2014 Living in the City 219

Kimball Griffith, Chair | Freddie Mac

Derrick Perkins, Vice Chair | Bank of America

Winell Belfonte, Treasurer | Cohn-Reznick Group

Phyllis Jordan, Secretary | Media Consultant

Robert Leland, Member Emeritus | RC Leland Consulting

Annika Brink | National Housing Trust 

Alison Herrick | Fannie Mae

Joseph Howell | Joe Howell Consulting, Inc. 

Cynthia Metzler | US General Services Administration 

Peter J. Plocki | US Department of Transportation

Paula Singleton | Affordable Housing Management



Kimball Griffith |Chair

Kim Griffith is Vice President of Affordable Sales & Investments for Freddie Mac’s Multifamily Division. Mr. Griffith is responsible for marketing, customer relations and product development strategies for retail and wholesale targeted affordable debt and tax credit equity transactions, and managing Multifamily’s Affordable programs. Prior to joining Freddie Mac, he was a partner at Ballard Spahr Andrew & Ingersoll, LLP and at a prior law firm, Kutak Rock, LLP, representing parties in commercial real estate and in affordable housing development and finance.

Mr. Griffith serves on the board of directors of Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., one of the nation’s leading housing and community development organizations, whose mission is to create opportunities for low- and moderate income people through affordable housing in diverse, thriving communities.  He is a long-time member of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church.  He believes that Housing Up’s contribution to the community is compelling “because its mixture of affordable housing and effective services, targeted to meet a family’s needs, provides opportunities for growth, both for the residents and those of us fortunate enough to work with Housing Up.”

Derrick Perkins |Vice Chair

Derrick Perkins was elected to Housing Up’s Board of Directors in January 2014. He brings with him over 15 years of experience at Bank of America, currently serving as Senior Vice President of Community Development Banking. Mr. Perkins strives to grow stronger and healthier neighborhoods in low and moderate-income communities. He also serves as a Director of the Housing Initiative Partnership, a nonprofit organization working towards affordable housing. Mr. Perkins earned his Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University and his Bachelor of Arts from Hampton University.

Winell Belfonte, CPA | Treasurer

A long-time resident of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Ms. Belfonte is a principal of the national accounting and auditing firm CohnReznick Group. She resides in the firm’s national office located in Bethesda, Maryland, where she has served clients nationwide for more than 20 years. She is responsible for planning and performing all aspects of nonprofit, real estate and commercial audit, accounting and financial reporting engagements. In addition to managing client relationships, she is involved in many firm-wide training programs and serves as a classroom instructor for many of these programs. An active member of the community, Ms. Belfonte serves on the Housing Up board and frequently consults with board members of her various non-profit clients. She also serves on the Advisory Board to the School of Business at Bowie State University. She is a graduate of the 2010 class of Leadership Greater Washington. She received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bowie State University, summa cum laude. She is a member of the AICPA and MACPA.

Phyllis Jordan | Secretary

Phyllis Jordan was a vice president at The Hatcher Group, a Bethesda-based public affairs firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and foundations. Ms. Jordan manages media outreach and communications for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and Attendance Works, two projects dedicated to improving educational outcomes for children from low-income families. She came to The Hatcher Group after 26 years in daily journalism, including nearly a decade as an editor at The Washington Post.

Before joining the Post, Phyllis was city editor of the Los Angeles Times’ Ventura County edition. Her 12 years as a reporter included stints as a Washington correspondent for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, a state house reporter for The Fairfax Journal and extensive experience covering education, local government, housing, social services, health care and military affairs.

Ms. Jordan has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s degree in English and history from Sweet Briar College in Virginia. A native of Lexington, Va., she now lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children.

Robert C. Leland | Member Emeritus

Mr. Leland has served on the Housing Up board of directors since 2008. He has over 30 years of experience as a senior executive and consultant in local and national nonprofits, as well as government organizations engaged in affordable housing finance and development, community economic development, and municipal planning. In 2002, he established RCLeland Consulting LLC in Washington, DC to provide project management, research, training and technical assistance services to a variety of clients that have included a private real estate management company; municipal and federal government agencies; local, regional and national nonprofit organizations; and state associations.

Mr. Leland is a parishioner of St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC, where he is active in outreach programs like Housing Up’s Adopt-an-Apartment Program. He is also a Loan Committee Member of a seven-state Community Development Financial Institution financing rural water and sewer infrastructure improvements, affordable housing, and small businesses. Mr. Leland states, “linking my outreach mission activities at St. Columba’s with my service on the Housing Up board gives me an opportunity to offer my experience in affordable housing development and nonprofit management to help advance Housing Up’s mission of direct service to at-risk and homeless families.”

