Board of Directors
The Community Home Trust Board of Directors is made up of one third Home Trust homeowners, one third elected officials and one third community members. Board Members can serve two consecutive three year terms.
Alan moved to Chapel Hill in 2008 after living 33 years in Washington, D.C., in search of a better life-style in a smaller community. With many years of experience in commercial real estate and finance, he has volunteered to help the Trust. Alan’s accounting practice is as a part-time Chief Financial Officer for a group of small business and non-profit clients. He lives with his wife, Christina Cornell and their Dalmatian, Flicka.
Gloria was appointed to the Home Trust board in July 2012 to expand the number of community members who serve on the board. Gloria lives in Chapel Hill and works for United Guaranty Corporation in Greensboro. Gloria moved to Chapel Hill in 1995 from New York City to enjoy a more family oriented community in which to raise her daughter. She currently serves as the Treasurer of the United Guaranty Corporation and has been active on non-profit boards for several years. She is presently the Treasurer of the NCA&T Foundation Board. In her spare time she enjoys yoga and dancing.
Gordon Merklein is the Executive Director of Real Estate at the University of North Carolina. Gordon joined UNC in 2009 and has more than 20 years of experience in commercial real estate. Gordon oversees the UNC Property Office as well as real estate management, investment and development activities for the University, including redevelopment of University Square. Gordon holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Southern Methodist University and a Master of City Planning from Georgia Institute of Technology. He is married to Catherine Duncan and has two sons, Sam and Ethan.
Donna is a Chapel Hill Town Council member. She holds a master’s in social work from Smith College and a bachelor’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. She was a social worker at the VA medical Center in Durham, adjunct professor at Elon University and spent many years working in the nonprofit sector. Donna currently divides her time between UNC, Duke, and her private practice. She resides in Northside her husband Jason James, daughter Olivia James, and stepson Finn James.
Jess came to Chapel Hill in 2007 to get her Masters in City and Regional Planning at UNC. She currently works at CASA, a nonprofit affordable rental housing developer. Jess lives in Carrboro and enjoys playing tennis and singing karaoke.
Cresha was elected to the Home Trust board in October 2012. She was previously appointed to a vacant seat on the board in July 2010. Cresha is retired from the Duke Clinical Research Institute where she was a registered nurse and clinical trials coordinator. Cresha believes that developing affordable housing in Chapel Hill needs to be a key priority in maintaining its vibrancy and livability. Her “fun” interests include gardening, yoga, ballroom dancing and water painting. She has lived in Chapel Hill for over twenty years with her husband, George and their two rescue dogs, Tira and Chloe.
Jennifer Ferris is a freelance writer who has lived in her Community Home Trust home in Culbreth Park since 2007. When not spending time with her husband, Bill, and two young sons, Jennifer volunteers for a number of local charitable organizations. These organizations include the Carolina Abortion Fund, Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, the Durham Luchadoras, and Aldersgate United Methodist Church Preschool.
In 1987, Jacquie served on the steering committee that lead to the founding of the Orange Community Housing Corporation which later became the Home Trust. She served on the Board of Directors for the OCHC for four years. Jacquie has been an Alderman for the Town of Carrboro for twenty years and now represents the Town on the Home Trust Board of Directors.
Eric is a serial entrepreneur having founded and managed numerous biotechnology startup companies. With training in neurobiology he is also a scientist and a passionate educator. Eric’s current venture is Kryosphere which provides biostorage and biorepository services to universities, biotechnology companies, and pharmaceutical firms. Eric is also an elected official serving his second term as a Commissioner for the Town of Hillsborough. Eric is married to accomplished entrepreneur Elizabeth Woodman, founder of Eno River Publishing. They share the challenge of maintaining an historic house and two dogs in downtown Hillsborough. Eric is also a jazz trumpet player and founding member of the Triangle Jazz Orchestra and the Jazztones sextet.
Lisa was elected to the Home Trust board in October 2008. She has been a homeowner in the Legion Road Townhome community since November 2006, where she currently serves as President of the Townhome Owners Association. Lisa is the Director of Law School Financial Aid at UNC Chapel Hill, having previously worked at the Duke University School of Nursing and with the UNC Department of Housing and Residential Education. Lisa has been a member of the Chapel Hill community after moving here from Long Island, NY in 2000. Without the Home Trust, she and her son would have been forced to move elsewhere, when she decided to purchase her first home. Lisa is excited to serve on the Board and is committed to ensuring the long-term viability of affordable housing in our community.
Jaimie is a native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and became a homeowner thanks to the Community Home Trust in the summer of 2011. She currently works as an Academic Counselor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel hill. Lee graduated cum laude from Emory University in 2004, receiving a B.A. in French studies and music. After graduation, she was a Mellon Fellow and graduate assistant, traveling to Senegal, Ghana and South Africa. She also worked in marketing for Kilpatrick Stockton, LLP in Atlanta, and in public relations in Atlanta and Los Angeles. From 2005-2006, Lee participated in a teaching assistant program in Nantes, France.
Jim is a native of Chapel Hill who graduated from Lincoln High School in 1961. He went to college in Hampton, Virginia and worked in the local school district in Hampton until his retirement as a school principal in 2004. Jim served on the Chapel Hill Town Council in 2008 and 2009 and was appointed to the Town of Chapel Hill’s Comprehensive Plan Initiating Committee.
Penny was appointed to the Home Trust board by the Orange County Board of Commissioners in September 2013. Penny was elected to the Orange County Board of Commissioners in November of 2012. She also served on the Chapel Hill Town Council from 2009-2012. She is currently a small business owner of a personal chef/catering service.
Maryann is a native of New Jersey who moved to North Carolina to be closer to her children and grandchildren. She purchased her East 54 condominium through the Home Trust in 2009.
Jonathan is a faculty member and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Global Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. He has owned his Home Trust home since 2003 and is a blogger for the Huffington Post in his spare time.