Washington, D.C.— January 18, 2022—Washington Housing Conservancy (WHC) is pleased to welcome to its Board of Directors Maria Gomez, President and CEO (ret.) of Mary’s Center; David M. Martin, Partner at Arent Fox; and Eshauna Smith, Director of Community Mobilization at Ballmer Group. The arrivals of the three new board members will support WHC’s mission to preserve and create communities of racially diverse moderate and low-income families and individuals.
“Maria, David, and Eshauna share our vision for a new and equitable model for housing affordability in and around the nation’s capital,” said Kimberly Driggins, Executive Director of WHC. “Our work has never been more important. And they will bring a new depth of knowledge and insight to the advisors who have provided such extraordinary depth and expertise—both founding and grounding our mission to disrupt the market cycle that leads to displacement and bring stability and opportunity to residents and their communities “
Maria Gomez is widely recognized for her role in the DC region’s healthcare system and is the recipient of the nation’s second highest civilian honor, the Presidential Citizens Medal. She founded Mary’s Center in 1988 as a clinic to provide prenatal and postpartum care to Latino women living in DC’s Ward 1. Under her leadership, Mary’s Center has grown from serving 200 participants a year with an initial budget of $250,000 to an organization with five medical locations serving nearly 50,000 participants and an annual budget of $61 million. Prior to establishing Mary’s Center, Maria was a public health nurse at the DC Department of Health. She also worked at the Red Cross, where she directed community education programming and disaster services, and at the Visiting Nurses Association. She holds a Master’s in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Georgetown University.
David M. Martin is an expert in strategic commercial real estate finance, acquisition and disposition transactions, corporate and banking acquisitions, joint ventures, commercial lending, and real estate restructuring matters. As a partner at Arent Fox, he possesses a general counsel’s experience, a novel understanding of legal issues and challenges, and an informed perspective on supporting and achieving major commercial finance objectives. With more than 30 years of experience representing companies in numerous industries, David provides comprehensive legal advice to help them maximize their business objectives efficiently. He also is a former senior vice president and general counsel of commercial lending for CapitalSource, where he worked closely with the publicly traded company’s structured finance, health care, and corporate finance business units. He holds a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law.
Eshauna Smith is the first national Director of Community Mobilization at the Ballmer Group. In this role she supports economic mobility and racial equity through place-based based partnerships and the building of talent pipelines to accelerate progress. Her career reflects a passion for overcoming systemic barriers to opportunity by fostering collaboration, accountability, and quality. Prior to joining the Ballmer Group, she served for eight years as CEO and president of Urban Alliance and as a senior policy advisor in the office of the DC Deputy Mayor for Education. Honors recognizing her achievements include recognition as a 2019 Murdoch Community Hero and a Women Who Mean Business honoree by the Washington Business Journal. She holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of Texas, Austin, and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.
The arrivals of Gomez, Martin, and Smith follow WHC’s flagship acquisition of Crystal House in Arlington County, Virginia. The purchase provides for the preservation and creation of 1,300 affordable units near Amazon’s second headquarters for 99 years. The acquisition supports the WHC mission by making it possible for hundreds of individuals and families to find homes closer to their employment and access high-performing schools and community amenities.
Preserving housing affordability and promoting economic mobility in the DC-region
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