Session Descriptions & Speaker Bios

SAHMA Affordable Housing Conference: Alabama / Mississippi Session Descriptions:

Affordable Housing Crosswalk (Differences Between HUD & Tax Credit Programs)
An overview of the areas of difference when LIHTC and HUD Multifamily programs are blended with a closer look at managing the differences in student eligibility rules, treatment of over-income households, and rent calculation.

Best Practices for Communicating with Residents
Communication is a skill and an art - especially when it comes to having to communicate complicated and sometimes unpleasant realities to the resident of an affordable housing property. Role playing, shared success stories and rules for keeping your cool, participants will learn how to come out an ally instead of an adversary to those residents that have a lot of "issues". 

Compliance Monitoring with AHFA

Session Description Coming Soon!

Compliance Monitoring Update with MS Home Corp

Session Description Coming Soon!

Contract Renewals, Rent & Vouchers Hot Topics
Join Nitira Mickel and DeAnna Baker as they discuss industry hot topics and issues relevant to contract renewals, rent adjustments, and vouchers. This session will provide areas where mistakes often create delays in the processing timeline and how to avoid those. You will hear tips and tricks to help ensure submissions are complete and accurate the first time resulting in faster processing and payment.

Covid-19’s Impact on Property Operations Panel
Session Description Coming Soon!

EIV Income Discrepancies: Don’t Go Crazy – It’s a Tool!

An introduction to the EIV income discrepancies. Simplifies what at first glance is very complicated. Shows participants how to “read” an Income Discrepancy Report – the Period of Income, Effective Date of Action, Actuals vs. Annualized Last Quarter, and how EIV comes up with those negative and positive numbers. Participants will learn the causes of false and true discrepancies and the basics of how to investigate and resolve them. 

Employee Engagement

Session Description Coming Soon!

Fair Housing Case Studies: Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!

You’ve been trained ad nauseam on Fair Housing, right? So, let’s put that book-learning to use with some real-life challenges every manager faces on site. The answer is right on the tip of your tongue. Or is it?

MOR Shades of Gray

Most of us like things to be black or white, right or wrong; however, MORs and HUD compliance are not always that simple. In this session we will discuss some of those gray areas. The phrase "shades of gray" usually refers to a situation that is not clear and causing doubt. Join us to discuss options of the gray areas.

Navigate Roundtable
Session Description Coming Soon!

Pre/Post RAD Roundtable Panel

Debra “Debbie” Rogers, Michael Sweet and M. Jason Spencer will be participating in a Pre/Post RAD roundtable where participants will be able to ask questions about conversion from HUD’s PIH division to the Multifamily division under our respective RAD conversions. The panelists plan to discuss some of the challenges in conversion, Pro’s and Con’s of operating in each as well as, discussing why they made the decision to convert under RAD. 

Preparing for REAC
If you get worried about your next REAC inspection, let Joseph Henry with Professional Compliance Solutions help prepare you. In this session, we will cover all inspectable areas and how to “score” big on your next REAC. 

Run, Hide, Fight (Active Shooter)

Run, Hide, Fight is unarmed response training to an active shooter situation, applicable to multiple settings. 

Rural Development 

Join Joseph Henry and Professional Compliance Solutions as we look closely at the HB 2 3560 and how to stay in compliance with Rural Development regulations. This session will focus on the application process, file maintenance, verifications and calculation of rents. 

Survey Says: How Well Do You Know Your Residents?

Session Description Coming Soon!

Tax Credit Hot Topics for the State of Mississippi
Session Description Coming Soon!

Speaker Bios:

Brad Penton
Officer, Mobile Police Department

Officer Brad Penton has been a Law Enforcement Officer for over 26 years. The last 9 years with the Mobile Police Department. He has been an Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response (ALERRT) Instructor for 11 years, a Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor for 21 years. He is an instructor with the Mobile Police Department Training Academy and is currently a full-time firearms instructor with the Mobile Police Department. Since 2018, he has taught hundreds of civilians the Run, Hide, Fight program. 


