Sharon Wilson Géno is the president of NMHC. She is a 30-year veteran of the housing industry, during which she has helped guide numerous for-profit, nonprofit and governmental entities around housing affordability, community development and other housing policy challenges.
Sharon most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Volunteers of America National Services (VOANS), the housing and healthcare affiliate of the Volunteers of America parent organization and one of the largest nonprofit affordable and mixed-income/mixed-use housing operators in the nation. VOANS operated 240 properties and nearly 13,000 units in over 40 states during her tenure.
She originally joined the organization as its Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs and provided advice and counsel to the organization on a wide variety of legal matters, including housing operations and housing development issues.
Before joining Volunteers of America, Sharon was a partner in a private practice in Washington DC, where she advised on housing and community development projects, government contracting, corporate structure, internal governance, and compliance with federal, state and local laws.
During her career, Sharon has served as both in-house counsel and outside General Counsel for various types of organizations. Her legal experience includes providing advice regarding government and non-government contracts, nonprofit organizations, corporate formation, litigation, employment law, tax law, and other topics. She has also taught courses on housing law and policy at The George Washington School of Law and Georgetown University.
She has also worked on legislation and advocacy efforts related to affordable housing programs on both the local and national levels. Sharon has a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center, a Master of Arts in Urban Affairs from St. Louis University and a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Newcomb College of Tulane University.
Rick Haughey is Vice President, Industry Technology Initiatives. He works to create an ecosystem that fosters technology-facilitated innovation in the apartment sector by providing educational resources, creating networking opportunities to share best practices, convening experts, and implementing member-driven initiatives that move the industry forward. Rick works closely with four member committees focused on Technology, Telecom, Marketing and Innovation and run by industry leaders who guide the NMHC program of work in these areas. Working with the NMHC Director of Programming and NMHC colleagues, he executes the annual OPTECH Conference and Trade Show. Prior to joining NMHC, Rick spent many years at the Urban Land Institute, where he was Director of Multifamily Development and authored numerous publications. Rick served as Senior Fellow at the National Housing Conference, and has worked as a planner at the town, county and regional levels and as a market analyst. Rick holds a Master of Science in Real Estate from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning from the University of Maryland.
Jim Lapides is Vice President of Advocacy and Strategic Communications, where he leads award-winning, multidisciplinary initiatives that advance the multifamily industry and its issues in Washington, DC and around the country. He is also responsible for the Council’s nationwide efforts on rent control and serves as a spokesperson for the industry.
Before joining NMHC, he held positions at the American Society of Landscape Architects and the National Association of Home Builders, and worked with Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation and AARP while at FleishmanHillard. He holds a B.A. from Denison University and a M.A. from Johns Hopkins University.
Sarah Yaussi is Vice President, Business Strategy, with primary responsibility for managing NMHC’s business information and marketing strategy. This includes producing print, digital and interactive content for the website, member communications, research publications, trade press outlets and industry conferences. Prior to joining NMHC, Sarah served as editor of Big Builder magazine, a Hanley Wood publication for senior executives at the largest public and private home builders. Sarah holds B.A. in English from Colgate University and a Masters in Journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Colin Dunn is Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications, with primary responsibility for the Council’s advocacy communications, stakeholder outreach, media relations and member communications. Before joining NMHC, he held positions of increasing responsibility at Porter Novelli, JDA Frontline and Deloitte, developing and executing communications strategy across a variety of industries and issue areas such as biopharmaceuticals, financial services, international trade and agrichemicals. His public affairs, advocacy and media relations work has earned awards from the Holmes Report and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). He holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from American University.
Associate Vice President of Content and Program Strategy
Alison Johnson is Associate Vice President of Content and Program Strategy, with responsibility to design and manage executive-level knowledge programs of strategic importance to NMHC’s mission and industry advocacy. With experience in finance and nonprofit management, Alison is a practiced program manager having conducted research and knowledge sharing initiatives in a variety of subject matters, including corporate citizenship, urbanization, leadership, and community building. Alison earned a Master of Urban Planning from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and a B.A. in Political and Economic Philosophy from Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, WV. She also holds Program Certificates from Cornell University and Berkley Law.
