Amanda develops strategy, leads the lending/investment process for real estate projects in the aforementioned GO Neighborhoods and educates elected officials and other decision-makers about the community-led approach to neighborhood improvement. As Executive Director, Amanda manages the office’s $2 million budget and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the office’s fund development, programmatic, and policy work. A significant portion of her work focuses on strategy, planning and partnership development. In addition, she manages a network of relationships that spans neighborhood civic organizations and funders to business leaders and City Hall policymakers. Amanda joined LISC in 2001 as a Program Officer and was appointed as director in December 2007.
Since taking the leadership role, Amanda has orchestrated Houston LISC’s strategic shift to a comprehensive approach for community development. The implementation of this new strategy has led to the selection of Houston as a Sustainable Communities Demonstration Site and an expansion site for the Financial Opportunity Centers by National LISC as well as the local launch of the Great Opportunities (GO) Neighborhoods Program.
Prior to her work with LISC, Amanda served the City of Houston as a Senior Planner with the Neighborhood Planning Services Division of the Planning and Development Department. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southwestern University and a Master of Public Affairs degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
Mayra Guevara Bontemps
Senior Program Officer
Mayra, LISC Houston's Senior Program Officer for Real Estate, has over 15 years of experience in property acquisition, development, construction, and management. Mayra has worked in government, nonprofit, and for profit and both residential and commercial real estate. She most recently worked for Tejano Center for Community Concerns in Houston. During her tenure at Tejano Center, she oversaw the development of single and multifamily housing, property management, and housing counseling services.
Mayra is well versed in Federal grant compliance and has experience with CDBG, ESG, HOME, LIHTC, and Section 202. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She is a Certified HOME Program Specialist and is working towards her Certified Housing Asset Manager (CHAM) designation.
VanNhi oversees LISC’s Houston network of Financial Opportunity Centers. She has extensive experience in community development at both the local and national level. Previously she worked out of Oakland, CA as the Senior Program Coordinator at National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (CAPACD), a national HUD intermediary dedicated to serving the needs of Asian Pacific Islanders. In this role, VanNhi provided technical assistance to 20 local organizations located across the U.S., through onsite assessments and trainings. She also worked with community-based organizations to identify local needs and led efforts to drive policy change.
In addition, VanNhi has supported financial empowerment for low-income families through her participation as a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) provider and site coordinator with the Family Financial Literacy Coalition. VanNhi holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
Clare supports Houston LISC's communications, fund development and policy efforts. Previously to joining LISC, she spent six years in Washington, DC focusing on affordable housing and community development issues. Most recently, she worked as a Policy & Program Manager at Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF), a network of high-capacity non-profit developers. At SAHF, she managed their Outcomes Initiative, an effort to improve and expand resident services through an outcomes-driven approach. Clare also supported SAHF’s policy initiatives and managed many of the peer networks for SAHF's eleven members. Before joining SAHF, Clare was a Policy Associate at the National Housing Conference, where she convened NHC members on a broad range of affordable housing issues including foreclosure prevention and neighborhood stabilization, energy efficiency and the intersection of housing and transportation policy. During graduate school, she assisted Texas State Senator Judith Zaffirini on her Health and Human Services legislation during the 2009 Texas session and worked for the Texas Association of Community Development Corporations on their policy and research efforts.
Clare received her Master in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin. She also holds a B.A. in sociology from the University of Notre Dame.
Iris oversees LISC’s Houston GO Neighborhoods work. She has experience in community development, environmental and public health initiatives, community engagement and financial literacy work. Previously, she worked for the Department of Environmental Health at a community health center in Milwaukee, WI. There she led community engagement efforts to support environmentally-oriented revitalization projects with the goal of improving health outcomes and quality of life. Iris has experience in asset-based community development strategies, specifically the Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative model. She also served as Program Manager at a NeighborWorks America non-profit housing counseling agency, working to provide counseling and education to families facing foreclosure.
Iris holds a Bachelor of Arts from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI and completed the Latino Non-Profit Leadership Program with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Roberto Hernandez Center.
Alan provides technical assistance to LISC clients on real estate development, and underwriting services to LISC to evaluate and invest in transformational developments. His previous experience in banking and public housing, in addition to multiple years of consulting for nonprofits and foundations, give Alan a unique perspective with clients and partners.
Additionally, Alan is a former board member for Lakeside Community Development Corporation, and has redeveloped dilapidated apartment buildings into thriving and affordable rentals in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago.
Alan holds a B.S. in Economics from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and an M.B.A. in Real Estate and Finance from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois.
Assistant Program Officer
Tamika Evans has worked in arts and community-based organizations for the past 13 years focusing on community engagement, fund development, and property management with a number of those years working with an affordable housing developer in Houston’s historic Third Ward. She completed her bachelor of arts in History and Economics at Texas Southern University. Evans enjoys reading historical fiction and non-fiction, relaxing at beautiful state parks, and guiding her three children in an atmosphere that nourishes their heart, hands, and mind.