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Honing Housers: Driving Interest in Housing and Community Development Careers

July 20, 2023 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT

Attracting and retaining housing and community development staff is imperative to growing our industry. This webinar will explore how housers can drive interest in the field, methods for recruitment, and finding leaders from various demographic backgrounds to develop a broader talent base. Panelists will discuss recruitment of young people interested in policy and practice, supporting housing career training and advancement, and keeping talent within the industry.


Marcus Cole is the Director of Early Career Diversity program’s and Fannie Mae’s Future Housing Leaders Program. In this role, Marcus is responsible for strategy, execution, and industry wide engagement of the Future Housing Leaders program. He collaborates with external partners, business leaders, colleges, and universities, and recruiting partners across the housing industry to develop and execute the strategies necessary to attract diverse talent at the collegiate level for internships and entry- level job opportunities in the housing industry.

He joined Fannie Mae in 2010 as a Process Improvement Analyst in the Enterprise Risk Management division. He was responsible for executing Lean Six Sigma projects while also achieving his Green Belt and Black Belt. He also worked as a Project Manager in Operational Risk Governance and in the Operations and Technology Division. Prior to starting his role as Director of Future Housing Leaders, Marcus started as a Change Agent in the Single-Family Transformation Office where he helped to spearhead Way of Working (WoW) across the Enterprise. Marcus is a lean management practitioner and worked closely with Fannie Mae’s Customer Delivery Teams and the National Customer Delivery Teams to ensure they were leveraging lean management to drive business results and exceed customer expectations.

Marcus holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Public Policy and a Master of Urban Planning from the University at Buffalo. During his time at University of Buffalo, Marcus was a full scholarship Football player where he was named captain by his teammates and coaches in during his senior season.

Mike Costa is the Learning & Development Coordinator for Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) and serves as the primary coordinator and facilitator for the THDA Leadership Academy.

He has been with THDA since June 2014. Mike initially became involved in Learning & Development while on active duty in the U.S. Air Force. His experience spans the military, state government (Florida & Tennessee), private sector financial services, and volunteer activities. Mike has been responsible for varied learning environments including new employees, senior managers and volunteers. He has communicated subjects ranging from technical hardware and procedures to new software, professional development and retirement planning. While at THDA, Mike completed the Department of Human Resources, Three Pillars of Human Resources certificate program, LEAD TN (2018), and was in the initial group of state certified facilitators. Mike graduated from the Florida State University with a BS in Psychology.

Gisela Salgado is the Director of Leadership Development Programs at the California Coalition for Rural Housing.

Ms. Salgado graduated from CCRH’s successful and model Rural West Internship Program for Diversity in Nonprofit Housing and Community Development in 2003 and has a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of San Diego. She leads the two-decade nationally touted Rural West Internship Program for Diversity in Nonprofit Housing and Community Development, the three-phase racial equity process at CCRH, and the development of a new fellowship program to advance mid-career BIPOC emerging leaders in rural housing and support organizations thrive by successfully recruiting and retaining them. She values the work and collaboration of her team offering support to CCRH’s leadership programs and racial equity efforts.

Before joining CCRH in 2005, she worked as a project developer for three years with Community Housing Works in San Diego County. There she successfully contributed to the development of three properties with 168 units of affordable housing in total. She is fluent in Spanish and, coming from an immigrant and underserved community, has a strong cultural and social affinity for ensuring equitable opportunities and quality of life for under-represented communities.

Ajax Woolley (he/him) serves Durham Community Land Trustees as Pre-development Manager, following a 20+ year career in Durham as a professional remodeler, licensed general contractor, and volunteer community organizer. His role supports the property team across the entire development process, strengthening DCLT and its portfolio through listening in community, detailed project planning, and ongoing engagement with stakeholders.


July 20, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


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