Our Team

Laurel Street Team | Best Mixed Income Housing Developers
Dionne Nelson, President and CEO - Laurel Street
Dionne Nelson
President and CEO
Dionne Nelson, President and CEO - Laurel Street
Dionne Nelson
President and CEO

As President and CEO, Dionne establishes and manages the overall strategic direction, operations and growth of the company and has over 25 years of experience in real estate development, finance and operations.

Previously, Dionne was senior vice president at Crosland with responsibility for the company’s affordable housing development and operations.  Prior to joining Crosland, Dionne managed investments at NewSchools Venture Fund and Earnest Partners.  She began her experience in financial services as an investment banking analyst at Salomon Brothers.  Dionne also worked as a strategy, organization and operations consultant with McKinsey & Company.

Dionne works extensively with the Urban Land Institute (ULI).  She is a Trustee and serves on ULI’s Affordable and Workforce Housing Council, the National Advisory Board for the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing and as an evaluator for national housing competitions and advisory panels whenever possible.  Dionne is also a board member of the YMCA of Greater Charlotte.  She previously served as a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission and as a board member for Renaissance West Community Initiative, Levine Museum of the New South and the North Carolina Housing Coalition.  She is a member of Leadership Charlotte Class 29.

Dionne holds a master’s of business administration from Harvard University and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in economics from Spelman College.

Lee Cochran - Laurel Street
Lee Cochran
Senior Vice President
Lee Cochran - Laurel Street
Lee Cochran
Senior Vice President

Lee leads development activities for Laurel Street. His development oversight is from project concept through completion and project stabilization. His prior experience and relationships in mixed income development and with public/private partnerships are leveraged throughout the organization. He has over 20 years of experience in affordable and market rate housing development, including elderly and family housing utilizing a variety of funding structures and sources.

Previously, Lee was chief operating officer for Levine Properties. Lee was responsible for working with the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County on public/private partnerships for the redevelopment of First Ward, a 30-acre, $700 million mixed-use project in Charlotte’s city center. Prior to joining Levine Properties, Lee worked for The Housing Partnership. During his nine years there, Lee helped develop projects that included single-family rehabilitation, multi-family new construction and master-planned development of neighborhoods. Lee served as the organization’s chief financial officer during his last three years. He began his experience in real estate with the Housing Authority and Housing Department of the City of Baltimore.

Lee is a board member for Habitat for Humanity Charlotte and is a member of the Urban Land Institute.

He holds a master’s in public policy from Duke University and a bachelor’s in engineering from Duke University.

Andy Miller, Laurel Street
Andy Miller
Senior Development Manager
Andy Miller, Laurel Street
Andy Miller
Senior Development Manager

Andy oversees the day‐to‐day project management for developments from initial concept through project stabilization. His responsibilities range from project planning and finance structuring through design, construction, and lease-up.  Current efforts focus on the development of 7th Street Apartments, mixed income development in Uptown Charlotte, Tyvola Road apartments, mixed income workforce housing development in Charlotte utilizing opportunity zone funding, West Tyvola Apartments in Charlotte, which includes both senior and workforce phases, Belvedere at Berewick senior apartments, along with other mixed income developments along the east coast.

Previously, Andy worked for Kimley-Horn & Associates where he analyzed the market potential for proposed commercial, multifamily, and mixed-use assets throughout the southeastern United States. Prior to joining Kimley-Horn & Associates, Andy worked as an architect on a wide range of project types and has extensive experience working with the design, entitlement, and construction aspects of affordable and market rate housing developments.

Andy is currently a licensed architect, LEED AP, and member of both the Urban Land Institute and the American Institute of Architects.

He holds a master’s in real estate from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, a master’s of architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s in architecture from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Rosa - 111618_003 240 x 350
Rosa Newman
Development Manager
Rosa - 111618_003 240 x 350
Rosa Newman
Development Manager

Rosa oversees day-to-day project management for several Laurel Street developments from initial concept through project stabilization. Her responsibilities range from project planning and finance structuring through design, construction, and lease-up. Current efforts include Laurel Street’s partnership with the Durham Housing Authority on the Redevelopment of its Downtown properties, including the new construction tax credit development adjacent to the JJ Henderson Housing Center.

Previously, Rosa worked for a South Florida based affordable housing developer where she was responsible for tax-credit developments throughout Florida and Texas. Prior to working in the housing development industry, Rosa interned for the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the General Counsel. She also gained hands-on community organizing experience through her previous volunteer endeavors in South Florida.

Rosa is a member of both the Urban Land Institute and the American Planning Association.

She holds a juris doctor and a master's in urban and regional planning from the University of Iowa as well as a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Chicago.

