Our Board of Directors
Our board is comprised of a diverse range of professionals with numerous ties to the communities we serve.
Homes First! is a certified CHDO organization and is actively seeking Board members who represent the low-income community. This includes members of Boards from other non-profit organizations who serve the low-income community or those who are members of the low-income community themselves.
Billie Heath: Rural Community Assistance Corporation
A founding member of Homes First! and a Board leader off and on since 1990, Billie Heath has seen a lot of changes over the past 23-plus years. She is currently the President of the Homes First! Board of Directors and RCAC’s Self-Help Housing Coordinator for the entire Western region. She started with RCAC in 1979, traveling up from Sacramento to work with self-help housing programs in our state. In 1987, she opened the RCAC field office in Lacey and managed it until 2002, when she handed over the reins to Art Seavey. Billie is grateful to continue to be a part of the mission of Homes First!
Sandy Nelson: Riley Jackson Real Estate
Sandy has been on the Board since September 2010, and currently serves as Vice President as well as being a member of the Resource Development and Executive Committees. Professionally, Sandy works as a Realtor in Olympia. She has served on the South Capitol Neighborhood Association Board as Treasurer for a period of four years, is a member of the Washington Association of Realtors and the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce. Sandy is also the President of the Board of the German Club of Olympia.
Joan Wright: Community Resources
Joan joined Homes First! in March 2013, and added a plethora of experience managing for and nonprofit organizations. As the founder and Executive Director of Community Resources, a provider of care for adults with developmental disabilities, Joan brings special insight into a special population that Homes First! serves. Joan also has a keen eye for finances and understands how to balance our fiduciary responsibilities with our mission focus.
Russ Carstensen: Executive Director, NARTE (ret.)
A member of the Homes First! Board of Directors since March 2013, Russ came to Homes First! leadership with more than 40 years of Government and private industry experience in naval electronic systems design, acquisition and integration. He served as Executive Director of an internationally recognized 501 (c)3 nonprofit professional credential certification organization. Has served at the Vice- Presidential and Branch Supervisor levels for Applied Engineering, Acquisition Policy, Quality Assurance and Electromagnetic Effects. Also served as Plans and Resources Division Director for Engineering Directorate wide budget and personnel actions. Russ is also active in the local Kiwanis Club and a leader for the local Harbor Days event.
- Mike Brown, Owner, Brown Building Contractors
- Megan Burr, Program Specialist, Developmental Disabilities Authority
- Joan Marchioro, Hearings Judge, Department of Ecology
- Rick Pitts, Olympia Federal Savings
- Tim Stender, YouthBuild/New Market Skills Center