SDHC Leadership Team

Richard C. Gentry

President &
Chief Executive Officer

Richard C. Gentry has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) since September 19, 2008. With more than 300 employees and an annual operating revenue budget of $268.1 million, SDHC serves low-income residents in the city of San Diego—the eighth largest city in the nation and second largest city in California.

Mr. Gentry’s career in affordable housing and community redevelopment spans 46 years. Before coming to San Diego, Mr. Gentry was Senior Vice President of Asset Management for the National Equity Fund in Chicago, Ill., the nation’s largest nonprofit Low-Income Housing Tax Credit syndicator. At National Equity Fund, Mr. Gentry managed portfolio investments consisting of approximately 1,600 properties, containing 100,000 units and representing a gross equity investment of $7 billion.

He began his career at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1972 and has held CEO positions at the Austin (Texas) and Richmond (Va.) housing authorities. Mr. Gentry was also the Vice President for Public Housing Initiatives at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in Washington, D.C.

Immediately after assuming the top post at SDHC, Mr. Gentry directed the implementation of an innovative 2009 Finance Plan that created 810 additional affordable housing units in the city of San Diego through public-private partnerships and direct acquisitions. This Finance Plan was developed following a September 10, 2007, landmark agreement, in which HUD transferred full ownership for 1,366 public housing units to SDHC—the largest public housing conversion at that time. SDHC leveraged the equity from this new real estate portfolio to create or preserve these additional affordable housing units. All of the units will remain affordable for at least 55 years or more.

In addition, Mr. Gentry committed SDHC as a federal “Moving to Work” (MTW) agency, which provides SDHC the flexibility to implement new programs to provide housing assistance in the city of San Diego. SDHC is one of only 39 public housing authorities, out of 3,400 nationwide, to receive an MTW designation from HUD. Mr. Gentry serves on the national MTW Steering Committee.

Under Mr. Gentry’s leadership, SDHC on July 1, 2010, became one of the first public housing agencies in the nation to receive HUD approval to also use its federal rental housing voucher funding to provide long-term housing for chronically homeless individuals.

As a leading partner in addressing homelessness in the city of San Diego, SDHC developed HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, SDHC’s Homelessness Action Plan. Programs in the first three years of this plan (2014-2017) provided housing for close to 3,000 formerly homeless San Diegans. New programs in the next three fiscal years (2018-2020) will create permanent housing opportunities for at least an additional 3,000 homeless individuals and families.

Mr. Gentry is a member of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless Governance Board, which oversees federal funds that are annually allocated for homelessness programs by HUD.  He also sits on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Downtown Partnership and the United Way Home Again Advisory Board.

Mr. Gentry’s accomplishments also include helping Standard & Poor’s develop its rating system for housing authorities.

Mr. Gentry received the M. Justin Herman Memorial Award, the highest recognition awarded by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), in October 2017 for lifetime service to the affordable housing industry. In October 2008, NAHRO awarded Mr. Gentry the John D. Lange Award for his achievements in expanding the organization’s stature and influence internationally.

In October 2012, he was accepted into the NAHRO Fellowship Program, which honors members for their commitment to improving the housing conditions of their fellow citizens. Mr. Gentry also served as NAHRO’s president from 1995-97 and as senior vice president from 1993-95.

The National Academy of Housing and Cities also selected Mr. Gentry as a Fellow, which recognizes “men and women who have achieved or contributed to the improvement of the housing and urban framework.”

Mr. Gentry is also currently a member of the Boards of Directors for the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities and the California Housing Consortium. In addition, he is a member of the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association and the National Housing Conference. He was an active participant in the 2012 Roundtable Discussions held by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission.

Mr. Gentry was also a contributing writer for the book, From Despair to Hope, Hope IV and the New Promise of Public Housing in America’s Cities, which was co-edited by former HUD Secretary Henry G. Cisneros in 2009.

Born in Elkin, N.C., Mr. Gentry holds a master’s degree in religion from Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in religion from Wake Forest University.

Jeff Davis

Executive Vice President &
Chief of Staff

A 20-year veteran of the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC), Jeff Davis oversees the Rental Assistance and Communications Division and the Homeless Housing Innovations, Financial Services, Information Technology, Human Resources, and Administrative Services Departments.

Mr. Davis previously served as Senior Vice President of the Rental Assistance Division.

As Chief of Staff, Mr. Davis oversees the day-to-day operations of SDHC, an agency with more than 330 employees and an annual operating revenue budget of more than $268.1 million.

He serves on the board of the National Leased Housing Association, is a member of the Housing Committee for the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officers (NAHRO) and a board member of the Pacific Southwest Regional Council of NAHRO.

Deborah N. Ruane

Executive Vice President &
Chief Strategy Officer

As Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC), Deborah N. Ruane develops long-range strategies to grow affordable housing opportunities in the City of San Diego through SDHC’s innovative investment plans and programs, including acquisitions, dispositions and loans.

She has been in the real estate and financial markets for more than 25 years, focusing on affordable housing finance and development exclusively over the past 15 years.

