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 has worked on affordable housing policy and development issues for more than twenty years and is well respected within the nonprofit and community development industries. Before joining Ethos, he was Vice President of Real Estate Development for the Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO), a sixty-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 also serves as the service and administrative headquarters for NSO.
Lana Manaweil Zaghmout is Development Manager at Ethos Development Partners. She most recently served as the Inclusion and Business Opportunity Manager for the City of Detroit’s Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity Department where she developed programming for the Mayor’s Executive Order 2016-1, Community Benefits Ordinance Agreements, Casino Hiring Agreements and Tax Abatement Employee Hiring provisions. Prior to her position with the City she was the Occupied Properties Program Manager for the Detroit Land Bank Authority (DLBA). At the DLBA she developed and implemented programs for Detroiters to gain and maintain homeownership through initiatives such as the Buy Back Pilot Program and the Occupied Non-Profit Program. Previously, she worked as Senior Policy Analyst for Detroit City Council and as Finance/Program Officer for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. She is an Urban Land Institute (ULI) Larson Center for Leadership, Cohort 2018 graduate and is Co-chair of the ULI Young Leaders Group. Lana also serves as Treasurer on the Pembroke Academy School Board in Detroit and as a member of Pope Francis Center Magis Council. She graduated from Wayne State University Law School in 2012 and from Wayne State University in 2009 with a B.A. in Psychology and a Minor in Political Science.
Sheilah P. Clay
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 twenty-two years of service there and forty-three 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 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.
Graig Donnelly is President of Proxy, an owner’s representative for mission-based organizations and small businesses that want to improve their physical environments in order to uplift their people and their purpose. Proxy partners with clients to ensure a holistic approach to their spaces at every stage: forming the initial idea and the strategic thought partnership needed to develop it; acquiring the financial resources to realize the space; finding and managing design and construction professionals to build it; and developing strategies for long-term space management.
Graig is a Detroit native whose career has spanned design, construction, fundraising, nonprofit management and leadership development in southeast Michigan and New York City. Before founding Proxy he served from 2016-19 as Assistant Vice President for Economic Development for Wayne State University and Chief Strategy Officer for TechTown, Detroit’s most established business incubator and accelerator. In these roles, he guided university placemaking initiatives, led efforts to leverage TechTown as a catalyst for entrepreneurial and neighborhood development, and oversaw strategies to integrate the work of the two organizations, especially through developing the physical environment. He serves on the boards of several Detroit nonprofits including Eastside Community Network, Jefferson East, Inc. and Young Nation / Inside Southwest Detroit. Graig holds a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture.
Jerrell Harris is the President of the Araminta Planning Group (www.aramintaplanning.com) and specializes in community and economic development. The firm’s mission is to provide technical real estate development support to organizations that serve those with the greatest needs in our communities. He is a skilled urban planner and has worked in the non-profit, private and government sectors on a wide range of projects including overhauls of zoning codes, developing master plans, facilitating major land use changes and amendments and complex site plan reviews.
Prior to forming APG, Jerrell served as the City of Detroit’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer and the Interim Deputy Director for the Department of Transportation. In his roles with the city he was responsible for solving complex operational issues, reducing redundancies and leveraging limited resources to the greatest extent possible. He also led the rebranding of the public bus system which included restructuring the fare system and payment options, providing on-board Wi-Fi technology and implementing a new logo and color-scheme.
Jerrell received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Masters of Science in Urban Policy Studies from Georgia State University. He is a member of the American Planning Association and is also a Certified Economic Development Professional through the National Development Council. Jerrell serves on the board of the Michigan Association of Planning and is also on the board of the Ruth Ellis Center.
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.
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 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 nonprofit 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. Jessica has a passion for helping develop safe and affordable housing for youth and young adults.
Leah D. Vest
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 is a grantwriter and licensed master social worker inspired by smart, flexible, mission-driven nonprofit organizations and programs. Elizabeth is interested in knowing what makes organizations tick and how to keep them ticking. Her experiences in the nonprofit 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 nonprofit professionals to inform and educate her about constituents and regional concerns. In more than nine years of grantwriting, including federal grants, Elizabeth has raised millions of dollars on behalf of nearly a dozen Southeast Michigan nonprofits.
Real Estate & Marketing Manager
Anne is a licensed real estate salesperson with more than twenty years of experience in real estate development and marketing.
Diamond & Associates
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 nonprofit 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.