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Who We Are
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Coalition for Housing is a community based board appointed to implement the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Ten Year Plan to End and Prevent Homelessness.

Members are appointed by the Charlotte Mayor, City Council and the Mecklenburg County Commission.  The board is comprised of those who have experience in housing with specific sectors represented including community, affordable housing, philanthropy, finance, legal services, education, real estate development, human services and public safety.  Ex-officio members are the Neighborhood & Business Services Director (City), Community Support Services Director (County) and the Charlotte Housing Authority CEO.
The board appointments bring expertise and commitment to the Ten Year plan with authentic and influential experience in homelessness and housing services.   This is a working board who will recommend strategies for implementation of the Ten Year Plan to the City Council and County Commission.  The Coalition will develop these strategies to meet the Ten Year Plan goals of housing, outreach and engagement and  prevention, and to provide advocacy and partnerships with service providers and funders.
The Coalition is asking for the support of the community as they take bold and necessary actions towards eliminating homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

Board Members

​Ken Szymanski, Chairman
Ken Szymanski has been the chief staff exec for the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association and the Apartment Association of North Carolina for 28 years. He is involved with many aspects of both market-rate and assisted housing, including development, operations, member education, and public policy formation. He has served on numerous local housing-based boards including The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, Charlotte Emergency Housing, and Housing Charlotte 2007 Local Rent Subsidy Team. A trained city planner, he has spent his entire career in housing, land use, and community development, including working for local governments in San Antonio, TX and Toledo, OH. Ken received B.A. in Urban Geography, SUNY-Albany and M.A in City & Regional Planning from Western Kentucky University. He received the “Fair Housing Hero” Award from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee in 2008. He is a Registered Lobbyist in the North Carolina General Assembly and is a graduate of Leadership North Carolina.  Ken is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the Urban Land Institute.

Dennis Boothe
Dennis Boothe is a member of Wells Fargo’s Community Lending and Tax Credit Investment group.  He previously served as General Counsel for a regional affordable housing developer, helping to acquire and develop housing for workforce families in Charlotte.  Dennis also previously worked at the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Dennis earned his law degree at University of Georgia, and received his Bachelor of Arts from Johns Hopkins University.  In 2011, he was selected as a member of the charter class of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Leadership Academy, a rigorous program that prepares young North Carolina lawyers for positions of leadership in the legal profession and the larger community.  He previously served as a board member for a nonprofit that provides supportive housing for disabled individuals, and he has helped to organize various green construction training programs for at-risk youth and former offenders across Charlotte.  He is a member of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law, the North Carolina Housing Coalition, the North Carolina Bar Association’s Citizen Lawyer and Minorities in the Profession committees, the Mecklenburg County Bar Association and the Charlotte chapter of the Urban Land Institute.  Dennis and his wife Stephanie live near uptown Charlotte. 

Nancy Crown Nancy Crown

Nancy Crown has held the position of Senior Vice President with Banc of America Community Development Corporation/Bank of America since 1997.  Currently she functions as the Quality Control/Strategy Executive where she reviews all new multi-family affordable and mixed income development opportunities for Banc of America Community Development Corporation for both front-end and back-end exit.  Nancy’s employment history includes serving as Deputy Commissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Housing and Vice President for Real Estate Lending for First National Bank of Chicago.  She has a long-standing interest in the creation and preservation of affordable and mixed-income housing.  Nancy is the chair of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Development Corporation board and is a long-term past member/chair of the board of Smart Start of Mecklenburg County.  She was a founding member of the Children and Family Service Center and remains a member of its Real Estate Committee.  In October 2012, Nancy was appointed to the Charlotte Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.


Vanessa Eichman (Web).jpg

Vanessa Eichman

Vanessa Eichman is a McKinney-Vento School Social Worker for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.  She has served both Walter G. Byers and Bruns Academy in her three years with CMS.  Before coming to Charlotte she resided in Greensboro, NC and worked as a School Social Worker for the Guilford County Schools for seven years.  Ms. Eichman has a passion for working with youth and families who are experiencing homelessness.  She has presented at the NAEHCY Conference twice, with her McKinney-Vento School Social Worker team. 

Ms. Eichman is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a BA in Social Work, a certificate in Criminal Justice, and a Master's Degree in Social Work.  

Denise Howard

Denise Chantal Howard DNP, MHA, FNP- BC has been a Family Nurse Practitioner since 1997. She previously worked with Carolinas Health Care for 27 years before joining Charlotte Community Health Clinic 4 ½ years ago.  As a Primary Care provider she works to increase access to primary health care for Mecklenburg County's uninsured residents.  For two years, Dr. Howard provided primary care at The Villages of Hope Haven, Bethesda Clinic, and The Shelter for Battered Women. She presently provides primary care for clients of the Men's Shelter, Urban Ministries, The Salvation Army, Dove's Nest and Charlotte Rescue Mission.

