Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey

Board of Trustees - 2016

Cherry Oakley - Chairperson

Melody Federico - Vice-Chairperson

Jim Mulroy - Treasurer

Tracee Battis is the Director of Housing Development for Project Freedom, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to build affordable housing and provide related services for people with disabilities. Since joining Project Freedom in February, 2012, she has assisted in obtaining financing for the creation of 192 affordable rental apartments in Hopewell Township (Mercer County), Toms River (Ocean County), and Westampton (Burlington County). Future initiatives include West Windsor and Robbinsville. Prior to joining Project Freedom, she served 35 years at New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. For the past twenty years, she was Assistant Executive Director in charge of all affordable housing programs. She is a graduate of The College of New Jersey and has an MBA from Rider College. She also serves as a Board Member of The Reinvestment Fund Development Partners, Inc.

Timothy J. Doherty (Board Emeritus) is Executive Director of Project Freedom, a nonprofit organization in Washington Township whose mission is to build housing and provide related services for people with disabilities. Since joining Project Freedom in the fall of 1997, he has spearheaded the creation of over 286 additional affordable rental apartments in Hamilton, Trenton, Lawrence, Woodstown, and Hopewell Townships, NJ. Future initiatives include Westampton, West Windsor and Toms River. He has a broad business background, having been General Manager and CEO of his own Fuel Oil and Gasoline Distributorship for 25 years. Tim is a graduate of Rider University, majoring in Business Administration, and obtained his master’s degree in human services administration in 2003. He is also a certified tax credit manager with a C3P designation and was appointed by Governor Corzine as a board member of the Council on Affordable Housing.

Carol Dougherty has worked for over thirty years advocating, promoting, and providing services and supports for people with developmental disabilities and other challenges. She has been the Executive Director/CEO of Partnerships for People Inc. since 1989. The agency began in 1984 to help people with a dual diagnosis of developmental disabilities and mental illness leave the NJ state institutions. Partnerships for People Inc. is funded through grants with the NJ Department of Human Services, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and The NJ Department of Transportation. Under Carol’s leadership, Partnerships for People has grown to serve over 120 people with developmental disabilities or other challenges. She has developed supportive housing, supported employment, case management, personal care and support services, and a network of support for community integration services for the individuals living in north/central New Jersey. Carol began her career as a social worker for the State of NJ Department of Human Services, helping families plan with and for their young adults who aged out of school. Carol holds a master’s degree in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to her membership on the SHA Board, she has actively served on the Board of Directors for the New Jersey Association of Community Providers (NJACP) from 1990-Present.

Lorraine D’Sylva-Lee is a Training & Consultation Specialist with Rutgers-University Behavioral Health Care, Behavioral Research and Training Institute, for the Children’s System of Care Training & Technical Assistance Program. She has more than 18 years of experience working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in areas that encompass special education, family support, vocational and long-term care supports/services. Lorraine serves on several councils and coalitions focusing on improving outcomes for vulnerable citizens. She is an active member of the NJ State Board of Human Services and Board Trustee for the Community Health Law Project. Lorraine earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Rutgers University and master’s degree in leadership and public administration from Centenary College. She is the parent of a young adult with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities currently thriving in a Supportive Housing situation.

Melody Federico is the Chief Real Estate Officer for NewBridge Services, a community-based organization that brings balance to people’s lives by providing mental health, addictions, residential, children and senior services. New Bridge serves primarily Morris and Passaic counties but provides housing development services throughout New Jersey. Melody has been working in the affordable housing field since 2001 and property management since 1994. She is responsible for the development of all new real estate ventures and oversees the property management of the existing portfolio of 125 units of housing for adults and families with special needs. Melody has a BA in public administration from San Diego State University, a master’s of administrative science from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and an MBA from Montclair State University. She holds a Housing Development Finance Professional designation from the National Development Council and a Real Property Administrator designation from the Building Owners and Managers Association. In addition to SHA, Melody is a member of the Housing Alliance of Morris County, chairs the New Jersey Chapter of Women in Housing and Finance of New York, is a 2009 Fellow of Leadership New Jersey and is a member of the Affordable Housing Advisory Council for the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.

Noah Freiberg is a Developer at Pennrose Properties, LLC and is responsible for successful completion of multi-faceted real estae development projects from inception through construction completion and lease-up.  He manages a multi-million dollar pipeline of real estate projects in various stages of development.  He provides leadership and direction to an in-house team of Associate Developers and assistants.  He also assembles and manages an external team of financiers, architects, designers, engineers and contractors.  Noah specializes in financing projects with multiple sources of funding, including federal, state and local programs.  Prior to joining Pennrose, Noah was a Tax Credit Administrator with NJ Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency.  He received his BS in Business Administration and Finance from Towson University and his MBA from Rider University. 

Scott Mullarkey is a CRA Investment Asset Manager/Vice President in the Community Capital Group of TD Bank. He manages a portfolio of CRA assets including bank investments in low income housing tax credits, historical tax credits, and new market tax credits. Prior to joining TD Bank, Scott worked in the Supportive Housing Division of the NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, where he held the position of Supportive Housing and Special Needs Loan Manager. He received his BA in political science and MBA in finance from William Paterson University. He holds a Housing Development Finance Professional designation from the National Development Council and a Certified Credit Compliance Professional designation from The Spectrum Companies, and completed the Housing Scholars Program sponsored by NJIT and the NJ Department of Community Affairs.

