Board of Directors

Jeffrey S. Burum


In 1991, using his own resources, Mr. Burum co-founded National Community Renaissance (National CORE) in response to the need for affordable housing in San Bernardino County. Five years later, wanting to provide more than shelter to low-income families and seniors, he co-founded the Hope through Housing Foundation to offer programs and services that transform the lives of residents. Today, National CORE is one of the largest national nonprofit affordable housing developers in the country.

Burum is a long-time affordable housing advocate. Early in his career, he was one of 22 real estate professionals to be appointed by Congress to serve on the Millennial Housing Commission, whose mission was to make recommendations for Federal housing policy to legislators.

During his 30 years in the development field, Burum established three successful real estate companies in addition to National CORE and Hope through Housing: (1) Diversified Pacific Communities, a builder of custom quality single family home communities throughout Southern California; (2) Diversified Pacific Opportunity Fund, founded in 2008 in response to the market downturn and has raised more than $60 million in private capital to purchase and develop land and other real estate assets; and (3) Colonies Crossroads, a land investment group that has developed a 400+-acre master planned community featuring more than 1,000 residential homes and more than one million square feet of commercial space, of which Burum is a managing partner.

Burum is active in the community serving on many nonprofit and for-profit boards and previously served on the board of Pomona Valley Habitat for Humanity and AIG Sun America’s Asset Management Company.

Armando J. Bucelo, Jr.


Mr. Bucelo is an attorney in Coral Gables, Florida, specializing primarily in corporate, banking, real estate and transactional work. In 1991, he was appointed by former President George Bush as the first Hispanic as well as the first Floridian ever selected to the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). In 2002, he was appointed by President George W. Bush as Chairman of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), one of the highest appointments ever made to a Hispanic by any administration. On July 14, 2006, Mr. Bucelo became the first Cuban-American ever to ring the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

James D. Cashion


Mr. Cashion is a principle of Cashion, Go & Company, LLP, a CPA firm, and Cashion Consulting, Inc., a valuation and litigation support firm. Together his businesses provide accounting, auditing, tax, business valuation, and litigation support to small and mid-sized business clients. He is a member of an array of professional associations including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of CPAs and has served on more than 20 civic organization boards in his community.

Gavin Clingham


Mr. Clingham is a Principal with Woodberry Associates, a Washington, D.C. public and government affairs firm. He assists corporations and not-for-profit organizations develop and implement strategies to get their voices heard before Executive Branch Agencies and the United States Congress. Mr. Clingham’s expertise focuses on the education, health care, financial services and appropriations sectors. Previously, Mr. Clingham served as staff for a senior Member of the United States House of Representatives. Mr. Clingham holds a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science from The Catholic University of America. He resides in Bethesda, MD.

Raymond Crebs


Mr. Crebs currently serves as President of New Direction and is recognized as a leading expert in mortgage banking. He served as Chairman of the Board and President/CEO of Directors Mortgage Loan Corporation, a full service mortgage banker with permanent servicing of $15 billion dollars. Under his direction, the Company grew to become the largest independent mortgage company in the country with 127 branch locations and more than 3000 employees. Drawing from more than 25 years of experience in real estate finance, Crebs successfully negotiated the sale of Directors Mortgage to Norwest Bank. Later, Wells Fargo Bank acquired Norwest Bank.

As a former President of the California Mortgage Bankers Association, he frequently serves as a consultant in the mortgage banking industry. Crebs also served on the Board of Governors of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America in Washington, DC and the boards of WMC Mortgage, PSP Financial Services, and Pioneer Savings Spring Mountain Group. Crebs is a graduate of the School of Management from the University of California, Riverside and the School of Mortgage Banking from Northwestern University School in Michigan. He is a licensed real estate broker and a founder and board member of Golden State Business Bank.

Laura Kurtz Kuhns


Ms. Kuhns currently leads the efforts of Vandalia Heritage Foundation and Vandalia Redevelopment Corporation, sister non-profit organizations dedicated to economic revitalization through the built environment. Since their inception in 1998, she has managed the successful completion of more than fifty impactful projects, ranging from small community improvements and plans to restoring landmark historic properties, and developing large R&D and manufacturing facilities on behalf of other non-profits. Formerly managing director of a versatile real estate firm that championed public-private partnerships, she served two terms on the Governor’s Council for Community & Economic Development and is an advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Stephen G. Larson


Mr. Larson, a former United States District Court judge, is a founding partner of Larson O’Brien LLP, a litigation firm located in Los Angeles which handles litigation, appeals, white collar defense, and internal investigations. Mr. Larson also served as federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, where he was chief of the organized crime section. Among the notable cases he presided over as a federal judge was United States v. Duro, in which he blocked the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs’ decade-long effort to close down a major migrant worker camp on the Torres Martinez Indian Reservation in the Coachella Valley and appointed a receiver to transition the occupants to suitable housing.

Jim Previti


A longtime and well-respected Southern California home builder, James (Jim) Previti is president and CEO of Frontier Communities and Frontier Enterprises. Jim was named in 2004 to the prestigious Builder 100 list compiled annually by Professional Builder Magazine, and he has been honored as the Builder of the Year by the Building Industry Association.

In 2009, Jim Previti created the John P. Previti Memorial Foundation to honor the memory of his brother, John, and to provide philanthropic support to worthy organizations.

