SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM WHCHC BOARD CHAIR,
June 13, 2018
Dear friends and colleagues,
Robin Conerly, our tireless President and CEO, will be retiring at the end of June this year. She has provided WHCHC with eleven years of exceptional leadership and we on the Board will miss her inspiration, creativity, and perseverance. Since Robin stepped into this position in February, 2007, we have grown strategically and thoughtfully, expanding our housing portfolio as well as the quantity and quality of services we offer to all of our residents. She has encouraged us to plan carefully and to constantly evaluate our activities and programs to guarantee that they are geared towards achieving our mission of building homes and providing services that move community members from insecurity to stability.
Under her guidance, WHCHC has expanded our reach to serve new geographies, and new populations of residents, all while continuing to develop innovatively designed and award-winning projects in our hometown of West Hollywood. In order to do this, new sources of funding, both public and private, were successfully accessed during times of shrinking resources and rapidly escalating land and construction costs. Our thirty-year relationship with the City of West Hollywood has grown and we have developed strong bonds with elected officials and staff in the neighboring cities of Glendale and Los Angeles, where we have current and in-development apartment communities, as well as in Beverly Hills, where we hope to develop new affordable housing.
Robin has assisted us to develop a Board which is visionary, always open to exploring new ways of addressing our mission, yet practical and focused on WHCHC’s sustainability and resilience. She leaves a legacy of 239 new affordable units in six new buildings for community members living with limited-income. In addition, there are now six projects in the housing development pipeline which will provide 311 units of housing and supportive services for families, seniors, the homeless and people with special needs.
When Robin began at WHCHC the staff numbered five and now there are 20 professionals including a robust resident services department of ten whose mission is to provide the support and referrals our residents need to live successfully in one of our apartment communities. Private fundraising was initiated under her watch and since joining WHCHC there have been six successful celebrations honoring people who contributed greatly to the development of affordable housing and to promoting human rights.
“From the board and staff, to elected officials and community leaders, as well as donors and funders, it has been my privilege to work alongside very talented people all committed to housing and supporting those most in need,” said Robin. “WHCHC will always be near and dear to me and I cheer on the team as they continue to move the mission forward.”
We will miss Robin and we wish her all the best in her retirement.
With endings come beginnings and we are very pleased to announce that, after conducting an intense national search process, Jesse Slansky, our current Director of Real Estate Development, will be taking over the helm of WHCHC as our new President and CEO.
Jesse exemplifies the values that WHCHC believes in, and through his energy and vision, he is going to lead the organization in exciting directions. WHCHC has such an important role to play in helping to address the housing crisis, and Jesse is uniquely qualified to steer us through the challenges we will face in building more communities and providing crucial services to our residents.
Jesse has almost 20 years of experience in real estate development and corporate finance. Jesse joined WHCHC in the fall of 2010 and became the Director of Real Estate Development in 2013. As Director, he has been responsible for overseeing all of the organization’s real estate development activities including site identification, acquisition and negotiation, pro forma analysis and modeling, budgeting and budget tracking, financial structuring, public outreach and community support, land use entitlements, architectural design, building permits and construction administration, as well as supervision of the development staff. Our current pipeline has a combined development cost of approximately $164 million.
Prior to joining WHCHC, Jesse was the founder and principal of Abode LA, a real estate consulting firm focused on securing financing for affordable housing developments. Previously, he was Vice President of GTO Development, a residential real estate development firm focused on the ground-up development of infill, luxury condominium projects throughout Southern California and New York. Additionally, Jesse completed multiple transactions valued at over $2.4 billion during his time as an Associate Director in the Healthcare Investment Banking group at UBS Warburg (now UBS) in New York.
Jesse is a member of the Urban Land Institute and the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing. He received an M.B.A. from the USC Marshall School of Business and a B.S. from Cornell.
“I am honored and thrilled to have been selected as the next CEO,” said Jesse. “This is an amazing organization with a wonderful staff, and I am lucky to be a part of it. Our work is so meaningful and impactful on so many people’s lives. I know I can speak for the entire staff when I say how sad we are going to be to see Robin go. She has steered this ship with such grace and aplomb, integrity and quality, and her vision and leadership have taken us to the successful place we are now. I look forward to working with all of our stakeholders to continue to build on Robin’s achievements in our next chapter together.”
At WHCHC, we strive to promote from within and Jesse rose to the top during the search process. We are very fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and committed person in this leadership position.
Please join me, and the entire Board and Staff of WHCHC, in thanking Robin for her exemplary service and congratulating Jesse and wishing him a wonderful future here.
Karl J. Lott
Chair, Board of Directors
West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation