ANGELIC ARANA VARELA
Homelessness Prevention Network Manager
Angelic Arana Varela manages a comprehensive, coordinated network of prevention partners and resources for people at risk of homelessness. Angelic worked at CSB from 2013-2020 in the roles of Administrative Assistant and Program Manager for the Unified Supportive Housing System. She previously worked for Columbus Urban League for three years as a Family Service Advocate and earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the Ohio State University.
Senior Data Analyst
As the Senior Data Analyst, Jeremiah Bakerstull is responsible for program and system data analysis, evaluation and reporting. Prior to joining Community Shelter Board in 2010, Jeremiah worked for Pilkington. He has a master’s of science in management degree, which he earned from Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
Chief Operating Officer
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Lianna Barbu directs the internal operations of Community Shelter Board – the organization leading a coordinated, community effort to make sure everyone has a place to call home in Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio. As Chief Operating Officer, she oversees the operation and management of all finance activities, grants, housing and information technology. She also directs the data, research and evaluation affairs of CSB and is responsible for program and system evaluations necessary for programmatic and planning decisions. Lianna drives the work of the Continuum of Care for Columbus and Franklin County – a broad stakeholder group that oversees the strategic plan to respond to homelessness – aligned with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
She represents CSB on a local, regional, and national basis. With a budget of $55 million and a staff of 36, Lianna focuses on operations leadership and management, external relationships, and knowledge management.
Before joining Community Shelter Board in 2007, Lianna worked for the Columbus Chamber, where she managed benefits for the Chamber’s 3,000 business members. Before her role at the Chamber, she managed export operations, logistics, and finances for a business in Romania, stewarding vendor relationships throughout Europe. Lianna holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and an undergraduate degree in computer sciences.
As Operations Administrator, Thaddeus Billman analyzes data, ensures data integrity, conducts research, proofs and edits materials, and prepares and submits reports. Additionally, he oversees CSB’s information technology and provides overall administrative support for the data and evaluation team. Before joining CSB, Thaddeus worked as an actuary at Nationwide, where he also delivered in-house technical support. He earned his bachelor’s degree in actuarial science from the Ohio State University.
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Jennifer Birmele oversees Community Shelter Board’s housing programs for people facing homelessness. This includes the direct client assistance program for short-term rent and utility assistance, the Unified Supportive Housing System for lease-up and vacancy management of permanent supportive housing, and strategic work to build and expand partnerships with property owners. She ensures that housing programs funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are administered effectively and in compliance with funder requirements.
Jennifer has more than 16 years of experience working with affordable housing programs and housing homeless families in the Springfield area. She most recently worked for the Springfield Metropolitan Housing Authority. Jennifer received her bachelor of business administration degree in 1999 from Franklin University and master of public administration degree in 2019 from Arkansas State University.
Community Housing Manager
Nicholas Brenner builds partnerships with property owners and landlords to support CSB’s partner agencies in their work to quickly resolve housing crises for people experiencing homelessness. He works to collaboratively and strategically expand partnerships that result in increased access to a diverse array of local housing options for people in need. Nicholas comes to CSB from Home for Families, where he was a member of rapid re-housing programs as a case manager. He has more than seven years of experience in the human services sector, as well as experience in property owner relationships. Nicholas received his bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Toledo.
Data + Evaluation Director
Asli Buldum directs the research and evaluation affairs for Community Shelter Board and ensures there is sound program and system data analysis and evaluation. As Data + Evaluation Director, she oversees the Columbus and Franklin County homeless management information system to ensure reliable data collection, management, and analysis. Asli also directs all research, evaluation, and reporting of system, program, and client-level data. Before joining CSB, Asli worked as the Homeless Management Information System Administrator at United Way of Summit + Medina, where she managed the HMIS implementation for the Summit County Continuum of Care. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Measurement and Evaluation in Education from Hacettepe University, and a master’s degree in Research Methodology and Evaluation from The University of Akron.
Data + Grants Operations Coordinator
Katie Caputo supports data, grants, and evaluation operations. She maintains partner agency contract files, assists with the program review and certification process, and handles several data reporting functions. Katie worked at Kirche in Aktion in Frankfurt, Germany as an English interpreter/translator and administrative assistant before joining the CSB team. She earned her bachelor’s degree in youth ministry and Christian education from Cedarville University. She also holds a master’s degree in urban theology – community development from Nazarene Theological College.