 Dr. Howard has served three terms with United Way of Central Carolinas's Housing and Stability Council-Mecklenburg County, and two terms with Regional AIDS Network(RAIN) Board of Directors.  She graduated from The University of South Alabama with a Doctorate in Nursing Practice, University of South Carolina, Columbia (Postmasters Nurse Practitioner), Pfeiffer University (Master's in Health Care Administration), University of North Carolina, Greensboro (Masters in Nursing Administration) , University of North Carolina, Charlotte (Bachelors in Nursing) and Mercy School Of Nursing, Charlotte (Diploma Nursing). Dr. Howard is a past recipient of several awards including a PRIDE Award for cultural diversity. She is a graduate of Leadership Charlotte.

Brandon Lofton
Brandon is a partner with the law firm of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A. As a member of the firm’s public finance practice, Brandon regularly represents counties, universities, hospitals and underwriters in the issuance of tax-exempt and taxable bonds.  Prior to joining Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A., Brandon was an attorney with the law firm then known as Ferguson, Stein, Chambers, Gresham & Sumter, P.A.  Brandon serves as Chair of the Diversity Committee for the National Association of Bond Lawyers and on the board of directors for the Council for Children’s Rights and the Levine Museum of the New South.  Brandon also serves on the Transit Finance Working Group of the Metropolitan Transit Commission.  Brandon received his BA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his JD from New York University School of Law.  Brandon and his wife, Kellie, are the proud parents of two boys.

Stacy Lowery

Stacy Lowry*
Stacy earned her Master of Social Work degree from Western Michigan University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan.  She obtained her clinical social work licensure (LCSW) in 2000 in North Carolina. She is the Director of the Mecklenburg County Community Support Services Department. The department has responsibility for the working with the homeless population and homeless service providers as well as homemakers, military veterans and neighborhoods targeted because of safety concerns.. The department also works with the Domestic Violence Advisory Board and the Women’s Advisory Board.  Stacy’s responsibilities include financial management, monitoring and oversight of service delivery, monitoring of contractual agencies, community collaboration, advocacy and improving access to services, and building/maintaining community partnerships.  Stacy is also a part-time faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in the Social Work Department. Her background also includes experience in the mental health and substance abuse fields.


Justin Markel​

Justin Markel is a former commercial and residential real estate appraiser. He received his education from the University of Colorado. Originally from Denver, CO, Justin relocated to Charlotte in 2007.  Due to the economic downturn in 2008, he found himself homeless.  After achieving housing through the "Housing First" model, Justin quickly became a strong advocate for the homeless. 

As a lead member of Helping Homeless to Housing (HHH), Justin has been an outspoken advocate for affordable housing, he has been a public speaker, educating the community regarding homelessness issues, he has been a community volunteer, and has worked to shape public policy for the homeless community.  Justin also serves on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Continuum of Care, the Homeless Services Network advocacy committee, and the review committee for the dispersement of HOPWA funds in a ten county area in both North and South Carolina.  Additionally, Justin has served the last three years on both the city and state Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) review committee.

Recently, Justin obtained his North Carolina state certification as a Peer Support Specialist, and he is active in his local neighborhood, serving as the Vice President for the Druid Hills Neighborhood Association.

Michael Marsicano  

Michael Marsicano
Michael Marsicano is President and Chief Executive Officer of Foundation For The Carolinas. Managing assets, owned and represented, of approximately $850 million, the Foundation holds over 1800 charitable funds.  In the ten years Dr. Marsicano has been at the helm of FFTC contributions to the Foundation have totaled more than $1.4 billion and grant awards more than $763 million. 
Dr. Marsicano joined the Foundation in 1999 after serving as President and CEO of the Arts & Science Council in Charlotte, North Carolina for 10 years. During his tenure, the united arts fund moved to the nation’s highest in per capita annual giving. 
Dr. Marsicano has been active in several national and local organizations. He has chaired the Board of the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and has served on the Boards of Americans for the Arts, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Foundation, as well as the Board of Community Foundations of America.  He currently serves on the Governing Boards of Duke University, Queens University and the Winthrop University Foundation as well as the Boards of Charlotte Center City Partners, the Nasher Museum of Art, and the Vann Center for Ethics at Davidson College. 
A native of New York, Dr. Marsicano received his Bachelor of Science, Masters of Education and Doctor of Philosophy from Duke University.  He is married to the Reverend Leslie Montfort Marsicano, also a graduate of Duke University and the Duke University Divinity School. Leslie is an ordained Methodist Minister serving Davidson College as Associate Dean for Academic Administration. The Marsicanos have three sons.    

