Who We Are

At IHDA, we believe success starts with our people—no matter the position, each employee’s work with IHDA has an impact that helps change lives, build stronger communities, and create a better Illinois. In this video, see how the employees of IHDA help fulfill our mission on a daily basis to finance the creation and preservation of affordable housing in Illinois.


The Illinois Housing Development Authority Board of Directors is a nine member board appointed by the Governor to provide guidance and direction for the state’s affordable housing programs. Unless otherwise noted, IHDA’s board and committee meetings take place on the third Friday of every month at 111 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 1000 in Chicago Illinois.

King Harris

King Harris


King Harris is Chairman of Harris Holdings, a family investment company, and Board Chair of AptarGroup, Inc. (NYSE), an international packaging company. He is a Trustee of the University of Chicago and Chairman of the Visiting Committee at the University’s Harris School of Public Policy. He also serves as Vice-Chair of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Senior Fellow at the Metropolitan Planning Council where he has focused on suburban housing policy issues for fifteen years, and Board Member of the Rehabilitation Institute Foundation and World Sport Chicago. Between 1971 and 2000 he worked for Pittway Corporation, ending his tenure as President and CEO between 1987 and 2000. A graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Business School, he served two years in the Peace Corps in Chile between 1965-1967 and an additional two and a half years in the U.S. Anti-Poverty program between 1969-1971.

Karen Davis

Karen Davis

Vice-Chairman, Audit Committee Chair

Karen is the Executive Director of the Greater Peoria Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), where she leads a team that is dedicated to transforming distressed neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities of choice and opportunity.

Before accepting the position with Greater Peoria LISC, Karen was Director of the Office of Planning and Economic Development for the city of Springfield, where she oversaw the city planning initiatives for housing and business development. She had been passionately involved in community and economic development activities over the last 20 years, holding executive level positions within corporate America and with socially responsible not-for-profits focusing on strategic solutions to propel community and economic development initiatives.

Prior to her position with the city of Springfield, Karen was Senior Vice President and Regional Community Affairs Manager of Regions Bank, where she directed the community and economic development initiatives across the Midwest. Karen, with the help of designated staff, identified and promoted programs that fostered and spurred community and economic development in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, Kentucky, Texas, and Arkansas.

Karen received both a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management and a Master of Arts Degree in Community Development from the University of Illinois. Karen is also the Past President of the National Association of State Housing Boards (NCSHB).

Mary Kane

Mary Kane

Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair

Mary retired on May 31, 2013 as the Senior Vice President, Public Finance for Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. As a senior investment banker, she has been responsible for transactions totaling over $5 billion since January 2000. Prior to this, Mary served as Executive Director for the Southwestern Illinois Development Authority where she guided the issuance of more than $150 million in economic development bonds and created the Community Development Corporation to provide loans to small businesses. Earlier on in her career, Mary was the Director of Administration for Madison County, Illinois, one of the ten largest counties in the state, and also oversaw the Madison County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Mary earned a Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional planning from the University of Arizona and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tulane University in New Orleans.

Luz Ramirez

Luz Ramirez

Finance Committee Member

Luz Ramirez, Vice President of YWCA La Voz Latina, oversees the day-to-day functions of La Voz Latina programs by ensuring that services and programs are made available to high-need families and the Latino community to help them progress and become self-sufficient. Prior to merging with YWCA, she served as the Executive Director of La Voz Latina, Inc. for four years and worked for the Rockford Public Schools for 16 years, holding various positions within the district, including a position on the Superintendent’s Cabinet.

She is a Rockford native and Jefferson High School Graduate. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Masters in Administration and Supervision. She has over 25 years of experience and training in working with the Latino/Hispanic community and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Spanish at Rockford University.

In 2010 she was awarded the Latinos of Distinction award by La Voz Latina (prior to being employed by the organization), was recognized in 2014 by late Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka as a Leader in Education, and in 2015 was recognized by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce as one of the 20 People You Should Know.

