Our Team

Laurel Street Team | Best Mixed Income Housing Developers
Dionne Nelson
President and CEO
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 more than 25 years of experience in real estate development, finance, and operations. Dionne also serves as Co-President of LSA Management, a property management operating partnership with Avanath Capital Management serving Laurel Street’s development properties.

Prior to founding Laurel Street, Dionne served as Senior Vice President at Crosland and led the company’s affordable housing development and multifamily operations. Previously, she managed investments at NewSchools Venture Fund and Earnest Partners and built her skills in strategy, organization, and operations as a consultant with McKinsey & Company. Dionne began her career in financial services as an Investment Banking Analyst at Salomon Brothers.

Dionne serves on the Board of Directors for Cousins Properties (NYSE: CUZ) and the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) and as a Director for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond – Charlotte Branch. She is also a member of the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council (CELC) and the Real Estate Executive Council (REEC). Dionne is a Trustee for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and a member of the National Advisory Board for the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing, and ULI’s Affordable and Workforce Housing Council. She also serves on the Charlotte Community Advisory Committee for the Knight Foundation, Renaissance West Community Initiative’s Advisory Board and Real Estate Committee, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Childress Klein Center for Real Estate Advisory Board. She is a member of Leadership Charlotte Class 29 and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Dionne earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Spelman College.

Lee Cochran
Senior Vice President
Development
Lee Cochran
Senior Vice President
Development

Lee leads development activities for Laurel Street. His oversight starts at project conception and runs through completion and stabilization. He is responsible for development and project financing relationships.  Lee has more than 20 years of experience in affordable and market-rate housing development, including elderly and family housing.

Previously, Lee was Chief Operating Officer at Levine Properties. There, he 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, he helped develop projects that included single-family rehabilitation, multifamily 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 real estate career with the Housing Authority and Housing Department of the City of Baltimore.

Lee is on the Finance Committee for Habitat for Humanity Charlotte and is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Charlotte Capital Markets Council.

He earned a Master of Public Policy degree and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Duke University.

Sylvia Sullivan
Vice President
Finance and Operations
Sylvia Sullivan
Vice President
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 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 also provides oversight on project-level financial requirements. Sylvia has over 23 years of experience in real estate accounting and finance.

Previously, Sylvia was Controller at Northwood Ravin. There, she was responsible for general accounting as well as the development, construction, and management of market-rate multifamily projects. Prior to joining Northwood Ravin, she worked as Finance Manager for the residential division of Crosland.

Sylvia earned a Master of Business Administration degree from East Carolina University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the State University of New York and passed the New York CPA exam.

Colleen Forness
Vice President
HR and Administration
Colleen Forness
Vice President
HR and Administration

Colleen leads human resources, marketing, IT, and administrative operations for Laurel Street. She is responsible for the oversight and management of the full employment cycle of the team. She manages staffing, benefit programs, payroll, and analysis of Laurel Street’s compensation structure. Colleen has over 25 years of experience in human resources.

Previously, Colleen was Vice President of Human Resource Operations at LendingTree.  In that role, she was responsible for benefits, payroll, compensation, employee experience, training and development, community outreach, and HRIS. Additionally, Colleen helped establish and ran the LendingTree Foundation for two years. Prior to joining LendingTree, Colleen worked as the Group Director of Human Resources at Baker & Taylor.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in hospitality at Cornell University. Colleen is currently a committee member for the St. Jude Celebrity Dinner and Gala committee.

Tisha Germany
Development Director
Tisha Germany
Development Director

Tisha oversees all aspects of the development process from initial concept through closing and conversion. She also is responsible for providing day-to-day leadership for the project management activities of Development Managers. She has over 15 years of experience in affordable and market-rate housing development. Her prior experience includes managing large housing development conversions, public/private partnerships, and mixed-use housing. Tisha has extensive experience leading cross-functional teams and overseeing end-to-end real estate operations, including analyzing requirements, forecasting budgets, allocating resources, and managing construction teams. In addition, she is proficient in working with diversified funding sources

 

Previously, Tisha served as Vice President with KBK Enterprises. There she was responsible for multiple housing developments and the integration of operations activities within the company. Tisha often assisted the CEO in various special projects in the company. At KBK, she completed over 900 mixed-income housing units in multiple developments with complex financing structures. Additionally, Tisha has prior experience working for the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburg.

Currently, Tisha serves as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Pressley Ridge, a social impact organization with annual revenue of over $80 million and serving 9,000 children and families annually. Headquartered in Pittsburgh with services across six states, Pressley Ridge offers more than 70 programs in homes and communities, including treatment foster care, mental health services, and specialized education.

Tisha received her bachelor’s degree in Africana studies with a minor in communication science from the University of Pittsburgh.

Greg Smith
Senior Development Manager
Greg Smith
Senior Development Manager

Greg oversees day-to-day project management for several Laurel Street developments from initial concept through project stabilization. His responsibilities range from project planning and finance structuring to design, construction, and lease-up. Greg has more than 20 years of experience in affordable housing and market-rate real estate development.

Previously, Greg was a Developer at the Oberer Companies in Dayton, Ohio. He developed and managed affordable housing and market-rate developments throughout the Greater Dayton Region. While at the Oberer Companies, Greg developed various affordable housing projects, including ground-up new construction, substantial rehab, historic rehab, and supportive housing projects. As a market-rate developer, Greg developed multiple single-family subdivisions for Oberer Homes and Ryan Home Communities and retail and office developments.

Before becoming a developer, Greg worked in various public planning and economic development positions. During this time, he became familiar with a wide range of development regulations and financing tools for local communities and assisted in preparing several comprehensive neighborhood development plans.

Greg is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and earned a bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning and a bachelor’s degree in environmental design, both from Ball State University.

Matt Stubbing
Senior Development Manager
Matt Stubbing
Senior Development Manager

Matt oversees day-to-day project management for several Laurel Street developments, from initial planning and finance structuring to design, construction, and lease-up. Matt has over 25 years of experience in real estate development, finance, and construction.

Previously, Matt worked at Wells Fargo’s Real Estate Capital Markets in investment banking on the Tax Credit Investment Group and Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities Servicing teams.  He has experience developing affordable housing utilizing Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Historic Renovation Tax Credits and repurposing old buildings. His construction experience includes managing large infrastructure and industrial projects, such as US Embassies, Steel Plants, Bridges, and Water Treatment Plants.

Matt earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Wake Forest University and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Virginia Tech.

Kerrace Pressley
Development Manager
Kerrace Pressley
Development Manager

Kerrace oversees day-to-day project management for several Laurel Street developments from initial concept through project stabilization. His responsibilities range from project planning and financial structuring to design, construction, and lease-up. Kerrace has more than eight years of experience in real estate, including the past three years in real estate as a Development Analyst/Associate for Laurel Street.

As a Development Associate for Laurel Street, Kerrace supported the development staff in all stages of development including the submission of several NCHFA Tax Credit Applications as well as City of Charlotte Housing Trust Fund Applications. Previously, Kerrace interned as a Development Manager for District Development, where he coordinated the development of four 10,000-square-foot retail locations across the Greenville, South Carolina metro area. Prior to joining District Development, he held a position as a New Homes Sales Specialist, where he was responsible for more than $2 million in home sales in Anderson, South Carolina.

Kerrace earned a Master of Real Estate Development degree from Clemson University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in management from Clemson University.

Jonathan Farrar
Director of Construction
Jonathan Farrar
Director of Construction

Jonathan is a Construction Manager for Laurel Street, a fully integrated construction services firm specializing in commercial and multifamily development. Jonathan has over 20 years of construction experience.

Jonathan coordinates with Laurel Street’s development team on project design, land planning, construction costs, and overall project delivery. Previously, Jonathan was the principal in charge of Structure Building Company. There, he worked on the RDU Airport parking garage modernization, NCCU Student Center, and NCCU Lawson Street Residential Hall construction. He previously worked as a Trade Contractor and Construction Manager Partner.

Jonathan earned a Master of Construction Management degree from East Carolina University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Morehouse College. He is also a member of the strategic alliance committee and membership committee for the United Minority Contractors of North Carolina (UMCNC).