Cathy Ellerbrock administers partner agency contract activities and manages the program review and certification process. She is responsible for coordinating funding applications to ensure effective stewardship of investments in partner agency programs. Cathy has previous experience in the food manufacturing and home goods industries with over 25 years of experience in customer service, operations and vendor compliance. She attended Mount St. Joseph University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Accounts Payable Accountant
Candy Faught supports the financial operations of CSB by performing accounting and accounts payable functions. She ensures timely and accurate payment of invoices and supports all accounting and payables functions. She has over 15 years of accounting and operations experience, most with banking institutions.
Derek Fry completes housing inspections to ensure safe and high-quality environments for Community Shelter Board’s housing programs. He is a compliance expert with local, state, and federal housing code and regulations, and he coordinates with property owners to help them achieve compliance and participate in CSB’s housing programs. Derek has experience managing property owners’ associations and most recently worked for Capital Property Solutions.
Chief Development Officer
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Melissa Garver is the Chief Development Officer for Community Shelter Board, leading private fundraising efforts by developing strategy, building donor partnerships, and raising funds to support CSB’s impact: preventing and ending homelessness. Melissa works with companies, businesses, and community leaders – in partnership with CSB’s Executive Director and board of trustees – to build strong partnerships in support of CSB leading our community's response to homelessness. Melissa earned a bachelor’s degree in business communications from Rockhurst University in 2003 and a Master of Business Administration from Capital University in 2014. She is a CFRE-certified fundraising professional.
Melissa’s interest in community efforts began in high school and college while she worked for Missouri Mansion Preservation, Inc., an organization responsible for the restoration and educational programs at the Missouri Governor’s Mansion. After graduating in 2003 from college, Melissa moved to Columbus to work for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the regional fundraising office. There, she spent four years dedicated to helping children with cancer by organizing many fundraising events. Melissa joined Community Shelter Board in 2008.
Gillian Gunawan manages the annual application for federal funding on behalf of homeless programs in Columbus and Franklin County and helps oversee how the funds are used. She staffs the Continuum of Care – a broad community stakeholder group that oversees the strategic plan to respond to homelessness. Gillian also assists with the program review and certification and invoicing processes. Prior to joining Community Shelter Board, Gillian worked for Columbus Literacy Council. She earned two undergraduate degrees in English and sociology from the Ohio State University.
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Don Hollenack joined Community Shelter Board as Finance Director in 2015. He is responsible for the budget and financial operations of CSB. He has 30 years of experience in accounting and finance in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Don received his bachelor of science degree in business administration from the Ohio State University and is a certified public accountant. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer for Community Housing Network for 10 years.
Don is active in community service in the areas of non-profit finance and youth athletics.
Valerie Holtz ensures that CSB’s housing programs funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are administered effectively and in compliance with funder requirements. Valerie previously worked as an asset manager at Springfield Metropolitan Housing Authority doing property management. She has more than 20 years of experience in property management, rent calculation, voucher administration, and file audit.
SHANNON TL ISOM
President + CEO
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Shannon TL Isom, named President and CEO of Community Shelter Board in 2023, has a twenty-year track record leading strategic teams and is deeply connected to continuums of care for communities of color, especially focused on social determinants, intersectionality, gender, and race. She has expertise in science, public health, non-profit management, medicine, and business. During her nine-year tenure as President and CEO of YWCA Dayton, Shannon increased the operational budget by 196%. She secured the first $1M biennial appropriation for the Ohio Council of YWCA.
Shannon holds a master's degree in health administration from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in pre-medicine/biology from Spelman College. She was a MD candidate at Wright State University School of Medicine and also studied medicine at the Ohio State University.
Shannon serves as a board member for the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio and YWCA USA. She is a member of the Economic Mobility Coalition; Equity Now Coalition, a collective action initiative focused on social justice in Central Ohio; Regional Housing Coalition, a group of municipalities, non-profits, and private sector partners working to address the key housing challenges facing our region; and the Workforce Advisory Committee. She served as a an advisory member for First Financial Bank Advisory Board, and as a board member for Dayton Downtown Partnership, Co-Op Dayton, Community Appeals Board for the City of Dayton, and Miami Valley Regional Planning Committee. She served on the executive advisory committee for the Human Rights Center at the University of Dayton and as co-chair of the Racism is a Public Health Crisis task force. Shannon served as a TEDx coach for TEDx Dayton.
Shannon received a Humanitarian Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice of Greater Dayton in 2022. She received a National Philanthropy Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2021.
