Who We Are

Get to know the talented NHS of New Haven staff and their dedicated Board of Directors.

NHS Executive Director

James Paley

Executive Director
(475) 227-0529

Since earning his doctorate from Cornell University in 1980 (where his dissertation focused on residential mobility patterns in New York City), he has presided over a program that has grown from a small housing rehabilitation organization to a sophisticated housing development corporation that concentrates on neighborhood stabilization, resident leadership training, community organizing, affordable housing production, historic preservation, and homebuyer education programs. He is currently the Executive Director of four separately incorporated 501(c)(3) organizations on the NHS of New Haven campus. Jim has taught courses that focused on homeownership and homebuyer education and counseling.  He is personally committed to green building practices and environmental sustainability. Jim describes himself as a political junky that enjoys time with family and friends, playing trivia, and discovering different music.

HOC Managing Director

Bridgette Russell

Managing Director
(475) 227-0535

Bridgette believes she has the best job – assisting individuals and families in achieving their goals of homeownership! In the HomeOwnership Center it’s all about providing the education, guidance and resources that will equip both homebuyers and homeowners to be successful and sustainable. She finds love, joy and peace with family and friends, but in addition, finds happiness in reading, rainbows and marching bands!


Stephen Cremin-Endes

Director of Community Building & Organizing
(475) 227-0537

Stephen focuses his work in direct proportion to where NHS is developing houses as part of an overall neighborhood stabilization and revitalization effort. Co-creating the resident leaderhsip program, offering a meaningful volunteer experience and supporting resident driven groups in placemaking and people making is the core of what drives Stephen and Adam each day in CB&O. Stephen enjoys farming with his wife Celeste on their hobby farm in North Guilford, being with his three adult children, and hiking, camping, canoeing, biking, swimming and reading both fiction and non-fiction. He continues his love for his home country of Canada.

Nancy Kelly

Director of Finance
(475) 227-0526

Nancy’s work is focused on capturing and quantifying all endeavors of NHS of New Haven, and subsequently providing clear reporting and connect-the-dots analysis for staff, grantors and regulatory agencies. Her passion is music, which she expresses through conducting, organ, and singing. She currently resides in West Haven, CT and has two adult children.

Kathy Fay

Director of Community Sustainability
(475) 227-0540

Kathy founded and directs NHS’s Community Sustainability department where her passion for energy equity and environmental justice is put to use on behalf of individuals and families, municipalities, and statewide initiatives. Previously she served NHS as Senior Project Manager for Construction and Energy Conservation. A New Haven resident for over thirty years, she has been involved with innumerable community organizing, environmental justice and economic development projects. In her spare time she can be found gardening, hiking, or curled up with a good book.

NHS Managers

Jay O'Neill

Construction Manager
(475) 227-0533

Jay has 35 years of experience working as a Carpenter, Project Manager, and Estimator with commercial and residential construction and restoration projects. He managed projects from start to finish by engaging in all aspects of the construction process, including budgeting and scheduling to oversee the work of subcontractors. Jay looks forward to bringing more quality homes to the community!

Junyi Wang

Communications Writer
(475) 227-0527

Junyi prepares promotional material that takes NHS of New Haven’s vision to the customers, uses effective and timely messaging to attract new customers, develops strategies specific to different media and networking for brand awareness. She enjoys spending time with her two kitties each day after work, playing tennis and badminton with friends. Junyi is also passionate about traveling and exploring new cultures.

Lucy Marinelli

Public Relations Manager
(475) 227-0539

Lucy spreads awareness of NHS’s mission through strengthening community and media relationships. She can be found designing social media graphics, writing blog posts, or organizing events. She is passionate about her work because it morally aligns with her desires to dismantle systemic inequality. When Lucy is not working, she is acting, hiking, or snuggling with her cat, Poppy.

Jett Jonelis


Resource Development Manager
(475) 227-0544

Jett focuses on securing individual, corporate, foundation and institutional funding for Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven and their connected organizations. They work closely with NHS leadership to design and execute fundraising and development strategies that advance NHS’ vision and strategic growth. Outside of work, they love connecting with their local community, hiking, reading science fiction/fantasy novels, and exploring various artistic mediums.

Becky Skau

Administrative/Financial Manager
(475) 227-0546

Becky’s job covers a multitude of responsibilities.  She is responsible for all financial data entry and bill paying for all four companies.  Becky is the liaison with the outside IT vendor and is able to trouble shoot some of the problems.  Becky also assists with HR responsibilities.  In her free time she likes to do counted cross stitch samplers, sew, and knit.