​Nicole Martin
Reverend Doctor Nicole Martin was born and educated in Baltimore, Maryland. She graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a triple major in Human and Organizational Development, Educational Studies, and French.
Dr. Martin received her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary where she was the recipient of the Jones Prize in Music and the Swink Prize in Preaching.  During her time in seminary, she served as the Director of Evangelism at St. James AME Church in Newark, New Jersey and spent a summer in ministry at Mandalay Baptist Church in Cape Town, South Africa.  She earned a Doctor of Ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with an emphasis in African American Redemptive Leadership.

Dr. Martin serves as the Executive Minister at The Park Church in Charlotte, North Carolina under the direction of Bishop Claude Richard Alexander, Jr.  She is a published writer for The African American Lectionary, a monthly columnist for the Faith and Values section of The Charlotte Observer and was also named one of the “Top Seven to Watch in 2011” by The Charlotte Observer.  She is also the founder and Executive Director of SoulFire International Ministries, which focuses on empowering others to reach their fullest potential in Christ. Dr. Martin is married to Minister Mark Martin and they have one daughter, Addison Michelle. 

Josie Mazzaferro
Currently a Realtor® in the Greater Charlotte Metro area, Josie owns a property management company, Fetch Realty.  She has been a Realtor® since 2010, and has assisted landlords that participate in the Charlotte Housing Authority's Housing Choice voucher program.  Josie currently serves as Chair of the Housing Opportunity Foundation and Chair of the YWCA's 1902 Society and is a community garden co-leader for the Urban Ministry Center's HousingWorks program at Moore Place, which serves the chronically homeless.  One of her earliest jobs was in the Delaware Department of Justice Consumer Protection Unit, where she had the opportunity to answer tenant questions regarding the Landlord-Tenant Code, and work with department investigators and attorneys to take action against landlords that were in violation of it.  She has spent the past 18 years in various roles with YWCAs in three different states.  When she moved to Charlotte in 2001, she immediately became a volunteer with the YWCA of Central Carolinas, and has served on its board, as well as the separate board of its Women in Transition Program.  Josie is married to Andre Leclerc, and they live in South Charlotte with their two dogs, Pepe le Piu and Sabaka.
Fulton Meachem, Jr.*
Fulton Meachem is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Charlotte Housing Authority.  He has worked in the affordable housing industry at high performing MTW agencies with over 400 employees and budgets exceeding $150 million dollars for over 18 years. He has extensive experience in developing and executing work force housing, resident services, and housing operations.  Over the 18 years, he has garnered extensive experience in developing community partnerships as well as strong relationships with Boards, staff, and residents.  Mr. Meachem is committed to building quality environments for the families and providing services that promote self-sufficiency.  Mr. Meachem participates on a variety of public boards including the Centralina Council of Government Connect for our Future 2050 Committee, Charlotte Housing and Neighborhood Development Committee, ULI Steering Committee, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Coalition for Housing.  He is also a member of the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association, Institute of Real Estate Management, and National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.
A graduate of North Carolina Central University, with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Business Administration,  Mr. Meachem was  born and raised in Greensboro, NC and resides with his wife, Jeanette, and two sons, Brannen and Bryce in Charlotte.
Patrick Mumford

Patrick Mumford*
As Key Business Executive for the City of Charlotte’s Neighborhood & Business Services unit, Patrick T. Mumford is responsible for the strategic direction and implementation of housing, neighborhood, economic development and code enforcement policies and programs, overseeing a staff of approximately 150. Senior Vice President/Environmental Affairs Manager for Wachovia, he led the development of corporate environmental principles, policies, and commitments and created a comprehensive corporate environment strategy. He also has extensive public service experience, including serving as an At-Large member of Charlotte City Council from 2001 to 2007, and has worked extensively with the Urban Land Institute, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Development Corporation, Habitat for Humanity and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership. He received bachelor’s degrees in Architectural Design and Building Science & Management from Clemson University. A recipient of the Mayor’s Award from the City of Charlotte in 2007, Mumford was also named one of “40 under 40” by Charlotte Business Journal.