With a budget of $55 million, Shannon facilitates and leads work with our community to make sure everyone in Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio has a place to call home. She brings together diverse organizations to work together as an efficient system, rather than as a fragmented set of resources.
Grants + Compliance Director
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Kirstin Jones manages Community Shelter Board’s contracts with all public funders, including sub-awarding, invoicing, and monitoring activities. She oversees review and certification of CSB-funded programs to assure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations. Kirstin joins CSB with five years of experience in HUD funding and working with another unified funding agency, formerly serving as their Director of Grants and Operations. She earned an MBA focused on Information Technology Management from the University at Albany, SUNY.
Emily Juengel administers Community Shelter Board’s financial assistance programs. She works with case managers in shelters and outreach programs to provide short-term rent and utility assistance to people experiencing homelessness. Emily previously worked as senior case manager for a homelessness prevention program at Gladden Community House. She earned her master’s degree in public administration from the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University, as well as her undergraduate degree in social work from The Ohio State University.
Tom Lather monitors partner agency spending to ensure proper expenditures of federal grant funding. He also assists with the program review and certification process. Tom has over 25 years of experience in the field of financial services, working in both the public and private sectors. Tom received his master’s degree in business administration from Ashland University as well as his undergraduate degree in business administration from the Ohio State University.
Chief Communication + Brand Officer
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Sara Loken serves as principal writer and thought partner to the CEO to elevate Community Shelter Board's brand and build understanding and awareness of the mission to make sure everyone has a place to call home. As Chief Communication + Brand Officer, Sara builds trusting and authentic relationships and crafts a credible voice for the organization and CEO. She leads CSB’s community relations, government relations, and communication efforts. She engages a broad array of public and private stakeholders and participates in local, state, and federal advocacy activities. Sara leads media relations efforts and crafts presentations, speeches, and public testimony to advance CSB’s mission.
Sara is the board chair of Partnerships for Authentic Learning & Leadership, a non-profit organization transforming the way we teach, learn, and serve our communities. She is a certified trainer in Fierce Conversations and is a member of Leadership Columbus’ Signature Program Class of 2020.
Sara has more than 25 years of non-profit experience in the field of homelessness. She joined CSB in 1998 as an Executive Assistant, and later held roles as Administrative Director, Chief of Staff, and Community Relations Director. From 1995 to 1998, Sara was the Manager of Administrative Services for Friends of the Homeless, Inc.
Katie Ocasio coordinates donor partnerships and helps raise funds to support CSB’s impact for people facing homelessness. She works with companies to share CSB’s impact and also leads individual and family giving programs. Katie worked for the past 12 years running programs to assist individuals with disabilities find employment and achieve full community integration. She attended the Ohio State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies.
Lilia Perez-Chavolla manages all private sector grant writing and reporting. In this capacity, she helps the development team raise funds to support CSB’s impact for people facing homelessness. Lilia has worked as a consultant for the United Nations system in the areas of communications and social development. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in communication from The Ohio State University.
Amber Scott leads individual giving programs through a variety of fundraising channels and manages community giving campaigns. She also engages and coordinates with companies for volunteer projects and community service. Prior to joining Community Shelter Board, Amber worked for a non-profit eating disorder and mental health clinic where she helped develop and implement a new treatment for adults with severe and enduring anorexia nervosa. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and anthropology with a specialization in cultural anthropology from Miami University of Ohio.
Chief Programs Officer
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As Chief Programs Officer, Steven Skovensky has overall strategic and operational responsibility for all program areas, including prevention, street outreach, emergency shelter, rapid re-housing, and permanent supportive housing. He is part of the senior management team that drives strategy for the organization and represents Community Shelter Board on a local, regional, and national basis.
Steve has extensive experience in the field of homelessness. He holds a deep and unwavering commitment to housing as the solution to homelessness, and has a long track record of demonstrating collaborative and productive relationships to best achieve that vision.
Steve was with YMCA of Central Ohio from 2016 – 2020 where he most recently held the position of Executive Director of Supportive Housing, managing operational aspects of their permanent supportive housing portfolio. Prior to that he held the position of Senior Director of Operations, providing leadership at Van Buren Center, the largest homeless shelter in Columbus and Franklin County. Steve held a leadership role on the Maryhaven Outreach Team as the Program Coordinator, at Faith Mission as the Supportive Services Manager, and at Southeast as the Project Liaison Case Manager. He also worked in Chicago with individuals with HIV/AIDS, inpatient mental health patients, and at emergency shelters for single adults experiencing homelessness.
