STAFF

ANDREA DAVIS
Executive Director

Andrea is responsible for overseeing all facets of the organization including development (organizational and project-based), fundraising, marketing, policy and collaboration, and personnel issues. She reports directly to the Board of Directors and works closely with the Board to strategize for the organization.

Andrea received her B.A. at the University of Montana in Organizational Communications with a minor in Environmental Studies. This led her to pursue work in the sustainability field and she began her career in providing homes people can afford at Homeword in 2001 as Asset Manager and Community Builder. From 2003 – 2008, Andrea led the development of five projects ranging from homes for Veterans who experienced homelessness to new senior homes while working at the Missoula Housing Authority. Among other duties, Andrea was responsible for agency planning, provided leadership to the organization and served as a liaison with community stakeholders. Andrea returned to Homeword as Executive Director in 2008.

Andrea is a native of the Flathead Valley, a University of Montana Alumni and cherishes the ability to contribute to a sustainably built environment in Montana by developing homes people are proud to call home and by providing tools for people to be self-sufficient and achieve their full potential. She currently serves on the Mountain Line Board, represents Montana as the Vice Chair on the Advisory Council for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, serves as Second Vice President on the Board of Directors for NeighborWorks Montana and is acting Vice Chair for the Montana Housing Coalition.

KARISSA TRUJILLO
Operations & Program Director

Operations & Program Director, Karissa Trujillo– Karissa is responsible for managing Homeword’s homebuyer and financial education programs, housing and financial counseling services, as well as for the operations and administration functions of the organization. She is responsible for managing program and administrative staff, managing the budget, ensuring program compliance, evaluating outcomes, writing grants and developing partnerships to address community and client needs.

Karissa has earned the NeighborWorks certification in Homeownership Counseling for Program Mangers and Executive Directors, as well as the NCHEC Homeownership Counseling certificate. She is in the process of earning her Housing Development Finance Professional certificate from the National Development Council.

Karissa has an M.P.A and M.Ed. from the University of Montana, where she worked in New Student & Family Programs for over 9 years. In her time at the University, Karissa also served on the Board of Directors for the Montana Post-Secondary Educational Opportunities Council (MPSEOC).Karissa has an M.P.A from the University of Montana, where she worked in New Student & Family Programs for over 9 years. In her time at the University, Karissa also served on the Board of Directors for the Montana Post-Secondary Educational Opportunities Council (MPSEOC).

MATT JOSEPH
Finance Director

Finance Director, Matt Joseph, CPA – This position oversees all agency financial resources and budgets, regularly reports on current operations of both non-profit and limited–partnership activities of the organization, has an active role in the Asset Management function of Homeword’s properties, and oversees the Finance Coordinator & Asset Manager. The Finance Director reports to the Executive Director. Matt joined Homeword in May 2012 coming from Garden City Heating & Plumbing where he was the Controller for eleven years. Matt is a licensed CPA with a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Montana.

HEATHER MCMILIN
Project Development Director

Project Development Director, Heather McMilin – This position directs all aspects of the organization’s home development activities based on strategic plans; manages all development, construction, and project management activities including site selection, acquisition, design, financing, city and neighborhood review, construction, expenditures; develops and monitors project costs and budgets; and lease-up or sale, and owner relations; and manages project managment staff. The Project Development Director plays a support role to the Executive Director on all key development issues and collaborates extensively with Finance Director and Executive Director to ensure that projects meet targets and goals. This position oversees the Project Managers.

After graduating with a Master of Architecture degree and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Montana State University, Heather moved to Missoula in 1998 where she worked with several different architectural firms and deepened her understanding of the need for more sustainable building practices in construction and development. Since joining the Homeword team early 2003, Heather has received extensive training and experience in the development of homes people can afford and gained additional expertise in sustainable design.

JENNIFER BETZ
Asset Manager

Asset Manager, Jennifer Betz – The Asset Manager manages Homeword assets, which include low-income rental properties, commercial rental properties, single-family home sales, and land trust properties. The Asset Manager oversees property management, develops strategic plans and goals for each Homeword development, manages cash flow of each development, and ensures regulatory compliance. The Asset Manager reports to the Finance Director.

Jennifer developed her passion for social services while studying at The University of Montana where she earned degrees in Psychology, Communication Studies, and Education. Before joining Homeword, she worked with youth in foster care and adults with disabilities in addition to teaching. She has over 11 years of experience in Asset Management and has been a licensed real estate property manager. Jennifer has completed training in Low Income Housing Tax Credits, the HOME Program, and housing development finance. She serves as Homeword’s representative as an affiliate member of the local chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers.

JESSICA BURSON
Communications and Fundraising Manager

Communications and Fundraising Manager, Jessica Burson – Jessica develops and implements a wide swath of communications for Homeword, from web content to annual reports, infographics and advocacy materials. Jessica is also responsible for Homeword’s fundraising activities, including major gifts, grant writing, corporate sponsorships and events.The Communicaions and Fundraising Manager works with the Executive Director and the Board Fundraising and Outreach Committee to develop a comprehensive communications and fund development plan. This position reports to the Executive Director.

Jessica has a Bachelors Degree in Communications from San Diego Christian College. She has over eighteen years of experience in relationship development, fundraising and communications, previously working with the US Grant Hotel, Noodles & Company, Habitat for Humanity and the Daly Hospital Foundation.

ASHLEY GRANT
Project Manager

Project Manager, Ashley Grant – This position is responsible for carrying out all tasks associated with managing Homeword‘s home development projects; administering contracts, procurement and proposal processes; coordinating and working with the public, the planning office, finance institutions, contractors, consultants and architects. This position assists the Project Development Director in preparing due diligence documents and ensuring Homeword is on track with project timelines and budgets. This position reports to the Project Development Director.