Alyssa J. Rapp

Alyssa J. Rapp

Audit Committee Member

Alyssa J. Rapp is the Managing Partner of AJR Ventures, a strategic advisory firm helping private-equity backed businesses through Fortune 500’s with new product or business unit innovation, e-commerce, digital, and social media strategies.

Previously, Alyssa served as the founder and CEO of Bottlenotes, Inc. from 2005-2015, an interactive media company specializing in digital media and interactive events (sold to PEAK6 Investments). She is an accomplished author and speaker and frequently appears on national television as an expert in entrepreneurship and on wine.

Alyssa was named in Inc. Magazine’s”30 Under 30” coolest entrepreneurs in America” and one of the wine industry’s top 25 of 100 most influential people (Intowine.com). Bottlenotes also received the “Best Advertising and Marketing Company” and the “People’s Choice Award” at the Empact 100 in September 2013 at the United Nations, honoring the top 100 companies with founders under 35.

Alyssa earned a B.A. in Political Science and the History of Art from Yale University in 2000 and an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in 2005. At Yale, she earned the Frank M. Patterson prize for the best essay on the American political system for her senior thesis on public housing reform in Chicago.

In addition to her services on the Illinois Housing Development Authority board, Alyssa serves on the Board of Trustees for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the country’s preeminent contemporary dance company, and on the national board of directors for Spark Program, a non-profit organization that provides transformative apprenticeships for middle school students in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.

Salvatore (Sam) Tornatore

Salvatore (Sam) Tornatore

Secretary, Asset Management Committee Member, Finance Committee Member

Sam is a principal in the Tornatore Law Office located in Bloomingdale and Roselle, and a member of the DuPage County Board. He is a former Trustee for both the Village of Roselle and Bloomingdale Township, and former member of the Roselle Zoning Board of Appeals. Sam is a graduate of the John Marshall Law School and DePaul University in Chicago.

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IHDA’s Executive Staff advances the Authority’s mission by implementing and managing the programs and policies approved by the IHDA Board.

Debbie Olson

Debbie Olson

Chief of Staff/Assistant Executive Director

Debbie is an accomplished executive, government and community leader with 16 years of experience working with affordable housing nonprofits, 13 years in elected office and over 30 years of business ownership and administration. Before joining the Authority in April of 2016, Debbie was the Executive Director of the DuPage Homeownership Center where she managed the staff, programs and finances of a premier housing counseling agency in Chicago’s western suburbs while working with federal, state and local governments to create better housing policies. Prior to this, she served on the DuPage County Board and was a member of the DuPage Federation of Human Services Reform, the DuPage County Continuum of Care and several suburban Chambers of Commerce. Debra earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Northern Illinois University.

Nandini Natarajan

Nandini Natarajan

Chief Financial Officer/Assistant Treasurer

Nandini joined the Authority in April 2014. Nandini has over 20 years of experience providing financial and quantitative services to housing finance agencies. Prior to joining the Authority, Nandini worked at Caine Mitter & Associates Incorporated, where she advised State and local housing finance agencies on their single family and multifamily bond programs, and was the primary developer of proprietary software designed specifically for housing finance agency cash flow analysis. In addition to her technical expertise coding software programs for housing finance, the most complicated form of municipal finance, Nandini has a broad depth of knowledge and experience managing the financial and quantitative aspects of housing finance agency programs. Nandini graduated from Smith College with an AB in Computer Science and Mathematics, and from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a Master of Science degree in Computer Science.

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Maureen G. Ohle

General Counsel/Assistant Executive Director/Assistant Secretary

Maureen joined the Authority in November of 2010 as Senior Counsel and was promoted to General Counsel in August 2011. Before joining the Authority, she worked in the real estate group at Sidley Austin LLP, practicing out of the firm’s Chicago office. Prior to this, she worked for J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. in the commercial mortgage-backed securities group, having started her legal career at Sidley Austin’s Washington, DC. office from 2001 to 2007. Maureen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Studies from the University of Illinois-Springfield and a Juris Doctorate degree from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.