Racquel Madlala is Associate Director, Communications and Marketing, with the primary responsibility of planning and supporting NMHC’s digital publishing, marketing and communications initiatives. Prior to joining NMHC, Racquel assisted with communications at various small-business development agencies in Durban, South Africa and provided services to USAID on health promotion communications and leadership development. Racquel completed her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Maryland and holds a Master of Science degree in Strategic Communications from Purdue University.
Joslyn Hatfield-Eng is the Associate Director, Public Affairs, with primary responsibility for the Council’s advocacy communications. Before joining NMHC, she held various media-related positions – including a role as a Web Producer for U.S. News & World Report. Joslyn holds a B.A. in Political Science and Journalism from Adrian College – a private, liberal arts college located in Southeast Michigan.
Jessica Cheng is the Associate Director of Web and Digital Experience for NMHC, with the primary responsibility of developing, managing and maintaining NMHC’s website and digital initiatives. Prior to joining NMHC, Jessica managed the day-to-day website operations of the American College of Cardiology, a non-profit medical association with more than 52,000 members dedicated to transforming cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. She has also worked for Inside Mortgage Finance, a Bethesda, MD-based company providing B2B news and statistics on the residential mortgage business. Jessica holds a BSJ from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism along with a second major in Classics.
Conor Ellis is Senior Marketing Associate with the responsibility of supporting NMHC’s digital marketing and branding initiatives. Prior to working at NMHC, Conor interned at the Grand Rapids Pride Center and Social Driver Digital Agency, supporting internal digital marketing efforts, graphic design, and community outreach. Conor graduated from Aquinas College with a BA in Business Administration and a minor in Art History.
Megan Blauvelt is a Communications Associate with the responsibility of assisting in the Council's communications and marketing initiatives.
Previously, Megan joined the team after interning with NMHC's Web and Digital Experience department. Megan graduated from William Paterson University of New Jersey. She holds a B.A. in Communications with a concentration in Journalism.
Cindy Vosper Chetti is Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, with responsibility for implementing strategy for all legislative and regulatory issues of interest to the National Multifamily Housing Council and National Apartment Association Joint Legislative Program. For the previous 10 years, Chetti was the lead housing policy expert for the House Financial Services Committee, working as a member of the Senior Professional Staff for the Committee’s Republicans. Prior to that, she served six years with the House Financial Services Committee's Financial Services and Consumer Credit subcommittee. Chetti began her career working for former Congresswoman Marge Roukema (R-NJ), rising from a legislative assistant to Chief of Staff. Chetti holds a B.S. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.
Dinia Abduljelil provides support for the team’s array of projects, legislative tracking, political communications, and member resources. Before joining NMHC, she was a Research Assistant at the Eurasia Center. She graduated from Georgetown University, with a bachelor’s degree in Government and a minor in Economics. Dinia’s internship experience includes positions at the Department of Commerce and Cambridge Global Advisors, where she was responsible for briefings on congressional hearings and legislation, media monitoring, and research on international markets.
Matthew M. Berger is Vice President of Tax and Vice President of Student Housing. In his tax role, Matthew represents the interests of the multifamily industry before Congress and federal agencies on tax issues. Matthew also co-leads NMHC’s student housing efforts to ensure the industry’s information, networking and advocacy needs are represented. Prior to coming to NMHC, Matthew worked on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship under the leadership of former Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME). Before his time on the Hill, Matthew was National Tax Manager for Deloitte Tax LLP in Washington, DC, where he covered the formulation of tax policy in Congress. Matthew graduated from Stanford University.
Lisa E. Blackwell is Vice President, Housing Policy and has primary responsibility for federal level housing issues for the NMHC/National Apartment Association Joint Legislative Program. Lisa has more than 25 years of government affairs and real estate experience. Before joining the Council, Lisa was the Managing Director of Government Affairs for the American Institute of Architects, where she developed legislative strategies on behalf of the nation's architects. Prior to that, she spent nine years with the National Association of Realtors working on a variety of housing issues. She also lobbied on behalf of Cornell University and worked for two members of Congress from New York State. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the State University of New York College at Fredonia.