Annika Brink |National Housing Trust 

As the National Housing Trust’s Energy Efficiency Advisor, Annika Brink works with state and local partners across the country to advance NHT’s mission to increase energy efficiency in multifamily affordable housing. She analyzes efficiency policies, advocates for solutions, and helps build strong relationships among utilities, regulators, affordable housing owners, energy efficiency advocates, and financial partners.

Prior to joining the National Housing Trust, Brink led the Alliance to Save Energy’s engagement of publicly-owned non-for-profit electric power utilities. She helped utilities share best practices,evaluate energy efficiency program models, benchmark their energy efficiency portfolios, develop innovate online tools, and achieve consensus on priority topics. While at the Alliance she also worked on building energy codes.

Annika has experience working on green affordable housing for a small community development corporation in Minnesota, conducting clean water advocacy, researching rental-sector energy efficiency solutions, and consulting to local governments in Massachusetts on carbon, housing, and energy efficiency retrofit policies. She holds a B.A. in American History and German Studies from Wesleyan University and a Master’s in Public Policy with a concentration in Social, Urban, and Energy policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Alison Herrick |Fannie Mae

Alison Herrick is Fannie Mae’s Vice President and Multifamily Chief Financial Officer. Herrick is responsible for providing financial advice and oversight to Fannie Mae’s Multifamily business.

Previously at Fannie Mae, Herrick held a number of management roles in Finance and Corporate Strategy. She has extensive experience in financial advisory services; strategic, financial, capital, and business planning and analysis; competitive analysis; organizational design; people management and development; financial accounting; and project leadership. Prior to joining Fannie Mae, Herrick advised large and mid-size financial services companies as a manager in KPMG’s National Mortgage Banking Group. She began her career on the audit staff of KPMG. Herrick has a bachelor of science in business administration from Georgetown University and is a certified public accountant in the District of Columbia. Being on the Housing Up board provides an opportunity to offer her professional skills and multifamily and affordable housing knowledge to increase access to quality housing and improve communities.

Joseph Howell |Joe Howell Consulting, LLC

Joseph Howell brings years of invaluable experience in senior and affordable housing to the Housing Up board of directors. In 1981, Howell founded Howell Associates, Inc., a full service company specializing in real estate development, marketing and strategic planning services to both senior housing and affordable housing industries.

After 17 years operating Howell Associates, Inc., Howell added his expertise to ZA Consulting as an advisor to the senior housing and long term care practice teams. Now, Howell advises senior housing boards of directors and CEOs on expansion, repositioning and strategic planning initiatives.

Howell earned his bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and his Masters in Urban Planning
from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cynthia Metzler |US General Services Administration 

Cynthia A. Metzler was appointed chief administrative services officer for the US General Services Administration (GSA), effective August 2011. In this role, Metzler directs and coordinates a variety of internal management and support services within the agency to help GSA better serve its agency customers and the American taxpayer.

Before her appointment at GSA, Metzler ran her own small business advising nonprofit organizations on building strong and effective management teams. Before that, she served as president and chief executive officer for Experience Works, where she led an extensive organizational transformation that used technology and other business processes to improve performance.

In the 1990s, Metzler served in senior executive positions within the Department of Labor’s Office of Administration and Management, including acting secretary, acting deputy secretary, and assistant secretary. In these positions, she provided internal and external leadership for the department’s programs, budget, operations and policy.

Metzler holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Purdue University in Indiana, a Juris Doctor from Indiana University, and a Master of Science in organizational development from American University in Washington, DC.

Peter J. Plocki |US Department of Transportation

Mr. Plocki has served on the Housing Up board since 2003 and was president of the board from 2007 through 2008. His involvement with Housing Up began as a volunteer renovating the building that would become Partner Arms 2. He is the Deputy Assistant General Counsel for Litigation for the U.S. Department of Transportation and attends St. John’s Episcopal Church, Norwood Parish in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Mr. Plocki gives his time and resources to Housing Up “because of its longstanding track record of successfully empowering homeless families to transform their lives and become productive, self-sufficient members of their communities and because of the dual manner in which the organization accomplishes this important goal: by filling the area’s critical need for transitional and affordable housing and by providing high quality supportive services to go with that housing.”

Paula Singleton |Affordable Housing Management

Paula Singleton understands the intricate details of housing development and management, having decades of experience managing multi-million dollar properties for real estate development firms in the District of Columbia. Singleton established effective procedures to expand and maintain a low-income, HUD subsidized, multifamily apartment complex for more than 34 years.

A Howard University graduate, Singleton has dedicated her time to improving her community through volunteer service since her retirement in 2006. Singleton is an active member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, served for six years as Treasurer of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and serves on the board of Seabury Resources for the Aging.