OHFA Leadership Updates Press Release

  • Executive Director Press Release


Friday, April 22, 2022
Media Contact:  Penny Martin
Phone: 614.728.2911
Email: pmartin@ohiohome.org

OHFA Announces Additions to Leadership Team and New Hires

COLUMBUS, OH - Today, Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) announced additions to the leadership team, new hires, and internal staff promotions. OHFA is proud to share that Jessica Grimm, Joe Hewitt, Shauna Hooks, and Penny Martin have joined the staff and the promotions of Chelsea Buckwalter, David Foust and Paula Steele.

Jessica Grimm joins OHFA as the Human Resources Officer. Jessica has more than 17 years of experience in Human Resources, ranging from Talent Management and requisition, job analysis, recruitment, position description writing, classification reviews, as well as interpreting laws, rules & regulations relating to HR processes and procedures.

Joseph Hewitt joins OHFA as the Director of Housing Programs, overseeing the Offices of Housing Policy, Multifamily Housing, and Single-Family Housing. Mr. Hewitt brings more than 20 years of experience in commercial real estate finance to OHFA. Before joining OHFA, Mr. Hewitt spent fifteen years in the low-income housing tax credit industry.

His duties included equity underwriting, closing, special assets, investor relations, dispositions, and asset sales. He holds a Master of Financial Economics from Ohio University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of San Diego, and a Bachelor of Arts from The Ohio State University.

Shauna Hooks joins OHFA as the DEI/EEO Officer. Shauna has more than eight years of experience as an IT Operations Manager and more than 15 years of experience developing and managing training programs. As well as experience in creating and interpreting policy and procedures, and implemented Ohio Facilities Construction Commission's diversity and inclusion program. Shauna studied Business Administration at Phoenix University.

Penny Martin joins OHFA as the Director of Public Affairs, overseeing the Offices of Communications and Marketing, Legislative Affairs, and Outreach and Engagement. Ms. Martin brings more than 15 years of communications and public affairs experience to the role. Prior to joining OHFA, she was the Chief of Strategy and Public Affairs at the Ohio Department of Development, where she managed the communications and marketing teams and provided counsel on department policies and programs.

Ms. Martin also worked as a Project Manager at Fallon Research and an Assistant Account Executive at Paul Werth Associates. She has a Bachelor of Arts from DePauw University.

OHFA also promoted Chelsea Buckwalter to Director of Housing Policy, David Foust to Director of Multifamily Housing, and Paula Steele to Director of Operations.

Chelsea Buckwalter leads OHFA's Office of Research and Analytics, which utilizes research techniques and a data-driven approach to further the agency's mission of creating more affordable housing options for Ohioans. As Director, Ms. Buckwalter leads the strategic planning process for the Agency, helps internal OHFA offices better understand and visualize their data, and increases statewide awareness of housing-related issues through collaborations with external stakeholders.

Ms. Buckwalter has a Bachelor's in Finance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Master's in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

David Foust leads administration of the state's low-income housing tax credit program, multifamily bond program and several gap financing programs. Mr. Foust joined OHFA in early 2020 as the Multifamily Lending Manager and stepped into the role of Director of Multifamily Housing in late 2021.

Prior to joining OHFA, Mr. Foust worked as a Program Manager with Partners Achieving Community Transformation and served as Program Director and Membership Manager with the Ohio CDC Association. He holds both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University.

Paula Steele is Director of Operations at the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. She oversees Offices of Public Affairs, Capital Markets, Information Technology, Finance, Facilities, and Internal Audit. Ms. Steele the joined OHFA as its Policy Administrator in 2019 with more than 30 years of private and public sector experience.

In the private sector, she earned her Series 7 license, served as treasurer for multiple corporations, and was the founder and president of an online business. Her government experience includes serving in the Ohio Auditor of State Office and in the executive branch of multiple administrations in various capacities, including director of special projects and the lead of the Ohio Business Gateway Modernization Project. Ms. Steel graduated from the honors program at The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration.