Future of Charlotte: Housing & Jobs Summit
lawrence Corley
lawrence.corley@charlottenc.gov
1/6/2023
Housing and Jobs Summit

Charlotte, N.C. (Jan. 6, 2023) – Charlotte City Council will hold its Housing and Jobs Summit on Jan. 9 – 10, 2023 in Charlotte.



Speaker Bios


Building Resilience in Growing Cities Session



Paul Nelson

Paul Nelson

Founding Principal, Resilient Cities Catalyst

Paul Nelson is a Founding Principal at Resilient Cities Catalyst, where he leads the organization’s engagements with cross-sectoral partners working collaboratively to source innovations and co-create new solutions to their most pressing challenges. He brings more than 15 years of experience building networks to achieve transformative impact at the city, national and global scales. His background in municipal government and nonprofit organizations is steeped in urban economic, workforce and community development policy. He is an experienced facilitator and trainer adept at bringing together unlikely actors to build more cohesive and resilient communities. Prior to joining RCC, Paul led 100 Resilient Cities’ (100RC) network-building strategy fostering connection, community and knowledge-sharing among the urban practitioners in 100RC member cities around the world. In this role, he catalyzed global learning and solutions sharing cohorts focused on issues ranging from urban migration to racial equity, and he designed a resilience practitioner training program to support cities and partners in strategy and project implementation. He also led the organization’s impact measurement and knowledge management strategy to support program improvement and learning, as well as elevate 100RC’s impact globally. Previously, Paul served as Assistant Commissioner at New York City’s Department of Small Business Services leading efforts to foster economic development and build community in commercial districts across the five boroughs. During his tenure, he managed the Agency’s portfolio of HUD-funded commercial revitalization investments and the City’s network of Business Improvement Districts, which leverage more than $100 million annually to support neighborhoods. In addition, he created a suite of training and leadership programs for a city-wide network of more than 100 community-based organizations. At YouthBuild USA, he led technical assistance provision to a national network of 210 DOL-funded programs in urban, rural and tribal communities serving 7,500 low-income, out-of-school young people each year. Paul holds an MPA from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and an MA from the University of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines in France, and he earned a BA from Brown University.



Andrew Salkin

Andrew Salkin

Founding Principal, Resilient Cities Catalyst

Andrew Salkin is a Founding Principal of Resilient Cities Catalyst, leading RCC’s work connecting Cities and the Private sector to spur innovation and financing to ensure resilient initiatives actually happen. Andrew has over 25 years of experience working in and with cities. He is an urban innovator who specializes in inspiring city officials to proactively transform business as usual to achieve higher impact and more resilience outcomes. He is an expert in leveraging available budgets, public administration and governance to drive transformation. Prior to RCC, Andrew served on the 100 Resilient Cities leadership team from the inception, helping 100RC grow into a global organization that include five regional offices, 100+ city and 150 other partners that inspired cities leaders across the globe. He joined 100 Resilient Cities from 16 years serving New York City government. Most recently he was at New York City’s Department of Finance, where he was the Deputy Commissioner of Operations, managing more than 800 people and responsible for collecting $30 billion annually through real estate, business, and excise taxes, as well as parking summonses. In this role he improved efficiencies and customer service, including introducing technology and web-based payment options. Previously he served as the First Deputy Commissioner of the Taxi and Limousine Commission, overseeing day-to-day operations of the agency, including the regulations of New York City’s medallion taxi fleet, livery vehicles, commuter vans and paratransit vehicles – comprising 50,000 vehicles and 100,000 drivers. Some of his hallmark projects included equipping taxis with credit card payment machines and New York City’s Taxi of Tomorrow competition. During the transit strike of 2005, he developed and oversaw the implementation of the Transit Strike Plan that allowed for an additional 1,500,000 taxi rides a day. Prior to joining the Taxi and Limousine Commission, Andrew worked at the Department of Transportation as Lower Manhattan Borough Commissioner, the “Downtown Construction Czar,” where he led the City’s efforts to balance the needs of residents, employees, and tourists of Lower Manhattan amidst the clean-up, construction, and rebuilding post-September 11. Andrew holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and a BA in Economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

