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Steve PonTell

President and CEO

Steve PonTell is the Chief Executive Officer and President of National Community Renaissance. In 1996, Steve founded the La Jolla Institute, a California-based nonprofit think tank that advances a better understanding of the critical elements necessary for both communities and corporations to achieve sustainable economic competitiveness. He is a nationally recognized authority on community development and creating forward-thinking organizations to maximize evolving market environments. Steve has a Bachelor of Science from California Polytechnic State University in City and Regional Planning and an EMBA from Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker School of Business.

Michael M. Ruane

Executive Vice President

Michael M. Ruane, National CORE’s Executive Vice President, leads the development of program and business strategies for the organization and is responsible for overseeing all operating departments. Previously, Mr. Ruane served in a variety of leadership positions in Orange County, including Chief of Strategy and Public Affairs of CalOptima, Executive Director of the Children and Families Commission, Assistant County Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Environmental Management Agency. Mr. Ruane is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine, and earned a master’s degree from the UCLA Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Mr. Ruane is the Immediate Past Chair of the Orange County/Inland Empire District Council of the Urban Land Institute and is the Jury Chair for the 2016 HUD Innovation in Affordable Housing national design and planning competition.

Michael Finn

Chief Financial Officer

Michael Finn is National CORE’s Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, Mike is responsible for the overall financial strategy and fiscal practices of the organization. Before joining National CORE, Mike served as CFO for a major healthcare technology company. With more than 25 years of management experience in finance and accounting, Mike has spent the majority of his career working for mid-market companies. He has significant experience in the technology, healthcare, real estate, construction, manufacturing, and entertainment fields. His expertise is in strategic financial planning and analysis, financial reporting and forecasting, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and corporate restructuring. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA.

Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo

Senior Vice President for Public Affairs
President, Hope through Housing Foundation

Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo, National CORE’s Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and President of the Hope through Housing Foundation, has more than 20 years of experience working with educational, nonprofit, religious, government, and business organizations.  Prior to joining National CORE, Cid was the Associate Superintendent of Business Services and Economic Development for the Chaffey Community College District, where he led the district’s economic and workforce development and business services programs; managed the district’s $230 million bond program; and led the external relations functions for legislative, governmental, foundation, and alumni programs. He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. John’s Seminary and completed his doctoral studies in organizational leadership at the University of La Verne.

Philip Nelson Lee

General Counsel

Mr. Lee has more than 30 years of finance and securities experience. He began his legal career with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., where he served in the Division of Corporation Finance and later in the Office of General Counsel. Prior to joining CORE, Mr. Lee was a partner in several law firms and on senior counsel with Fulbright & Jaworski’s Public Finance and Administrative Law Group and Structured and Project Finance Group. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School and his A.B. in Economics from University of Southern California.

Doretta “Dorrie” Bryan

Vice President of Human Resources and Operations

Dorrie Bryan began her career with National Community Renaissance in 1995 as the Executive Assistant to our Founder and CEO. After graduating from the University of California Riverside Human Resources Certificate Program in 1999, Dorrie was promoted to Vice President of Human Resources and Operations. In her current role, she is responsible for planning, developing, implementing, administering, and budgeting for all areas of employment, compensation, benefits, training, employee relations, legal compliance, affirmative action, and health and safety programs, for National CORE’s 400+ employees. Other professional affiliations include Professionals in Human Resources Association and the Society of Human Resources Management.

Byron Ely

Senior Vice President of Construction

Byron Ely, National CORE’s Senior Vice President of Construction, has been with the organization since 2006.  He holds the professional designation of Certified Building Official and has more than 30 years of local government development and private sector consulting experience managing a wide variety of development and construction projects.  Prior to joining National CORE, he spent seven years with the Community Development Commission of Los Angeles County, as the Director of the Construction Management Division where he oversaw both private and commission owned affordable housing developments, averaging $500 million per year.  He holds degrees in Construction Technology and Management, and a Certificate in Advanced Construction Management, from the University of Southern California, Civil Engineering Division.

Dan Lorraine

Senior Vice President of Property Management

Daniel W. Lorraine joined National Community Renaissance in 2014 as Senior Vice President of Property Management, where he oversees a portfolio of more than 9,000 units in California, Arkansas and Texas, and leads the organization’s environmental sustainability efforts. Previously, Dan was Senior Vice President of Property Management at The Community Builders in Boston, overseeing a division responsible for managing nearly 9,000 units across fourteen states and the District of Columbia. While with The Community Builders, he led a cutting edge division that thrived in difficult markets and managed complex properties. He joined the company in 2008 after six years as regional manager for Trans World Entertainment Corp. in Albany, N.Y. He also spent 18 years in management positions for Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Pharmacy.

Jeré Thrasher

Senior Vice President
Chief Operating Officer for the Hope through Housing Foundation

Jeré J Thrasher, Ed.D serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the Hope Through Housing Foundation and Senior Vice President for National Community Renaissance. Jeré developed her passion for leading effective change and building high-performing teams in the dynamic, market-driven higher education arena. She is nationally recognized for her professionalism, integrity, dedication, and excellence. Jeré earned a Bachelor of Science from Whittier College in Sociology with a minor in Political Science, a Master of Business Administration (MBA), and she holds a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership from the University of LaVerne.


Our Vice Presidents of Acquisitions are available to discuss your community development and affordable housing needs. Please contact a representative below:

Tony Mize

Tony Mize is Vice President-Acquisitions for National CORE. His career in the real estate industry has focused on the development of affordable multifamily and single-family workforce and senior housing. Tony was an integral part of the company’s early years, serving as Director of Business Development, Acquisitions & Structured Transactions from 1993-1999. Prior to rejoining National CORE, Tony has launched and run his own firms developing, constructing and operating multiple affordable communities. Tony currently serves as a board member and treasurer of the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County, and has long involvement promoting economic development and job creation.

Julie Mungai

Ms. Mungai has more than 25 years of accounting and finance experience in the public and private sector. Immediately prior to joining National CORE, she gained extensive housing finance skills as an Accounting Manager with the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission, where she held that position for more than a decade. She joined National CORE in 2000 to oversee and monitor developments from the initial financial-structuring phase to project lease-up. Ms. Mungai holds an MBA Degree with an emphasis in Finance from the University of Oregon.

John Seymour

Mr. Seymour has 27 years of development and community-based experience and has been with National CORE 17 years. Responsible for acquisitions, forward planning, environmental, financing, entitlements, and outreach, he has assisted in the production of more than 4,000 units including five mixed-use projects at a total development cost of over $500 million. Prior to CORE, he worked for Manchester Resorts, the Building Industry Association and as Policy Advisor to the Chair of San Diego Board of Supervisors.  He graduated from SDSU with a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration and Economics.


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