NALCAB Staff

Noel Poyo, Executive Director

Email: npoyo@nalcab.org

Noel Andrés Poyo represents and serves a diverse national network of over 100 Latino-led community and economic development organizations in more than 40 states and the District of Columbia. He advocates nationally on behalf of the NALCAB membership as well as for low-income Latino and immigrant communities.

Poyo is a national leader in the community development and asset building industry with more than 15 years of experience in residential real estate and neighborhood economic development. His career has focused on integrating low-income people and immigrants into mainstream financial services and real estate sectors of our economy as well as improving the livability and economic resilience of low-income neighborhoods and affordable housing communities.

As Executive Director of NALCAB and as a private consultant, Poyo has led teams that have raised more than $275 million in private and federal investments for socially-motivated real estate and economic development projects and he has played various roles in the implementation of projects valued over $1 billion. His experience also includes increasing the effectiveness, sustainability and innovation of municipal agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Poyo serves on the National Community Advisory Board for BBVA Compass Bank, the Board of Directors of the Center for Responsible Lending and advises the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve as one of fifteen members of the Fed’s Community Advisory Council.

A graduate of Yale University, Poyo is bicultural and bilingual. He is a proud husband and father of three girls.


Carolina Buitrago, Program Coordinator

Email: cbuitrago@nalcab.org | Direct Line: 210.625.4074

Carolina Buitrago is a NALCAB Program Coordinator. She is responsible for conducting evaluations, research and analysis; grant writing, resource development and providing technical assistance to members.

Carolina previously served as a Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Assistant with the Secretary of Food Security and Nutrition in Guatemala during her response service in the Peace Corps. In this role, Carolina supported the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of a national food security program focused on the reduction of chronic childhood malnutrition. Previously, she interned at Olneyville Housing Corporation in Rhode Island and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in India. While at UNICEF, Carolina co-wrote a paper and publication about the Link Worker Scheme project which focused on HIV/AIDS intervention and provided research and recommendations to state government leaders. Carolina has also served as an education volunteer with the Peace Corps in Cape Verde and in Colombia, her native country.

Carolina is a graduate of Clark University in Worcester, MA with a Master’s degree in International Development and Social Change. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida in Anthropology. Carolina is fluent in English and Spanish and conversational in Italian, Portuguese and Creole.


Natalia Chaves, Program Coordinator

Email: nchaves@nalcab.org | Direct Line: 210.455.4383

Natalia Chaves, Program Coordinator, supports NALCAB’s Small Business Development and Colegio Fellowship programs.

Before joining NALCAB, Natalia worked as a Graduate Assistant at the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center, a mixed-business incubator of the College of Business of Texas A&M University Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC).

Natalia graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Management and earned her Master’s degree in Business Management (MBA).

Natalia is the former president of the PorColombia Chapter at TAMU-CC, which assists a foundation for children with special needs in her native country of Colombia. She is a member of the Young Business Professionals of the Coastal Bend, The International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma, and a founding member of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization of TAMU-CC.


Paul DeManche, Program Manager

Email: pdemanche@nalcab.org | Direct Line: 210.399.4536

As a Program Manager, Paul DeManche manages and provides support for NALCAB’s Equitable Neighborhood Development and Rural Capacity Building programs.

Before joining NALCAB, Paul worked as a community liaison with the Neighborhoods Partnership Network in New Orleans where he connected residents and community organizations to capacity building opportunities focusing on critical urban issues.

Paul has also worked with the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab), a center for planning and development within the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning. At CoLab, Paul managed a fellowship program that brought together a group of labor and community leaders from around the U.S. to investigate new approaches to organizing. As part of his work with a real estate development company in Panama City, Panama, Paul managed a community center, administered properties containing a small business incubator, and co-designed a rehabilitation, job-training and entrepreneurship program for at-risk and gang-affiliated young men.

Paul has a Master’s degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Development from McGill University.


