Our Team

Ethos Development Partners is a team of experienced developers and consultants that assists for-profit and nonprofit organizations seeking to engage in transformative housing, commercial and community development initiatives. Our values and expertise ensure that our clients achieve their development goals.

Joe Heaphy

Joe Heaphy

President

Joe is President of Ethos Development Partners. Joe has worked on affordable housing policy and development issues for 20 years and is well-respected within the nonprofit and community development industry. Before joining Ethos, he was Vice President of Real Estate Development for the Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO), a 60-year-old nonprofit social service agency that serves Detroit, Wayne County and Oakland County, Michigan. In this position he worked to develop permanent supportive housing for those with special needs. While at NSO, Joe led the $50 million redevelopment of the Michigan Bell Building, which now provides 155 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals. The building is also the new service and administrative headquarters for 200 NSO staff members.

Sheilah P. Clay

Sheilah P. Clay

Consultant

Sheilah P. Clay is President of Purposeful Consulting, LLC working with nonprofit organizations on housing, programs and organizational development. She retired in 2018 as President and CEO of Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO) following 22 years of service there and 43 years of service in the mental health arena. She continues to serve at NSO as President Emerita. Sheilah was the visionary leader of the NSO Bell Building, a 155-unit permanent supportive housing development for formerly homeless adults. Prior to retirement, she co-led the development of the Clay Apartments and Center, a project that will create a 42-unit permanent supportive housing development and adjacent shelter with behavioral health and support services for the homeless population. She serves on the board of directors of the McGregor Fund, The Empowerment Plan, Leadership Women, Opportunity Resource Fund and the Michigan League for Public Policy. Sheilah also served on the Farmington Board of Education and the boards of the Michigan Nonprofit Association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago-Detroit Branch. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College and a Master of Arts from Wayne State University College of Education. She is passionate about the transformation of life that occurs when individuals move from homelessness to housing.

Joanne Candela

Joanne Candela

Consultant

Joanne has a long history of providing accounting and financial consulting to nonprofit organizations and developers in the low-income housing tax credit industry. She spent several years bringing projects in Pontiac and Detroit through closing, construction and into placed-in-service status. Most recently this included the $50 million Michigan Bell Building redevelopment in Detroit that received an award for having the “Most Complex Financial Structure.” Joanne had previously spent a decade in public accounting at Deloitte and Touche and has owned her own accounting and financial services business for over ten years. In addition to serving those in the housing and economic development arenas, Joanne is passionate about guiding students into the accounting and financial professions by starting each day as an Accounting teacher at a local high school.

Jerry Schmahl

Jerry Schmahl

Consultant

Jerry Schmahl has three decades of experience in the economic and community development field that includes the origination, underwriting, negotiating and closing of NMTC, LIHTC and federal/state HTC investments that utilized either conventional debt, FHA, or USDA RD Guaranteed loan programs. Many of the projects he has originated have gone on to win awards such as the $50 million Michigan Bell Building redevelopment in Detroit that received an award for “Most Complex Financial Structure,” and the Studebaker Innovation Center in South Bend, Indiana, winner of the “2016 Real Estate QLICI of the Year Award.” His experience includes nine years as Program Manager of Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment for the General Board of Pensions of the United Methodist Church. In this position, Jerry worked with financial intermediaries to develop a secondary market for loans originated by financial institutions serving low and moderate income families while producing fiduciarily responsible investment returns for the membership of the pension fund. Jerry has also worked as a development consultant and asset manager focused on affordable housing. Jerry holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from Iowa State University.

Mitchel Blum-Alexander

Mitchel Blum-Alexander

Consultant

For over 25 years, Mitch Blum-Alexander has focused on implementing real estate development initiatives for community-based revitalization through an array of market and economic conditions. Mitch’s experience extends to all facets of the real estate development process: conceptual analysis, development, property and asset management, financing and equity investing. He has utilized many Federal programs, including Low Income Housing Tax Credits, HOME, CDBG and NSP, and provided evaluation for initiatives encompassing preservation and New Markets Tax Credits. Highlights of Mitch’s career include assisting a for-profit developer and social service agency in Detroit with financing structure and service plans for an innovative neighborhood-based supportive housing development, leading underwriting and multifamily technical assistance for the Detroit LISC office, assisting the City of Detroit to more efficiently achieve its production goals and serving as a member of senior management in one of New York City’s largest community development corporations, where one project was awarded a Maxwell Award of Excellence by the Fannie Mae Foundation. Mitch has a B.A. from Boston University and certificates in housing and economic development from the National Development Council. He has served on the boards and advisory committees of several community development organizations and trade associations in New York and Michigan.

