Building Homes and Hope Together
Providing decent, affordable housing in the District takes the work of many partners — corporations, foundations, local government and individuals – including the members of DC Habitat’s Board and staff. You can learn a bit more about our office and site staff here.
Learn about our Board Members.
Susanne Slater — President & CEO
Susanne has over 25 years of increasingly responsible experience in government, academia and the nonprofit sector, including a long and varied association with housing policy from many vantage points. As Associate Dean for Executive Programs at the University of Maryland, College Park, she created an award winning program for employees of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, with over 2,000 employees completing a four-course certificate program in low and moderate income housing development. As a founding board member and vice president of a nonprofit development corporation, Susanne oversaw the conversion of a troubled public housing complex into a successful mixed income neighborhood in Ward 7 of the District of Columbia.
Over an 18 year career at the University of Maryland, Susanne taught courses that dealt with every aspect of moderate and low income housing policy, environmental policy and management control in nonprofit organizations. She was the recipient of a $1 million research grant from the Fannie Mae Foundation, the largest ever awarded. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Susanne worked for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan on his work in the Senate Budget and Senate Finance committees; and previously, at the White House Office of Management and Budget as a financial economist dealing with loan guarantees and government sponsored enterprises, especially Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Prior to becoming Interim President & CEO of DC Habitat, she served on the organization’s board as the Treasurer and development liaison with DC Habitat staff. Susanne holds an MBA in public and private finance from Cornell University and a BA from Smith College.
Rick Bowers — Chief of Operations
Rick provides over twenty-five years of leadership, management, and executive expertise in the construction, residential, multi-family, and development industry. As a VP/Director at Fortune 500 firms as well as private regional homebuilders/developers, Rick has in depth insight, knowledge, and diverse experience.
His credentials include multi-family, condominium, and Active Adult experience; P&L and operations management, purchasing and contracting management; managing homebuilding divisions that exceeded 400 settlements per year; and managing land development, sales, and marketing. Rick’s portfolio includes most every product type from stacked multi-family elevator condominiums with structured parking, basic townhomes, award winning single-family luxury homes, and large Active Adult communities.
Jeff Brallier — Project Manager
Jeff is a lifelong resident of the DC metro area and joined DC Habitat in 2011. He has worked in the construction industry for over 25 years and has specialized in Field Operations, Purchasing, Customer Relations and HOA Management.
Jeff has extensive residential construction experience and has managed many large-scale communities to include the construction of single-family homes, townhomes and multi-family housing. New Home Warranty Management was been his most recent focus, having managed customer relations for a national homebuilder with communities in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.
Jeff’s primary goals here at DC Habitat are to manage construction purchasing and budgets, reduce operating expenses and maintain warehouse inventory.
Agnes Hanna — Mortgage & Accounting Associate
Agnes relocated from Philadelphia, PA to Northern Virginia in 2008. She joined the accounting department of Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. this past February.
Agnes possesses more than 25 years of accounting experience in a wide range of industries. She studied accounting in New Jersey and Philadelphia accredited Vocational Training Institutes.
Ashley Hartzell — Marketing & Development Associate
Ashley first joined DC Habitat as a Resource Development Americorps VISTA in 2011. Following the end of her service, she received the opportunity to join as a full time staff member – allowing her to combine her love for design, photography and video in the non-profit sector.
Originally from Ohio, Ashley graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Media Management. In the summer of 2009, she worked with a video education non-profit in Chicago, and then switched from students to sports the following year as a Multi-Media Assistant for Ohio University Athletics.
In love with D.C. since she first arrived last August, Ashley enjoys being a part of the DC community through Habitat and sharing its mission through multiple outlets.
Daniel Hines — Construction Supervisor
Dan is a graduate of Villanova University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. It was at Villanova that he first volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.
After college, Dan continued volunteering with various Habitat affiliates while he worked as an electrical engineer for Lockheed Martin and received his master’s degree in electrical engineering. After a few years of working in engineering, Dan decided to leave his desk job to serve with Habitat full-time as an AmeriCorps volunteer. Following two years of AmeriCorps service in Orange County, CA and then Sea Island, SC, Dan took a site superintendent position with Habitat for Humanity of Wake County in Raleigh, NC.
In January of 2012, Dan accepted his position with DC Habitat. He enjoys serving the DC community and is excited to be a part of the advances in energy efficient building that DC Habitat is taking on in their buildings.
