President and CEO
Steve PonTell is the Chief Executive Officer and President of National CORE. He has become a passionate advocate for the residents and communities we serve and today is one of the leading voices and public speakers on the topic of housing affordability and community transformation. He has led several regional and national symposiums on our nation’s housing crisis. In addition, Steve has addressed the California Assembly on the challenges facing the affordable housing industry.
During his career, Steve has pursued a variety of entrepreneurial ventures and has held several public-private leadership positions. Active in his community and industry, Steve serves on several boards of directors, including the California Endowment, National Housing Conference, BizFed Institute and Southern California Leadership Council. He also is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and the American Planning Association. Steve graduated from the California Polytechnic State University — San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science in City and Regional Planning and the Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker School of Business with an Executive Master of Business Administration.
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.
Senior Vice President for Strategic Partnerships
President, Hope through Housing Foundation
Gregory J. Bradbard, President of the Hope through Housing Foundation and National CORE’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships has more than 20 years of experience as a community leader and fundraiser throughout Southern California. Prior to joining Hope through Housing and National CORE, Greg served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Inland Empire United Way (IEUW). Under his leadership, IEUW increased its community impact by launching several new programs to improve youth and family self-sufficiency. Greg holds a B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior from UC Irvine, and past roles have included serving as the Executive Director for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Orange County, Executive Director for the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, and Director of Development for Families Forward.
Senior 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.
Robert Diaz, National CORE’s General Counsel, joined National CORE in 2017. Robert brings significant experience in the areas of debt finance, corporate governance, banking regulations, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate law. Robert has also focused on the development and implementation of corporate controls and structure and has previously played a major role in managing significant portions of large-scale regulatory remediation efforts.
Robert graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 2000 and received his B.S. degree in Business Administration from Chapman University in 1997. He was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army Reserve and served as a member of the Army’s JAG Corps for 15 years. Fluent in Spanish, Robert has represented clients in cross-border transactions in Latin America.
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.
Senior Vice President of Construction
Chris Killian, Senior Vice President of Construction, began his career at National CORE in 2004 as an onsite Construction Superintendent and has held various positions within the organization, including Construction Manager and Vice President of Estimating. During his tenure with National CORE, he has been responsible for the construction and renovation of more than 1,240 apartment units, valued at approximately 215 million dollars. Prior to joining National CORE, Chris spent five years with the Fontana Unified School District, where as a Project Manager he was involved in the construction of four new schools with a total value of 103 million dollars. He also was responsible for the coordination of infrastructure and installation of numerous modular facilities during his time with the school district. Chris has a BS from the University of Redlands, and has taken course work in construction and supervision from Riverside Community College. He is a licensed General Contractor(B) in the State of California.
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.
Vice President of Asset Management
Patricia C. Whitaker is the Vice President of Asset Management for National Community Renaissance. In her role she is responsible for the management of tangible and intangible assets, intellectual property and human capital. As a former CEO, Executive Director and leader in the affordable housing industry, Pat brings a long history and strong foundation in the delivery of excellence and sustainability, ensuring high-quality service-enriched apartment communities that support the needs of individuals, families, and the neighborhood at-large.
Pat has received numerous awards for exceptional leadership and strategic vision with a holistic perspective to sustainable change for a broad slate of stakeholder groups. Her prior positions include Executive Director of the City of Santa Ana Community Development Agency, Affordable Housing Coordinator for the City of Anaheim and CEO/COO/Strategic Visionary Leadership of three Southern California Non-Profit Organizations, Innovative Housing, C & C Development and Abode Communities.
Ms. Whitaker is a graduate of Cal State University Long Beach and attended Western State University School of Law and Chapman University School of Law.
Senior Vice President of Development
In his role as Senior Vice President, Ashley Wright oversees all development activities for the organization. He has more than 25 years of experience in real estate finance and housing development. His knowledge includes entitlement, project management, development and construction of multifamily rental housing, for sale housing and commercial. He is proficient with numerous market-rate and affordable housing financing sources such as low-income housing tax credits, various state and federal programs, tax-exempt bonds, private equity and conventional financing. Ashley graduated from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a focus in finance, real estate and law.
Development Leadership Team
Vice President of Development
Lesley Edwards is the Vice President of Project Development for National Community Renaissance, where she is responsible for managing an extensive pipeline of potential projects through the development process, overseeing a large team of project managers, cultivating relationships with a variety of external stakeholders, and performing comprehensive financial analysis to create complex deal structures. She embraces the mission of transforming communities and lives through the development of quality affordable housing. With more than 18 years of experience in affordable housing and finance, she has been responsible for the development and construction of more than 2,000 units and securing more than $500 million in financing. Her entitlement and development expertise include acquisition/rehab, mixed-use, and new construction projects. Lesley received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California San Diego and a M.B.A degree from the University of California Irvine.
