its community development work including the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict and a growing resident services program.
Chris has a long-standing commitment to leadership in community development. He served as Chair of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce for three years and served on the Seattle Planning Commission for four years. Chris is actively involved in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and is leading CHH's community partnerships in the Central District. Chris served as treasurer of the board of the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle and King County, is currently on the board of the Capitol Hill Housing Foundation, serves on the Housing Partnership Network's Public Policy Committee, and is a member of the Yesler Community Collaborative.
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.
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 and Acquisitions
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.