FRIENDS HOUSING, INC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
TERRENCE PAYNE, PRESIDENT
Terrence Payne is the principal consultant for Taylor’s Marketing & Management firm in Los Angeles. With more than 20 years experience in marketing, his responsibilities include providing management, technical assistance and business development strategies to small and minority-owned businesses throughout Los Angeles. Having served as the Marketing Advisor for the Los Angeles Urban League from 1997 to 2001, Mr. Payne is more than qualified to offer his thorough knowledge to underserved communities.
As a parent of a SCLARC consumer, Terrence hopes that his impact on the board will help provide opportunities for safe, affordable housing for individuals diagnosed with a developmental disability and their families. A native of Los Angeles, Terrence Payne graduated from Morningside High School in Inglewood, California and then went on to attend Antelope Valley College in Lancaster where he majored in business administration.
LEILA TOWRY KUMAR, VICE PRESIDENT
Leila Towry Kumar is passionate about affordable housing. As the founder of Urban Mosaic Housing Services (UMHS), she is able to assist affordable housing developers and social service providers in expanding the range of services offered, deepening the connection between housing and appropriate service provision. She possesses a unique talent for strategically building bridges between organizations and utilizing community resources effectively.
Early in her career, Ms. Kumar realized how many disparities underserved communities faced, and then resolved to deliver relevant, and change driven programs that utilize community voices in the process. Prior to founding Urban Mosaic Housing Services, she worked as the Community Collaborations Manager in the Resident and Community Services Division for the Los Angeles Community Design Center (now Abode Communities). In this capacity, she established service plans for over eight pipeline developments, by engaging the community and building effective community partnerships, thus leveraging millions of dollars on behalf of the developer. As a consultant, she has been able to strategically link service providers and developers, conduct community needs assessments, fund development, evaluation, and strategic planning for her clients. She is excited to continue her community work through participation in the growing Housing First movement, where individuals with disabilities can have their needs met.
Ms. Kumar obtained her undergraduate degree at Whittier College in Comparative Cultures, with a minor in Spanish and her graduate degree in Anti Bias Education at San Francisco State University.
STARLETT QUARLES, SECRETARY
As president of Urban X Marketing Starlett Quarles is committed to helping the real estate development community gain market leadership and brand equity in the urban marketplace.
Ms. Quarles founded Urban X Marketing when she recognized that the Southern California homebuilding industry did very little effective marketing and promotion of its new infill communities to African American and Hispanic homebuyers. Additionally, she recognized minimal efforts were being made to reach members of her generation, Generation X, those born between 1965 and 1975. As a traditional first-time homebuyer market, Gen Xers are some of the fastest growing consumers of infill developments and the “urban lifestyle.”
Urban X Marketing is a community development advocacy firm that utilizes integrated marketing communication strategies to help promote this country’s urban renaissance. The firm hosts networking mixers, seminars and workshops geared towards mobilizing urban professionals to address housing and other real estate related and community development issues.
Ms. Quarles has more than a decade of professional experience in urban redevelopment. She currently oversees the marketing and sales of over 300 units of new market rate housing. Before forming Urban X, she was Program Director for Corridor Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), a nonprofit housing and community economic development organization.
VERONICA SALDAÑA, TREASURER
Veronica Saldaña is the vice president of real estate for Genesis L.A. Economic Growth Corporation. Ms. Saldaña is responsible for managing the Genesis Community Investment Fund (GCIF), providing strategic recommendations for development and financial feasibility analysis and bringing investment recommendations to the Genesis LA Executive Board. She also supports Real Estate initiatives throughout urban Los Angeles County, which are designed to bring together capital, communities, developers, and government in order to achieve objectives to leverage the expertise of the organization and its resource partners.
Veronica also manages genesis' New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) working closely with the Genesis LA New Markets Tax Credits Program Community Advisory Board, which oversees recommendations for projects funded through NMTC. Prior to joining Genesis, Ms. Saldaña was employed by Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) in Ventura County, where she worked on numerous projects, including special needs housing for farm-workers and their families, as well as for the mentally disabled. Ms. Saldaña holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of California Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California Santa Barbara.
As executive director of L.A. Voice, Jared Rivera works tirelessly to expand the construction of affordable housing, while also educating current tenants about their rights.
LA Voice believes in promoting healthy and safe communities, inspiring residents to take pride in their neighborhood. Member congregations throughout the city host neighborhood clean-ups where leaders and their families spend a day cleaning up their neighborhoods. In South LA and mid-city, LA Voice has been working diligently to install traffic signals, speed bumps, and improve street lighting.
Jared Rivera was born in the California Central Valley. As a teenager, he became involved with issues of social justice through his high school involvement with MECHA, a Chicano student organization that seeks empowerment through education. He continued his involvement with this organization as a college student at UC Berkeley, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Social Welfare in 2000. After several years of union organizing, Jared joined LA Voice, the Los Angeles affiliate of the PICO National Network. The group organizes religious congregations to transform local communities throughout Los Angeles.
Curtis Wright’s real estate investment background began in 1985, while attending the University of Southern California. While pursuing a degree in Urban Planning and playing football for the University, he attended a luncheon at Coast Federal Savings which offered him an appraisal trainee position.
Wright rose through the ranks within Coast Federal Savings and in 1992, he was part of the first wave of state licensed appraisers in California. Later that year, Curtis decided to start his own appraisal company-West Coast Appraisal & Review. In 1995, he began to invest in residential real estate and managing properties and has been doing so ever since.
As an investor, Mr. Wright has purchased everything from the smallest one bedroom condos to very large custom estates; he now manages many residential income properties. He brings his 25 years of appraisal experience and expertise to Friends Housing as well as his ability to analyze property value to a degree not privy to most investors. He also brings a wealth of personal relationships with those in the real estate and housing field through out Los Angeles.
Faye Williams organized SCLARC's second generic residential program and currently provides services to SCLARC consumers through Prairie Place Adult Day Health Care Center, a generic day program. She is also a longtime advocate for people diagnosed with a developmental disability. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Training & Research Foundation which for more than thirty years has provided generic services to SCLARC families through Project Head Start in communities such as Bell, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Watts and South Central Los Angeles. She is also an Advisory Board Member for Inglewood Adult School which provides teachers to support many agencies serving regional center consumers.
Additionally, she is an Advisory Board Member of the National Development Corporation's (NDC) New Markets Tax Credit Program. This is one of the nation's largest recipients of tax credits from the US Treasury and second in the nation in structuring business funding through the use of tax credits. Funded programs extend across the nation from coast to coast in both rural and urban communities. Recently Ms. Williams received an invitation from the director of the Small Business Association's loan programs to speak at a conference at the White House.
Ms. Williams holds a PhD from USC in Language Acquisition and Socio-linguistics. And as a volunteer, she has written grants resulting in over a million dollars in funds for behaviorally challenged individuals ages 3-21.