Chief Executive Officer
We do more than just construct buildings. We are rooted in community-led development and work in deep partnerships because we know that together, we can foster better communities. As members of the Seattle community for over 40 years, we aspire to be humble learners, committed to meeting the evolving needs of the community.
Chief Executive Officer
Vice President of Property Operations
Community Roots Housing Foundation Interim Executive Director
Vice President of Strategy and Innovation/ Interim CFO
Senior Manager of People and Culture
Director of Compliance
Director of Facilities
EVP of Community Development
Executive Director of the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict
Vice President of Asset Management
Director of Resident Services
Vice President of Real Estate Development
Senior Communications Manager
Christopher Persons has led Community Roots Housing since 2007 and has more than three decades of senior nonprofit leadership experience. Prior to joining Community Roots Housing, he was the 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 that doubled as a job training and employment center.
Chris has led the organization through significant transition and growth and has overseen the development of several award-winning properties including 12th Avenue Arts, Liberty Bank Building, the Jefferson, and Station House. In 2010, he oversaw the creation of the Community Roots Housing Foundation, and in 2012 he oversaw the creation of the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, which leads the community’s efforts around resilience and equity. Chris has provided leadership on many external community boards and currently serves on the boards of the Housing Partnership Network and Seattle Crescent Collaborative.
Michelle Canizio oversees the property operations of nearly 50 buildings with an emphasis on sustainable and equitable communities. Prior to this position, Michelle worked in various leadership roles for the government and nonprofit sectors in New York City, including the New York City Housing Authority, NYC’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation, with a focus on the sustainable operations, development, and preservation of affordable housing for over 19,000+ multi-family units, as well as 300+ single-family homes. Michelle holds a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College and Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies from New York University.
Kiley Dhatt manages the Community Roots Housing Foundation’s annual fundraising program as well as the $25 million collaborative capital campaign called Rise Together. Kiley works closely with staff and partners to develop and execute effective fundraising strategies to support Community Roots Housing programs, community-centered real estate developments, and general operations. In her role, she also helps to oversee the administrative and events work of the Community Roots Housing Foundation. She loves knowing that her work helps to make Seattle a more inclusive, diverse, and interesting place to live. Prior to joining Community Roots Housing in 2015, Kiley came from a background in writing and education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in English Composition and Rhetoric from the University of Delaware. In her spare time, Kiley can be found cooking adventurously, playing with her two mischievous cats, and enjoying any remotely decent weather with her husband on the back deck of their little home in the Mt. Baker neighborhood
Greg is a CPA who spent seven years as an auditor with Moss Adams, LLP in Eugene and Seattle prior to joining the Community Roots Housing team in 2017. He received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in accounting from Washington State University. Greg is an active volunteer in the community, currently serving as the Board Treasurer for Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center. His previous volunteer experience has included working with buildOn, a national nonprofit working to build schools in developing countries, and serving as the Board Treasurer for Committed Partners for Youth in Lane County. He lives in South Park with his fiancé Derek and their dog Frankie. Greg enjoys spending the bulk of his free time outdoors hiking, backpacking, and running and is also an avid Washington State Cougar and anything Seattle sports fan.
Jeff comes to Community Roots Housing from the Los Angeles area where he worked as an HR professional for 15 years. His HR experience includes work at TBWA/Chiat/Day advertising, Musicians Institute of Hollywood, and Technicolor. He was also the Manager of HR for Kabbalah Centre International, a religious nonprofit. Originally from the Seattle area, Jeff received a degree in economics from the University of Washington and a professional certificate in HR Management from UCLA. He also holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification.
Michelle has worked in the housing industry for over 14 years with experience ranging from site manager, portfolio manager, and compliance positions. Prior to her work in the affordable housing industry, Michelle worked with the Community Action Program in Kitsap County for five years, providing assistance in areas of low-income heating and energy assistance, WIC, and community resources and referrals. Michelle holds multiple certifications within the compliance field for affordable housing and has her real estate brokers license. Michelle is fan of Seattle sports: Seattle Sounders, Seahawks, Mariners, and Storm. When not in the office, Michelle enjoys her time with her husband Shaun, son Chris, granddaughter Alina, and their dog Rocko.