Ana Esparza, Program Assistant

Email: aesparza@nalcab.org | Direct Line: 210.625.4075

Ana Esparza is a Program Assistant at NALCAB. In her role she primarily supports the Equitable Neighborhood Development team, with a focus on GIS mapping and research.

Prior to joining NALCAB, Ana was involved with several research opportunities focused on community and economic development on the Eastside of San Antonio.

Ana graduated from Trinity University with a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Political Science.


Holly Frindell, Associate Director

Email: hfrindell@nalcab.org | Direct Line: 210.399.4532

Holly Frindell, Associate Director, oversees NALCAB’s Small Business Development and Financial Capability program areas.

Holly brings over seven years of experience in municipal and non-profit program management addressing issues such as financial empowerment, economic development and homelessness. Prior to joining NALCAB, she worked for the City of San Antonio Department of Human Services, where she coordinated the implementation of the San Antonio’s first ever Financial Empowerment Centers to provide free, one-on-one financial counseling to San Antonio residents. Previously, at the New York City Department of Homeless Services, she helped develop and implement an innovative rental subsidy program with a cash match component, working closely with national asset building organizations, national and local funders, local credit unions and banks and community based organizations to build an effective program. She also served for a year as a fulltime volunteer at Mercy Center in the South Bronx, a community center that empowers women and their families to develop skills for healthy family living and economic advancement.

Holly earned her Master’s degree in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from The Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School in New York and her Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Spanish from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.


Valerie Galvan, Accountant

Email: vgalvan@nalcab.org | Direct Line: 210.455.4385

As the NALCAB staff Accountant, Valerie Galvan is responsible for day-to-day accounting activities, accounts payable and payroll.

Previously, Valerie interned in the University of Texas-Pan American (now UTRGV) Grants and Contracts Department where she assisted with scholarship disbursements and programs.

Valerie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and is planning to continue her education in UTSA’s graduate program next year.


Fernando Garcia, Chief Financial Officer

Email: fgarcia@nalcab.org |Direct Line: 210.446.4281

As NALCAB’s Chief Financial Officer, Fernando brings the highest level of organizational leadership and strategic financial planning to the organization. He has over 30 years of progressive executive financial management experience that includes audit and tax consulting services to nonprofit, real estate, partnership and corporate entities. Prior to joining NALCAB Fernando served in a CFO-level position at another nationally recognized nonprofit and operated his own accounting and tax consulting practice.

Fernando plays an important role in sustaining NALCAB’s fiscal growth and stability and oversees all financial activity, including cash flow planning, asset management, and monitoring of financial strategies and investments. He ensures that NALCAB practices the highest standards of nonprofit management and maintains legal and regulatory compliance in all financial functions. Fernando’s responsibilities include managing the finance, accounting, human resources and information technology operational support systems. He is adept in streamlining financial processes, introducing process improvements, and implementing technology solutions.

Fernando is fluent in English and Spanish and holds a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX.


Celina Gomez, Senior Accounting Manager

Email: cgomez@nalcab.org |Direct Line: 210.399.4540

As NALCAB Senior Accounting Manager, Celina Gomez is responsible for managing the accounting team to ensure efficiency and compliance throughout all financial and grant reporting and analysis.

Celina brings extensive experience in accounting and finance from a wide range of industries, including banking, construction, manufacturing, consulting and retail.

Celina graduated Cum Laude and received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX.


Nicole Goodman, Evaluation and Resource Development Manager

Email: ngoodman@nalcab.org | Direct Line: 210.702.3339

Program Manager, Nicole Goodman is responsible for evaluating member projects and NALCAB asset building efforts, as well as ensuring the effective assessment of NALCAB’s programmatic outcomes and impacts. Nicole manages NALCAB’s portfolio of fee-for-service activity as well as all research initiatives, including surveys, research projects, and research-oriented grant deliverables. Nicole also supports the Programs Team through the refinement and implementation of data collection, data collection tools, and analysis methodology.

