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Our Team

Our Team

Julianna Stuart
Julianna Stuart
Resilient Communities Project Lead

Julianna is Vice President of Community Impact for Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH). Her work is focused on POAH’s national initiatives, including strategic partnerships, fundraising, best practice development and scaling across POAH’s portfolio. She manages POAH’s Family Self-Sufficiency program, the largest of its kind in the nation, which enables HUD-assisted families to build assets, increase their earned income and achieve personal and financial goals. Julianna also leads POAH’s efforts to promote well-being and equity through the lens of trauma-resilient design, property management and resident services.

Julianna has been with the POAH organization since 2017, previously leading the Community Impact department at POAH Communities. Prior to joining POAH Communities, Julianna managed a national project to demonstrate the impact of service-enriched rental housing among 13 members of the Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) network. Julianna began her career as a resident service coordinator with The Community Builders on Chicago’s West Side.

Have questions about the Resilient Communities project? Reach out to Julianna at jstuart@poah.org

Caitlin Behle
Caitlin Behle

Caitlin is a Senior Social Innovation Specialist at Design Impact. Caitlin works to disrupt social inequity through design research, community building, and inclusive community engagement. Borrowing from participatory action research and human-centered design, Caitlin works alongside communities and nonprofits to inspire change. She also designs and facilitates dialogues and workshops that allow people to show up fully and with vulnerability, unpack and make sense of diverse perspectives, and move from ideas to action.

Prior to Design Impact, Caitlin worked at ArtWorks where she managed their creative entrepreneurship programs.  Caitlin has presented for the Women’s Fund, Wave Pool, and the Americans for the Arts Convention and co-written pieces for ArtPlace.  Caitlin earned a BFA in Electronic Media and a Certificate of Journalism from the University of Cincinnati.

Alejandra Cervantes
Alejandra Cervantes

Alejandra is a Design Researcher with MASS Design Group. With a background in architecture practice and research, she is motivated to do work that promotes design inclusion, across all layers of difference and representation, in ways that are accessible to everyone. At MASS, she is eager to amplify research building on existing knowledge, expertise, and project work and developing new methods for design to respond to social issues that impact both the built environment and architectural practice.

Alejandra has amplified research on trauma-informed design practices. She developed design recommendations based on the principles of trauma-informed care for Haven, a domestic violence shelter where these principles are reflected in the built environment. And more recently, Alejandra is currently on a project team designing healthy, affordable housing for seniors incorporating key principles aging in community and trauma-informed design.

Sarah Corlett
Sarah Corlett

Sarah is Director of Community Development and Strategy at Design Impact. Sarah knows first-hand how creativity and culture can be transformative. She’s experienced it on an individual level, especially during her days as a professional dancer. She’s also seen it on a community-wide level: in Philadelphia, Sarah led the planning, programming and implementation of an arts-based economic development strategy at New Kensington CDC. Finally, she’s witnessed it transform entire cities. After returning to her home state of Ohio, Sarah lead the launch of a business development program for creative entrepreneurs at ArtWorks, which trained hundreds of artisans, makers and problem-solvers and kickstarted a new wave of creative culture in Cincinnati.

Now at Design Impact, Sarah regularly calls on those early experiences while creating curriculum, facilitating group sessions and designing workshops for individuals with a diverse range of experiences and perspectives. She has shared her work at events including the Americans for the Arts Annual Convening, Aspen Institute ThinkXChange, Net Impact Conference, NeighborWorks America Training Institute and TomTom Festival’s Hometown Summit. She’s also a 2013 Cincinnati Business Courier 40 Under 40 Honoree.

Andrea Dalton
Andrea Dalton, MA, MT-BC

Andrea is a trainer and consultant with the Center for Trauma Informed Innovation at Truman Medical Centers. In this role, Andrea supports individuals and organizations in promoting resiliency and developing trauma sensitive culture. She is a certified leadership coach, with the perspective that leadership is within each person, regardless of job title. Along with her colleagues, Andrea works with school districts, agencies, organizations, and businesses to develop strategies to support the people they serve, as well as those doing the serving, that are grounded in the science of resilience and the practice of compassion. Prior to joining the Center for Trauma Informed Innovation, Andrea worked for more than a decade as a music therapist in both private and state-run inpatient mental health units, providing services to some of the most vulnerable adults and children in the Kansas City area.

Andrea has an undying fascination with the way the brain works, a critical appreciation for research, a strong commitment to best practices, a creative spirit, and a calling to make the world a better place.

Patricia Gruits
Patricia Gruits

Patricia is a Senior Principal with MASS Design Group leading design and research initiatives in health, education, and housing. Her work is aimed at engaging and empowering stakeholders in the design process; supporting and substantiating the impact of design on health, social, and environmental outcomes; and translating research into design strategies and decision-making. She has coordinated the creation of the Purpose Built series— a set of tools for creating impact-driven design— and has implemented this approach in the design of affordable housing, healthcare, and urban design projects around the globe. Patricia has also managed a range of design projects aimed at proving the impact of the built environment on individual and community health in the United States, including a collaboration with the mayor’s working group to address issues of homelessness, addiction and recovery in Boston.