Rick Anderson
Construction Manager
Rick Anderson
Construction Manager

Rick oversees a wide range of construction-related services including, pre-construction services, estimating, general contracting, construction management, and design-build for Laurel Street. He also coordinates with the development team on project design, land planning, construction costs, and overall project delivery. Rick has over 20 years of experience in multifamily project management.

 

Previously, Rick worked as a project manager for Bainbridge Companies, DR Horton Multifamily, and Carolina Multifamily Construction. Prior to moving to North Carolina, Rick worked in multifamily project management at Collins Enterprises and AIG/SunAmerica Affordable Housing in Virginia.

 

Rick earned a bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Texas–Austin and an architectural registration in Texas.

Wil Russell
Construction Management Harmon Construction
Wil Russell
Construction Management Harmon Construction

Wil is a Construction Manager for Harmon Construction Services, LLC (HCS), a fully integrated construction services firm specializing in commercial and multifamily development. HCS provides a wide range of construction-related services including full pre-construction services and estimating, general contracting, construction management, and design-build.  Wil has over 16 years of experience in project management.

The Harmon Construction Services team presently provides construction management services for Laurel Street where they are responsible for overseeing construction for 344 units of LIHTC and 326 units of mixed-income housing. Harmon Construction staff are familiar with the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency’s field requirements and take the lead on facilitating the approval process for unit occupancy with NCHFA staff members.

Wil coordinates with Laurel Street’s development team on project design, land planning, construction costs, and overall project delivery.  Previously, Wil worked as an Office Engineer, Project Engineer, and Assistant Project Manager for Rodgers Builders.

Wil earned a bachelor’s degree in building construction and a cooperative education degree from Auburn University.

Sue Moody
Project Coordination Manager
Sue Moody
Project Coordination Manager

Sue provides supports and coordination to the development team. In addition, 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. Sue also manages the projection coordination team. Additionally, Sue maintains the legal entity structure and reporting for Laurel Street and manages development marketing collateral. She has over 25 years of experience working with mixed-income housing at all stages, including pursuit, closing, construction, lease-up, and stabilization.

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

Sue earned an Associate of Applied Science in Office Administration with a legal concentration degree from Central Piedmont Community College. She is also a commissioned notary public in the State of North Carolina.

Tiffany Consolo
Project Coordinator
Tiffany Consolo
Project Coordinator

Tiffany provides support and coordination to the development team. She is also 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, Tiffany provides administrative support to Laurel Street’s Senior Vice President.

Previously, Tiffany was a Senior Mortgage Loan officer with Better Mortgage.  She led borrowers through the mortgage application, underwriting, and closing processes while ensuring all loans complied with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac underwriting requirements. Prior to working at Better, she was the Director of Scheduling at ECRM, an event-based marketing firm headquartered in Solon, Ohio. Tiffany was responsible for overseeing scheduling and event logistics and operations for their category-driven private trade events.

Tiffany earned a bachelor’s degree in managerial marketing from Kent State University. She is a licensed Mortgage Loan Officer and a commissioned notary public in the State of North Carolina.

Abhash Verma
Asset Management Director
Abhash Verma
Asset Management Director

Abhash oversees the operations and management of Laurel Street’s stabilized properties, and communities during lease-up. He has more than 10 years of experience in Asset Management, working with tax-credit communities and overseeing various property types, including senior housing, subsidized housing, and conventional communities.

Previously, Abhash was an Asset Manager at Wallick Communities. He oversaw a portfolio of 25 properties with annual gross revenue of $20 million located in Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas. He was also responsible for underwriting deals for potential acquisition. Abhash also worked as an Asset Management Analyst and Senior Analyst while at Wallick, where he played a key role in creating processes across various functions including budget, replacement reserve, monthly financial review, and dashboard reporting.

Abhash earned a Master of International Real Estate degree from Florida International University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting and forensic accounting from Franklin University.

Shelema Thompson
Asset Manager
Shelema Thompson
Asset Manager

Shelema oversees the operations of Laurel Street communities focusing on maximizing the value of properties in the portfolio and mitigating risk to investors.  In addition, Shelema works with our development managers to ensure a successful transition of properties from construction to lease-up and stabilized operations.

