Mark Thiele is a houser who stands in awe of his colleagues. “Safe, stable, affordable housing is the foundation on which we build healthy, happy and productive lives,” he says. “Despite significant headwinds, housers nationwide continue to provide the most vulnerable Americans with shelter and supportive services in sustainable communities. We need them to succeed. We need to invest in their success.”
Before joining NAHRO, Thiele was the Interim President and CEO of the Houston Housing Authority (HHA). During his tenure, HHA focused on safety, increasing affordable housing, and innovation. The agency hosted numerous COVID-19 testing and vaccination events with local partners. It also added thousands of units of affordable housing through acquisition and development and earning the coveted Moving to Work (MTW) designation.
Prior to that Thiele served as HHA’s Senior Vice President (SVP), overseeing Program Operations, Real Estate, Investment and Development, Policy as well as all of the agency’s support functions, including Finance, Legal, Procurement, Human Resources and Information Technology. During his time as SVP, Thiele worked with the agency’s more than 200 staff members to be the premier provider of quality, affordable housing in Houston.
For the previous eight years of his lengthy year career in affordable housing, Thiele served as the Vice President of the award-winning Housing Choice Voucher Program at HHA, which provides more than $155 million in housing subsidies each year, and is one of the largest voucher programs in the country. In that role he supervised more than 120 staff dedicated to providing quality, affordable housing options for more than 18,000 Houston households via the regular Housing Choice Voucher, VASH, Mainstream, NED and Mod Rehab programs, as well as a plethora of initiatives funded by the City, County and other entities. The HCVP department played a significant role in Houston’s award-winning efforts to end homelessness. Thiele also worked in the affordable housing sector as a consultant at Quadel Consulting Corporation.
Thiele has been a devoted NAHRO member for years, taking on a variety of leadership roles at the state, regional and national levels. At national NAHRO, he served on the Board of Governors, as the Chair of the Board of Ethics and Credentialling Trustees, and as the Vice President of the Community Revitalization and Development Committee. Thiele also served as the Senior Vice President of the NAHRO Southwest Regional Council, and as the President of Texas NAHRO. He is a proud member of the Board of the National Public Housing Museum (NPHM).
Thiele holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Anthropology from the University of Texas and a master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago.
Patricia S. Wells was sworn in as President of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) in October 2021, and will serve in that position for the next two years.
Patricia Wells brings over 26 years of public administration and nonprofit executive management experience to her role as Executive Director of the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA). She joined OHA in 1998, following appointments as the Associate Director for Habitat for Humanity International – West Region and Senior Policy Coordinator as a Mayoral appointee with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs in Washington, D.C. During her current tenure with OHA, Patricia has held key roles in several key initiatives including the reorganization of OHA to a property based property management operation, disposition of 1,610 apartment units and single family homes, a multitude of Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration programs and partnerships, as well as several innovative private/public partnership endeavors. Patricia brings to the OHA leadership team excellent communication skills, stellar inter-governmental and community building expertise, a strong acumen for organization operations and administrative leadership, significant experience as an agent of effective organization change as well as a passion for supporting community led solutions.
In addition to her national leadership role as a member of the National Association of Housing Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), she is an Soroptimist International of the East Bay Fellow and an active member of the East Bay Regional Parks Foundation, Monterey Bay Aquarium, SF Opera and volunteer of Glide Memorial Homeless Services. Patricia holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, a B.A in English/Journalism, and several professional certifications.
NAHRO Presidential Candidate
George Guy is the chief executive officer and executive director of the Fort Wayne Housing Authority. With a career that spans over 25 years of identifying issues and developing solutions to improve the quality of life for families and communities of underserved communities.
Currently, George serves as senior vice president of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). In his role, he is responsible for carrying out the organization’s mission as the nation’s leading housing and community development association that inspires the creation of strong and sustainable communities. Before being elected senior vice president, his NAHRO leadership roles have included president of the North Central Regional Council, president of Indiana NAHRO, vice chair of the Board of Ethics and Credentialing Trustees and the NAHRO Housing and Education Task Force.
With a commitment to elevating the affordable housing conversation throughout the country, he serves as chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis Affordable Housing Advisory Council, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Advisory Council on Community and Economic Development, and he is a board member of the Moving to Work (MTW) Collaborative. He is also a trustee of the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA).
Understanding the link between civil rights, human rights, and combating systemic inequities, George has adopted this philosophy to guide his work within the affordable housing industry and has assisted in the development of numerous affordable housing projects within the states of Indiana and Illinois, totaling over $200 million dollars. These developments include mixed-finance and permanent supportive housing developments that provide critical support for families dealing with unique needs such as AIDS, aging out of foster care, homelessness and victims of domestic violence. Additionally, he has created innovative partnerships with local and national agencies with the goal of expanding affordable housing choices and wrap-around services for homeless veterans, youth, and other vulnerable members of the community.
George’s commitment to servant leadership has helped Fort Wayne Housing Authority, positioning the organization as one of the top performing housing authorities in the nation. Under his leadership, the organization oversees a portfolio of over 4000 public housing, vouchers, and affordable housing units. This includes a small housing agency, Decatur Housing Authority.
Also, under his leadership, agencies have been the recipient of more than 160 industry awards locally, regionally, and nationally. The awards recognize George and the entire FWHA team for their innovation, advocacy, and excellence in the affordable housing industry.
He is the recipient of numerous housing industry and community service awards including the Indiana Civil Rights Commission highest recognition, the Civil Rights Champions award, which is presented to an Indiana resident whose work highlights the social justice and advocacy efforts led by Dr. King. An active member of the Fort Wayne community, George also serves as a board member of the United Way of Allen County and as chairman of the board for the Fort Wayne Urban League. He also serves on the Fort Wayne Area Planning Council on Homelessness and the Indiana Balance of State Continuum of Care Board.
NAHRO Vice President Candidate
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth” by Muhammad Ali is the bedrock that I have tried to build my professional career on. It is my duty as a housing professional to give back to an industry that has given so much to me. I am honored to campaign for the position of NAHRO Senior Vice President.
I am a proven leader at the local, state, regional and national levels. I understand the importance of the brick and mortar of our properties, but also that these properties create communities that have been underserved, underfunded and disenfranchised. Whether it is working with the local community to bring educational opportunities to the kids in our communities or making sure that Pre-schools and day care are available on site I have placed an emphasis on providing opportunities to our families.
I grew up in a coal mining town in southern West Virginia on the Kentucky border. I quickly learned the values of hard work, faith, community and family. This is where I learned the vision and values that are so important to me. Together we will base my campaign on STEAM. Steam was so important in the town where I was raised. Steam was the energy that was used to power the trains that delivered the goods from and to this region. Steam gives you energy, direction and power. I plan to use this energy, direction and power to effectively lead NAHRO.