Audra Hamernik is the President and CEO of Nevada HAND in Las Vegas, NV. Over the past 30 years, she has been an industry leader in real estate, financial services, social impact investing and lending, and business leadership in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. She came to Nevada HAND from the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) where she served as Executive Director, leading a 300-person team that financed over $18 billion in asset-based loans leading to the creation of over 250,000 units of affordable housing. Prior to her time at IHDA, Audra founded and served as Principal of A. Hamernik & Associates, Inc., leading the company’s development in affordable housing finance. Audra has also served as Executive Director of Bluestem Housing Partners, a nonprofit housing developer. Audra is deeply committed to community service and holds several leadership positions across many civic organizations. She is a member of the CEO Exchange, an appointee for the Nevada Housing Advisory Committee, an appointee for the Advisory Council of Federal Assistance, serves on the Legislative Committee of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, a member of the Vegas Chamber’s Executive Women’s Council, a member of the National Association of Homebuilders Affordable Housing Steering Committee, a Board Member of the Nevada Housing Coalition, and a Board Member of the Southern Nevada Homelessness Continuum of Care. She was named the 2021 Newcomer of the Year by Vegas Inc. and was honored as a Top 100 Women of Influence by MyVegas Magazine. Audra has a passion for advancing opportunities for the underserved through public-private partnerships that expand housing, fostering community and economic opportunity, and growing businesses and teams. She earned her Master of Arts degree, as well as her Bachelor of Arts degree, in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois.
Chief Financial Officer
Megan Schimick is Nevada HAND’s Chief Financial Officer, responsible for the financial and accounting reporting of the organization. She joined Nevada HAND in 2016 as Controller and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining Nevada HAND, Megan began her career with Kafoury, Armstrong & Co in 2000. She served as a Partner with Eide Bailly LLP (formerly Kafoury, Armstrong & Co.), overseeing the Las Vegas tax department. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, as well as a Master of Science degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University. She is CPA licensed in the state of Nevada.
Chief Operating Officer
Tim Veenstra joined Nevada HAND in April 2020 as the Chief Operating Officer, bringing 20+ years of affordable housing experience to the organization. Tim recently served as Director of Asset Management at the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), where he was responsible for the long-term performance of over 100,000 units, a loan portfolio of $1.2 billion, and rental assistance administration for 5,000 households. Prior to his tenure at IHDA, Tim spent 20 years working for the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation in a variety of positions, including Deputy Chief Housing Officer, leading a team of 77 employees that oversaw daily operations of 23,000 public housing units and contracts of $180 million annually with 1,050 contract employees. He also developed over 1,500 units of award-winning mixed-income housing, leading community-based working groups in a variety of diverse settings. Tim was a Graduate Fellow in the National Science Foundation’s Urban Poverty Program, where he studied trends in housing quality, material well-being, and educational outcomes, earning an Master of Arts degree in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago.
Vice President of Corporate Affairs
Waldon Swenson joined Nevada HAND in October of 2019 as Vice President of Corporate Affairs. He brings 10+ years of experience in institutional advancement; foundations in communications and strategic planning; and special expertise in governance, fundraising, crisis management, and organizational change. He most recently served as the Director of Communications and Marketing for the Illinois Housing Development Authority. Before joining the Authority, Waldon served as Director of Government Affairs for Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Prior to this, Waldon served as Deputy Campaign Manager for Congressman John Shimkus (IL-15). He has led campaign operations for multiple State House and State Senate races, and in 2019, he was named one of Chicago’s 30 Under 30 by the Publicity Club of Chicago. Waldon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Eastern Illinois University.
Vice President of Human Resources
Tracy Wortham joined Nevada HAND in April 2020 as the organization’s Vice President of Human Resources, where she leads the human resources function for the 300-person organization, including 34 site teams. Tracy has more than 20 years of human resources experience in the public and private sectors, helping to shape culture, benefits, leadership development, diversity initiatives, employee relations, ethics and compliance, and staffing management. Prior to Nevada HAND, she was the Director of Human Resources at the Illinois Housing Development Authority and several large public and private entities, including Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and RR Donnelley and Sons, an integrated communications company. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Governors State University and holds active memberships in the Society of Human Resources Management, Profit Sharing Council of America, and Plan Sponsors of America.