Previously Shelema worked for TI Communities in Irvine, Texas, for five years in Property Management.  During her time at TI Communities, she worked in different roles, from Assistant Property Manager to Property Accountant.  In her role as Property Accountant, she was responsible for preparing accounting reports, analyzing financial resources for acquisitions and dispositions, and working with external auditors.  Prior to that, she worked for Pinnacle Property Management as a Leasing Consultant.

Shelema earned a master of Business Administration degree from AmbaiU and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Bedfordshire.  She is CAPS certified by the National Apartment Association.

Joel Thomas
Asset Manager
Joel Thomas
Asset Manager

Joel oversees the operations of Laurel Street communities focusing on maximizing the value of properties in the portfolio and mitigating risk to investors. He has more than 10 years of experience in residential Asset Management, working with multi-family and single-family properties.

Previously, Joel was an Asset Manager at Man GPM where he oversaw a portfolio of single-family rental units across the Southeast and Midwest. In this role, he was responsible for managing relationships with property managers, ensuring their compliance with all procedures, and working to improve operational performance. Prior to that, he worked as a Senior Property Manager at the non-profit College Housing Northwest in Portland.

Joel earned a master of real estate development from Portland State University and a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Illinois.

Angie Fleeman
Corporate Accounting Manager
Angie Fleeman
Corporate Accounting Manager

Angie manages corporate-level financial transactions for Laurel Street. She is responsible for the preparation of financial statements, financial analysis, and assistance with annual audits. She also assists the Vice President of Finance and Operations with corporate accounting and reporting. Angie has over 35 years of accounting experience.

Previously, Angie was Controller for The Durban Group, LLC. There, she was responsible for managing construction accounting and property management accounting for a shopping center portfolio. Additionally, she previously served as a Controller in the restaurant industry for multiple franchise operators.

Angie earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Georgia College.

Tracey Nash-Powell
Project Accounting Manager
Tracey Nash-Powell
Project Accounting Manager

Tracey manages project-level financial transactions through development and construction for Laurel Street. She is responsible for tracking the financial progress of all projects, which includes management of project cash flow and draws, financial analysis, and collaboration with the development team. Tracey has over 25 years of accounting experience.

Previously, Tracey was Senior Project Accountant 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 Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

Tracey received the 2013 Women of Excellence.

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

Erica Berry
Senior Project Accountant
Erica Berry
Senior Project Accountant

Erica manages project-level financial transactions through development and construction at Laurel Street. She is responsible for tracking the financial progress of all projects, which includes management of project cash flow and draws, financial analysis, and collaboration with the development team. Erica has over 19 years of accounting experience.

Previously, Erica was a Project Creation and Maintenance Accountant at Lendlease. In that role, she was responsible for project creation; project maintenance after set-up, including journal entries; project closures; and other accounting-related functions. Prior to joining Lendlease, Erica worked as a Project Accountant II for Fairfield Residential.

She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Norfolk State University.

Andrew Thompson
Corporate Accountant
Andrew Thompson
Corporate Accountant

Andrew assists in managing corporate-level financial transactions for Laurel Street. He supports the Corporate Accounting Manager with the preparation of financial statements, financial analysis, and other accounting functions. Andrew has 10 years of accounting experience.

 

Previously, Andrew was an Accounting Consultant for Robert Half where he assisted companies with training and streamlining processes in their accounting departments. Additionally, Andrew worked as a Senior Accountant for The Greenery in Hilton Head Island, SC.

 

Andrew earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from Charleston Southern University.

Jasmine Acosta
Benefits and HR Coordinator
Jasmine Acosta
Benefits and HR Coordinator

Jasmine manages the Laurel Street office. She organizes team-building programs, training, meetings, and events. Jasmine coordinates services with all office vendors. She partners with employees to encourage maximum engagement. Jasmine assists with marketing efforts, including planning special events for development projects.  Additionally, Jasmine provides administrative support to the leadership team.

Previously, Jasmine worked for Carrington Mortgage as a Closing Coordinator. She supported borrowers through the mortgage process, ensuring that applicants met compliance requirements. Before working at Carrington, she worked at Lend Plus as a Loan Processor, responsible for reviewing client applications and evaluating financial information regarding their loans.

Jasmine earned a bachelor’s degree in educational sciences and a bachelor’s degree in film and media studies, both from the University of California, Irvine.