Staff Directory

Tom Albanese, LSW


Associate Director  | Download Bio

Tom Albanese has significant experience in designing homeless crisis response systems and helping communities build their capacity to achieve better outcomes. His career in the homeless services field spans 25 years. He worked as a principal associate for Abt Associates, a leading research and technical assistance firm for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other federal agencies, from 2008 to 2016.

In his role at Community Shelter Board, Tom has overall strategic and operational responsibility for all program areas. He drives system and program strategy for the organization and represents Community Shelter Board on a local, regional, and national basis. With a program budget of $31 million and a staff of 26, Tom focuses on program leadership and management, external relationships, and knowledge management. He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Kent State University and completed post-graduate coursework in social work at the University of Akron. He is a licensed social worker and earned a certificate in non-profit management from Kent State University.

Angelic  Arana Varela


Program Manager

Angelic Arana Varela handles lease-up and vacancy management of permanent supportive housing. To ensure that the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness are prioritized, Angelic manages a common method for application, screening and placement into permanent supportive housing across the homeless system. She joined Community Shelter Board in 2013 as an Administrative Assistant. She 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.

Jeremiah Bakerstull


Data & Evaluation Manager

As the Data and Evaluation Manager, 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.

Lianna Barbu


Associate Director  | Download Bio

Lianna Barbu directs the internal operations of Community Shelter Board. She is responsible for overseeing the operation and management of all finance activities, grants, information technology and human resources. 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. She oversees the work of the local Continuum of Care for Columbus and Franklin County programs funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and an undergraduate degree in computer sciences.

Thaddeus Billman


Operations Administrator

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.

Cathy Ellerbrock


Grants Administrator

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.

Melissa  Garver


Development Director  | Download Bio

Melissa Garver is the Development Director for Community Shelter Board, leading private fundraising efforts by developing strategy, building donor partnerships, and raising funds to support CSB’s impact: until everyone has a place to call home. Melissa works with companies and businesses and community leaders – in partnership with CSB’s Executive Director and board of trustees – to share how CSB is 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.

Rebecca Hamilton


Operations Coordinator

Becky Hamilton provides administrative and clerical support in the areas of finance, grants, and operations. Becky worked in accounts payable at Nationwide for several years, and also spent six years working as a tutor for special needs children. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of Rio Grande.

John  Hardy


Grants Administrator

John Hardy monitors partner agency spending to ensure proper expenditures of federal grant funding. He also assists with the program review and certification process. John has over eight years of experience in the accounting, government and non-profit fields. He attended Ohio Dominican where he earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration.

Michelle  Heritage


Executive Director  | Download Bio

Michelle Heritage has extensive non-profit and public sector experience including more than 30 years in leadership roles in the homeless system, mental health, child welfare, and the alcohol and drug systems. Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in criminology from The Ohio State University, a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Dayton, and has been a licensed social worker and a certified chemical dependency counselor in the State of Ohio.

Michelle has served on national, statewide, and local boards and committees for human services, diversity, homelessness, and community research. She currently serves as a board member for the Legal Aid Society of Columbus.

Michelle is co-founder of United Way’s Pride Council, the first United Way LGBT giving group in the country. She is a founding member of the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio, an organization mobilizing to protect and expand affordable housing options that transform our community.

Michelle is a founding member of Thrive, a group of private, elected, and public sector leaders developing a community wide framework to provide pathways out of poverty. She is also a founding member of the Prevent Family Homelessness Collaborative focused on addressing the upstream causes of homelessness among families.

In her role at Community Shelter Board, Michelle 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. She uses an outcome-based funding model that measures performance, monitors providers’ success, and assures the system’s effectiveness as a whole. She also combines innovative solutions and best practices with time-tested strategies to implement programs that quickly and stably house people in crisis. Michelle served as President/CEO of St. Vincent Family Center from 2001 to 2010.

Don Hollenack


Finance Director  | Download Bio

Don Hollenack joined Community Shelter Board as Finance Director in 2015. He is responsible for the budget and financial operations of CSB. He has nearly 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.