State of Housing and Jobs Session



Dr Youngqiang Chu

Dr. Yongqiang Chu

Director of the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate and Childress Klein Distinguished Professor of Real Estate and Urban Economics and Professor of Finance at the UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business

Yongqiang Chu is the Director of the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate and Childress Klein Distinguished Professor of Real Estate and Urban Economics and Professor of Finance at the UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business. Chu conducts research in real estate, corporate finance, and banking. His research has appeared in many top finance, real estate, and economics journals, including Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, Management Science, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Review of Economic Dynamics, and Real Estate Economics. He has been the main author of the State of Charlotte Housing Report in recent years. Chu obtained his bachelor’s degree from Peking University, his master’s degree from the National University of Singapore, and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before joining UNC Charlotte, he was an associate professor at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business.



Laura Ullrich

Dr. Laura Ullrich

Senior Regional Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Charlotte Branch

Laura Ullrich is a senior regional economist at the Charlotte branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Previously, Ullrich was associate dean for undergraduate programs and a professor of economics at Winthrop University. She earned a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Georgia and a master's and doctorate in economics from the University of Tennessee. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a business consultant for Ernst & Young, specializing in executive compensation determination. In 2014, she served as a Fulbright Scholar teaching economics in Kosovo and has spent considerable time working on local economic development issues in Bolivia. Ullrich's research interests include higher education, school finance reform, local and state level tax and expenditure analyses, and the economic impact of local development. Ullrich is a member of the Aspen Institute Global Leadership Network via the South Carolina Liberty Fellowship. She is also an active member of her community, currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance and the board of the Catawba Regional Council of Governments. She also serves on the board of Family Promise of York County, the Rock Hill Technology Incubator, the Carolina Immigrant Alliance, and the Winthrop Eagle Club.

Local Practitioner Panel – Connecting Housing and Jobs



Gerard Camacho

Gerard Camacho

AVP of Workforce Development, Atrium Health

Gerard Camacho, MPA, JCDC, is Atrium Health’s AVP of Workforce Development. As a new leader to the organization, he has been responsible for the design and implementation of the workforce development strategy for the system and the creation of the Career Development Center; impacting 80K+ staff members and the Charlotte community. During his tenure at Atrium Health, Gerard has worked with community and business leaders, academic systems, and local and federal government to lead workforce development initiatives specifically aimed to promote income mobility, advancement of policy, remove barriers, and provide equitable access to family sustainable livable wage careers for frontline teammates and people of color within our community. As a leader in our community, Gerard serves as a member of the Executive Board for Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Foundation and a member of the Charlotte Executive Leadership Committee Workforce Development working team. At a national level, he serves as Vice Chair of National Workforce Solutions’ CareerSTAT and the Business Leaders United on the Hill Executive Boards.



Laura Clark

Laura Clark

President & Chief Executive Officer, United Way of Central Carolinas

As president and CEO of United Way of Central Carolinas, Laura leads the effort to build stronger neighborhoods, increase racial equity and improve the systems that serve our children and families across a five-county region. A Charlotte native, Laura previously served as director of evaluation and community impact at United Way, and later executive vice president and chief impact officer at the organization. She led the transformation of United Way’s community impact strategy and development of a new grants funding process to more directly address economic mobility challenges. Under Laura’s leadership, United Way has increased its investment to expand two major community initiatives—United Neighborhoods to drive neighborhood transformation and revitalization and Unite Charlotte to improve racial equity and increase social capital. Laura previously served as CEO of the Renaissance West Community Initiative and was director of The Larry King Center at Charlotte’s Council for Children’s Rights earlier in her career. An active voice in the community, Laura serves on multiple professional boards in Charlotte and engages with a variety of local civic committees and nonprofit boards. Laura earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Appalachian State University and a Master’s degree in clinical/community psychology from UNC Charlotte.