Dr. Joe D. Thigpen


Dr. Thigpen has been consulting with business and industry since 1979 in the areas of executive assessment, executive coaching, and team development. Dr. Thigpen served two years in the Peace Corps in rural Brazil. He was assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff while in the US Army. He is a past President of the American Association of Suicidology, and he received the Edwin Shneidman Award for outstanding scientific contributions to the field of suicide and life-threatening behavior. Dr. Thigpen received his Master’s Degree in Business from George Washington University and his Ph. D. and undergraduate degrees from the University of Florida.

Emeritus Board Members

G. Allan Kingston

Mr. Kingston, as President and CEO of Century Housing Corporation for 18 years directed the financing of more than 14,000 affordable/workforce households, in 250 housing developments, in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. While originating more than $450 million in housing loans, he also led Century to initiate “More Than Shelter® Services, Inc.” to assist underserved communities and families with after-school tutoring, job training and placement, transitional housing for homeless veterans, childcare, health and wellness for seniors, and creation of two charter middle schools. Now retired, Mr. Kingston served three years as the Chairman of the National Housing Conference, the nation’s oldest advocacy organization for affordable housing. He is a member of several national and state non-profit boards, including the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the NHC, and the California Housing Consortium, and is a long-time member of the Urban Land Institute.

Sebastiano “Seb” Sterpa

Mr. Sterpa founded and operated Sterpa Realty Inc. from 1962 to 1985, and today serves as Chairman of The Sterpa Group, a real estate investment and management firm. In 1982, he was elected President of the California Real Estate Association and in 1987, Vice President of the National Association of Realtors. In 1983, Governor Deukmejian appointed him Chairman of the Board of Directors of the California Housing Finance Agency (CHFA). Mr. Sterpa served for 12 years as a director of the SunAmerica Asset Management Corp., AIG Mutual Funds and Countrywide Mutual Funds. In 1990, he received from President Cossiga of Italy the award of Commendatore of the Italian Republic.

Andrew B. Wright

Mr. Wright co-founded National Community Renaissance in 1992 and now serves as the organization’s Co-Chairman. Mr. Wright led a prestigious career in real estate development spanning more than 30 years. He served as a partner for Diversified Pacific Development Group and was President of the Inland Empire division of KB Homes. Throughout his real estate career, Mr. Wright built more than 5,000 entry level homes, was a three-time president of the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association and was named Builder of the Year in 1979.

Resident Board Members

Resident Board Members serve as a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) member on the National Community Renaissance of California Board of Directors.

Richard Dawson

Resident Board Member

Richard Dawson has lived in National CORE’s Talmadge Senior Village Apartments in San Diego since 2014. Now retired, Richard worked for 40 years at his family-owned car dealership and for 10 years as the Operations Director for Sportlands Team Sports. He served two tours in Vietnam as part of the United States military and is now active in promoting opportunities for veterans. Previously, Richard served for six years on the board of the Alpine American Little League as he helped connect youth with positive role models through athletics. Born and raised in San Diego, he enjoys traveling and outdoor activities.

Joyce Johnson

Resident Board Member

Joyce Johnson has lived in National CORE’s Encanto Court community in south Los Angeles since it opened in 2011. Joyce was born and raised in San Francisco as one of nine children. Her career has included years spent as a roofer, construction worker, nurse and as one of the first female African-American truck drivers. She is especially interested in working to alleviate veterans’ homelessness and said it is her mission in life to help people less fortunate than herself. She is a proud grandmother of nine and great-grandmother of three.

Venus Lujan

Resident Board Member

Venus Lujan moved from Los Angeles to our Renaissance Village development in Rialto 18 years ago. She became an important part of the community, volunteering in Hope through Housing’s afterschool program on the property and joining our Inland Empire CHDO board. She and her husband have four children, including two currently on full-ride scholarships at UC Riverside and Cal Baptist University. Her family eventually moved out of Renaissance Village after no longer being income-qualified to live there. Her husband is a former structural steel welder who now manages a company that makes hair dye products, while Venus focuses on raising her children, nephew and grandson. She has a passion for education and athletics, and hopes to one day visit all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums on an RV trip across the country.

Susanne Monterosso

Resident Board Member

Susanne Monterosso has lived in Yorba Linda, California for more than 20 years and was one of the first residents National CORE welcomed to Oakcrest Terrace in 2017.  She is a single mom raising three beautiful children between the ages of 14 and 20.  She has held various positions, including office manager and salesperson for Elite Crete California, probation department assistant, union representative and pre-school teacher. Susanne is currently taking classes and plans to launch her own social media marketing company.
Active in the community, Susanne is a Past President of the PTA and Mom’s Club International. Susanne was honored with the Green Angel Award from the Girls Scouts of America for her philanthropy work. Susanne has a Bachelor of Science in Child Development and an Associate’s Degree in Journalism.

Jovita Schofield

Resident Board Member

Jovita Schofield has lived in National CORE’s Villaggio development in Rancho Cucamonga since it opened in 2009. She currently works part-time for the County of San Bernardino, doing assisted care for the elderly and has previously worked as a Customer Services Manager for Walmart and as a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. She has also served on an advisory board for First 5 San Bernardino, which was created to oversee the implementation of California’s Children and Families Act. She said she loves where she lives and participates in every community event. She has a great relationship with the property management staff at Villaggio and sees joining the National CORE board as a tremendous learning experience. In the future, she would like to go back to school to study social service delivery and would like to become a homeowner. She has three children and several grandchildren, two of whom live with her and her daughter at Villaggio.

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