Prior to joining NALCAB, Nicole was the Research Analyst/Project Manager for Centro San Antonio, a downtown community development corporation. In her role, she managed databases on businesses and properties in the downtown area and developed downtown’s first commercial property market reports. Nicole also conducted research related to the organization’s initiatives such as policy development, survey work, GIS mapping, and general data, as well as managing select community planning efforts. She has also worked as an SA2020 Downtown Development Fellow, as well as a Programs Support Intern at NALCAB.

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies with a concentration in Issues and Policy from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.


Tamara Hopkins, Contracts and Compliance Manager

Email: thopkins@nalcab.org | Direct Line: 210.455.4386

Tamara Hopkins currently serves as NALCAB’s Contracts and Compliance Manager. In this capacity, she is primarily responsible for the administrative management of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) contracts and grant programs.

Prior to assuming her current role, Tamara served as a Management Analyst and Compliance Senior Analyst with the City of San Antonio for four years where she assisted with the administration and compliance of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program projects, and multi-family rental projects serving LMI persons.

Tamara has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from the University of Houston and a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of the Incarnate Word.


Sofia Lopez, Program Manager

Email: slopez@nalcab.org | Direct Line: 210.455.4384

As a NALCAB Program Manager, Sofia manages small business development programs.

Previously, Sofia worked for the City of San Antonio’s Department of Planning and Community Development. At the City her work focused on land use and supporting policy to achieve balanced, community scale growth and revitalization, with a particular focus on fostering a mix of housing and commercial development.

Sofia holds a Master’s degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College.


Levar Martin, Programs Director

Email: lmartin@nalcab.org |Direct Line: 210.775.6054

Levar Martin is the Director of NALCAB’s programmatic work. In this role, he oversees all work including the provision of data analysis – asset mapping and housing and market assessments; technical assistance to member organizations and government entities around affordable housing, community development and economic development programs; community inclusion – facilitating community and stakeholder engagement; and fair housing – managing a national fair housing program and analyzing fair housing choice based on asset mapping.

Levar joined NALCAB in 2011 as a program assistant, and then served as the program coordinator for the U.S. HUD CPLC/NALCAB Neighborhood Stabilization Program Round 2 Consortium. Levar later moved on to serve as Special Assistant to the Executive Director, Program Manager, Senior Program Manager and now Director of Equitable Neighborhood Development. Prior to joining NALCAB, Levar worked as a Manager for a small business for five years and spent a semester as an intern in the City of San Antonio’s Department of Planning and Community Development, focusing on GIS.

A San Antonio native, Levar earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a concentration in Urban Studies from Trinity University and a Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning, from the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). He is happily married and the father of a baby boy.


Melissa Medina, Program Coordinator

Email: mmedina@nalcab.org | Direct Line: 210.767.3098

Melissa Medina joined NALCAB as a program intern and has continued her career at NALCAB as a Program Coordinator. In this role, she supports NALCAB’s Equitable Neighborhood Development programmatic work which consists of GIS mapping and research related to affordable housing policies and community economic development.

Previously, Melissa worked as a graduate assistant at the Center for Urban and Regional Planning Research, which is housed in the College of Architecture, Construction, and Planning at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). In her role as a graduate assistant, Melissa worked with GIS, Google Sketchup and Adobe Photoshop to create 3D visuals to help address ongoing planning concerns in Texas cities. She also interned for the City of Cibolo, TX, in the Planning & Engineering Department where she assisted the City Planner.

Melissa is fluent in English and Spanish and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture. She recently earned her Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UTSA with a specialization in Housing and Sustainable Community Development.


Jessica Mueller, Operations Assistant

Email: jmueller@nalcab.org |Direct Line: 210.399.4541

Jessica Mueller serves as NALCAB’s Operations Assistant. In this role, Jessica supports the Director of Operations by providing general operational and administrative support and acts as a liaison for technology support and facility contractors to ensure the smooth operations of NALCAB’s headquarters.

Before joining NALCAB, Jessica managed a franchise bakery where she managed overall store operations as well as the hiring and training of employees.

Jessica holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX and is a wife and mother of three beautiful children.