Mandy Jansen — Office Administrator
Mandy grew up in Wisconsin and studied Spanish language, International Studies and business at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Her passion for service and non-profit work came the year after graduation, which was spent volunteering as a camp counselor in Japan, a Spanish-English interpreter at a community health center in Wisconsin, and doing disaster relief work in Florida.
The following year she fell in love with the work and mission of Habitat for Humanity while serving a year as a Fund Development Specialist VISTA member with Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii. She followed her service year up with a 5 year stint as the Operations/Grants Manager of the Hawaii Habitat for Humanity Association in Honolulu.
Mandy joined the staff at Habitat for Humanity of Washington D.C. in late 2012 and brings with her experience working and volunteering with many different affiliates of Habitat for Humanity in the U.S. and abroad.
Peter Kiburi — Director of Finance & Mortgage Servicing
Peter has over 15 years of progressive international and local experience in customer relationship management and business development for several non-profit organizations in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
His focus has been on controllership and management accounting for 501c (3) non-profit organizations. He has extensive experience in grants management, statutory reporting and compliance monitoring for federally and locally funded projects targeting affordable housing, community development and emergency preparedness.
Peter has a Masters Degree in Public (Government) Administration from the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India.
AJ Mannarino — Construction Supervisor
AJ began volunteering with Habitat for Humanity during college at The Ohio State University, where he earned a dual degree in International Development and Spanish. His desire to work with an NGO led him to join Habitat through the AmeriCorps program in Charleston, SC.
Upon completion of his term there, he obtained a supervisor position which he held until he moved to Washington, D.C. in October of 2011. He came to Washington in order to work for DC Habitat, eager to join in the organization’s efforts to implement new energy-efficient building techniques.
Andrew Modley — Production Manager
Andrew has worked for DC Habitat as a construction site superintendent since 2006. He started with the organization as a volunteer right after college and jumped on the opportunity to join our staff the moment an opening was available.
Born and raised in the DC metro area, Andrew is committed to serving the local community. He attended McDaniel College in western Maryland where he studied political science. Andrew helps lead new construction efforts for DC Habitat and is especially interested in the green building practices being integrated into our projects.
Heather Phibbs — Director of Marketing & Development
Originally from Richmond, VA, Heather studied journalism at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, then worked in public relations and advertising for the following 15 years. After living and working in New York City and Frankfurt, Germany, she relocated to Washington in early 2007.
Prior to joining DC Habitat, she was Interactive Creative Director at Porter-Novelli Public Relations firm, where she developed digital and broadcast media campaigns for a variety of corporate, government and non-profit clients.
She brings to DC Habitat her wealth of experience in leading marketing campaigns at the local, national and global levels across mutli-media platforms, and in developing strategic partnerships.
Dennis Smyth — Director of Real Estate & Community Engagement
Dennis Smyth started as a construction volunteer with DC Habitat for Humanity in June 1991. He joined the Board of Directors in 1993, eventually serving as Board President for four years. He remained an active construction volunteer and Board member with Habitat during his career as a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM Business Consulting Services, as well as his independent consulting work for the World Bank, Calvert Social Investment Foundation and ShoreBank International.
He has worked on more than 50 Habitat homes in Washington, DC, as well as on Habitat builds in Alaska and Georgia. Dennis served as DC Habitat’s Interim Executive Director from November 2008 through April 2009, and then moved to his current position as Land Acquisition and Capacity Building Coordinator.
Dennis lives in Washington, DC, with his wife Eileen, who is a physician at Georgetown University Hospital, and their two daughters, Evelyn and Brigid. Dennis received his B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University at Albany and his M.B.A. from Fordham University.
Orlando Velez — Manager of Housing Services
Jenna Widmann — Volunteer Services, Events & Partnerships
Jenna Widmann began working with Habitat as an AmeriCorps VISTA in 2009. At the conclusion of her year of service, DC Habitat hired her to fulfill the role of the Volunteer Services Supervisor.
Jenna came from Indiana after graduating from Butler University with a double major in French and journalism. Her work in non-profits began during a summer internship in New Orleans with the Broadmoor Development Corporation as a communications associate. Jenna works with all construction and committee volunteers, both on site to help get them oriented with construction tasks and through meetings to share the mission and details of Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C.
For Jenna, Habitat is not only a way to give back to a community in need of affordable housing, but also a way to spend time and meet new people who share similar passions.
AmeriCorps & VISTA Members 2012-2013
Ernesto Matal Sol