Before joining SDHC in 2009, Ms. Ruane's experience included serving for six years as Senior Vice President in Bank of America’s Community Development Banking Group, where she provided loans to the for-profit and nonprofit development community to create additional affordable housing in California.

She also served five years as Vice President of Affordable Housing Development for Fairfield Residential, a nationwide developer of multifamily housing.

Ms. Ruane studied Business Administration and has a Master’s of Science in Executive Leadership from the School of Business Administration at the University of San Diego.

Suket Dayal

Senior Vice President,
Business Administration

Suket Dayal is the San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) Senior Vice President of Business Administration. He oversees the Information Technology Department; Procurement and Compliance Division; Project Management Office; and the Moving to Work (MTW) team.

MTW is a federal demonstration program that gives SDHC the flexibility to implement a variety of innovative, cost-effective approaches to provide housing assistance in the City of San Diego. SDHC is one of only 39 public housing authorities nationwide, out of 3,400, to receive the MTW designation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Prior to joining SDHC in 2013, Mr. Dayal worked for three years at the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino, where he led the agency’s MTW efforts and worked on housing policy.

Mr. Dayal currently serves on the boards of the California Association of Housing Authorities and the Pacific Southwest Regional Council of the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials.

He earned his master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and his undergraduate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from California Polytechnic State University in Pomona, California.

Michael Pavco

Senior Vice President,
Real Estate Division

As Senior Vice President of the San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) Real Estate Division, Michael Pavco leads a team of professionals in Acquisitions, Development, Loans and Grant Programs, Rehabilitation, Portfolio Management, Property Management and Real Estate Budget and Finance.

Mr. Pavco also serves as the Senior Vice President of SDHC’s nonprofit affiliate, Housing Development Partners.

He has more than 12 years of experience in the affordable housing industry, working primarily on residential, mixed-use urban, and redevelopment projects.

Prior to joining SDHC, Mr. Pavco served as the Development Director for the National Affordable Housing Trust, a nonprofit that specializes in providing tax credit equity of affordable housing developments throughout the U.S. In this role, he was responsible for identifying and underwriting developments, securing competitive funding awards and managing properties throughout the development process.

He began his career as a Real Estate Accountant for Volunteers of America, one of the largest nonprofit owners of affordable housing in the country.

Mr. Pavco holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from James Madison University.

Azucena Valladolid

Senior Vice President,
Rental Assistance Division

Azucena Valladolid leads the San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) largest division, Rental Assistance, which includes the SDHC Achievement Academy.

Ms. Valladolid oversees all of SDHC’s rental assistance programs, including Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, Family Unification Program, Moderate Rehabilitation, and local non-traditional Moving to Work (MTW) homelessness programs.

SDHC’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program provides rental assistance to more than 15,000 low-income households in the City of San Diego. The SDHC Achievement Academy provides programs that emphasize career planning, job skills and personal financial education—at no charge to Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher participants and public housing residents.

Prior to joining SDHC, Ms. Valladolid served as Chief Operations Officer for Financial Guidance Center, a nonprofit United Way agency and member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

During more than 10 years with the nonprofit, she held different positions with responsibilities that included: development and management for all new programs; funding, services and operations for all departments; compliance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requirements; foreclosure prevention; and rental assistance.

Debra Fischle-Faulk

Vice President,
Procurement &
Compliance Department

Debra Fischle-Faulk is responsible for the San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) centralized procurement and grant writing/application submission activities, as well as labor, Section 3, equal opportunity contracting and other federal and state contract compliance activities.

Prior to joining SDHC in December 2012, Ms. Fischle-Faulk worked for more than 18 years for the City of San Diego, overseeing a variety of programs, divisions and boards.

She also worked for 18 years in the private sector as the Procurement Services Manager/Minority and Woman Owned Business Program Administrator for General Dynamics.

Ms. Fischle-Faulk has received a number of awards and recognition for her work, including the San Diego Mediation Center’s Peacemaker of the Year, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Regional Prime Contractor of the Year, and San Diego Regional Minority Supplier Development Council’s Advocate of the Year.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in special education with an emphasis in psychology from Southern Connecticut State University.

Emily Jacobs

Vice President,
Real Estate Development Services

With more than 20 years of experience in the affordable housing industry, Emily Jacobs oversees a diverse project portfolio for the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC).

Her experience includes project management, asset management, property management, business management, and resident services. In addition, Ms. Jacobs has a strong background in the development and oversight of tax-credit and bond-financed developments.

She also serves as the Vice President of SDHC’s nonprofit affiliate, Housing Development Partners.

Prior to joining SDHC, Ms. Jacobs worked for nearly seven years for Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation, a local nonprofit developer, overseeing company and portfolio operations. She also worked for several years as a real estate development coordinator for a nonprofit developer in Central California.

Ms. Jacobs holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Science from Humboldt State University and a National Tax Credit Compliance designation.

Ann Kern

Vice President,
Real Estate Finance &
Program Development

Ann Kern oversees the Single-Family Financing, Loan Servicing, and Land Use teams in the San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) Real Estate Division.

