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
Rebecca Louie, Wakeland Housing Corp.
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


San Diego Housing Federation Nominations and Elections Procedures

The San Diego Housing Federation annually, during the first quarter of the year, conducts an election for open seats on its Board of Directors. Pursuant to the Bylaws, the Governance and Nominations Committee select a slate of candidates to present to the Membership during its annual election. The slate is selected from all eligible candidates, subject to the limitations set forth in the Federation Bylaws (hyperlink to Bylaws) and as consistent with the goals established by Governance and Nominations Committee annually. All Federation members in good standing are invited to submit their qualifications as a candidate for Board membership.

The Federation Board of Directors consists of eleven members. The Federation Bylaws require that no fewer than six Board members represent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that develop and/or operate affordable housing or provide support for affordable housing developers. Of those, no less than four seats must be occupied by nonprofit organizations that develop affordable housing. The remaining positions may be filled with any member in good standing.

In addition to the requirements established by the Bylaws, the Federation Governance and Nominations Committee has established criteria to assist in the selection of the slate of candidates to be presented to the Membership. It is the goal of the Governance and Nominations Committee to nominate a slate of potential directors that will promote diversity (including, but not limited to ethnic, geographic, and professional diversity) on the Board of Directors. In addition, the Committee strongly weights candidates’ demonstrated commitment to the Federation (i.e., committee participation, financial support, or other commitment).

Those elected shall take office on April 1 of the applicable year.


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, Director of Events and Membership


Sarah B. Mirabelli, our Director of Events and Membership, 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.

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.

Miriam Melendez, Education Programs Assistant

Given her passion for empowering individuals and communities of all backgrounds, Miriam is excited to become SDHF’s first part-time Education Programs Assistant LISC AmeriCorps member.

Miriam earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Women’s Studies with an LGBT Studies minor from San Diego State University. She believes education is key to self and community development, and wants to inspire others to be active in their own communities or in communities of need.

Miriam enjoys travelling, photography, yoga, writing poetry and going to music festivals. Most of the time you will find her by water (beach, rivers, waterfalls, etc.). Her favorite activity is spending time with her partner Carlos and cat Luna.

Blake Nachtsheim, Intern

Blake Nachtsheim is an intern at San Diego Housing Federation. He grew up in Reno, Nevada and moved to San Diego in 2012 to attend San Diego State.  He plans to graduate in the spring of 2017 with a Bachelors in Business Management with a specialization in Entrepreneurship.  Blake became interested in social business and non-profit management while attending SDSU and hopes to one day create a company that can give back to the community.

Blake also works for the student disability services on the SDSU campus. In his free time, he enjoys surfing, skiing, exploring the great outdoors, reading and watching Kung Fu movies.

Ying Sham, Intern

Ying Sham is currently an undergraduate student at University of California, San Diego in her final year of studying Economics and Urban Studies and Planning. Her passions lie in studying innovative urban design that aids smart and affordable housing, green living, and environmental sustainability.

As a native from the city of San Francisco, she’s learned to enjoy the busy and hectic urban lifestyle while also escaping to the Redwoods of Purisima and the waterfalls of Yosemite. Her love for good food, music, and travel has taken her to France, Italy, China, South Africa, and more – and she’s excited to bring back everything she’s learned to contribute to the growing and advancing communities of San Diego through SDHF.