Danielle Frazier

Danielle Frazier

President & CEO, Charlotte Works

Danielle Frazier is a lifelong public servant with more than 20+ years of workforce development experience. As President and CEO of Charlotte Works, she focuses on the cultivation of a thriving local economy through the upskilling of job seekers to create sustainable talent pipelines for businesses. She leads the execution of Charlotte Works’ strategic plan, vision, and priorities for workforce development in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Leading the largest workforce development board in NC, her primary mission is to make sure local businesses can find skilled talent, as well as ensure job seekers have access and opportunity in obtaining sustainable and advancing employment. With almost 15 years’ experience with Charlotte Works, Danielle’s roles have covered program and operations management, planning and budgeting, leadership and team development, and organizational strategy. Under her leadership, Charlotte Works’ NCWorks career services have provided support to over 100k Mecklenburg County residents, helped over 5,500 businesses with their talent needs, and invested over $3.7M in upskilling more than 1,540+ job seekers. As a recognized workforce development thought leader, both locally and nationally, Danielle has served as keynote speaker, conference presenter, moderator, and panelist for numerous convenings. Danielle’s collaborative leadership has afforded Charlotte Works the opportunity to receive several awards and recognition for innovative practices and partnerships, one of which, she had the honor to present to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce. Other accomplishments include leading the development of the first NCWorks certified regional career pathways in advanced manufacturing and healthcare. She is also a recipient of the Charlotte Business Journal’s 40 Leaders under 40 and recently named one of Charlotte’s Power 100 key players who are leading Charlotte’s growth into the future. Danielle serves as a member on the following national, state, and local boards and councils including: Board of Trustee for the Workforce Development Council of U.S. Conference of Mayors, HIRE Board of Strategic Education, Inc., NC Association of Workforce Development Boards (Secretary), Charlotte Regional Business Alliance Board of Trustee & Executive Committee, American Leadership Forum – Charlotte Chapter, and Leading on Opportunity Council. Danielle received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University and her Master of Public Administration degree from Strayer University. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities, traveling, and spending time with close friends and family.



Dionne Nelson

Dionne Nelson

President & CEO, Laurel Street

Dionne Nelson is the President and CEO of Laurel Street, a leading mixed-income housing development company experienced in providing high-quality residences for working families and seniors. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Laurel Street has a development portfolio of approximately 5,000 units. Dionne establishes and manages the overall strategic direction, operations, and growth of the company and has more than 25 years of experience in real estate development, finance, and operations. Dionne serves on the Board of Directors for Cousins Properties (NYSE: CUZ) and the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) and as a Director for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond – Charlotte Branch. She is also a member of the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council (CELC). Dionne is a Trustee for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and a member of the National Advisory Board for the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing, and ULI’s Affordable and Workforce Housing Council. She also serves on the Charlotte Community Advisory Committee for the Knight Foundation, Renaissance West Community Initiative’s Advisory Board and Real Estate Committee, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Childress Klein Center for Real Estate Advisory Board. She is a member of Leadership Charlotte Class 29.

Local Practitioner Panel – Deep Dive: Housing



Laura Belcher

Laura Belcher

President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region

Laura Belcher joined Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte in 2014, excited by the possibility of removing barriers to homeownership for working families in the community. She oversees the implementation of strategic plan tactics that establish aggressive goals for the affiliate. Since 2014, the organization has seen a 300% increase in families served through growth in new home production, increases in existing home preservation efforts, providing more diverse housing solutions and the expansion of financial literacy programs, demonstrating a commitment to innovate and reach an even broader audience. In February 2020, Laura managed the merger between Habitat Charlotte and Our Towns Habitat, creating Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region, combining strengths and eliminating duplicative processes and technologies. The combined affiliate has served over 4000 families since inception, operates one of the largest Habitat Construction operations in the US, runs a network of 6 ReStores, and supports 3 international partners. Laura has served on numerous committees of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI); she is currently serving a second 3-year term on the HFHI US Council where she holds the office of Vice Chair. She spent the first 20 years of her career in corporate roles with Arthur Andersen, Wachovia Securities and Transamerica. Laura was a CPA, graduated from the College of William and Mary, and spent 9 years in nonprofit work as CFO/COO of the Arts & Science Council prior to joining Habitat. She attributes her passion for Habitat to her church where she started volunteering and building houses over 20 years ago.