These teams are responsible for SDHC’s single-family loan activities, servicing more than 2,400 single-family loans. The department also administers the City of San Diego’s (City) Inclusionary Housing and Density Bonus programs; the First-Time Homebuyer programs for the City and County of San Diego; the City’s Single-Room Occupancy Hotel Ordinance; and Coastal Affordable Housing Replacement regulations.

Ms. Kern has more than 26 years of experience in affordable housing. Prior to joining SDHC, she spent more than 10 years in the private sector, serving a U.S. Department of Defense contractor.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University (SDSU). Ms. Kern also has earned a certificate in financial planning from SDSU and a certificate in urban planning from the University of California, San Diego.

Scott Marshall

Vice President,
Communications &
Government Relations

Scott Marshall oversees the San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) Communications & Government Relations Division.

This division is responsible for SDHC’s internal and external communications activities, including: public outreach, media relations, and multimedia services, such as website content management and SDHC’s YouTube Channel. In addition, government relations activities include responding to public records requests and scheduling, preparing and distributing reports for the SDHC Board of Commissioners, the Housing Authority of the City of San Diego, and SDHC presentations to City Council Committees.

Before joining SDHC in February 2013 as a Communications Writer, Mr. Marshall worked for close to 15 years as a staff writer for the North County Times daily newspaper, earning recognition from the San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and more than four years as the senior associate editor for Outreach magazine.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Tracey McDermott

Vice President &
Chief Financial Officer,
Financial Services Department

Tracey McDermott is responsible for the San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) financial strategy, budgeting, forecasting, and all financial reporting.

She was appointed to serve as SDHC’s Vice President & Chief Financial Officer in March 2016. Ms. McDermott oversees the agency’s $268.1 million operating revenue budget, as well as the $385 million loan portfolio, composed of more than 2,500 loans, and a $136 million investment portfolio.

She also serves as the Chief Financial Officer for SDHC’s nonprofit affiliate, Housing Development Partners.

Ms. McDermott previously served as SDHC’s Director of Grants and Compliance. This position included short-term and long-term planning, as well as the development and administration of department policies, procedures, and services.

Before joining SDHC in 2012, she worked for 20 years at publicly held companies as Controller or Assistant Controller, where she was responsible for complying with strict U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reporting rules and regulations.

Ms. McDermott earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of West Florida.

Michael McKenna

Vice President,
Human Resources Department

Michael McKenna has served as the Vice President of Human Resources for the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) since 2013, overseeing a department that provides overall policy direction on human resource management issues and administrative support functions related to the management of employees for all departments.

Before joining SDHC in 2012 as Director of Human Resources, he served as the head of Human Resources for The Krystal Company in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he was responsible for the fast-food company’s human resources strategy for approximately 6,500 employees and 225 single-site restaurant locations.

Mr. McKenna also has served as Director of Human Resources for Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, when it was based in San Clemente, California, and in a variety of professional roles with Tigrent, Inc. in Fort Myers, Florida.  He began his professional career with the law firm of Ford & Harrison in Orlando, Florida, providing legal counsel on employment-related matters to companies in both the public and private sector.

Mr. McKenna received a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior (summa cum laude) from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law in Hartford, Connecticut.

Jennifer McKinney

Vice President,
Property Management &

As Vice President of Real Estate Operations for the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC), Jennifer McKinney oversees the agency’s Property Management, Property Maintenance and Asset Management teams.

Ms. McKinney is responsible for the administration of various affordable housing programs, as well as the day-to-day maintenance operations and long-term strategic planning for more than 2,000 units of affordable-housing owned by SDHC. The long-term planning includes identifying revenue and expense opportunities, operational efficiencies, capital planning and execution of critical-needs projects associated with more than 155 multifamily rental properties, land and the corporate headquarters.

She has more than 25 years of real estate management experience, including commercial and multifamily properties. Her areas of expertise include property repositioning, rehabilitation, financial management, budgeting and forecasting, and employee development. Prior to joining SDHC, she worked in real estate management in the private sector.

Ms. McKinney holds a Certified Apartment Manager Designation through the National Apartment Association, is a Certified Property Manager Candidate through the Institute of Real Estate Management, and has completed a certificate program in Real Estate Finance, Investment and Development at the University of San Diego.

Stephanie Murphy

Vice President,
Workforce &
Economic Development

As Vice President of Workforce and Economic Development, Stephanie Murphy oversees the San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) Achievement Academy.

The SDHC Achievement Academy is a learning and resource center and computer lab at SDHC’s downtown San Diego headquarters. It provides programs that emphasize career planning, job skills and personal financial education. These programs are available at no charge to households that receive Federal rental assistance from SDHC and public housing residents.

Ms. Murphy has extensive experience in workforce development and financial literacy program management, including managing a Welfare-to-Work grant at the start of her workforce development career.

Prior to joining SDHC, she worked for Money Management International, assisting families across the country with financial management, including managing the NFL financial literacy program. Her experience also include San Diego Career Opportunities Partners and National University.

Ms. Murphy holds a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University, a master’s degree from the University of Redlands, and is a LEAD San Diego graduate. She has served on the State Rehabilitation Council and Workforce Investment Board and currently is a board member with the Able Disable Advocacy.

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