HOC Manager

Heidie Colon-Rosa

HomeOwnership Center Coordinator
(475) 227-0536

Heidie has been with NHS for over a year and it has been one of the best work experiences she has encountered. She is passionate about creating financial literacy and sustainability for the community in not only home buying, but also promoting budgeting skills, great credit history, and future financial goals. Heidie is a mother of 3 growing boys, a 14-year-old and 10-year-old twins, who keep her busy and her pockets empty feeding them. Outside of work, besides spending time with family, she has a passion for Interior design and Event Planning and Décor.

NHS Senior Administration & Specialists

Areta Huckaby

Senior Administrative Assistant
(475) 227-0525

Rita has worked for NHS over 20 years. She has had the pleasure of assisting NHS customers as well as overseeing and ensuring that the day-to day operations of the front office run smoothly. This makes her feel productive at the end of the day. In her free time, Rita enjoys creating and designing jewelry, along with spending time with her family and two kids.

Adam Rawlings

Community Engagement Specialist
(475) 227-0530

Adam supports the work of volunteers by connecting them with meaningful service opportunities. His specialty is working with groups of volunteers at outdoor events to make a positive impact over the course of one or more days. His projects range from greenspace and water stewardship to one-on-one homeowner help. In his free time, he enjoys doing yoga, camping, cooking, and playing video games. He lives in the Wooster Square neighborhood with his wife and one-year-old cat.

Raymond Hagan

Resource Develpment Specialist

Raymond coordinates opportunities to fund NHS’s lines of business and connected organizations. He ensures financial support for NHS and HOC programs so that they can continue to impact and empower families and communities. Outside of work, he enjoys reading, learning about history, playing video games, and spending time with friends and family.

Ledda Vergara


Ledda is happy to be a part of NHS of New Haven. With over 16 years of bookkeeping experience, she is excited to contribute her skills to various roles within the finance department and the organization. She is a mother of three beautiful girls and a wife. In her free time, she enjoys participating in the extracurricular activities of her daughters and traveling whenever she can.

Carmen Ramos Perez

Carmen Ramos-Perez

I Heart My Home CT Specialist
(475) 227-7579

Carmen is the I Heart My Home CT Specialist for NHS of New Haven. Carmen holds initial consultations with each participant and immediately starts connecting them with the resources that best fit their needs. I Heart My Home CT is our cost-free, one-stop shop to make home improvements for health, comfort, energy savings, and lower utility bills. Helping the community and educating them on energy and having healthy homes is her passion. During her free time, she loves spending time with her family, helping in her church and enjoying life!

Carmen Ramos Perez

Trace Burns

Maintenance Manager

Trace is dedicated to maintaining the integrity and cleanliness of the NHS campus and its ongoing projects. He can often be found around the various office buildings on campus, assisting his fellow staff by painting, clearing snow, or helping with the setup for NHS’s events. When he’s not in the office, he enjoys spending time with his family and getting outdoors to hike.

HOC Senior Administration & Specialists

Maybeliz Montanez

Senior Administrative Assistant
(475) 227-0541

Maybeliz is very proud to be part of this organization. She has the pleasure of assisting prospective homebuyers, as well as homeowners who, for whatever reason, have found it difficult to keep track of their payments. Maybeliz’s presence in the office is the first light that customers see, and she introduces them to NHS’s programs. In her free time , she is a mother, wife and proud grandmother of 5 grandkids. She is also a pet lover, having a dachshund rescued dog, named Spikey, who she loves spending time with.

Norma Pantoja

Housing Specialist
(475) 227-0528

As a housing specialist, she provides housing counseling to first time homebuyers, as well as homeowners. She helps them achieve their goals in homeownership through coaching, resources, and education. She enjoys hiking, cooking, and being with family and friends.

NHS of New Haven Housing Specialist, Candace

Lindita Ifti

Housing Specialist
(475) 227-0542

Lindita’s role is to provide housing counseling and housing assistance for homebuyers and homeowners. She is someone who is specifically trained to assist people (or families) in finding and purchasing or staying in a home. She is a people person and family oriented, and she is passionate about helping people find security and support in their homeownership goals. When she isn’t working she loves to spend time with her two daughters, go on hikes, and travel.


Board of Directors



Leslie Radcliffe*

Neighborhood Resident

Carol Heller*

Vice President
Bank of America

Virginia Stevenson*

Neighborhood Resident

Sarah McQueen*

Knights of Columbus


Nathan Bixby

New Haven Resident

Nina Fawcett*

Neighborhood Resident

Oliver Gaffney

Neighborhood Resident

Glenn Davis*

Liberty Bank

Robert Filippone

Norcom Mortgage

Densill Greaves

Neighborhood Resident

Mina Minelli

Webster Bank

Jacquelyn Pheanious

Neighborhood Resident

Jesse Phillips*

Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce

Louis H. Hart, M.D.

Yale New Haven Health Medical Director

*Members of both NHS and HOC boards


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