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Doug Barnes, Chair
Commissioner Barnes was appointed to the board in 2010. He has worked in real estate development for nearly three decades. He is the principal of Resource Transition Consultants, LLC, a company focused on distressed property receivership services including acquiring, managing, and selling to qualified buyers. Prior to co-founding the company in 2009, he worked as an executive at Centex Homes – one of the country's leading home builders – ending his time there as Northern Pacific Division president. He also spent nearly a decade as principal for Seattle-based Intracorp Real Estate. Barnes is a graduate of Oregon State University and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Washington. Contact Doug Barnes.
Susan Palmer, Vice-Chair
Commissioner Palmer was appointed to the board in 2012. Palmer is the district secretary-treasurer of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District Lodge 751 in Seattle. She has a background in business management, which she studied at Bellevue Community College, now Bellevue College. Hired by Boeing in 1986, she soon became an active member of her union. After serving as a union steward, as well as holding several leadership positions within her local lodge, Palmer was elected to serve as a full-time business representative in 1996. In 2006 she was elected to and currently serves as the district secretary-treasurer. In this capacity, Palmer oversees the management of five low-income apartment complexes owned by the union. She is a member of the Renton Technical College board of trustees. She volunteers for several nonprofits and has previously served as a board member of the King County Airport Roundtable, delegate to the King County Labor Council, and as a Precinct Committee Officer. Contact Susan Palmer.
Commissioner Elmi was appointed to the board in 2021. She is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Somali Parents Education Board (SPEB), a non-profit organization that helps mobilize community voices to disrupt systems by developing and implementing innovative methods for strong partnerships between parents, educators, community partners and organizations. Her goal is to build a sustainable infrastructure that will leave a legacy beyond her leadership. Regina credits her love of community to her strong desire to create a better world for future generations of Black and brown kids. By devoting her work full-time to SPEB, Regina has made important and lasting relationships with organizations like the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) where she serves on multiple committees. She also serves on community lead organizations like, Road Map Region, Renton Innovation Zone Partnerships and is a member of the Skyway Coalition. Her skills include fundraising, organizing, management, community building, strategic development and design processes for frameworks. Contact Regina Elmi.
Commissioner Stewart was appointed to the board in 2014. Stewart is a long-term resident in KCHA-assisted housing - first at Park Lake Homes and subsequently, once redevelopment was completed, at Greenbridge. She has an extensive history of working with the Housing Authority on behalf of the resident community. From 1995-2003, Stewart served on the Park Lake Community Council, the last six years as president. Stewart has been a member of the Neighborhood House board of directors (serving as 2nd vice president in 2002), served as a commissioner for Metro Access, and sits on the board of Threads of Love. She currently participates as a member of KCHA's South Resident Advisory Committee. Contact TerryLynn Stewart.
Commissioner Welch was appointed to the board in April 2015. He is the superintendent of the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD), the Educational Service District that supports local school districts in King County and oversees the region's Head Start programs. Under his leadership, the PSESD was awarded a $40 million federal Race to the Top grant to support a regional initiative, the Roadmap Project, which seeks to double the number of students in South King County graduating from college with a degree or career credential by 2020. Superintendent Welch's previous positions include superintendent of the Highline School District, vice president for administrative services at South Seattle College, and chief financial officer for Federal Way Public Schools. In 2007, the Washington Association of School Administrators named Welch "Most Effective Administrator " in the state. Welch earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Washington University and his MBA from Pacific Lutheran University. His post-graduate studies include leadership programs at the University of Denver, Stanford and Harvard. In 2002, he was selected as a fellow at the Broad Foundation's Urban Superintendents Academy. Contact John Welch.
Robin Walls, Executive Director
Robin joined KCHA in 2022. Robin has extensive experience in the affordable housing field and possesses deep knowledge of HUD programs. She came to KCHA from the Houston Housing Authority where she served, most recently, as Vice President of Housing Choice Voucher Programs. In that role, she also oversaw the organization’s grant-funded rental assistance programs for tenants. Prior to that, Robin served as the interim Housing Choice Voucher Program Director for the New Orleans Housing Authority and held supervisory roles at the Chicago Housing Authority’s HCV program. Robin has also provided consulting and technical assistance to numerous housing authorities around the country. Robin participates in several professional organizations including the National Leased Housing Association, where she serves on the board, and the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, where she serves on multiple standing committees. Robin hails from Chicago. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago. Contact Robin Walls.