Patricia collaborated with the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard to create guidelines for Safe Interaction in Senior Affordable Housing in response to COVID-19, and has lectured at the Harvard School of Public Health as a part of the USAID sponsored Airborne Infection Control course. She has taught design studios focusing on social impact at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been published in journals of architecture and health and was recently awarded the 2020 Earl R. Flansburgh Young Designer Award by the Boston Society of Architects.

Ayanna Hines
Ayanna Hines

Ayanna is a Community Impact Manager at POAH Communities. Prior to joining POAH Communities, she was the Director of Program Services at Scholar Athletes where she led a staff of 45 and oversaw service delivery in 20 schools across 2 school districts serving 4,000+ high school students.  She worked at Harvard University where she held a number of management roles in administration and operations in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Public Affairs and Communications and at Harvard Law School during her 10-year tenure.  An avid sports enthusiast, she began her professional life working in athletics at Emmanuel College, The Missouri Valley Conference, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, for the Black Coaches Association and at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas.  Her time in athletics also afforded her the opportunity to design and install an exhibit at Spelman College that was dedicated to women Olympians during the Games of the XXVI Olympiad held in Atlanta, GA. Stints in human services at Crittenton Women’s Union, in an out-of-school time program named Project R.I.S.E. and in social justice work at the NAACP – Boston Branch undergird her commitment to the affinity she holds dear.

She has an affinity for organizations whose work focuses on teaching and learning, the human condition and/or capacity building for under-resourced communities.  With over 20 years of experience gained in community-based organizations, higher education and athletics, she works from a wide lens offering a diversified skill set, intellectual dexterity and empathetic maturity to foster strong relationships with people, organizational partners and the greater community so that she serves and leads with, and out of, love.

Jennifer Manuleleua
Jennifer Manuleleua

Jennifer is Vice President of Community Development at Community Services League in Independence, MO. Jennifer is passionate about community. Prior to joining CSL, Jennifer served as the Director of Leadership Training & Development for Kansas City Neighborhood Alliance and worked for ten years as a Community Organizer, learning from community members what works, what matters, and what truly strengthens community. In 2017, Jennifer joined the Community Services League (CSL) team at POAH’s Hawthorne Place Apartments.  Jennifer and her team focus on transformational relationships, creating shared vision for children, families, and neighborhood. She is passionate about working on two-generational approaches to helping families out of poverty, using an asset-based approach – all with the goal of strengthening families.

Jennifer has a Master’s degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Urban Affairs. Though her traditional education has greatly enhanced her experiences, her greatest classroom has been in people’s homes, at community events, and asking lots of questions.  She is a certified trainer for Trauma Informed Culture and Compassion without Fatigue. Jennifer also co-leads the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force within CSL as they work to ensure that the work and the ways we work are for and with all people with an eye on transformation (not transaction). 

Daphney Thomas
Daphney Thomas
Daphney is the Community Impact Manager for POAH Communities’ Cincinnati portfolio. A Cincinnati native, Daphney leads the Community Impact team, strategy and partnerships to strengthen POAH’s mission and works with local agencies to foster partnerships that holistically serve POAH families. Her experience as an entrepreneur served as a catalyst to launch the Community Impact department in Cincinnati with the goal of building safety nets for families when they need it and spring boards for when they are ready to reach goals.
Vicky White
Vicky White

Vicky is a Community Impact Manager with POAH Communities. Vicky is passionate about civic engagement and national service and has years of experience managing volunteer programs across new England. Prior to joining POAH Communities, Vicky spent more than a decade with The East Bay Community Action Program, where she coordinated AmeriCorps and the Retired Senior Volunteer Programs, as well as disaster relief through the American Red Cross. Vicky has also administered award winning VITA Tax Programs that promote the Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credits to eligible families, bringing in millions of hard earned dollars back into communities.  In her role as Bristol Substance Abuse Task Force Chairperson, Vicky was also instrumental in founding the first Boating Under the Influence (BUI)  law in Rhode Island, introducing legislation to induce population level change to reduce alcohol related accidents and casualties on the Ocean State waterways.

Vicky has also worked in the hospitality industry for several years at the Newport/Bristol County Convention and Visitors Bureau, assisting worldwide travelers to achieve their destination goals. 

Kreasha Williams
Kreasha is a Special Projects Coordinator with the Center for Trauma Informed Innovation at Truman Medical Centers. In this role, Kreasha creates opportunities to lead strategic learning, community education, and organizational development initiatives with a foundation in trauma informed care and resilience. She has been with the Truman Medical Centers-Behavioral Health for more than 21 years, putting to practice her background in mental health, substance use education, and Christian counseling.
 
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