PEER TRAINERS (in alphabetical order)

NAOMI BYRNE has nearly twenty years of experience in the housing and non-profit industries, managing multiple types of public housing and multi-family housing programs. She has experience in all aspects of running a Housing Authority, including accounting, human resources, capital funds, development, and property management and maintenance. She has served as Executive Director of Texarkana Housing Authority and the Georgetown Housing Authority and Chief Operations Officer for the Pittsburgh, PA Housing Authority.  She is currently President/CEO of the Fort Worth Housing Authority.  Naomi has certifications in Public Housing Rent Calculation, Occupancy and Management, Housing Choice Voucher Specialist and Program Management, Certified Professional of Occupancy, Maintenance Management, Tax Credit Specialist, and Section 3.  She has served on various boards and non-profits throughout Texas.  Naomi joined the THA training team in 2013.

CAL DAVIS is a former school teacher and business owner and has been Executive Director at New Boston Housing Authority/New Boston Property Management since 2000 and acquired management of Bowie County Housing Authority in 2013.  He manages both Public Housing and Section 8/515/New Construction programs.  He has written policies as well as published articles.  Over the past thirteen years, Cal has served on state boards and as various committee chairs for both Texas Housing Association and Rural Rental Housing Association (RRHA).  He is a Certified Public Housing Manager, a Certified Professional of Occupancy, Certified Income and Rent Specialist, Texas Certified Housing Administrator/Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher and Texas Certified Occupancy Professional/Public Housing. He also won the 2004 Manager of the Year award from RRHA.   Cal joined the THA training team in fall of 2009.

CRISTI LAJEUNESSE began working with the Public Housing and Section 8 housing programs in 1996.  She is currently Executive Director of the Kenedy/Karnes City, Three Rivers, Smiley, Hallettsville and Beeville Housing Authorities.  She manages Low Rent Public Housing and Section 8 programs and is well versed in the rules and regulations governing both programs.  In 1999, with the online system and PIC system changes, Cristi began consulting for other housing authorities assisting them with the transition to the new reporting systems.  In addition to managing six housing authorities and training for THA, she continues to provide individual assistance when requested on Agency Plans, PIC submissions, Low Rent and Section 8 program policy and regulations.  Cristi is a Certified Public Housing Manager, Executive Section 8 Manager, Certified Senior Public Housing Manager and Texas Certified Occupancy Professional/Public Housing.  Cristi joined the THA training team in summer of 2009.

JOANN RODRIGUEZ is currently a Regional Supervisor for Allied Orion Group.  Prior to this, she was Executive Director of the Mesquite Housing Authority.  Before that she was with the Dallas Housing Authority where she has served as VP for Housing Operations overseeing a portfolio of over 4000 market, tax credit, section 8 project based, and low rent units.  Prior to this, she was VP of Voucher Programs for DHA, where she managed over 16000 vouchers and Deputy Director for four years with Plano Housing Authority, where she oversaw daily operation of both Public Housing and Section 8.  In these positions she has been involved in the development of policies and procedures as well as staff training and coaching.  She is a Certified Public Housing Manager and is certified in Section 8 HCV Executive Management, HCV Financial Management and Reporting and HCV Regulatory Management, Eligibility and Rent Calculation, Blended Occupancy Specialist, certified Tax Credit Compliance Specialist and Texas Certified Occupancy Professional/Public Housing.  JoAnn joined the THA training team in summer of 2009.


MaryAnn Russ

CEO, Dallas Housing Authority

MaryAnn has over 43 years’ experience working in public and assisted housing including as HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Assisted Housing, Executive Director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, Executive Director of the Wilmington (DE) Housing Authority, Director of Training at the National Center for Housing Management, consultant for Abt Associates, HCV Managing Director, Houston Housing Authority and currently the CEO and President  of Dallas Housing Authority.  Areas of expertise include all aspects of Public Housing, the Housing Choice Voucher program, and HUD-assisted housing, with particular emphasis on project-based operations, asset management, housing policy, strategic planning, operating subsidy, property management, occupancy, management assessment, Civil and Disability rights in Federal Housing, and training and technical assistance.

Brian Alten

Partner, BDO PHA Finance

Prior to combining with BDO and establishing BDO PHA Finance, Brian was a Director at Asher and Company. Before joining Asher in 2005 and developing the public housing accounting practice, Brian was a partner with PHA Finance, Inc. and co-creator of “The PHA Finance Solution.” Brian brings over 18 years of experience in areas of accounting and financial consulting for Public Housing Authorities  across the nation.

Claire Russ

Manager, BDO PHA Finance

Claire has over 10 years of experience in low income and affordable housing. She assists her clients with best practice compliance solutions and asset management. Her services include: policies and procedures, conducting organizational assessments, development of site based budgets, creation of cost allocation plans and non-performing property plans, development of site metrics and providing staff training.