Fulton Meachem

Fulton Meachem

President & CEO, INLIVIAN

As President and CEO of INLIVIAN, Fulton is responsible for the strategy and effective operation of one of the most progressive housing authorities in the nation. He has over 20 years’ experience in the affordable housing industry and has extensive experience in developing and executing workforce housing, resident services, and housing operations. He is skilled in developing community partnerships and fostering strong relationships with Boards, staff and residents. Due to an entrepreneurial nature, Fulton started two 501(c)(3) organizations to garner private dollars for public causes such as funds for post-secondary education and the construction of high-quality affordable housing. He has successfully led development efforts which resulted in the creation of over 1800 mixed-income apartments using a myriad of sources such as HOPE VI funding, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Tax-Exempt Bond Financing. With a passion for helping people, Fulton believes that INLIVIAN is “more than bricks & sticks” and that able-bodied people should work. During his career, he has developed comprehensive supportive services programs incorporating case management, education and job placement. He believes the key to upward mobility is housing + supportive services + education + employment. Mr. Meachem serves on a number of boards and committees including the Charlotte Works Board of Directors, Board of Directors of the Moving to Work Collaborative, Childress Klein Center Real Estate Advisory Board and All Income Counts Coalition. He is a member of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials and the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association. Fulton is married to his wife Jeanette Meachem and is the proud father of two son Brannen and Bryce. He’s a “Baseball Dad” that travels around the country as a relief bus driver while he watches his youngest son Bryce play ball.



Judy Seldin-Cohen

Judy Seldin-Cohen

Board Chair, A Way Home

Judy Seldin-Cohen collaborates to create change in the community through her advocacy and her writing. She joined the board of the A Way Home housing endowment at its inception in 2014, currently serving as the board chair. She was recognized by the YWCA Central Carolinas with its 2020 Women of Achievement Lifetime Advocate Award. The book she co-authored on civic engagement earned a national book award, as did an anthology which included her essay on community organizing. Before moving to Charlotte in 2004, Seldin-Cohen worked as a sales & marketing executive for privately held businesses, including the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team. She started her career in management consulting, primarily at Booz Allen in Chicago. Seldin-Cohen earned her MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.

Local Practitioner Panel – Deep Dive: Jobs and HIRE Charlotte



Emily Cantrell

Emily Cantrell

Engagement Director, Matlen Silver

Emily W. Cantrell is an Engagement Director for Matlen Silver, one of the top 50 technology recruiting firms in the U.S. She leads corporate relationship development for existing and prospective clients and helps promote Matlen Silvers’ brand in the Charlotte and Raleigh markets. She joined Matlen Silver in July 2022 after 17 years in economic development for the City of Charlotte. While with the city, Emily led talent development initiatives spanning from business recruitment and expansion to workforce development and economic mobility. Emily was also the Chief of Staff for Mayor Jennifer Roberts from 2015-2017. Emily received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies from Furman University, and a Master of Science in Organization Development from Queens University of Charlotte. She is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Children and Family Services Center. Emily lives in Charlotte with her husband Wade, who is a CMPD officer, and their two children.