Dave Borsos is Vice President, Capital Markets and has primary responsibility for managing and guiding NMHC’s multifamily finance policy as it relates to federal legislative and regulatory issues impacting housing finance reform, the Federal Housing Administration and the regulation of financial markets. Dave has over 30 years of experience in real estate capital markets, banking and the sustainable energy markets. Before joining the Council, Dave ran DJB Enterprises whose primary focus was advisory services focused on the financial and energy markets for new business opportunities from inception through execution. He also spent 16 years at Freddie Mac in a variety of leadership roles within their Capital Markets groups focused both on the single and multifamily markets. Dave holds a BS in Chemical Engineering and an MBA in Finance from the University of Maryland.
Vice President for Construction, Development, Land Use and Counsel
Paula M. Cino is Vice President for Construction, Development, Land Use and Counsel, with primary responsibility for federal policy issues related to building design and construction including building codes, fair housing, sustainability, infrastructure and regulatory compliance. Before joining NMHC, Paula served as a national security investigator and earned a Juris Doctorate from Tulane School of Law. Paula also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and Law and Society from American University and is a member of the Maryland State Bar.
Vice President, Government Affairs, Technology and Strategic Initiatives
Kevin Donnelly is Vice President, Government Affairs, Technology and Strategic Initiatives, with responsibility for representing the interests of the multifamily industry before Congress and federal agencies. Prior to joining the Council, Kevin served as a Legislative Representative for the National Association of Realtors. Kevin also spent over seven years on Capitol Hill as senior staff for two members of the House, first for Rep. Steve Rothman (NJ) and finally for Rep. Phil Hare (IL). Kevin has a wide array of public policy experience and has served in numerous capacities on a variety of political campaigns throughout his career. Kevin completed his undergraduate studies at Rutgers University, has done post-baccalaureate work at National Defense University, and completed his Masters in Public Management at Johns Hopkins University.
Alex Eveland is Vice President of Government Affairs for NMHC. Prior to joining NMHC, Alex spent a decade working on Capitol Hill in numerous legislative and political roles. Alex most recently served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Ron Kind (WI), a senior member of the Ways & Means Committee. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Bernard Fulton is Vice President for Housing Policy and Regulation. Bernard comes to NMHC from the Housing Policy Council where he was Vice President for Government Relations. Bernard has nearly thirty years of experience in and around Congress as a policy advisor, legislative analyst, lobbyist, strategist and political organizer. His positions have included serving as legislative director for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, legislative representative for the City of New York under Michael Bloomberg, head of Congressional relations for HUD Secretaries Shaun Donovan and Julián Castro, and legislative consultant for organizations in the private, government and non-profit sectors.
Julianne Goodfellow is Vice President, Government Affairs, with primary responsibility for data privacy, technology, property operations and regulatory reform from both an industry and federal policy perspective. In addition to her federal government affairs work, Julianne spearheads strategic initiatives including NMHC’s Diversity & Inclusion Initiative, a comprehensive effort to advance diversity and inclusion for the multifamily housing industry. Prior to joining NMHC, Julianne served as legislative assistant and district representative to Congressman Bill Delahunt. She also served as legislative director for a Massachusetts state representative. Julianne holds a Bachelor of Arts from the College of the Holy Cross.
Sarah Rahman is Legislative Analyst with a primary focus on issues related to energy, environmental and fair housing policy and engages in research, advocacy, and special projects on legislative, regulatory, and legal matters. Before becoming a member of the NMHC staff, Sarah clerked at the Prince George’s County District Court, working with over 16 judges and under the Administrative Judge Lisa Hall-Johnson. She was also a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Judge Vivian Medinilla of the Delaware Superior Court during her law school career and has a background in constitutional law. Sarah received her BA in Political Science from Salisbury University and J.D. from Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law.
Lisa Costello is Vice President of Political Affairs, with primary responsibility for directing and overseeing the operations of the NMHC Political Action Committee. Lisa utilizes her extensive experience in Washington to strengthen the political and advocacy efforts of NMHC’s government affairs department. Moving to DC from New Hampshire, she began her career on Capitol Hill working for her hometown Member of Congress. She later transitioned into the private sector, as a government affairs executive with several influential associations including The Independent Insurance Agents of America and US Telecom Association. Prior to joining NMHC, Lisa spent 13 years with the American Hotel & Lodging Association, where she advocated on an array of federal issues, oversaw PAC operations for the industry-leading HotelPAC and advised member companies on legislative and regulatory compliance issues.
