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VOTING BOARD ELECTIONS -- CANDIDATE INFORMATION

The Northwest Community Land Trust Coalition is voting on members for our Board at our upcoming Annual Meeting.  Regular members of the Coalition (member CLT organizations) will be able to vote.

 

This year there will be two slates of candidates to vote on.

 

The first will be returning members.  There are two returning members with expiring terms seeking to re-election to the Board. The second slate will be candidates who are new to the board.  There are eight candidates who are seeking to be elected to the Board.

 

At the Annual Meeting Regular Members (A single representative from a member CLT—please make sure you know who will be voting on behalf of your org.) will be provided with a ballot.

 

This ballot will have the two slates to vote on.  The first is the returning members and the second is the new members.



You will simply vote “Yea” or “Nay” on each.

 

 

The returning candidates are: 

 

Brittany Palmer

Brittany (she/her) is the Executive Director of the North Missoula Community Development Corporation in Missoula, Montana. She brings experience in managing the organization's community land trust portfolio and working in local food and sustainable agriculture, including for a farmer-owned cooperative, to her role at the NMCDC and as Board Vice President for the NWCLTC. As a renter who has personally experienced housing precarity, Brittany believes that housing is a human right and uses this passion to guide the NMCDC and advocate for an equitable community. Brittany has a BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Cincinnati and an MS in Environmental Studies with a focus in Environmental Justice from the University of Montana where she researched and wrote about whiteness and settler colonialism at the National Bison Range in western Montana. 

 

David Ellsworth-Keller

David (he/him) works to provide affordable homeownership opportunities as the Director of the Homeownership Program at Kulshan Community Land Trust in Bellingham, Washington. He came to Kulshan CLT and the Northwest following 11 years working with the Champlain Housing Trust in Burlington, Vermont and one year with the Athens Land Trust in Athens, Georgia. There he became a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Certified Housing Counselor. He earned a Masters in Management with an emphasis in managing mission-driven organizations from Marlboro College in Vermont. He has helped homeowners and homebuyers navigate the process of the purchase and sale contract and closing on over 180 CLT transactions.

 

 

The candidates to join the Board are:

 

Simon Windell

After a first career of 15 years in IT and Corporate Operations, I began my mid-life crisis a bit early by taking trust fall into housing about 2 ½ years ago. I went all-in and haven’t looked back. I am the COO/CFO of the Methow Housing Trust (thanks for catching me), and I have trouble not talking about housing too much at dinner parties. I believe that the Community Land Trust model is the anecdote to the dilemma of a house as private property and Housing as a public good.

 

Dominique Merriweather

Dominique was appointed Executive Director Proud Ground in July 2023.  Prior to joining Proud Ground, Dominique was the Director of Finance & Business Affairs for Innovative Housing, Inc. where he provided financial, operational, and human resources oversight and leadership.  Dominique’s professional background was developed in commercial lending for several NW regional banks.  Dominique received his bachelor's degree from Concordia University and holds a master's degree from Portland State University. 

 

Dominique has been an active community volunteer with organizations focusing on community leadership, youth sports and mentoring, housing security and diversity.  Currently he serves as a Commissioner for the Vancouver Housing Authority, is a board member for Partners in Careers and sits on the finance committee for Second Step Housing. 

 

Dominique is excited for the opportunity to lead Proud Ground and to continue its mission of expanding home ownership opportunities to low- and moderate-income families such as to allow them to remain in communities of their choice.  He believes that the community land trust model is proven, as represented by Proud Ground’s nearly 25-year history, and Dominique believes that its greatest benefits are in creating strong families, stable communities, economic viability, and permanent affordability. 

 

Thom Nees

Thom Nees is the Founder and Executive Director of Common Ground Community Housing Trust, in Wenatchee, WA. With over 30 years of executive non-profit management, Thom has spent much of his life gathering diverse groups of community members to help underserved residents of the communities in which he has lived.

 

His “superpower” is getting smarter people than him in the room from diverse backgrounds and perspectives to find long term solutions to big community challenges. This is what led him to discover the CLT model 5 years ago and establish Common Ground Community Housing Trust, whose first project broke ground in the spring of 2023. He has lived in Wenatchee for the past 21 years and for the past 7 years has served as the Executive Director for a houseless prevention organization, Serve Wenatchee Valley. He’s founded 4 non-profit organizations focused on immigration, community development, affordable housing, and food insecurity.

 

Holding 2 degrees and 2 master’s level accreditations, he has a broad range of professional experience as an executive non-profit manager, property manager, Realtor®, farmer, orchardist, business owner/operator, and board member of numerous for profit and non-profit organizations. He has been a member of the NWCLT coalition for 4 years and believes the coalition needs the unique perspective and representation from Eastern Washington on the NWCLT board. In his spare time, he is a passionate fly-fisherman.

 

Bryce Nickel

As an autistic leader and postgraduate student with over two decades of dedication to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, I am committed to advocating for the autism, disability, and homeless communities. My expertise as a diversity consultant has allowed me to contribute significantly to companies across Seattle, fostering inclusive environments. Including leading and being a panelist at diversity events. I am a former homeless person that wants to fight to end homelessness.