Anna London

Anna London

Chief Operating Officer, Charlotte Works

Anna London, workforce champion and advocate for individuals in need, currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Charlotte Works. Charlotte Works, Mecklenburg County’s workforce development board, ensures the growing region has a skilled workforce that meets the current and future needs of employers through collaborations with business, government, education and training, and community partners. In her role, London manages performance, compliance, and continuous improvement, and ensuring that programming aligns with the organization’s strategic workforce plan. She has experience in various facets of workforce development including program development and administration and organizational development. London, a Charlotte native, has been with Charlotte Works for over eight years. She serves on several local boards and committees. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in professional counseling. She has spent several years in the counseling and human services industry with experience in crisis intervention and behavioral health.



Raquel Lynch

Raquel Lynch

Chief Program Officer, Goodwill

Raquel Lynch joined Goodwill in 2017 and leads the activities of all Career Services departments located at the Goodwill Opportunity Campus including the Career Center, Goodwill University, Family Stability Services, Evaluation & Assessment, and partner relations. Prior to serving at Goodwill, Raquel managed all of the assistance programs at Crisis Assistance Ministry as their Chief Program Officer. While there, she led the development of a comprehensive Community Advocacy Program that elevated the needs in our community and opportunities to support and address issues related to poverty. Raquel has a passion for service and has participated on a variety of boards and committees in our community. She currently serves on the board of Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont and is a member of the NC Assets Alliance Steering Committee. A native of Venezuela, Raquel holds a B.A. in Communications from Hofstra University, completed NYU’s Wagner IGNITE Fellowship and Wake Forest University’s Business Essentials for Nonprofit Organizations program. Raquel is also a graduate of the American Leadership Forum, Leadership Development Initiative.



Robert Nesbit

Robert Nesbit

Chief of Staff, Mecklenburg County Consolidated Human Services Agency

Robert Nesbit is the Chief of Staff for Mecklenburg County’s Consolidated Human Services Agency, which includes the departments of Public Health, Social Services, Community Support Services and Community Resources. These departments have a total annual budget of $350 million with 2,800 employees serving the 1.1 million residents of the Charlotte/ Mecklenburg County community. As Chief of Staff, Robert collaborates with the Deputy County Manager/Consolidated Human Services Agency Director on strategic priorities, integrating workstreams, managing communication and leading special projects in workforce development and behavioral health. Prior to serving as Chief of Staff, he worked in homelessness and housing services for nearly a decade, helping establish two Housing First programs for people experiencing chronic homelessness in Mecklenburg County.



Blair Stanford

Blair Stanford

Executive Director, Charlotte Executive Leadership Council

Blair Stanford serves as the Executive Director of the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council (CELC), a role she has held since December 2020. The CELC, which operates under the Foundation For The Carolinas, consists of the CEOs of some of Charlotte’s largest headquarters companies and other key leaders. Prior to the CELC role, Blair led key initiatives at the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance (formerly the Charlotte Chamber), where she began in 1993 as a Public Relations manager and advanced steadily through the years to serve as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President. Serving in the role of COO during the last 14 years of her 27-year tenure with the organization, she managed teams who were collectively responsible for driving economic growth and prosperity for all in the Charlotte Region through economic recruitment, advocacy, talent attraction and corporate engagement. Her role afforded her the opportunity to manage special projects, which included serving as staff lead for the merger of the Charlotte Chamber and the Charlotte Regional Partnership, the Democratic National Convention, the 2006 CEO search, several economic planning efforts, the renovation of the chamber space and the transition to a new model of operation. She serves/has served on the boards of the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program, CMS Career and Technical Education Board, MeckCounts, Hands on Charlotte, Queens University Alumni, Dore Academy, Collaborative Arts Theatre and Slow Food Charlotte, among others. She served as President for the Charlotte Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Honors received include Outstanding Alumnae (Queens University), 50 Most Influential Women (Mecklenburg Times), Women in Business Achievement Award (Charlotte Business Journal) and 40 Under 40 (Charlotte Business Journal). Blair, a Charlotte native, is a proud graduate of Queens University, where she also earned her Executive Coaching Certification. She and husband, Michael, have a daughter, Quincy, and son, Jack.