Learn More About Our Staff
  • Sarah J. Stevenson, Executive Director
    Sarah Stevenson joined Innovative Housing as its Executive Director in 2002. Prior to that, she was an attorney at Lawyers Alliance for New York where she represented nonprofit developers of low-income and special needs housing and specialized in nonprofit law and affordable housing development. Sarah's community development work experience includes positions with California Literacy Inc. in Los Angeles, CA and Jobs for Homeless People in Washington, DC. Sarah has a BA from Stanford University and a JD from New York University Law School.
  • Julie Garver, Leed® AP, Director of Housing Development
    Julie Garver joined IHI in 2005. Julie has more than 15 years of project management experience with focus areas in acquisition, rehabilitation of aging buildings, Green Building and community development. She has managed projects ranging in cost from $50,000 to $15 million, and has experience in all phases of project development, from preliminary determination of need through lease up. Special skills include feasibility studies, construction management, grant writing, design consultation, budgeting and historic preservation experience. Julie has worked on a variety of project types such as commercial buildings, single family dwellings, apartments, historic buildings and public facilities. Julie has a BS in Community Development from Portland State University.
  • Leah Cooper, Director of Housing Operations
    Leah joined IHI in the Spring of 2016. She comes with over 12 years of experience working with homeless and marginalized populations in Portland, providing direct services, program design, and development and administrative oversight. She has extensive knowledge of Portland housing issues and support services. Leah spent many years on the east coast and traveling the world before returning to the Northwest. She has a BA in American Studies from Trinity College and a Master's in Social Work with a concentration in contemporary social problems from Columbia University.
  • Carolyn O'Doherty, Housing Developer
    Carolyn O'Doherty joined IHI in 2014. Prior to that, she spent fourteen years as a project manager at the Housing Development Center where she developed over 1,000 units of affordable housing. She also spent a year as a project manager at NOAH. Carolyn has worked on a wide range of projects including new construction, rehabilitation, preservation, and restructures. She has particular expertise in financial modeling. Carolyn has a BA from Wesleyan University and a Master's in City Planning from UC Berkeley.
  • Erik Liseth, Asset Manager
    Erik joined IHI in March 2016. Prior to that, he was an Asset Manager for a loan and REO servicing firm, where he managed processes from acquisition through disposition, involving hundreds of REO properties located nationwide. He brings over 10 years of real estate experience with an emphasis on asset management. In addition to his asset management work, Erik also has experience has a Foster Care parent. Erik has a BA in Business Administration from Saint Martin's University.
  • David West, Project Coordinator
    David West joined IHI in April of 2014 to bridge IHI's Development and Asset Management departments. David comes to the position with over twelve years of experience as an architectural designer, in Portland and in Boston, including five years working at The Narrow Gate, an architectural firm whose clients were non-profit developers. In addition to design work, David has volunteered for a number of community organizations and taught design studio at the Boston Architectural College (BAC) before moving to Oregon. David has a BArch from the BAC.
  • Zachary Janda, Resident Services Manager
    Zachary joined IHI in November 2018. Prior to returning to the Northwest, he spent four years at Peacehaven Community Farm, a non-profit providing affordable housing for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in rural North Carolina. There, he worked in a number of roles ranging from assisting residents with daily tasks to managing the Peacehaven VISTA Partnership - an AmeriCorps VISTA intermediary program serving 9 non-profits across the state. Zachary is thrilled to bring his passion for programs that enable people to thrive in supportive settings to IHI's Resident Services team. Zachary has a BA in History and Political Economy from The Evergreen State College and a Master's in Public Affairs from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
  • Olivia Schwartz, Resident Services Coordinator
    Olivia joined IHI in May of 2018. She began her work in housing services six years ago focusing on residential energy efficiency and sustainability. While coordinating a program helping low-income families with critical home repair needs, she discovered a passion for working with diverse communities. In addition to her work, Olivia has volunteered as a Crisis Line Worker with Lines for Life for three years. She received her BA in Psychology from Portland State University and has plans of pursuing a Master's Degree in Social Work.
  • Cathy Mounts, Resident Services Coordinator
    Cathy joined IHI in May 2015. She has an extensive background working with low income individuals and families from a variety of diverse backgrounds and cultures. Cathy received her Bachelor's in Social Work from the University of Portland and has worked and volunteered in the community for more than 18 years. In addition to her strong interest in urban farming/gardening, she is an accomplished cook and enjoys teaching others how to prepare healthy meals and lead healthy lifestyles. Cathy was born and raised in Portland and brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the various opportunities and resources available to IHI's resident communities.
  • Cindy Ramirez , Resident Services Coordinator
    Cindy joined IHI as a Resident Services Coordinator in February 2019. Prior to joining IHI's team, she worked as a housing advocate providing support services to homeless people working to overcome barriers to securing safe and stable housing. Cindy has also worked and volunteered for various non-profits that serve marginalized and underserved communities. She was raised in Denver, Colorado where she attended Metropolitan State University for her Bachelor's in Social Work.
  • Tavares Hubbard, Resident Services Coordinator
    Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Tavares brought his passion for youth and diverse cultures to the Portland area in 2016. Tavares has worked in various settings with youth and their families, including a charter school, after care/summer programs, and at a Youth Mental Health Residential Facility. Tavares is excited to bring his commitment, energy, and humor to the IHI Resident Services Team and is looking forward to serving the community. Tavares has his BA in Psychology from West Chester University.
  • Noemi Esquivel Mendoza, Resident Services Coordinator
    Noemi joined IHI in June 2019. Prior to working at IHI, she worked in grassroots nonprofit organizations that focused on civic engagement, social justice, and advocating for underrepresented communities. Noemi is passionate about creating a more just society and credits her involvement in her community to wanting to be a part of the decision-making process. Her lived experiences led to her to continue her education at Portland State University, where she graduated with her B.S. in Child and Family Studies.