Jim Mulroy is a partner with the accounting firm WithumSmith+Brown (WS+B) and has over 30 years of public accounting experience. He is a licensed certified public accountant in the states of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Additionally, he is a licensed public school accountant and certified government financial manager. Jim specializes in providing audit and consulting services to clients in the real estate and not for profit industries including affordable housing and HUD assisted entities. He has extensive experience performing single audits for nonprofit organizations. A graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s College, Jim graduated with a BS degree in accounting. Prior to joining WS+B, he was a partner with M.D. Oppenheim & Company, P.C. (merged with WS+B in 2007).

Cherry Oakley has focused on ways to help people embrace diversity and become part of inclusive communities. Working for people with disabilities, their families and their support networks for nearly two decades, Cherry has supported people to live out their lives in their family home, to become renters or homeowners, and to move from state-run and private institutions into neighborhoods of their choosing in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. As the current Director of Support Coordination at Neighbours, Inc., Cherry leads a team of statewide facilitators that helps New Jerseyans with disabilities live a life that is self-determined and self-directed. She holds a master’s degree from Rider University and a BA from Drew.

Krystal Odell has been a well-known advocate in the field of disability services within NJ for the last 30 years. Having the personal experience of being a sibling of a person with a disability has fueled her passion for providing the best quality services for people with special needs. Currently, Ms. Odell is the Director of Supportive Services for Pennrose Management Company, one of the foremost developers of affordable housing in the Northeast and has founded a new nonprofit, PennReach and holds the position of President and CEO. The provision of supportive services in affordable housing is her passion; as she believes the provision of a good, safe place to live is the building block of all good service provision. Her previous position was as founder, president, and CEO of Allies Inc., a national nonprofit with operations in NJ and Colorado serving over 1,700 people with disabilities. Prior to her founding of Allies, Ms. Odell served as Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities, NJ Department of Human Services. Ms. Odell consults both nationally and internationally on innovative supports, self-determination, community education and community connections, housing and education/ transitional services.

Stephen Schoch is Managing Principal of Kitchen & Associates (K&A), a 61-person architecture, engineering, planning and interior design firm based in Collingswood, NJ. Steve’s dedication and influence on the K&A staff has resulted in establishing the firm’s leadership in the field of affordable housing for more than 25 years. Since joining the firm in 1984 Steve has made significant contributions to both the creative and the business accomplishments of the firm. Steve oversees K&A’s architectural endeavors, serving a wide variety of public, private and nonprofit clients as team leader and designer. Steve earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture at Carnegie Mellon University, is NCARB certified, a LEED Accredited Professional, and is a Registered Architect in thirteen states.

Richard Skorupski is a partner in Meeker Sharkey & Hurley Associates, an insurance broker that specializes in serving nonprofits as well as construction, financial services, and technology clients. Rich has played an active role in its SHA fundraising efforts. As a nonprofit insurance expert, Rich is well-versed in addressing affordable housing insurance, liability, and risk management issues. For 30 years, Rich has served nonprofit agencies such as The Arc, cerebral palsy, autisim, and mental health agencies, halfway houses and YMCA/YWCA programs. Rich has spoken on management liability issues on behalf of the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools, the United Way of Philadelphia's Coordinators and Providers, as well as for the Board of Trustees of his numerous clients. He also serves on numerous safety committees for the benefit of his clients. In addition to supporting his clients' needs, he is the past president and chairman of The Board Development Committee of the Union County Educational Services Foundation in Westfield, New Jersey which supports programs for children from grade school through high school. Rich maintains industry designations: Certified Insurance Counselor, Charted Property and Casualty Underwriter and Certified Risk Manager. He is currently pursuing advanced certification in Professional Liability Underwriting.

Tom Toronto is Bergen County’s United Way president. He has 32 years of experience working for local United Ways in Bergen, Burlington and Hudson counties in New Jersey. He serves on the board of the NJ 2-1-1 Partnership, driving implementation of the 2-1-1 helpline on behalf of New Jersey’s local United Ways and New Jersey state government. Tom also serves on Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Center for Excellence in Leadership, Governance and Philanthropy Advisory Board, Bergen County Government’s Board of Social Service and is vice chairman of the Bergen County Workforce Investment Board. Tom is active in his local community having served as a member of the Leonia Governing Body, the Leonia Library Board and chair of the town’s Planning Board. Tom holds a BA from Montclair State University and MA from Columbia University.

In accordance with our by-laws the SHA trustees are elected each year by the membership at the Annual Meeting. The trustees elect the SHA officers at the trustees meeting following the Annual Meeting.

SHA Staff:

Diane Riley, Executive Director

Diane brings with her many years of experience as a leading voice for the hungry and poor in New Jersey. Joining the Community Food Bank in 2011, Diane led a coalition of stakeholders to raise awareness about hunger, engage in public dialogue, and influence policies that address underlying causes as well as solutions. In March 2016, Diane was honored by the General Assembly for her service leadership and commitment to improve the quality of life for citizens throughout the state of New Jersey. Diane is also a member of the board of trustees of the Anti Poverty Network of NJ (APN) which, as part of its mission, is dedicated to eradicate homelessness and create affordable housing for all those in need.

Ed Murphy, Director of Agency Operations
Ed Murphy served as Executive Director of SHA for 13 years before retiring in 2012. Ed continues to work part time for SHA as Director of Agency Operations and editor of the SHA News Bulletins. For many years Ed was executive director of the Mental Health Association of Union County, where he developed community residences, support groups for consumers of mental health services and their families, employment possibilities for peer support workers, as well as programs for persons in domestic violence. Prior to holding that post Ed was a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, working at Aloysius Parish in Jersey City, his graduate training is in human relations and community affairs at New York University.

Mary Jean Murphy, Communications is responsible for maintaining, designing and managing SHA's website and social media. She assists in the planning, negotiation and direct activities for SHA's annual conference.  Mary Jean assists SHA's Executive Director at meetings and supports staff as needed.

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