 

I served on the boards of the Autism Society of Washington and I am currently serving on the Homes and Hope Community Land Trust, where I am actively involved in policy and advisory committees focused on housing and accessibility.

 

Currently, I am excelling in my Master’s program in Accessibility Studies at Central Washington University, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. My ambition is to pursue a PhD in Micro Organizational Behavior or Information Studies, specializing in DEI or Accessibility.

 

In my personal life, I enjoy playing video games, board games, card games, D&D, basketball, swimming, camping, and medieval fighting. Currently, I am an archer that fights in mock battles with the Empire of Medieval Pursuits. Here is a PBS video about the organization: https://www.pbs.org/video/empire-medieval-pursuits-real-life-game-thrones/

 

Rebecca Gobeille

As General Counsel/Chief Compliance Officer for Habitat for Humanity SKKC, Becca Gobeille oversees the legal landscape across all aspects of development project, from feasibility and acquisition to financing and ownership structuring to homebuyer sales and post-completion compliance, as well as managing ongoing compliance requirements and relationships with funders, lenders and government agencies. Becca also manages the corporate organizational aspects of Habitat for Humanity SKKC, overseeing the company policies and procedures, legal filings and working closely with the senior leadership team and the board of directors to support the day-to-day functions of the organization.

 

Becca is a skilled real estate development and finance attorney, with almost 20 years of experience in multifamily affordable development, including both rental and homeownership projects. She has extensive experience in the legal and financial structuring of affordable housing projects, with a specialization in homeownership structures, including land trusts, condominiums, cooperatives and other common interest ownership communities. She regularly works with multiple layers of funding and financing, leveraging her experience and relationships to develop innovative new ways of maximizing the number of housing units built in Habitat for Humanity SKKC’s projects. Prior to her current role, Becca was in private practice at the firms Jameson Pepple Cantu PLLC (Seattle), Stoel Rives (Seattle), Hirschen Singer & Epstein LLP (NYC) and the Law Office of Karen Sherman, Esq. (NYC). During her career she has served on a number of nonprofit boards in New York and Seattle and donates her time to a variety of planning and housing causes.      

 

Jerry Bustamante

I grew up on the Navajo Nation near Gallup, New Mexico, in a small community called Thoreau.  (Navajo citizens lease their ownership of land, but there is no wealth.) Before coming to Olympia, WA, in 2000, I lived in Montana for two years. Starting in 2014, I began a series of legislative gigs in the Washington State Legislature, and in 2019 I finally became a lobbyist. Becoming a professional advocate in the legislature was a career goal, but, alas, I was not able to get that next lobbying gig. The Great Pandemic happened, and I began to focus more intently on my volunteer role as a board trustee on Thurston Housing Land Trust (THLT). One of the visionary founding members of THLT recruited me in 2018. Admittedly, I began my role as a trustee with some passivity because I saw a lot to be cynical about. Yet, I began to see a need for certain policies and actions to be put in place. Eventually, one of my major concerns for THLT was succession which led to my current role as board president. Going from trying to set up a committee on succession to becoming President in just a couple of months was a major decision, especially because THLT does not have an executive director. Yet, I took on the challenge. Our working board, to me, is a microcosm of our community, and I want THLT to be that, to be community-led. I am low-income and I rent. Maybe one day I can afford a mortgage. In the meantime, I extol the virtues of our work and as a board president volunteer.

 

Deborah Hayden

My training is in languages, literature, accounting, marketing, community building, and economic development.  My experience encompasses teaching, investment management, project management, market studies, business consulting, and a little bit of housing development.  I built two economic development organizations from the ground up, served as Economic Development Director for two Indian Tribes and Business Development Director for a third tribe, facilitated the current construction of a low to moderate income 20-unit townhouse project, and recently brought about the start-up of the Ketchikan Community Land Trust.

 

Miles Nowlin

Miles has dedicated over a decade of his life to affordable housing work, with a focus on participatory development and collective land tenure practices. His motivation for this work comes from his past experience in housing advocacy and community development in Shelton, Washington. During his time there, he coordinated social services for homeless families and children, as well as helped develop increased services for immigrant families and homeless teens. Miles is also a co-founder of the Mason County HOST Program, a housing and education program for homeless teens based in schools that provides support to help them secure housing, diplomas, and work. After working as a Housing Cooperative Developer with the Northwest Cooperative Development Center (NWCDC) in Olympia, Washington, he successfully helped resident homeowners purchase and convert five resident-owned manufactured housing co-operatives. Subsequently, Miles worked on state policy at NWCDC, advocating for legislation and state funding to bolster cooperative development. He recently completed his Masters degree in Latin American Studies with a concentration in Environmental Governance at the University of New Mexico. During his Masters program, Miles focused his research on community control in Caño Martín Peña Community Land Trust in Puerto Rico. Currently, Miles is serving as the Executive Director of Common Roots Housing Trust in Walla Walla, WA.

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