Affordable Housing Partner

CHN Partner Services Inc. is a full service affordable housing partner serving the Great Lakes region including Ohio, western New York, southeastern Michigan and western Pennsylvania.

CHN Partner Services Inc. is a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary of CHN Housing Partners (formerly Cleveland Housing Network, Inc.), a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation that is a regional and national leader in the affordable housing industry. With over 35 years experience, CHN has developed over 6,000 units of affordable housing for low-income families, seniors, the disabled and chronically homeless populations.

We are led by board members, officers and staff who have backgrounds and expertise in real estate/construction law, landlord/tenant law, real estate finance/accounting, real estate development and urban planning, real estate management and compliance, fiscal management, contracting and construction management.

We are able to provide extensive, vertically integrated services independently or in coordination with our parent non-profit corporation, CHN Housing Partners, and through our subsidiaries CHN Real Estate Services LLC (a full service brokerage) and CHN Construction LLC (a full service general contracting and construction management group). Through these subsidiaries, we are a member of the Midwest Affordable Housing Management Association, have officers and staff licensed as broker and real estate agents in the State of Ohio, and staff that hold CHAM, HCCP, CPO, COS and CPM credentials and designations.

We provide our clients with a wide range of vertically integrated services including:

• Property Management and Maintenance

Our experienced staff can provide property management and/or maintenance services for your multi-family, single-family and permanent supportive housing projects.

• Compliance and Fiscal Management

We offer our deep experience in compliance and fiscal management for your affordable housing projects that are financed through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), capital funding sources and rental subsidy.

• General Contracting & Construction Management

We offer general contracting and construction management services for your rehabilitation and/or new construction projects—both multifamily buildings and single-family homes. Our services include assistance with in-place relocation strategy, permitting residents to continue to occupy the building during rehab.

• Sales Services

For those in the affordable housing industry with home ownership programs, we have the capacity to provide sales services to selective clients.

Our Team

Mark Whipkey, President

Mark Whipkey is a Certified Housing Asset Manager, CHAM; a certified Housing Credit Certified Professional, HCCP; a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional, CEDFP, and a Certified Professional of Occupancy, CPO.

Mark Whipkey is responsible for the Corporation’s Real Estate Asset Management, Real Estate Development and Property Management Divisions including Multifamily/Single-family Development/Preservation/Construction, Single-family and Multifamily Property Management, and Asset Management. Mark ensures that the real estate portfolio under CHN’s management, consisting of some 1,500 plus housing units, remains financial viable long-term. He further ensures that CHN’s Development and Construction activities support and enhance the mission and strategic goals of CHN.

Mark brings over twenty-five years of affordable housing experience to CHN’s Senior Staff. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning, a Master’s Degree in Economics (with specializations in Quantitative Methods and Financial Economics), and has complete Doctorial work in Political Economy (specializations in Domestic and International Political Economy and Quantitative Methods).

He is currently a Board Member of the Midwest Affordable Housing Management Association and a member of its Budget and Public Policy Committees, a professional association representing owners and managers of affordable housing throughout Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin; and is a Ohio Housing Council, industry member liaison with OHFA, and a past Chairperson of OHC’s Policy Committee, a statewide association of affordable housing professionals.

Lorenzo Hibbitts, Real Estate Broker

Lorenzo Hibbitts is Assistant Vice President and Relationship Manager for Key Community Development Corporation’s [KCDC] affordable housing equity underwriting team.

Prior to joining Key, he owned and operated a brokerage company that specialized in multifamily real estate management. His brokerage license is currently held with CHN Real Estate Services LLC of Cleveland Ohio where he is the principal broker.

Lorenzo received his MBA from Cleveland State University and obtained his Certified Property Management designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management.

He has over ten (10) years of professional real estate management and investment experience and a strong commitment and passion of positively impacting people and improving the quality of their lives through real estate.

Rochelle Harris, Director of Property Management Brokered Services/Assistant Director of Asset Management

Rochelle brings 18 years of diverse experience in compliance, management, leasing and operational oversight in the Affordable Housing Property Management Industry. Her experience includes the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and HUD programs involving single family lease purchase, Permanent Supportive Housing, and multifamily projects.

Currently, Rochelle serves as the Director of Property Management Brokered/Assistant Director of Asset Management where she is responsible for the property management and operational performance of residential properties managed by Cleveland Housing Network’s (CHN’s) affiliate, CHN Real Estate Services LLC for its third party owners/clients which include HUD Section 8, HUD PRAC, Hope VI, and Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) projects. Further, Rochelle is responsible for assisting CHN’s Director of Asset Management in the oversight, monitoring, development, and long term sustainability of Cleveland Housing Network’s portfolio of LIHTC and HUD projects.

