Executive Director

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

Andrea has been working to secure homes that Montanans can afford since 2001 when she started with Homeword, including a five-year period with the Missoula Housing Authority as the Director of Planning & Development. She re-joined the Homeword team as the Executive Director in 2008. Andrea received her education from Flathead Valley Community College and the University of Montana where she graduated with a B.A. in Organizational Communications and a minor in Environmental Studies. Andrea has professional education in affordable housing finance & management, HR, housing counseling, fundraising and marketing. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Mountain Line (transit system in Missoula), the Board of the Missoula Economic Partnership, the Montana Housing Coalition and NeighborWorks Montana, is the Montana Representative for the Federal Home Loan Bank Advisory Council.

Project Development Director

This position directs all aspects of the organization’s 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 development 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 project developments 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 affordable housing and gained additional expertise in sustainable design.

Operations & Program Director

Operations & Program Director is responsible for managing Homeword’s homebuyer, financial and renter education and counseling programs, as well as 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. Additionally, Karissa has her Housing Development Finance Professional certificate from the National Development Council. She serves on the leadership team of the Missoula Home Coalition.

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).

Finance Coordinator

Stacey joined Homeword in January of 2011. She reviews and creates financial reports and records for multiple inter-related companies and consults with the Finance Director and Asset Manager about day-to-day and long-term finance items. The Finance Coordinator reports to the Finance Director. Stacey has worked as a Certified Public Accountant since 1986.

Finance Director

The Finance Director oversees all agency financial resources and budgets, regularly reports on current operations of both non-profit and limited–partnership activities of the organization and has an active role in the Asset Management function of Homeword owned/controlled properties. The Finance Director plays a central role on all key development issues and collaborates extensively with the Housing Development Director and Executive Director to ensure that housing developments or acquisitions meet financial targets and goals. This position oversees the Finance Coordinator and 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. Matt is also certified by the National Development Council as a Housing Development Finance Professional. Matt was an inaugural graduate of the Montana State Fund Worksafe Champions mentor program and assists Leadership with Homeword safety, HR and benefits programs.

Landlord Liaison

Alex 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 grew up in 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 continuing to develop this position in Missoula, with the hope that the Landlord Liaison will increase the access Missoula County residents have to homes they can afford.

Administrative Specialist

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.

Asset Manager

The Asset Manager manages Homeword assets, which include residential and commercial rental properties. The Asset Manager oversees property management, develops strategic plans and goals for each Homeword development, manages cash flow, 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 in 2006, Jennifer worked with youth in foster care and adults with disabilities in addition to teaching. Jennifer has over 15 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. Jennifer also serves as the Homeword representative as an affiliate member of the local chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers.

Communications and Fundraising Manager

Communications & Fundraising Manager is responsible for Homeword’s fundraising activities, including major gifts, grant writing, corporate sponsorships and events. She also develops and implements marketing and communications for Homeword, from web content to advocacy materials. The Fundraising and Marketing Manager works with the Executive Director and the Board Fundraising and Outreach Committee to develop a comprehensive fund development, marketing and communications plan. This position reports to the Executive Director.

Jessica has been with Homeword since 2013. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from San Diego Christian College and over eighteen years of experience in relationship development, fundraising and marketing, previously working with the US Grant Hotel, Noodles & Company, Habitat for Humanity and the Daly Hospital Foundation.

Homebuyer Educator 

Julie joined Homeword in October of 2018. Julie provides homebuyer counseling services, including pre and post-purchase counseling. She also coordinates, facilitates, and instructs the homebuyer education class. She is a HUD-certified housing and financial counselor. 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. Now with Homeword her focus remains helping community members understand their financial options and chart a course to achieve their financial goals.

Project Manager

Project Manager is responsible for carrying out all tasks associated with managing Homeword‘s 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 development 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, eventually becoming an Associate at a large architectural firm, managing the design and construction phase services for several large multi-family projects. She then joined the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development where she eventually became a Construction Plan Review Manager. Julie returned to Montana and joined Homeword as a Project Manager in 2008. She has completed training on Affordable Housing Development provided by NeighborWorks, 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 was certified 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 in 2016.

Financial Educator

Katie joined Homeword in July of 2016. She is responsible for facilitating and instructing our monthly, statewide Financial Skill Building Class. Katie also provides one-on-one financial and renter counseling. Katie is a HUD-certified housing and financial counselor.

Katie’s enthusiasm for financial literacy 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 sound financial judgement so Missoulians can navigate their complex financial world and advocate for their future.