Ashley graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering and Management in 2005 and joined a large general contractor based out of Minneapolis, with a focus on the renewable energy industry. During her eight years of service, she managed the design and onsite construction of numerous utility scale wind energy and solar projects throughout North America. Ashley moved to Missoula in 2008 and has since become a LEED Accredited Professional and a registered Professional Engineer. Ashley joined Homeword in 2013 as a Project Manager and has since become a Housing Credit Certified Professional and Housing Development Finance Professional.

STACEY MILLER
Finance Coordinator

Finance Coordinator, Stacey Miller – Stacey records the organization’s financial business transactions for multiple inter-related companies, assists cash flow planning, retains all accounting records (both hard copies and electronic) and performs related recordkeeping. The Finance Coordinator reports to the Finance Director.

Stacey has worked as a Certified Public Accountant since 1986.

ERIN OJALA
Administrative Specialist

Administrative Specialist, Erin Ojala – Homeword’s Administrative Specialist is responsible for providing administrative support to the entire organization. This position works closely with program staff managing class registrations, class schedules and the conference room calendar. Erin also provides administrative support to marketing and fundraising events, website updates, and represents the organization in her involvement in the Community Management Team and Program Coordinators Committee activities. The Administrative Specialist is responsible for tracking program data, in-kind volunteer donations, office and childcare expenses. This position reports to the Operations & Program Director.

Erin graduated from the University of Montana, Missoula College with High Honors and A.A.S degrees in Business Management and Administrative Management. In addition, Erin holds Certificates of Applied Science in Customer Relations and Sales and Marketing. Erin’s passion for helping support local families and interest in public service brought her to Homeword in 2015.

Julie Pavlish
Homebuyer Educator 

Homebuyer Educator, Julie Pavlish – Julie provides housing counseling services, including pre and post-purchase counseling. She also coordinates, facilitates, and instructs the homebuyer education class. This position reports to the Operations and Program Director.
Julie is a graduate of the University of Montana where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology focusing on historic archaeology. Early in her career, she shifted focus to financial literacy education for the Missoula community, becoming a certified financial counselor in 2013. Before joining Homeword she worked at the University of Montana’s Financial Education Program helping students understand the long term financial impacts of their educational choices as well as providing assistance understanding their student loan repayment options.

ALEX RAMSING
Landlord Liaison

Alex Ramsing joined Homeword as Landlord Liaison in January 2020. This position is funded by the Missoula Board of County Commissioners after community input that identified the need to fill this critical gap in the continuum of services that support efforts to prevent and end homelessness in our community.

Alex serves as a resource for landlords who are interested in renting to people with perceived high barriers to finding a home, such as poor credit or previous incarceration. He is responsible for leading community-wide efforts to effectively market Missoula housing support programs to new and existing landlords and property managers with the goal of expanding the number of rental homes available to people with barriers to renting a home. He will identify permanent rental homes throughout Missoula, develop partnerships with landlords to overcome barriers that prevent participants from obtaining permanent places to live, and work closely with case managers, Missoula’s Coordinated Entry System Housing Navigator (Partnership Health Care) and Housing Retention Specialist (Poverello Center) to ensure participants can access and keep their homes.

Alex comes back to Missoula from Seattle, where he supported his father, who is a landlord there. He attended University of Montana and started his professional career working at the UM Admissions Office as the Campus Visit Coordinator. He also has sales experience, as well as a passion for film and biking. Alex is looking forward to helping develop this new position in Missoula, with the hope that the Landlord Liaison will increase the access Missoula County residents have to homes they can afford.

KATIE SADOWSKI
Financial Educator

Financial Educator, Katie Sadowski – Katie started working for Homeword in July of 2016. She is responsible for facilitating and instructing our monthly Financial Fitness Class and Rent Wise Workshops. Katie also provides one-on-one financial fitness, renter and eviction prevention counseling. She is HUD-certified housing and financial counselor. This position reports to the Operations and Program Director.

Katie’s enthusiasm for financial skill building began with her B.S. in Accounting from the University of Oregon. Her professional experience before working with Homeword included 10 years in tax preparation and outdoor education. Katie uses her training in experiential education to make finances come alive for her students. She is an active Enrolled Agent and is pursuing her Certified Financial Planner designation. Her goal with working at Homeword is to spread financial judgement so Missoulians can navigate their current financial world and advocate for their future.

JULIE STITELER
Project Manager

Project Manager, Julie Stiteler – This position is responsible for carrying out all tasks associated with managing Homeword‘s home development projects; administering contracts, procurement and proposal processes; coordinating and working with the public, the planning office, finance institutions, contractors, consultants and architects. This position assists the Project Development Director in preparing due diligence documents and ensuring Homeword is on track with project timelines and budgets. This position reports to the Project Development Director.

Julie graduated from Montana State University with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1984, and headed to Seattle, where she joined a large architectural firm, eventually becoming an Associate at the firm, managing the design and construction phase services for several large multi-family home development projects, among other types of work. She then headed to the other “side of the counter”, joining the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development where she eventually became a Construction Plan Review Manager, assisting the City’s wide variety of applicants in navigating the building permit application process and getting their construction permits.

Julie returned to Montana and joined Homeword as Project Manager in 2008. She has completed training on Affordable Housing Development provided by NeighborWorks, and became a Certified Tax Credit Compliance Professional by Spectrum in the summer of 2009, and received a Master of Architecture from MSU-Bozeman in the spring of 2009. She received the designation as a Housing Credit Certified Professional by the National Association of Home Builders in 2013. Julie became certified by the National Development Council as a Housing Development Finance Professional.