Josef H. Penner
Since 1997, Mr. Penner has served the Executive Director for Medic, the paramedic service for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina area. Medic responded to 120,000 calls for help this year, and employs 540 people. He is a Fellow and Board Certified in Healthcare Management by the American College of Healthcare Executives. Since living in Charlotte, Mr. Penner has served as Board member of the Family Center, the American Ambulance Association, the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services, the North Carolina EMS Administrators, and the Coalition for Advanced EMS Systems.
Prior to joining Medic, Mr. Penner was the Vice President of Corporate Affairs for American Medical Response. Mr. Penner has worked in mergers & acquisitions as well as various operational capacities in the pre-hospital healthcare industry across the US. He earned his MBA from Marquette University.
In addition to being actively involved in community and professional organizations, he is a very proud husband, father, and member of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte.
Mike Rizer 

Mike Rizer
Joined Wachovia Corporation (now Wells Fargo) in 1996 and has been its Executive Vice President/Community Development Director since January 2009. In this role he manages the nationwide Community Development team which is responsible for CRA performance, community outreach, key internal and external relationships and reputation risk.  Additionally, he provides leadership to the Wachovia Regional Foundation/CDC located in Philadelphia. Prior to his current position, he was the Director of Community Relations. Mr. Rizer was Senior Compliance Manager and Counsel for PNC Bank Corporation from 1991-1996. He started his professional career as an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati. He received his BA from the University of Dayton and his JD from the University of Cincinnati. He is very active in the community and serves on the boards of the National Center for Healthy Housing, the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission, Mecklenburg Citizens for Public Education, the Echo Foundation and the Foundation for The Carolinas.

Melanie Sizemore

Melanie Sizemore
Melanie Sizemore spent 18 years working in the commercial real estate market in Washington, DC before moving to Charlotte in 2002. She continued working in the industry after moving to Charlotte with a focus on commercial real estate information systems and products, operating her own company providing commercial real estate information.  She is past president and current board member of the Elizabeth Neighborhood Community Association, and has been active on zoning and development activities. She is a board member of the Historic Elizabeth Neighborhood Foundation, an active volunteer at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and a community activist in various causes.



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Kimberly Stephens
Kimberly Stephens, LCSW is a Housing and Urban Development/ Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD/VASH) Case Manager with the Salisbury VA Medical Center. 

Kimberly has been employed with the Salisbury VA Medical Center since 2011.  Kimberly recently co-lead Charlotte’s campaign, “Acceleration to Housing 100 in 100 Days,” which was aimed at accelerating the current housing rate of chronic homeless individuals and veterans, and eradicating homelessness with this population by December 2016.  Members of Charlotte-Mecklenburg's homeless service providers community joined the national campaign with 100,000 Homes, Community Solutions and the Rapid Results Institute in May 2013. The group successfully and collaboratively housed over 420 households through July 2014.

Kimberly received both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Social Work from The University of Pittsburgh, where she also competed as an All-American Track & Field athlete. Kimberly is also a graduate of a 10-month leadership development program offered through the VA. Kimberly has over nine years of experience working in various aspects of social work, including community healthcare, mental health, emergency room care, program development, process improvement and currently homeless Veterans. Kimberly was born and raised in New Jersey and now resides in Charlotte with her husband, Joe, and daughter.

Annabelle Suddreth

Annabelle Suddreth has lived in our community since 1985 and served in the area of homelessness as either a volunteer or employee since 1996.  As a volunteer, she helped begin the Room in the Inn program (a church-based winter shelter program at the Urban Ministry Center) and was later employed as Development Director and Assistant Director at the Urban Ministry Center in Charlotte.  As Executive Director of a Child's Place, Annabelle led her team to serve our Charlotte's identified homeless children.  Prior to working in the non-profit sector, Annabelle held several positions in technology and management in the corporate and government sectors in Charlotte.  She and her husband David have 3 children. 

Lori Thomas Lori Thomas
Lori Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She completed her PhD in Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia in 2008. Her research is in the area of homeless, particularly for older adults and those experiencing serious mental illness or co-occurring disorders. Lori is also interested in the intersection of religion and social welfare, completing national collaborative research on best practices in faith-based human services and dissertation research on faith-based advocacy organizations. Lori has over 10 years of work experience in affordable housing and homeless services. Most recently, she coordinated and directed the development of a permanent housing and comprehensive mental health program for homeless individuals in the Greater Richmond. On November 19, 2009, the program received the Best Housing Program Award at the Governor’s Housing Conference in Virginia. She is currently involved in the evaluation of Urban Ministry Center’s Moore Place and the Workforce Initiative for Supportive Housing (WISH) program. Lori completed her undergraduate degree in 1993, her Master of Divinity degree in 1997, and her Master of Social Work degree in 2006.
*Serves as an Ex-Officio representative.