Speaker Photo: Darron MitchellDarron Mitchell
Director of Contract Administration, Navigate Affordable Housing Partners
Darron Mitchell is the Director of Contract Administration, directing the activities of Navigate’s Resident Complaint Specialists and our four MOR teams. He has been with Navigate for more than 17 years performing various IBPS Tasks. He started his career with Navigate as a Relationship Manager performing MORs for the Alabama contract. He was then promoted to Quality Control Specialist reviewing the work of the MOR teams in AL, MS, CT, and VA. His most recent position was as the Lead Contract Management Specialist leading the team that completes the contract renewals and rent adjustments.

Speaker Photo: DeAnna BakerDeAnna Baker

Lead Voucher Specialist, Navigate Affordable Housing Partners

DeAnna started her career at Navigate more than 17 years ago in the Voucher department. She has worked her way up from processor, to trainer and now leads an extraordinary team of talented individuals each day as the Lead Voucher Specialist. In the 17 years spent in the industry, DeAnna has gained extensive knowledge of the voucher process as well as the functions of TRACS. She participates in TRACS Industry group, conducts internal and external trainings for property and agents as well as leading internal trainings for industry topics as needed. 

Speaker Photo: Debbie RogersDebbie Rogers

Executive Director/CEO, Troy Housing Authority

Ms. Rogers is the Executive Director of Troy Housing Authority (THA) and began her career in 2001 with the Ozark Housing Authority. She became the Director of THA in December 2014. Under her tenure, Troy’s entire portfolio was converted to the Section 8 Multifamily PBRA program via the RAD program in December of 2019. THA currently has 348 multifamily units and 289 Housing Choice Vouchers. She serves on the Pike County Children’s Council Policy, participates in various community service organizations, and is an active member of Alabama Association of Housing Redevelopment Authorities (AAHRA), Southeastern Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (SERC-NAHRO), and Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA). She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Huntingdon College, a PHM certification, and is a graduate of the Rutgers University/PHADA Executive Director’s Education Program (EDEP).   

Greg Hall
Tennessee Valley Regional Housing Authority

Speaker Photo: Gwen VolkGwen Volk

President, Gwen Volk INFOCUS, Inc.

Since 1983, Gwen Volk has been helping owners, agents and their teams navigate the programs that provide housing for low and moderate-income families. She served as president and CEO of a Midwest management company, chief compliance officer over a national portfolio for a Dallas-based firm, and has trained, mentored and advised affordable housing professionals from coast to coast. Since 2009 she has served on the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM’s) Federal Housing Advisory Board. Gwen has chaired NAHMA’s Certification Review Board and the Fair Housing and Education and Training committees. She was a member of the SHCM exam-writing work group for 16 years and has chaired the Specialist in Housing Credit Management Advisory committee. She has twice served on NAHMA’s board of directors and on the NAHMA Education Foundation board. Gwen holds a BA in English, an MS in Business and is a CPM, NAHP-e, SHCM, HCCP, CPO, FHC and RAM. She is a NAHMA-certified trainer for the Certified Professional of Occupancy (CPO), Fair Housing Compliance (FHC) and Blended Compliance Designation (BCD) courses and a frequent presenter of CEU webinars for SHCM designees. A lifetime learner and teacher, Gwen’s classroom and virtual trainings are interactive, informative and in demand.

Jennifer Scott

Speaker Photo: Joseph HenryJoseph Henry

Owner/Trainer, Professional Compliance Solutions, LLC

Professional Compliance Solutions, LLC is owned by Joseph Henry. Joseph is a Certified Property Manager (CPM) and Housing Credit Certified Professional (HCCP). He began his career in the Affordable Housing industry in 1986. Since this time, he has brought about significant insight into training and how to help people understand and learn about regulations that will assist the Housing Professionals in all aspects of the job. Beginning his career as a maintenance person, Joe has a real world perspective on what we do, and why we do it! Whether you are a seasoned professional or just beginning your career in Affordable Housing, Joseph Henry will deliver the best training possible. 

Lia Nichole Smith

SVP of Education and Performance, ApartmentRatings and SatisFacts
Lia Nichole Smith is the Senior Vice President of education and performance for ApartmentRatings and SatisFacts. A published author and active member of the Atlanta Apartment Association’s Education Committee, Lia has proven experience in solving online reputation and other industry-related challenges for conventional, affordable, student, military, and senior communities. She is a highly sought-after international speaker due to her ability to bring together data driven analytics and effective storytelling.