Before coming to Columbus, Steve worked for Lakefront SRO – now Mercy Housing Lakefront – an innovator in permanent supportive housing and blended management. He was a partner in the Aids Foundation of Chicago's Hospital to Housing program and study, and was named as a Harm Reduction Champion by Heartland Health Outreach in Chicago.
Jennifer Slusarz serves as Senior Accountant, responsible for CSB’s accounting system and related reporting. She also participates in provider agency contract monitoring, review and certification. Before joining Community Shelter Board, Jennifer worked in accounting, billing and accounts receivable for an electrical contracting company in Cincinnati. She holds a bachelor’s degree in strategic communications from the Ohio State University.
Travis Theders is responsible for the Columbus and Franklin County homeless management information system – Columbus Service Point – to ensure the availability of timely and quality data. Travis oversees the daily operations of Columbus Service Point for close to 300 users with an emphasis on quality management. Working closely with partner agency staff, Travis conducts training for administrators and data entry personnel. He previously worked for CLEAResult as a Program Analyst for energy efficiency programs. He attended the University of Cincinnati where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences.
Michelle Trudeau processes accounts payable and receivable, as well as grants payable. She assists with federal grant payments and banking. She also provides human resources support and payroll processing. Michelle attended the Ohio Dominican University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in history with education certification.
Christy Tucker staffs the front desk and assists with finance and housing department operations. She also provides administrative and clerical support for all staff. Christy worked at Capri Gardens, a rehabilitation and nursing facility, and The Next Door rehabilitation facility in Nashville as a front desk specialist before joining the CSB team. She also worked as a senior program developer in North Ireland for six years, traveling to schools and speaking to youth. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Development Operations Manager
Chad Weese leads production and logistics for CSB’s fundraising events. He also manages community giving campaigns and coordinates development operations functions. Prior to joining Community Shelter Board, Chad worked as a plant manager in the fulfillment/distribution industry with over 10 years of experience in operations and project management. Prior to that he had 10 years of experience as a nuclear thickness gauge field service engineer after serving 6 years in the U.S. Navy as an electronics warfare technician aboard the USS Enterprise. Chad earned his associates degree in business management from Hocking College.
Outreach + Youth System Manager
Twila Wellmaker works with partners and stakeholders across the community as part of a comprehensive, coordinated response to young people, under age 24, facing homelessness. She also works with street outreach partners who engage people living outdoors to help them get to the safety of shelter or housing, facilitating access to benefits and targeted financial assistance, among other services. Twila has been a service provider for non-profits, state, and county government for over 28 years. She has worked extensively with youth at the Ohio Department of Youth Services in a leadership role and with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office in Charlotte, NC. She worked with women coming out of incarceration at Changed Choices in Charlotte, NC where she assisted with a high success rate for clients gaining housing after program completion. In her latest role at the Center for Healthy Families, she served as Housing Supervisor overseeing the housing program for pregnant and parenting teens along with managing the emergency rental assistance program. She has worked with landlords and partners to assist youth in gaining housing and avoiding eviction. Twila holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University.
Client Housing Manager
Adrienne Wentling works with partner agencies, local agencies, and government entities to help obtain client documentation for housing. As a member of the housing team, she provides administrative and clerical support for CSB’s rental assistance and unified supportive housing programs. Adrienne previously worked for Homefull in housing and administrative support roles. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University.
Program Manager - USHS
Courtney White handles lease-up and vacancy management of permanent supportive housing. To ensure that the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness are prioritized, Courtney manages a common method for application, screening and placement into permanent supportive housing across the homeless system. Prior to joining Community Shelter Board as Development Associate in 2019, Courtney worked as an administrative assistant in construction. She was also an independent financial coach and recruiter at Primerica Financial Services for two years, along with several years of experience doing event coordination and staffing recruitment. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from The Ohio State University.
Natalie Zimmerman works with partners and stakeholders across the community as part of a comprehensive, coordinated response to people facing homelessness. Her work focuses on the homeless hotline and programs for shelter, rapid re-housing, and permanent supportive housing. Natalie has worked with diverse populations over the last decade, including youth, parents receiving rental assistance and coaching, women with substance use disorders, seniors, refugee and immigrant communities, and those facing eviction. Prior to moving to Columbus, Natalie lived in eight different countries where she worked on human rights and international development issues that affect vulnerable populations.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Ohio University, a master of philosophy degree in development economics from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and a post-graduate specialization in family health from the Catholic University in Curitiba, Brazil.