FHFund Welcomes New Board Members
The FHFund staff offers our deep thanks to three housing leaders who left the Family Housing Fund Board of Directors this summer:
- Laura Helmer, Board member since 2013
- Jennifer Anderson, Board member since 2017
- Amanda Koonjbeharry, Board member since 2020
We are immensely grateful for their thoughtful leadership over the years!
We are pleased to introduce the five newest members of our Board of Directors: Travis Bistodeau (Planning and Economic Development, City of Saint Paul), Blanca Martinez Gaviña (Citizens League), Minneapolis Council Member Jamal Osman, Anisha Murphy (Community Reinvestment Fund), and Kasey Kier (Bell Bank Mortgage).
Travis was appointed as the Deputy Director for the City of Saint Paul’s Department of Planning and Economic Development in the fall of 2021. Travis previously served as the Deputy Director of the City of Saint Paul’s Department of Safety and Inspections for the preceding six years and has over 20 years of housing, zoning, construction, and inspection experience in local government. Throughout his career, Travis has remained focused on ensuring the communities he serves are safe, affordable, and desirable places to live and conduct business. Travis has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in public administration from Metropolitan State University.
Blanca Martinze Gaviña
Blanca Martinez Gaviña, M.P.A. recently started at Citizens League, coming from the City of Richfield, where she worked as an Executive Analyst and subsequently as their Equity Administrator. Through these roles, Blanca led efforts across the city to streamline legislative processes, embed equity at the core of all services, and ensure resident participation in the 2020 Census. Blanca has over ten years of experience in policy processes, policy implementation, and systems change, and community-centered, people-first solutions at the local and state levels. She is committed to doing the work that dismantles racism, embeds equity in systems, and a public policy that builds and maximizes power and capacity in communities. Her life’s mission is to see and live in a society that works for everyone, with no exceptions.
Council Member Jamal Osman
Council Member Jamal Osman has represented Ward 6 on the Minneapolis City Council since 2020. He has a special focus on policy to support access to affordable housing, help those struggling with opioid addiction, and support community safety. Jamal also volunteers as a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor, teaching others how to offer initial help to people struggling in a mental health crisis and how to connect them to the appropriate professional care. Before he was elected to the Minneapolis City Council, Jamal worked for CommonBond Communities in the Social Services department as a Resident Advocate to ensure households had access to a full range of housing stability and personal growth services. He also served as a board member for the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic.
As the Vice President of Community Advancement at the Community Reinvestment Fund, Anisha develops strategic partnerships to create a more fair, responsive, and accessible community finance system in the Twin Cities region. She is also the owner and managing partner of Just Law LLC, where she focuses on providing entrepreneurs, businesses, and nonprofit organizations with the legal tools needed to support sustainable and equitable business development. Additionally, Anisha is an Adjunct Professor at Hamline University and Mitchell Hamline Law School, where she teaches courses on Transactional Law and Trial Advocacy. Prior to forming Just Law, Anisha led community engagement initiatives and organizational strategies as the Program Director at Northside Economic Opportunity Network. She is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, and Global Shapers. Anisha also serves as a board member for the African American Leadership Forum.
Kasey joined Bell Bank Mortgage at the beginning of 2022 as the National Community Development Manager. In this role, she is responsible for engaging with communities and partners to provide equitable access to homeownership and supporting wealth building opportunities, with a focus on closing racial homeownership disparities. Prior to joining Bell Bank, Kasey worked at the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency for 27 years and was appointed assistance commissioner in 2014. During her time at Minnesota Housing, Kasey led the single-family homeownership division, supporting successful homeownership through homebuyer education, counseling, and outreach. She also managed a variety of affordable lending and community development programs. Kasey holds the Accredited Mortgage Professional specialist designation through the Mortgage Bankers Association, is a member of the national Mortgage Bankers Association Affordable Homeownership Advisory Council, and serves on the leadership team of the Homeownership Opportunity Alliance.