Linda Mills-McClain
TESCO Properties, Inc.

Speaker Photo: Jason SpencerM. Jason Spencer

Executive Director, Tennessee Valley Regional Housing Authority
Jason Spencer is the Executive Director of Tennessee Valley Regional Housing Authority (TVRHA), which serves a 10-county area in northeast Mississippi. TVRHA owns and manages 1,245 PBRA units and 1,848 vouchers units under the HCV program. Jason has 20 years of service with TVRHA in a wide variety of roles including direct property management, performing UPCS/HQS inspections, Public Housing program administration, HCV program administration and PBRA program administration. He is currently serving as President of Mississippi Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (MAHRO) and serves on the legislative committee for MAHRO. He is a Public Housing Authority Directors Association (PHADA) trustee and serves on the housing committee with PHADA. He serves on the rental assistance committee and asset repositioning committees for the Southeastern Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (SERC-NAHRO). Jason was a part of the team responsible for TVRHA’s successful demonstration of asset management in 2006 and a part of the team responsible for TVRHA’s conversion to RAD in 2014.  Jason holds a BBA from Faulkner University and an MBA from Union University. 

Speaker Photo: Mike SweetMichael (Mike) Sweet
Executive Director, Chickasaw Housing Authority
Mike Sweet began his career in the affordable housing industry in 1991 working part time as a Youth Coordinator at the York Housing Authority in Alabama. During his time at York, Mike had the opportunity to work in every facet of the Housing Authority’s operations. On August 11, 1997, Mike began his career at Chickasaw Housing Authority and has now served over 24 years as its Executive Director. Mike is a graduate of the University of West Alabama and holds Public Housing Manager and Multifamily Specialist certifications. Mike has served as President of the Alabama Association of Housing & Redevelopment Authorities (AAHRA), Chairman of South Eastern Regional Council of the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (SERC-NAHRO), and is a recipient of the NAHRO Mary K. Nenno Advocacy Award, which recognized outstanding achievement and efforts to reflect the importance of affordable housing and community development initiatives.


Nate Greathree
Navigate Affordable Housing Partners

Speaker Photo: Natoya WitherspoonNatoya Witherspoon
Relationship Manager, Navigate Affordable Housing Partners
Natoya Witherspoon has been with Navigate since 2004. She is currently a Relationship Manager/Inspector at Navigate Affordable Housing Partners which is the Contract Administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Alabama. She inspects subsidized Section 8 Multifamily properties all over the State of Alabama. In addition, assists in ensuring owners/agents are in compliance with HUD guidelines as well as making sure the residents are living in decent, safe, and sanitary conditions. 

Nitira Mickel
Lead Contract Management Specialist, Navigate Affordable Housing Partners

Robert Collier
Sr VP of Program Compliance, Mississippi Home Corporation

Vernell Callahan

Navigate Affordable Housing Partners

Vickie Bell
Trainer, Navigate Affordable Housing Partners
A true veteran of the industry. She currently holds the position as Corporate Training and Education Specialist for Navigate Affordable Housing Partners, Contract Administrator for the states of Alabama, Connecticut, Mississippi, and Virginia. Her responsibilities include - Quality Control Monitoring, Regulatory Compliance Training, Regulatory Compliance Implementation, Compliance Reviews, and Motivational Speaking. Mrs. Bell’s most recent training endeavors have included Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) training and she hosts a weekly YouTube Video compliance session entitled “Tuesday Tips”. Notable is her 40 years plus in the housing industry. She has conducted conference trainings for several national organizations –SAHMA, NAHMA, Mid-Atlantic AHMA, and NEAHMA, 2019 Leading Age Gulf States Louisiana Assisted Living, as well as compliance training for numerous privately owned management companies and public housing authorities. Mrs. Bell is a former HUD REAC Inspector, Property Manager, Real Estate Broker, and has had an extensive and successful career in the conventional and affordable housing industry, at both the onsite and corporate levels. Mrs. Bell also holds several professional designations including: – ACPO, FHC, HCCP, SHCM, CPO, CMM, CHM, TCS, HQS Inspector, Site Base Budgeting, HCV Specialist, and Housing Choice Voucher Specialist. She is a member of ATD and Toastmasters International and the American Society of Training and Development.