Scott has been with Community Roots Housing since 2012. He started as a staff accountant and is now an accounting manager. Prior to joining Community Roots Housing, Scott was a staff accountant at Emeritus Senior Living for two years and graduated from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar and drums, watching live music, golfing, traveling, and supporting local sports teams.
Scott “Mac” McEachran oversees the operations of Community Roots Housing maintenance services program and capital projects. He has supervised the maintenance department since 2002. Mac has vast knowledge and experience at Community Roots Housing buildings and has managed increased responsibilities in his tenure. His efforts have grown the maintenance department and its ability to provide repair and maintenance for the growing portfolio of buildings. Prior to joining the organization, Mac worked as a Project Development Facilitator focused on continuous process improvement, worked in a lead position as Facilities Maintenance Technician for a large manufacturer, and as a Journeyman Union Carpenter. He has 30 years of experience in facilities maintenance, building construction, property management, and project management.
Donna Moodie, owner of Marjorie Restaurant in the Central Area, brings years of engagement with both the Capitol Hill and Central District business communities to her role as Executive Director of the EcoDistrict and Executive Vice President of Community Development for Community Roots. Moodie co-chairs the Mayor’s Small Business Advisory Council, participates in the Central Area Land Use Review Committee, and serves on the Seattle Center Advisory Commission. She was a founding board member of the Capitol Hill Housing Foundation and chaired the Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas Board. As a consultant, Moodie has advised food business startups and architects on diversity and inclusion. Born in Jamaica, raised in Chicago, and now a resident of Seattle for over 20 years, Moodie is well acquainted with the interconnectedness of social justice, community building, and neighborhood activism.
Brad 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 Community Roots Housing in 2013, he held positions for a variety of investors. Brad is licensed by the State of Washington as a Managing Broker. 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.
As Director of Resident Services, Ashley leads Community Roots Housing’s work to connect residents to a range of opportunities that provide social, emotional, and economic stability. Ashley has over 10 years of experience in program management, community building, and curriculum development. Prior to joining Community Roots Housing, Ashley held various paid and volunteer positions with youth development programs at organizations like Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, Powerful Voices, Girls Power Forward, and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. She received her interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts from Fairhaven College at Western Washington University. Ashley lives in Capitol Hill, and her favorite thing about working for Community Roots Housing is that she gets to work alongside her neighbors in reimagining what community can look like when everyone has access to life-affirming resources. Outside of work, Ashley enjoys spending time with her rescue chihuahua Ollie, shooting hoops, and playing bass in a heavy, sludgy metal band called Molting.
Jeremy Wilkening leads Community Roots Housing’s real estate development work. He began working at the organization in 2016. Prior to this, he led real estate development at other community development corporations in the Boston area, the last of which was Urban Edge Housing Corporation. His development career began in 2002 in San Francisco, and he has experience working in multiple states in the Northeast in creating both affordable and mixed-income housing as well as mixed-use, transit-oriented development. Jeremy earned an MBA at University of California-Davis and a BS in Chemical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Yiling Wong oversees storytelling strategy, media outreach, and event marketing across the organization. She has previously served at King County, the University of Washington, Habitat for Humanity, and Smart Growth America. The common thread throughout has been a need to make positive change across groups and to empower people to flourish. As a Minnesotan child of Chinese immigrants, Yiling enjoys fried potatoes, pot stickers, and behavioral economics for kindness. After renting in four Seattle neighborhoods since moving to the state in 2008, she now lives near Green Lake with her partner, their experimental garden, and three chickens. In her free time, she can be found eating and adventuring on all forms of water. Yiling holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from George Washington University, a B.A. from the University of Minnesota, and a Washington Food Worker card.