Prior to CHN, Rochelle served as the Director of Housing for a non-profit corporation in Lorain County, Ohio. There, she was responsible for overseeing a portfolio of Permanent Supportive Housing, Shelter Plus Care, multi family, and single family LIHTC Homes.  She is a licensed realtor in the state of Ohio.  She holds a Certified Occupancy Specialist (COS) from NCHM, Asset Management Specialist (AMS) from Neighborhood Works, and the Housing Credit Certified Professional (HCCP) through the National Association of Home Builders. Rochelle holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Service Administration from Cleveland State University and is currently enrolled in the Master’s Program of Non Profit Administration and Leadership through Cleveland State University.

Lisa McGovern, Director of Real Estate Development

Lisa McGovern has worked in the affordable housing industry for over 20 years, beginning as a property manager for CHN’s scattered site portfolio. She spent 10 years working in development in Seattle and Cleveland, where she completed over $100M in real estate developments including both multifamily and commercial buildings.

Prior to joining CHN, she worked at a regional bank as a lender, providing construction and perm loans primarily for affordable housing projects throughout the country. She is a founding member of the Cleveland Colectivo, a giving circle founded in 2004 that has given away over $120,000 in grants to people and organizations making a difference in Northeast Ohio. Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree in urban planning and a master’s in urban studies from Cleveland State University.

Chris Zielinski, Director of Construction

Chris oversees all of CHN’s construction efforts. He has over twenty five years of experience in Construction Management, General Contracting, and Design Build projects across a variety of industries and uses. He has successfully managed the construction and renovation of more than $200 million worth of construction throughout his career. Chris holds a business degree from the University of Akron, has completed the OSHA safety training, and holds numerous restoration and preservation awards from prior projects.

Pat J. Kenney, Senior Executive of HomeOwnership and Sales

As Senior Executive of HomeOwnership and Sales, Mr. Kenney is responsible for ensuring the effectiveness of the organization’s key operating areas including the Sales & Lending Department, the Maintenance Department, the Energy Services Department, and the Information Technology Department. Mr. Kenney joined the Cleveland Housing Network in 1989 and established a significant market-rate, single family for-sale model as well as CHN’s nationally modeled Lease Purchase program. CHN is Northeast Ohio’s largest community development organization and energy services provider with a staff of 171.

Prior to joining CHN, Mr. Kenney spent 10 years working in the Buckeye Woodland Community, first as a Community Organizer, and then as the Executive Director of a neighborhood based CDC. Mr. Kenney began his career in housing in 1978 when he served as a disaster relief manager in Andrea Pradesh, India.

Dana Arrington, Director of HomeOwnership and Sales

Ms. Arrington is responsible for the production and effectiveness of CHN’s Lease Purchase. Ms. Arrington joined CHN with a wealth of 18 years of experience in banking, lending, processing and closing real estate transactions. Her skill-set has enabled CHN to build a highly productive, nationally replicated Lease Purchase Year 16 Sales model.

Since 2007, CHN has sold and transferred over 1,000 homes to LP families.

Mary Smigelski, Chief Financial Officer

Ms. Smigelski oversees the accounting department of 10, including two directors and 8 accountants plus the office management department of 2.  She develops and implements strategic initiatives around new business development, debt management, cash flow planning and financial compliance. She is responsible for all financial operations, internal and external reporting, board and external partner relations for finance.  Ms. Smigelski also oversees CHN’s audit preparations, related financial reporting and tax filings for over 30 entities that include various partnerships, LLCs, corporations and not for profit companies.

Prior to her role as CFO, Ms. Smigelski served as accountant, grants manager, assistance director of finance and director. She is a Certified Public Accountant and has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration, Cum Laude, from Kent State University.

Kevin Nowak, General Counsel

Kevin J. Nowak is General Counsel of Cleveland Housing Network, Inc., a full service non-profit affordable housing provider whose mission is to build strong families and vibrant neighborhoods through quality affordable housing and strengthened financial stability. As General Counsel, Kevin is responsible for all risk management and legal matters of CHN and oversees the development of its strategic initiatives.

Prior to joining CHN, Kevin was the National Equity Investment Manager of Key Community Development Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of KeyBank. In his position, Kevin was responsible for both the new acquisition of community development investments and the asset management of KCDC’s over $1B investment portfolio with dual strategic focuses of achieving an outstanding CRA rating on CRA investment test and building a profitable, diverse investment portfolio. Kevin’s experience in community and economic development includes the full spectrum of deal structuring and financing, including tax credit and non-tax credit financed affordable housing, projects financed with new markets tax credits, historic tax credits, energy tax credits and private equity, and investments in small business investment companies and civic loan funds.

Prior to joining Key, Kevin was an associate in the commercial real estate practice of Thompson Hine LLP, a national law firm based in Cleveland. During his time at Thompson Hine, Kevin represented a wide variety of clients from small developers to national REITs to privately and publicly held corporations in the acquisition, disposition, development, construction, asset management and financing of their real estate assets.

Kevin earned his B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, in Political Science and History from the University of Michigan ’02 and J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School ’05.