Who We Are

Members are the driving force of SDHF, but it is the Board of Directors and staff that are at the core of its effectiveness and leadership. Directors may serve two consecutive three-year terms. They are elected by the membership at the SDHF’s annual meeting.

Board of Directors

Matthew Jumper, San Diego Interfaith
Housing Foundation, President
Peter Bridge, Sun Country Builders, Vice-President
Paul Shipstead, Wells Fargo Community
Lending and Investment, CFO
Mary Jane Jagodzinski, Community HousingWorks
Simonne Ruff, Corporation for Supportive Housing
Aruna Doddapaneni, BRIDGE Housing Corporation
Tim O’Connell, Century Housing Corporation
Kwofi Reed, LISC San Diego
John Seymour, National Community Renaissance
Lori Holt Pfeiler, Habitat for Humanity
Nicholas Hamilton, Red Capital

Staff

SDHF staff is the “face” of the organization seen most frequently in the media, before City Councils, and in discussions with other coalition partners.

Stephen Russell, Executive Director

SteveRussell_HeadA 2005 graduate of the NewSchool of Architecture & Design, Stephen has a 20-year history working in community and economic development in the Mid-City region of San Diego. He served as Executive Director of the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement District, where he was responsible for implementing an economic development strategy for an aging commercial district. He later served as an advisor to then-San Diego City Councilmember Toni Atkins on issues related to redevelopment, infrastructure financing, small business support, and the City’s General Plan (the “City of Villages”.)

Since then he has served as volunteer board member and President of the City Heights Community Development Corporation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing affordable housing, employment opportunities, and quality neighborhoods in the community of City Heights. Stephen has served on the NewSchool Foundation Board since 2009 and as President of the Board since 2011.

Prior to joining the Federation as its Executive Director, Stephen was a member of the firm Platt/Whitelaw Architects, Inc., a full-service architecture firm specializing in sustainable design.

Laura Nunn, Policy Director

laura nunnAs the San Diego Housing Federation’s policy director, Laura plans, directs, and coordinates development of policy positions as well as government and legislative affairs. Previously, she worked at U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s San Diego district office working on federal level issues related to housing, health, veteran affairs, and social programs. She also interned at former California State Senator Denise Ducheny’s office. Laura holds a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from University of San Diego and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish from SDSU.

Sarah B. Mirabelli, Events and Membership Coordinator

SMirabelli

Sarah B. Mirabelli, our Events and Membership Coordinator, has 10 years of experience navigating deadlines and orchestrating complex event schedules.

An adept problem solver, Sarah possesses the ability to quickly change course and acclimate seamlessly to new environments and responsibilities.  She is able to see the big picture without losing sight of the details and excels at translating our members’ creative needs into action.  Working with the Presidents and Vice Presidents of companies such as Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM), Creative Group, Inc, and Creative Counsel her role played a large part in keeping the companies on track during hectic times.

Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Native American Studies from the University of Oklahoma.  She is passionate about all things creative and loves supporting others in their creative endeavors.  An Oklahoman by birth, a Chicagoan by choice, and a recent transplant to San Diego, Sarah truly feels at home here in the City in Motion.

Outside of work, you’re likely to find her exploring San Diego, relaxing at the beach with her dogs (and friends or family), singing at a local karaoke spot, or generally finding the beauty and humor in life.

Cassi Neal, Program's Coordinator

cnealCassi Neal is a 2015 University of Southern California School of Social work Graduate. She has a passion for Community Organizing and Civil Rights Advocacy, and has experience working with many populations from hands on clinical experience to big picture macro-practice social work.

Since she graduated from San Diego State in 2007, Cassi has been working with a variety of disenfranchised populations. She was an after school coordinator for the Livermore Area Recreation Parks Department BELIEVES Enrichment Program, working with children and parents to provide a well-rounded educational experience and set the families up for future success.  She worked with the Texas Civil Rights Project on Prison Rights and Policies and played a key role in providing data for TCRP and affiliated organizations in regards to Solitary Confinement Practices. She used her role as a Social Worker within TCRP to act as a liaison between attorneys and clients, provide counseling needs, and to help create and run programs. During her time at TCRP she was also able to envision, create, and execute a by-mail mental health resource program for Texas offenders in order to provide essential coping skills to a population in high need.

Her independence and adaptability to ever changing social needs has equipped her with the skills necessary to not only provide help on personal levels, but also to see the big picture issues. She is able to quickly assess a situation and determine what tools will be necessary to improve or avoid any potential problems. She believes in constant personal growth and education in order to better aide and advocate for the people and communities she has found a passion in working with.

Sneha Craig, Office Administrator

sne photo (2)Sneha Craig is the part time office administrator at San Diego Housing Federation. She is a Massage Therapist and also works at Fern Street Circus, a non- profit teaching circus skills to youth in City Heights.

Sneha enjoys life with her husband, 2 dogs, 5 chickens, 3 rabbits and likes to paint in her spare time.

Barbara Speth, Intern

bio headshotBarbara Speth is a 2016 graduate from University of California San Diego earning a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She lived in four different states growing up including Wisconsin, South Dakota, Oregon, and finally California.

While attending UCSD she studied abroad in Greece for a summer. In the past she has volunteered at homeless shelters and participated in 5K’s that benefit veteran organizations. She has a passion for politics and enjoys spending time outdoors and trying new local restaurants.