Jessica Pappas

Jessica Pappas

Consultant

Jessica Pappas is President of Pappas Consulting Group (PCG) which provides consulting assistance to organizations pursing supportive housing for homeless and at-risk young adults. PCG works with non-profits to assess readiness for housing developments, service provisions, and potential partnerships. In addition, PCG provides marketing and public relation consulting to both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Prior to PCG, Jessica served as Director of Marketing at Fusco, Shaffer & Pappas, Inc., Architects and Planners for six years. She was responsible for brand management, coordination of marketing campaigns and managing the marketing infrastructure. She currently serves as Board Chair for Matrix Theatre Company, along with serving on the Central City Integrated Health Board (formally Detroit Central City). She serves on the City of Detroit’s Homeless Task Force, in conjunction with the coordination of its Youth Homelessness Subcommittee. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, along with a Master of Science in Administration, from Central Michigan University. Ms. Pappas has a passion for helping develop safe and affordable housing for youth and young adults.

Leah D. Vest

Leah D. Vest

Consultant

Leah D. Vest has over 30 years of experience in community housing and economic development. Leah started her career as a trained commercial lender which provided the foundation for her community and economic development work. Since 2002, Leah, through her company Capacity Builders LLC, has provided technical assistance to community development organizations and for-profit developers who are engaged in affordable housing activities utilizing a variety of financing options, including but not limited to HOME, CDBG and LIHTC. Previously, she served as Executive Manager with the City of Detroit’s Planning and Development Department, Housing Services Division. In this capacity, she managed the city’s affordable housing programs and was responsible for leading the division out of HUD oversight of the City’s CDBG and HOME programs through implementation of policies and procedures and systems redesign (1996-2002). Leah also worked with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) as Program Officer providing technical assistance in real estate finance to build the capacity of community development organizations to engage in housing development efforts. She has also worked with various economic development entities including the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Highland Park Development Corporation (HPDevco), and Wayne County Community and Economic Development Corporation on a contractual basis. Leah is an undergraduate of Michigan State University and received her MBA from Wayne State University.

Elizabeth Fritz

Elizabeth Fritz

Consultant

Elizabeth Fritz is a grantwriter and licensed master social worker inspired by smart, flexible, mission-driven non-profit organizations and programs. Elizabeth is interested in knowing what makes organizations tick and how to keep them ticking. Her experiences in the non-profit sector are broad. She has worked in a variety of capacities for the criminal justice field, the social services sector and the healthcare industry. She leads grant application processes easily, weaving superior communication skills, project management acumen and attention to detail to produce high-scoring proposals. She relies on a broad network of non-profit professionals to inform and educate her about constituents and regional concerns. In more than nine years of grantwriting, Elizabeth has raised millions of dollars on behalf of nearly a dozen Southeast Michigan non-profits, including federal grants.

Anne Osmer

Anne Osmer

Real Estate & Marketing Manager

Anne is a licensed real estate salesperson with 20+ years in real estate development and marketing.

Diamond & Associates

Diamond & Associates

Consultants

Diamond & Associates is a skilled, successful provider of development advisory services focused upon the planning, packaging, financing, structuring, closing, construction, leasing and sale of affordable, multifamily housing development projects. Since 1990, it has supported the development of over 7,200 completed affordable apartments for seniors, families and people who require supports. Diamond & Associates serves non-profit developers, for-profits, and public entities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington D.C. and New York. The firm provides one-on-one, technically accomplished support, which enables development clients to achieve their development goals.

Interested in seeing some of our work? Check out the projects under our development experience.