Senior Vice President, Los Angeles Region
David Grunwald joins National Community Renaissance with more than two decades of leadership and advocacy experience in the affordable housing industry. He began his commitment to public service in 1988 as a pro bono lawyer representing homeless clients and disadvantaged children and families. In the 1990’s, David served as Associate Director of Programs at the Weingart Homeless Service Center where he directed social service programs for homeless individuals on Skid Row. In 2000, David was appointed President and CEO of LA Family Housing where he oversaw the development and provision of emergency, transitional and permanent housing, and social services at 21 facilities to thousands of homeless individuals throughout Los Angeles. In 2006, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros recruited David to launch American Sunrise Communities. This national initiative catalyzed developers, investment banks and local governments to create large scale affordable housing in urban centers throughout the United States.
David also served as CEO of Affordable Living for the Aging where he oversaw the development of affordable housing for seniors. He is the co-founder and co-chair of the annual Mayoral Housing and Transportation Summit which has been held at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business since 2000. Prior to his public service positions, David worked as a lawyer specializing in litigation and employment law. He teaches community development to graduate students at the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy. David received degrees from Denver University, Duke University and Loyola Law School of Los Angeles.
Vice President of Acquisitions, Inland Empire Region
Tony Mize is Vice President, Acquisitions for National CORE. His career in the real estate industry has primarily focused on the development of affordable multifamily and single-family workforce, senior and special needs 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 served 10 years as a board member and treasurer of the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County, and has long involvement promoting economic & community development and job creation.
Vice President of Acquisitions, San Diego Region
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.
Vice President of Planning
Alexa Washburn is Vice President of Planning for National Community Renaissance. As an affordable housing developer and public agency program manager, Alexa has managed, prepared and implemented a variety of community development projects over her 20 year career. Her projects have been recognized with 12 awards from the American Planning Association and Southern California Association of Governments. She applies her creative land planning, design solutions, and in-depth understanding of progressive policy and implementation strategies to effectively enhance the feasibility, livability, and sustainability of National CORE’s communities. Alexa is responsible for acquisitions, forward and advanced planning, environmental, entitlements, and community outreach. She also established National CORE’s consulting practice, providing consulting services to public and private sector clients.
Alexa is an advanced professional in LEED Neighborhood Development (LEED AP ND), and has earned a certificate from UCLA in Affordable Housing Development, bachelor’s degrees in urban planning, geography and environmental studies, and a Master’s degree in public policy & administration.
Property Management Regional Leadership Team
Rancho Cucamonga, Yorba Linda
Low Desert, High Desert, Corona & Palmdale
North/South San Diego & San Clemente
San Marcos, Escondido
Los Angeles County
Hope through Housing Foundation
Director of Development
Alyssa Cotter is a fundraising professional with more than 10 years of experience in nonprofit, higher education and local government settings. Currently, she serves as the Director of Development for the Hope through Housing Foundation where she is responsible for individual giving, corporate/private foundation relations and large-scale special events. Before joining Hope through Housing, Alyssa served as Director of Development at the Inland Empire United Way successfully launching a women’s philanthropy group and building profitable special events. Alyssa also served as Director of Constituent and Scholarship Programs for the UCR Alumni Association, responsible for the Parents Association, Emeriti Faculty/Staff Retiree Associations and the alumni scholarship program.
Alyssa earned her bachelor’s degree in business management and master’s degree in public administration from California State University, San Bernardino. Alyssa currently serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Inland Empire Chapter.
Los Angeles and Orange Counties
San Bernardino and Riverside Counties
San Diego County & Texas
Marketing and Public Affairs
Vice President, Public Affairs
Lorraine Kindred joined National Community Renaissance in 2019 as Vice President of Public Affairs. A graduate of UCLA with a degree in Political Science-Public Law, she has over 25 years of leadership and real estate experience. Lorraine oversees government relations in the state and federal arena as well as communications and community outreach working toward building and maintaining a strong reputation in the nonprofit affordable housing industry. Formerly the Chair of the Upland of Commerce and President of the Pomona Valley Chapter of Executive Women International, she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Upland YMCA and the Baldy View Chapter of the Building Industry Association.
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications
Jill Van Balen began her career with National CORE and Hope through Housing in 2001 as the Executive Assistant for the Founder and CEO. Since then, Jill has held several positions within the organization, including Marketing and Fund Development Manager, Manager of Corporate Affairs and Grant Writer. In her current capacity, she is responsible for all corporate and business group branding, marketing and public relations to promote, enhance and grow the brands of National CORE and Hope through Housing.
Active in her community, Jill is the Past President of the Board of Directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals Inland Empire Chapter, she also serves on the Board of Directors for the Purple Hearts and on the Board of Directors’ Fundraising Committee for OPARC. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications/Marketing from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.