Director of Communications and Marketing
Alaina Leadbeter joined Nevada HAND in September of 2020 as Director of Communications and Marketing. Alaina is a Las Vegas native, and she earned a B.A. in Journalism and Media Studies and a Minor in Interpersonal Communications from UNLV. Prior to joining Nevada HAND, Alaina worked for MGM Resorts International in their corporate media marketing office, serving as a Digital Media Strategist, Regional Broadcast Media Strategist, and as a Traditional Media Manager. Prior to her stop at MGM, Alaina worked for Channel 13, the ABC affiliate in Las Vegas. Alaina has always desired to give back to the community she was raised in, so in her free time she donates or volunteers to a few nonprofits in Las Vegas including the Animal Foundation, Three Square, and The Las Vegas Rescue Mission.
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Rhea is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Nevada HAND. Rhea joined the organization in 2018, serving as an Associate in Fundraising and as a Project Coordinator in Real Estate Development. In 2019, she was promoted to Project Manager in Operational Excellence. In her role, she works collaboratively across departments to formulate innovative process improvements and ensures efficiency in business practices and procedures. She is the Chair of Nevada HAND’s IT Committee and has an extensive background in finance, data analytics, project management, and business operations. She holds a degree in Business Administration and Management and is a graduate of Leadership Advance through the Vegas Chamber’s Leadership Foundation of Greater Las Vegas
Executive Vice President of HAND Construction
Bob Feibleman oversees all of Nevada HAND’s construction activities, including design, engineering, and entitlement processing. He joined Nevada HAND in 1998. Bob has more than 40 years of construction and development experience. Prior to joining Nevada HAND, he was the construction manager for Pacific Harbor Capital (PHC). Bob holds a bachelor’s degree in real estate finance with a minor study in architecture from the University of Oregon. He has held general contractor licenses in California, Oregon, and Nevada.
Vice President of Asset Management
Kathy Carpenter is responsible for maximizing returns and property values for the owners and investors of Nevada HAND properties. She joined Nevada HAND as Controller in 2011. Kathy has over 30 years of accounting and finance experience with companies such as International House of Pancakes, Inc., Cheesecake Factory, Inc., KPMG Peat Marwick LLP and On Stage Entertainment, Inc. Prior to joining Nevada HAND, Kathy served as the Controller for Sysco Las Vegas, Inc., a leading distributor of food and restaurant supplies in Nevada and Utah. Kathy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Utah.
Vice President of Assisted Living
Robert Colbert is responsible for the planning and operation of Nevada HAND’s two affordable assisted living facilities. Previously, Robert served as the Regional Director of Clinical Services for Bonaventure Senior Living, as well as the Regional Director of Quality and Clinical Services for Assisted Living Concepts. He has provided both clinical and operational oversight in senior living communities in the Western U.S. Robert holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Services from Portland State University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Cleveland Clinic Huron School of Nursing. He is an RN in Nevada, as well as a licensed Residential Facility Administrator.
Director of Resident Services
Marissa Shoop has a Master’s in Public Administration, concentration in Nonprofit Management from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her career has been rooted in nonprofit social services and has held progressive positions serving underprivileged and marginalized communities such as victims of crime, at-risk families and youth, substance abuse prevention and older adults. These roles ranged from direct service delivery providing education and training to program management and development In the past, Ms. Shoop managed an empowered team of social service providers and directed all community based programs, programmatic and fiscal activities related to her department.
Director of Compliance
Christina Kennerson is responsible for the development and execution of operational procedures for HAND Property Management. Christina’s professional background includes more than 23 years of training, compliance, and procedure development in the affordable housing industry. Prior to joining Nevada HAND, Christina worked for Related Management, a division of The Related Companies, for 19 years. During her tenure with Related, Christina held a variety of leadership positions in the areas of regulatory compliance and training, until she was promoted to the Director of Learning Technology in 2015.
Director of Operations
Melissa Nigro joined Nevada HAND in April 2022 as Director of Operations, bringing a career in nonprofit work that provided support, as well as financial and legal assistance.
Some of Melissa’s previous roles include serving as Chief of Staff for the NIU Foundation which provides fundraising for students, as Executive Director of a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women, as Associate Director of Operations for the University of Chicago’s Division of Medicine and Biological Sciences Development, and as Administrative Director for the Northwestern University Bluhm Legal Clinic.
Melissa has a passion for organizations that create a lasting and positive impact. She enjoys cultivating relationships while maintaining organizational excellence, thought leadership, collaborative teamwork, and implementing strategic initiatives to move organizations positively forward.
She earned her Bachelor of Philosophy in Communications from Northwestern University, and her Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law.
District Director of Property Management
As a District Director, Jackie Bañales-Garcia is responsible for oversight of the daily operations within the Nevada HAND affordable housing portfolio. Jackie joined Nevada HAND in July 2014. She has more than 20 years of experience in residential and commercial real estate and property management with 13 years of them being in affordable housing in Las Vegas, NV, Denver, CO and Las Cruces, NM. Jackie studied business administration at the University of Texas at El Paso and was a licensed real estate agent for the state of New Mexico. She holds a designation of Certified Occupancy Specialist and Advanced HUD Occupancy Certification.
District Director of Property Management
As a District Director, Marc Wilcher is responsible for oversight of the daily operations within the Nevada HAND affordable housing portfolio. Marc joined Nevada HAND in April 2006. He has about 30 years of experience in residential property management, of which more than 16 years have been devoted to affordable housing in the Las Vegas Valley. Marc holds an ARM designation through IREM and studied General Business and Management at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Director of Maintenance and Safety
Ryan Nolan is the Director of Maintenance and Safety for Nevada HAND, Inc. Ryan joined Nevada HAND in 2017, serving as Assistant Project Manager for HAND Construction, and then progressed on to be a Project Manager, before being named the Director of Maintenance and Safety in October of 2021. In his role, Ryan oversees and coordinates the daily functions of the Maintenance Department and assures compliance with all safety regulations. Ryan is also responsible for the capital improvement projects for Nevada HAND’s diverse portfolio. This includes directly monitoring major renovations and upgrades for Nevada HAND’s communities through effective and efficient use of operational and capital budgets, contract procurement and oversight, regulatory compliance, and the consistent delivery of Nevada HAND’s mission to improve lives. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in construction, project management, and maintenance. Prior to joining Nevada HAND, Ryan worked for the United States Air Force, serving as the HMU Training Manager, along with leading engine maintenance teams on combat search and rescue helicopters. He earned his Master of Science in Project Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from DeSales University, and his Associates from the Community College of the Air Force. He resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his wife and four children.
Kristin Friedli is Nevada HAND’s Controller, responsible for the financial and accounting reporting of the organization. She joined Nevada HAND in 2016 as Assistant Controller and was promoted to Controller in 2018. Prior to joining Nevada HAND, Kristin began her career with Kafoury, Armstrong & Co in 2008, later becoming Tax Manager with Eide Bailly LLP (formerly Kafoury, Armstrong & Co). She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Kristin is CPA licensed in the state of Nevada.
Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development
Ralph Murphy is the Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development for Nevada HAND in Las Vegas, NV. Ralph has more than 40 years of experience in real estate development, and in his role at Nevada HAND, he oversees the acquisition, financing, and development of the organization’s real estate portfolio. Prior to joining Nevada HAND, Ralph held several executive level positions at various real estate development organizations throughout Nevada and California. Throughout his career, he has developed over $300 million of office and industrial buildings, apartment communities, and retail centers. Ralph has negotiated commercial office and retail leases totaling over three million square feet and has concluded over $200 million of real estate acquisition and disposition transactions. Ralph holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering with an emphasis in business economics from Northwestern University.