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
Director of Property Management
Community Roots Housing Foundation Executive Director
Accounting Manager, Portfolio Operations
Director of Information Technology
EcoDistrict Deputy Director
Director of Asset Management
Director of Compliance
Director of Facilities
Vice President of Real Estate Development and Workforce Housing
Executive Vice President; Executive Director of Capitol Hill EcoDistrict
Vice President of Real Estate Development and Tax Credit Housing
Chief Operating Officer
Senior Manager of Philanthropy
Financial Accounting Manager
Senior Communications Manager
Senior Operations Manager
Vice President of Finance
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.
Valencia Chambers Manora hails from Seattle and loves the liquid sunshine that the city provides. She joined Community Roots Housing in 2014. She began as a site manager of the 12th Avenue Arts Building — also home to the Community Roots main office — and worked her way up to become the Director of Property Management. Valencia has worked in the housing industry for over 12 years. Prior to her work in affordable housing, she honed her skills working as an escrow officer, closing real estate transactions for first time homebuyers working with HomeSight. Valencia holds multiple certifications in affordable housing as well as her real estate broker license.
Valencia has always valued working to ensure that inclusiveness and equity are at the forefront of her work. She loves working with people and is compassionate and fair. When not at the office Valencia loves spending time with her husband Edward, her two children, friends, and family. In her spare time she enjoys decorating, gardening and painting.
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
Trinh joined Community Roots Housing in 2015 with over seven years of experience in property management and real estate development. She graduated from Central Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. During her free time, Trinh enjoys cooking Vietnamese cuisines and learning about other cultural cuisines. She also loves to spend time with her family and friends.
In the role of Director of IT, Morgan provides guidance, management and oversight for the technology systems that make much of our work possible. With 25+ years of experience in building IT solutions, Morgan develops efficient and creative ways to keep improving how we serve our community, empower our team-members, and support the organizational mission. Technology isn’t just a profession but a passion for Morgan, as anyone who knows him would attest. Being a student of life-long learning and an avid adventurist keep him grounded in the Pacific Northwest where he was born, raised and will always call home. Morgan is grateful to work at Community Roots Housing where his work can continue the drive for our communities to be fair, just, equitable and supportive of everyone.
Erin joined the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict after holding posts in several nonprofit organizations and NGOs that focused on community-based solutions for issues related to immigration, education, post-conflict rebuilding, and the environment. Before working with the EcoDistrict and Community Roots Housing, Erin spent five years serving as the Executive Director of Old Growth Northwest, a volunteer arts organization that provided creative writing opportunities to underrepresented groups. She also trained as a restorative justice facilitator with the Seattle Restorative Justice Initiative. Erin holds a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as an MA in International Affairs from the Fletcher School and an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University.
Lisa worked in commercial real estate valuation for seven years before joining Community Roots Housing in 2015 to pursue a more fulfilling career in nonprofit affordable housing. She earned a BBA in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics from the University of Wisconsin and is a CHAM Certified Asset Management Specialist. She has a passion for solving complex problems, collaborative teamwork, and making a positive impact through her work. Lisa has developed deep knowledge of Community Roots’ real estate portfolio, leading the implementation of a Business Intelligence System that stores a variety of key data to inform decisions benefiting our residents and promoting equity. Lisa loves to spend her free time hiking, backpacking, and gardening.
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 “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.
Jason joined the Community Roots real estate development department in 2021. He currently serves as the Vice President of Real Estate Development and Workforce Housing where he focuses on portfolio analysis, deal structuring, and workforce housing development activities. Jason brings over 20 years of affordable housing real estate development and finance experience to this role. His previous work experience includes working for both public and private organizations. Jason’s work as a developer for a nationally recognized firm focused on revitalizing urban communities by effectively utilizing public/private partnerships, along with his experience serving in various underwriting roles for debt and equity providers affords him the opportunity to evaluate a transaction from the perspective of a community-focused owner, developer, and financing partner. Jason graduated from Clark Atlanta University where he earned an MBA in Finance. He is also a proud alumnus of Morehouse College where he completed his undergraduate studies in finance.
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, chaired the Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas Board, and now serves as a board member for Grist. 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.
Thea comes to Community Roots from Cincinnati, Ohio by way of Portland, Oregon. In Cincinnati, Thea was the director of real estate and economic development for the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, a community-led Community Development Corporation nonprofit. In this role, she worked closely with community members to redevelop the neighborhood business district to provide a diversity of housing options along with a ground floor retail program that offered commercial space to serve and reflect the diversity in age, race, and incomes found throughout the community. In Portland, she worked with Prosper Portland, the city’s urban renewal agency, to provide Tax Increment Finance resources into community supported real estate projects in the far east neighborhoods of Portland.
Thea is passionate about the relationship between community and development and seeks ways to center racial equity outcomes to improve the vibrancy and resilience of communities.
Andrew Oommen joined Community Roots Housing in 2021. He has worked in housing and community development for over a decade, previously working with Rebuilding Together, Habitat for Humanity, and Mercy Housing. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from The Evergreen State College, a Bachelor of Arts from Western Washington University, and a Certificate in Accounting from University of Washington. He enjoys playing guitar out on the weekend.
Eric has decades of experience in managing and leading complex projects in the nonprofit and government sectors on issues related to education reform, juvenile justice, health care, welfare reform, workforce development, and arts and community engagement. Much of this work required advancing political and social opportunities for Black and brown communities; building diverse coalitions to advance racial equity; and leading efforts geared to transformative processes of growth. Eric has served in the public sector at a high level, including Chief of Staff to the New York City Commissioner of Juvenile Justice, and chief legislative aide to a Seattle City Councilmember.
Hilary is a Certified Public Accountant who spent her early career working for various for-profit e-commerce businesses with an accounting firm out of North Carolina. After spending four years in for-profit, she decided she wanted to work somewhere that cared about the community and gave back in an impactful way. In 2018, she made the move to Seattle and began her work at Community Roots Housing as an accountant before being promoted to Financial Accounting Manager. Today Hilary is based out of Texas, and in her free time she enjoys going to the beach and riding her bike.
Jessica came to Community Roots Housing after leading the communications for Missourians for Monarchs, a nonprofit committed to pollinator preservation in the Midwest. Jessica attended the University of Missouri for her undergraduate as well as her graduate degree, where she studied journalism and strategic communications. Outside of work, Jessica loves a good hike and is constantly searching for pizza to rival that of her hometown, Chicago.
Sarah Shoemake-Gamble earned her MSW at the University of Washington with a focus on administration and policy. Throughout college and graduate school, Sarah worked at organizations such as the Wallingford Boys & Girls Club, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, and Children’s Alliance. She worked at several different organizations before finding her professional home at Community Roots Housing, starting out as a Housing Assistant and moving into the role of Executive Assistant & Board Liaison. Now, as the Governance & Administration Manager, she oversees the operations of the Administration Team and main office, as well as PDA governance and board work.
Leslie Woodworth oversees Community Roots Housing’s finance team. She joined the organization in 2021, with over 15 years of experience in the Seattle area. Leslie previously held accounting leadership roles within university housing and online retailing organizations. She began her career in public accounting as an auditor of government and nonprofit organizations, as well as public and private companies. Leslie is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and graduate of the University of Washington Foster School of Business. She is most energized by problem solving and making financial information more accessible to a broader audience. In her spare time, Leslie enjoys playing music, drinking coffee, and enjoying the outdoors with her two dogs.