Madeleine Barbee is the NMHC PAC Director at the National Multifamily Housing Council. Prior to this role, Madeleine served as a Senior Finance Associate at Angerholzer Broz Consulting where she led PAC and DMV-area fundraising efforts for six Members of Congress. She previously interned for Congressman David Price (NC-03), the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, as well as SKDK. Madeleine graduated from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Political Science/International Relations and English.
Latoya Lovick,CDP®, is Vice President of Membership, primarily responsible for membership engagement, retention, and creating and directing a comprehensive membership plan for the Council. Latoya brings over ten years of experience overseeing corporate governance policies and practices and supporting productive board and membership engagement at a national and local level for non-profit organizations. In addition, Latoya brings experience managing an executive office and leading key initiatives, including strategy implementation and efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion. Latoya holds a Bachelor of Arts from The State University of New York College at New Paltz.
Deanita Davis, CMP, is Vice President of Meetings, with primary responsibility for administering, coordinating, and managing all aspects of NMHC's meetings. Deanita has over 20 years of experience planning and managing a variety of events and conferences. Prior to joining NMHC, she was the Conference & Meetings Director at Sister Cities International. Deanita holds a Bachelor of Arts from The American University and Master of Tourism Administration from The George Washington University.
Associate Vice President, Sponsorships and Exhibits
Melissa Rowan, CMP, is Associate Vice President, Sponsorships and Exhibits and is responsible for developing and managing NMHC’s sponsorship and exhibits programs. Melissa has over 10 years of experience in planning, managing, and implementing a variety of conferences, trade shows, and sponsorship opportunities. Melissa has a B.A. in Communications from Marymount University.
La Fayette Flowers is Membership Manager, with responsibility for coordinating and administering membership services including meetings, and database maintenance. Prior to joining NMHC, La Fayette was employed by Pitney Bowes Management Services as a site representative. La Fayette has also worked as an intern at the United States Department of Energy where he received a superior achievement award for developing a classification system for the Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board.
Nathalie Rollins is Manager, Membership and Database, with primary responsibility for managing and providing quality membership customer service as well as database management & reporting. Previously, Nathalie has worked with several membership organizations in both the higher education and medical device industries. Nathalie has over 17 years of experience as a database manager and administrator. Nathalie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Sarita de la Torre is Associate Director of Meetings, with primary responsibility for coordinating and implementing all aspects of NMHC meetings. Sarita has over two years of experience in planning logistics for a variety of events and conference. Sarita holds a B.B.A. in Business Management from Loyola University Maryland.
Zebbie Grant-Warren is Membership Coordinator, with responsibility for providing quality membership customer service and general membership support. Prior to joining NMHC, Zebbie was Membership Coordinator at the Endocrine Society. She has over 17 years of membership experience and has received an award from the 89th Flight Operations (Air Force One) for outstanding customer service. Zebbie also serves on the Board for the nonprofit organizations, Women of Action Maryland and Charles County Department of Social Services Advisory.
Terra Thomas is Meetings Coordinator and is responsible for coordinating the logistics of NMHC's meetings. Terra has over 15 years of progressive experience in meeting planning and logistics, designing event specifications to meet or exceed organizational needs and objectives.
Terra holds the Convention Exposition Management Certificate from Northern Virginia Community College, Annadale, Virginia.
Kenny Emson is Chief Operating Officer, with principal responsibility for NMHC’s internal operations and finance functions including accounting, NMHC meetings, membership, human resources, information systems, and office management. Prior to joining NMHC, Kenny served as Chief Development Officer, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, a philanthropic nonprofit that pools $350 million in charitable donations to make grants that benefit both Washington-area and national charities. During his time there, Kenny helped the foundation grow from $50 million in assets to $350 million and saw the staff grow from 10 to 26. Kenny is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from The George Washington University.
Betsy Feigin Befus
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Strategic Initiatives
Betsy Feigin Befus is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Strategic Initiatives, with principal responsibility for developing legal strategies and providing guidance to advance organizational goals across NMHC’s functional areas. She also has primary responsibility for the Council’s legal advocacy and amicus brief program. Betsy leads NMHC’s Diversity & Inclusion Initiative, a comprehensive effort to advance diversity and inclusion for the multifamily housing industry. Prior to joining NMHC in 2001, Betsy served as Attorney Advisor with the U.S. Department of Labor, where she drafted legal decisions issued by the Department. Betsy is a member of the District of Columbia and Colorado Bars.