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Scot Berkey

Chief Information Officer

Scot joined the Authority as CIO in 2017.  He has thirty years of professional experience in the technology sector in organizations ranging from Fortune 500 multi-nationals to smaller high-growth corporations.  Scot has founded and led multiple domestic and international organizations, and he has held executive-level roles in both buy and sell sides of the technology industry.  He has extensive experience in for-profit education, insurance brokerage, and in turnaround leadership situations in a variety of business segments.  His professional experience includes leadership roles as CIO, executive roles in global operations and application development, client services and contract negotiation, and applied business technology.  Scot earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Northwestern University and earned his MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurial Private Equity at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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Kevin O’Connor

Chief Internal Auditor

Kevin joined the Authority’s Internal Audit department in June 2011 and was appointed to his current position in September 2012. Kevin is a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Accountant. He has extensive experience in public accounting having started his career with Price Waterhouse. Kevin has also held executive roles in finance, accounting and internal auditing. He graduated with a Bachelor degree in finance from the University College of Dublin.

IHDA represents Illinois on a number of statewide, regional and local advisory groups that coordinate the state’s housing planning, policies and resources.

Office of Housing Coordination Services

The state’s Office of Housing Coordination Services (OHCS) represents IHDA on several boards and commissions that direct statewide affordable housing policies. OHCS also serves as the staff for the State Housing Task Force and the State Housing Appeals Board.

State Housing Task Force

The State Housing Task Force is a 35 member coalition established to improve the planning and coordination of Illinois’ housing resources. The Task Force creates Illinois’ annual Comprehensive Housing Plan, which identifies the goals and focus areas that will guide the state’s affordable housing planning and development activities for the following year.

The State Housing Task Force and its related committees meet on a quarterly basis. See the Public Meetings and Notices page for meeting dates and agendas. Contact Benjamin Fenton for more information on the State Housing Task Force.

State Housing Appeals Board

The State Housing Appeals Board (SHAB) is a seven member board nominated by the Governor under the Affordable Housing Planning and Appeals Act (AHPAA), which requires communities with serious shortages of affordable housing to create and adopt a plan to increase the share of housing affordable to working families. SHAB considers appeals from affordable housing builders who feel that they have been unfairly rejected during the local development approval process. For more information on AHPAA and the most recent list of communities affected by the Act, visit the Planning and Reporting page (link to page).

SHAB meets on a quarterly basis. See the Public Meetings and Notices page for meeting dates and agendas. Contact  Benjamin Fenton for more details on AHPAA or SHAB.

Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund Advisory Commission

The Affordable Housing Commission is an 11 member committee appointed by the Governor to guide the development and administration of IHDA’s affordable housing programs and to monitor and evaluate the use of funds.

The Commission meets on a quarterly basis. See the Public Meetings and Notices page for meeting dates and agendas.

Asset Management Committee

The purpose of the Asset Management Committee is:  (i)  to provide a mechanism whereby Authority staff can provide detailed reports of actions taken on behalf of the Authority related to the management of the Authority’s assets within its multifamily housing development loan portfolio and single family housing loan portfolio; (ii) to provide oversight to employees of the Authority performing asset management functions on behalf of the Authority; and (iii) to make recommendations to the Members of the Authority relating to the assets of the Authority.

See the Public Meetings and Notices page for meeting dates and agendas.

Audit Committee

The purpose of the Audit Committee is to assist the Members of the Authority in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities for the financial reporting process, the system of internal control, the audit process, and the Authority’s process for monitoring compliance with laws and regulations and the code of conduct.

See the Public Meetings and Notices page for meeting dates and agendas.

Finance Committee

The purpose of the Finance Committee shall be to monitor policies, financings, resolutions, and from time to time establish such procedures and guidelines as it deems appropriate and consistent with the Authority’s Financial Management Policy.

See the Public Meetings and Notices page for meeting dates and agendas.