Sylvia Sullivan, Laurel Street
Sylvia Sullivan
Vice President of Finance and Operations
Sylvia Sullivan, Laurel Street
Sylvia Sullivan
Vice President of Finance and Operations

Sylvia leads financial management and business operations for Laurel Street.  She is responsible for the oversight and management of daily business operations as well as corporate and project financial management. Her corporate responsibilities include coordination with the CEO on financial planning, cash management, preparation of financial statements, coordination of third-party reviews, and management of payroll and benefits. She provides oversight to project level financial requirements. Sylvia has over 23 years of experience in real estate accounting. 

Previously, Sylvia held the controllers position at Northwood Ravin. She was responsible for general accounting as well as the development, construction, and management for market rate multifamily projects. Prior to joining Northwood Ravin, Sylvia worked as the finance manager for the residential division of Crosland. 

She holds a bachelor’s in accounting from the State University of New York and passed the New York CPA exam.

Sue Moody, Laurel Street
Sue Moody
Senior Development Coordinator
Sue Moody, Laurel Street
Sue Moody
Senior Development Coordinator

Sue provides overall support and coordination for the development team. She is responsible for coordinating with partners, attorneys, financial providers, contractors, architects, local municipality staff, finance agencies and property managers to ensure that developments progress smoothly from conception to stabilization. Additionally, Sue is responsible for maintaining the legal entity structure and reporting for the organization. She also manages development marketing collateral. Sue has over 25 years of experience working with the pursuit, closing, construction, lease up and stabilization requirements of mixed income housing developments.

Previously, Sue was a development coordinator with Crosland. There she provided coordination and support for senior members of the residential development and contracting teams. Prior to joining Crosland, Sue was a paralegal.

She holds an associate of applied science in office administration with a legal concentration from Central Piedmont Community College. She is also a commissioned notary public in the State of North Carolina.

 

Tracey - 111618_002 240 x 350
Tracey Nash-Powell
Project Accounting Manager
Tracey - 111618_002 240 x 350
Tracey Nash-Powell
Project Accounting Manager

Tracey manages project level financial transactions through development and construction.  She is responsible for tracking the financial progress for all projects which includes management of project cash flows and draws, financial analysis, and collaboration with the development team.  She also assists the Vice President of Finance and Operations with various aspects of corporate accounting and reporting. Tracey has over 25 years of experience working in the field of accounting.

Previously, Tracey held a senior project accounting role with Lat Purser and Associates where she was responsible for construction draws, all commercial bank reconciliations, and other accounting related functions for commercial and residential properties.  Prior to joining Lat Purser and Associates, Tracey worked as a senior accountant for Highmark Inc. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Tracey received the 2013 Women of Excellence from the New Pittsburgh Courier and the 2012 Jefferson Award from the Jefferson Awards Foundation for her service to the community.

She holds a bachelor’s in accounting from Robert Morris University.

Monique Mendes
Human Resources and Operations Manager
Monique Mendes
Human Resources and Operations Manager

Monique manages and executes office and staff functions necessary for successful and efficient company operations. Her responsibilities include formalizing and enforcing company policies, overseeing and managing human resource compliance, leading annual benefits assessment and renewals, helping ensure company financial controls by supporting accounting/finance with cash verifications and reconciliations as well as day-to-day office management. Monique has over 15 years of experience providing project and office management.

Previously, Monique worked for Renaissance West Community Initiative. Her primary responsibilities were office management, marketing, and board support. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Monique worked for The Berry Companies, a property management, commercial brokerage, and development firm. Her responsibilities included accounting, office management, and providing support to the brokerage and development teams.

Monique holds a bachelor’s in Biology from Spelman College and is a commissioned notary public in North Carolina.

 

 

Melissa Valley
Senior Asset Manager
Melissa Valley
Senior Asset Manager

Melissa oversees the operations and management of the stabilized and lease up communities. Melissa has over 20 years of experience in property management, tax credit, senior housing, public housing, and conventional communities as well as single-family homes.

Previously, Melissa worked as a regional property manager, for Gateway Property Management. Her primary responsibilities were overseeing a portfolio of mixed properties within North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.  Prior to joining Gateway Property Management, Melissa worked as the director of operations for David Drye Company where she increased revenue over two million dollars, leading to the sale of the company’s portfolio.

Melissa has served on several boards including the Salisbury Board of Realtors and held positions as the president and vice president on parent-teacher association Boards.

Melissa holds a master’s in business administration from Western Governors University and a bachelor’s in human resource management from Western Governors University. In addition, she holds a broker’s license with the North Carolina Real Estate Commission.

Kerrace Pressley
Development Analyst
Kerrace Pressley
Development Analyst

Kerrace provides support to the development team on a range of projects from predevelopment through construction. Some of his responsibilities include providing preliminary background research for projects, collecting due diligence during the closing process, and tracking and documenting projects during construction.

Previously, Kerrace interned as a Development Manager for District Development LLC where he coordinated the development of four 10,000 square feet retail locations across the Greenville, S.C. metro area. Prior to joining District Development LLC, he held a position as a New Homes sales specialist where he was responsible for over $2 million in home sales in Anderson, South Carolina.

Kerrace holds a bachelor’s in management and a master’s of real estate development from Clemson University.