Deborah D. Lee is Vice President, Administration, with responsibility for NMHC’s internal operations, information systems, office management, and human resources. Deborah has over 18 years of management experience in operations and office management. For seven years previous to her present position at NMHC she served as Executive Assistant to the President and as Senior Director of Human Resources with primary responsibility for the support of the office of the President and support of the Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations. Prior to joining NMHC, Deborah was employed with CTA Incorporated, where she served as a Senior Administrative Assistant to the Program Manager on-site at the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, DC. Deborah also worked as an Assistant Director of an early education franchise, with responsibility for feasibility studies for the acquisition of real estate to be used primarily for the establishment of early childhood education centers. Deborah attended University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, Maryland; State University of New York at New Paltz; and Montgomery College, Rockville, Maryland.
Senior Director, Technology
Dave Knerler is Senior Director of Technology, with responsibility for maintaining NMHC computer systems and network, including providing all end user support, managing all server systems, and the telephone/voicemail system. Dave served as IT Manager for Finet, one of the first mortgage brokerages in the country to use laptop computer technology for originating residential real estate loans by loan agents in the field. Dave managed IT for Rent Net through their expansion into Move.com, continuing on after a buyout by Homestore. Prior to relocating from California in 2008, he managed Information Technology for Yerba Beuna Center for the Arts in San Francisco and most recently served at the Studio Theatre in Washington DC where he was Director of Information Technology. Dave has over 20 years of IT experience, working the past eight years exclusively for non-profit organizations.
Myrra Bariring is Director of Accounting, with responsibility for cash disbursements, cash receipts and general accounting. Prior to joining NMHC, Myrra was the Accounting Manager for the American Public Transportation Association and prior to that, she spent sixteen years as the Accounting Manager for Pacific Scientific Instruments. Myrra brings 27 years of accounting experience to NMHC. Myrra received her BSC degree in Economics and Finance at the Polytechnic University in Manila, Philippines.
Kailyn Morris is an Administrative Coordinator with responsibility for providing multifaceted administrative support to the NMHC staff and assisting in the general operation of NMHC under the direction of the Vice President of Administration. Prior to joining NMHC, Kailyn was an Operations Manager at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Senior Vice President, Research and Chief Economist
Mark H. Obrinsky, Ph.D., is Senior Vice President for Research and Chief Economist. with principal responsibility for housing and economic research. Mark was formerly Director of Regulatory Policy at Fannie Mae. Previous positions at Fannie Mae included Director of Applied Portfolio Research and Senior Economist. Prior to joining Fannie Mae, Mark was Deputy Director of the Economics Department at the U.S. League of Savings Institutions. His academic experience includes seven years teaching Economics at the University of Delaware and Bradley University. His work on housing, mortgage finance, and economic theory has appeared in leading professional and industry publications. Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (with honors) in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Caitlin Sugrue Walter, Ph.D., is Vice President of Research, with primary responsibility for conducting NMHC's research on apartment industry trends. Prior to working at the Council, Caitlin was an analyst at a real estate advisory firm. Caitlin has a B.A. and B.S. (Planning and Public Policy, Criminal Justice) from Rutgers University. She also holds an M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning and a Ph.D. in Planning, Governance and Globalization with a concentration on metropolitan economies and development from Virginia Tech. She is an active member of the National Association for Business Economics, a member of Up for Growth’s Advisory Board, and is a member of the Eastern Panhandle Advisory Council for Girls on the Run of the Shenandoah Valley.
Chris Bruen is Senior Director of Research, with primary responsibility for aiding in and expanding upon NMHC’s research in housing and economics. Prior to joining the Council, Chris conducted research on the behavioral tendencies exhibited by option traders and served as a contributor to the Shanghai-based business publication, MorningWhistle.com, where he wrote on topics relating to Sino-American economic policy. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from The George Washington University and an M.S. in Economics from Johns Hopkins University.
Ryan Hecker is the team's Research Assistant, providing support for NMHC's research in housing and apartment industry trends. He graduated from the University of Rochester with a bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Science. Ryan's internship experience includes work on the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB)'s policy team and on FGS Global's government affairs team, where he aided in research on debt solutions and macroeconomic projections as well as covering of congressional hearings.