Staff & Board

NCLT Staff

Marissa Ashkar, Resident Organizer, ext. 341

Marissa Ashkar is working with NCLT as resident co-organizer and as liaison with People of Color Sustainable Housing Network in which she is a core organizer. She previously worked as legal assistant in Oakland-based international development law firm and was active in institution building in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She continues to hold a deeply rooted interest for the community land trust, cooperative land ownership and stewardship models. By creating intentional eco-communities Marissa is helping to make these models more accessible and replicable. By sharing resources and building with communities Marissa believes that cooperative living with the environment will continue to grow and be part of a global healing and regenerative movement.

Deseree Fontenot, POCSHN Organizer, ext. 340

Deseree Fontenot is a co-organizer with the People of Color Sustainable Housing Network (POCSHN). She is working with NCLT on coordinating the Community Co-Ownership Initiative in partnership with POCSHN's Organizing Collective. She is a farmer, scholar, and activist based in Oakland, CA. Deseree holds an interdisciplinary Masters of Arts in Social Transformation from Pacific School of Religion where she focused on ecology, African-diasporic spiritual traditions, and histories of food and land-based movements. Deseree has almost a decade of experience working in nonprofit operations, program, and event management, primarily within LGBTQ-focused organizations. She is passionate about transforming relationships to food, land and place by addressing land access, tenure, and pathways to shared ownership and stewardship models.

Allyson Steinberg, Bookkeeper, ext. 342

Allyson has worked for the Land Trust since 2006 and manages all financial day to day activity, working in conjunction with the Executive Director on larger financial responsibilities. She brings a history and background in community development and sustainability. One of her current personal projects is a rural land project in the Sierra Nevada Foothills designed to study ecological restoration, alternative building practices, forest tending and collective decision making and practices in a rural setting. She appreciates working for the Land Trust and the community it serves as a way of working to support all creative solutions to the housing crisis the Bay Area faces.

Francis McIlveen, Director of Operations and Development, ext. 369

Since 2003, Francis has worked at NCLT in multiple capacities. He handles the real estate transactions: helping low-income families buy and sell CLT homes, acquisition & development of new projects (including the financing), as well as handling donations of property. He also serves as the Real Estate Broker for NCLT’s Community Realty. In addition, Francis provides technical assistance and training to new CLTs, coops and homeowner’s associations. Lastly, Francis provides advocacy to further the mission of Community Land Trusts in the realms of local & state legislation, the institutional finance world, and regulatory & public policy—typically under the auspices of the Bay Area Consortium of Community Land Trusts, and the California Community Land Trust Network.

Erin Coyle, Property Manager, ext. 339

Erin has worked with NCLT since 2004 and currently manages NCLT's rental properties and property related projects. Throughout this time, she has also provided various types of services at other Bay Area nonprofit agencies including outreach, advocacy, case management, group facilitation, and counseling.

Ian Winters, Executive Director, ext. 342

Ian has served as Executive Director of the Northern California Land Trust since early 2002, and is a long-term CLT & coop resident. Professionally he has over 10-years experience in sustainable construction and architecture as well as community activism and organizational development. He trained as a photographer/filmmaker and art/architectural historian at Tufts University and the Boston Museum School and graduate architecture/design work at the San Francisco Institute of Architecture. Outside of the CLT world he maintains an active life as a working artist.

NCLT Board

Hank Obermayer

Hank has lived in intentional communities since 1987 and has worked in various capacities developing intentional communities and nonprofit housing since 1994. He first volunteered for NCLT in 1994, is the founder of Mariposa Grove (which is part of NCLT) and is a graduate student in East-West Psychology.

Joanna Winter

Joanna is a city planner with experience in affordable housing, cohousing development and local housing policy, as well as an interest in intentional communities (both land-based and non-land-based). She has been on the NCLT board since 2013.

Joshua Abrams

Joshua Abrams is a city planner who specializes in housing policy. He also facilitates public meetings and is a certified mediator. He has been on the Board since 2008.

Kenoli Oleari

Kenoli Oleari lived collectively from 1962 until he found a life partner and extended family in El Sobrante in 2007. One place he lived, Black Bear Ranch, was documented in a movie, Commune, available through Netflix. Kenoli became connected with NCLT when he and other tenants at Fairview House in Berkeley purchased the house they were renting and became a member of NCLT. He joined the board in 2004. Kenoli is interested in ways Community Land Trusts can support community civic government initiatives.