Aubre Jones


Youth System Manager

As Youth System Manager, Aubre Jones is leading the development of a new crisis response system for young people, under age 24, facing homelessness. She works with partners and stakeholders across the community as part of a comprehensive, coordinated, community-wide response to youth homelessness for a variety of housing and service options.

Most recently, Aubre oversaw programs for pregnant and parenting youth at the Center for Healthy Families. She began her career as a clinical therapist working in early childhood mental health where she specialized in working with 3-7 year-olds with behavioral and mental health challenges. She became certified in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy while working with youth in foster care. Aubre is a licensed, independent social worker and earned her master’s degree from The Ohio State University.

Heather Jones


Community Housing Manager

Heather Jones 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. She works to collaboratively and strategically expand partnerships that result in increased access to a diverse array of local housing options for people in need.

Heather has nearly a decade of experience in the housing industry. Before joining CSB, she worked as a community director for one of Columbus' largest property management companies. She is a founding member of We Inspire, a network of professional women looking to promote positive change through meaningful advocacy and volunteer opportunities. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Cincinnati. 

Hannah King


Grants Administrator

Hannah King 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. Hannah also assists with the program review and certification and invoicing processes. Prior to joining Community Shelter Board, Hannah worked to build community in Charlotte, NC through a career in arts administration. She earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Westminster Choir College.

Sara  Loken


Community Relations Director  | Download Bio

Sara Loken leads Community Shelter Board’s community relations, government relations and communication efforts. In this role, she builds public awareness about CSB’s work to make sure everyone has a place to call home. 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.

Jaynina Manibusan


Administrative Assistant

Jaynina Manibusan staffs the front desk and provides accounting and processing support for Community Shelter Board’s financial assistance programs. Jaynina worked in customer service at Nationwide before joining the CSB team. She holds a certification in customer service and earned her bachelor’s degree in human and consumer sciences from the Patton College of Education at Ohio University.

Erin  Maus


System Manager

Erin Maus is the System Manager at Community Shelter Board. She is responsible for the improvement and innovation of CSB partner agency programs and systems as well as the monitoring of CSB investments. Erin has worked with people experiencing homelessness in Columbus since 2001. She received her bachelor of social work from Wright State University and has been licensed with the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist Board since 2000. Erin joined the CSB team in 2010.

Heather  Notter


Grants & Compliance Director  | Download Bio

Heather Notter 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.

Before joining Community Shelter Board, Heather was a senior analyst with the federal government in Washington, D.C.

Heather earned degrees in international relations from the College of William and Mary and the University of Chicago. She joined Community Shelter Board in 2015.

Katie Ocasio


Relationship Officer

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.

Carol  Patzkowsky


Executive Assistant

Carol Patzkowsky provides a wide variety of executive support to the Executive Director, Associate Director and Operations Director, including scheduling, meeting and event planning, research, special projects, and coordinating activities across teams. She also supports meetings of the board of trustees. Carol held various roles at BMW Financial Services over more than ten years. She joined Community Shelter Board in 2013.

Lilia  Perez-Chavolla


Grant Writer

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-Mandelbaum


Relationship Coordinator

Amber Scott-Mandelbaum 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.

Jennifer Slusarz


Senior Accountant

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


Database Administrator

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


Staff Accountant

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.

Ebony Wheat


Program Administrator

Ebony Wheat 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. Ebony previously worked as a housing coordinator for YMCA of Central Ohio and as a housing counselor for Columbus Urban League. She majored in communications with a minor in African/African American studies at the Ohio State University. She joined Community Shelter Board in 2016.

Kacy Wiant


Development Associate

Kacy Wiant handles gift processing, reporting, and records management for CSB’s development activities. She also assists the development team with administrative and logistics support. Prior to joining Community Shelter Board, Kacy worked for a non-profit eating disorder and mental health clinic. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the Ohio State University.

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