Our interview series continues today with project manager Ashela O'Connor, who began her career with NMA in our Chicago office and later transitioned to the San Diego office, where she currently enjoys much warmer winters.
How did you get your start in the affordable housing industry?
My first job in the industry was serving as the executive assistant to NMA's VP of program management, Dorian Jenkins.
I received my bachelor of arts degree in psychology at Purdue University (BOILER UP!) and a master of arts in sociology at DePaul University. I'm currently working on my juris doctor at California Western School of Law.
What’s one topic you’re most passionate about in the affordable housing industry?
What's your favorite part about your job?
Variety—there's always something new to tackle.
Describe your typical work day?
The only thing typical about my work day is that it's never typical! There are always different projects to work on and new agencies to assist.
Tell us about a successful project that you had a part in.
In a recent file review project, NMA purged approximately 6,800 files, overseeing the process to ensure that each participant file included required information and documents. We also established file management procedures for the client PHA, including bar coding, developing written procedures and performance specifications, and conducting training of PHA staff on the new file management procedures.
Are you affiliated with any outside organizations?
I volunteer with Jambalangels of San Diego, an organization that prepares jambalaya once a week for local charities, cancer patients, HIV patients, and the homeless in San Diego.
Hobbies outside of work?
What are hobbies? Between work, law school, and planning a wedding, I've forgotten all about hobbies!
NMA project manager Ashela O'Connor has extensive research experience in a variety of fields, including in-depth project development and analysis, and applies that knowledge to her oversight of NMA's high-priority projects. Responsible for all aspects of each project through completion, Ashela has been instrumental in the development of NMA's policies and procedures in the housing choice voucher program.
Today in our interview series we'll be talking with senior consultant Cydney K. Jones, who recently wrote for the NMA blog about how to run a successful VASH program. With an exceptional knowledge of HUD regulations, she honed her skills while working at the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA), the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (HACoLA), and as a business owner at CKJ Consulting.
Are you headed to the NAHRO 2013 National Conference? Join NMA as we sponsor happy hour this Thursday, October 24, in the Exhibit Hall at the Cleveland Convention Center. Several key members of the NMA executive team will be attending:
One week left to register for the 2013 NMA Housing Conference and GoSection8 User Conference! New track sessions and signups for one-on-one consulting have just been announced. To read the full list of sessions, go here.
Topics: Asset Management, Blended Occupancy, Commissioners, EIV, Eligibility, Executive Management, Fair Housing, HCV utilization, Hearing Officer, HQS, Inspections, LIHTC, Maintenance, NMA Housing Awards, Occupancy, PBRA, PBV, PHAS, Program Management, Quality Control, RAD, Rent Calculation, SEMAP, Supervision, The Housing Conference