Manuel T. Ochoa, AICP, Director of Federal Affairs

Email: moachoa@nalcab.org |Direct Line: 202.559.9239

Manuel T. Ochoa is Director of Federal Affairs at NALCAB leading federal that includes HUD programs such as fair housing, rural capacity building, and CDBG, HOME, and other TA to communities and PHAs. Prior to coming to NALCAB, Manuel was Senior Policy Analyst and Program Director for Enterprise Community Partners where he led Enterprise fair housing policy work. In 2015, Manuel was the project manager in Miami that made recommendations to the city on how to use city-owned land for affordable housing through the National Resources Network for Cities. He has over 20 years of experience in urban planning, housing, and community development.

Previously, Manuel was Regional Director of Homeownership for the Latino Economic Development Center, a NALCAB member in the Washington metro area where he expanded and improved the quality of LEDC’s housing counseling program. As director of housing counseling, Manuel managed a team of seven counselors who served approximately 1000 clients a year through pre-purchase counseling, foreclosure prevention, and financial coaching. Manuel was also active in local housing policy and community development advocacy in the region where he was a frequent spokesperson on the impacts of foreclosure in the region. Manuel also launched and produced a weekly Spanish language call-in program focused on financial and housing counseling advice.

Prior to LEDC, Manuel served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs in HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD). He was responsible for the day-to-day management of the Community Development Block Grant Program, HOME program, and Environmental Review office. He also had oversight for over $30 billion in disaster relief assistance to the Gulf Coast and the Midwest. He led the Department’s effort to rapidly and successfully launch the first Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Over seven years, Manuel worked in various positions in CPD and the Office of Policy Development and Research and worked closely with dozens of mayors, governors, Congressional representatives and their staffs on wide variety of issues that impact cities and local governments.

Manuel is a native of Miami, Florida and a graduate of the University of Miami. He holds a Master’s Degree in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Manuel enjoys living in a walkable urban neighborhood in Friendship Heights, Maryland with his wife and two children.


Daniel Palacios, Policy Associate

Email: dpalacios@nalcab.org | Direct Line: 202.559.9086

Daniel Palacios helps advance NALCAB’s policy priorities as a policy associate in the organization’s Washington, DC office. In his role, he supports national policy partnerships and coordinates member engagement in the public policymaking process. He is also a Fellow in the Asset Building Policy Network (ABPN).

Daniel previously worked as a Capitol Hill staffer in the office of U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin, where he focused on economic policy issues. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and History from Northwestern University.


Colton Powell, Program Coordinator

Email: cpowell@nalcab.org | Direct Line: 210.446.4283

As a Program Coordinator, Colton supports NALCAB’s Federal Technical Assistance, Small Business Development and Financial Capability program areas.

Prior to joining NALCAB, Colton worked at a member organization where he managed a small business grant program and supported neighborhood development efforts in San Antonio’s westside.

Colton is an AmeriCorps alum and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Colorado State University and a Master’s in Public Administration from St. Mary’s University.


Bernardo Ramirez, Director of Operations

Email: bramirez@nalcab.org | Direct Line: 210.399.4537

Bernardo Ramirez is the Director of Operations at NALCAB. In this role, Bernardo leads the evaluation of NALCAB’s policies and procedures, strengthening responsiveness, compliance and consistency across all business units.

Prior to joining NALCAB, Bernardo was the Chief Operations Officer at the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri. He also served as the Executive Director of the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) in Kansas City, a nonprofit economic development corporation that exists to improve economic opportunities for the greater Kansas City area.

He has served as a Deputy Vice President at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) managing its five regional offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Washington, DC. He also served as the Director of NCLR’s Midwest Regional Office in Chicago, Illinois providing various levels of assistance to more than 50 Midwest affiliates.

Bernardo is bilingual and holds a Master’s degree in business administration from Rockhurst University in Kansas City. He participates in various community based organizations as a volunteer and board member and is married with five children and three grandchildren.


Antonio “Tony” Rivera, CMP, Event Planning Manager

Email: arivera@nalcab.org | Direct Line: 210.455.4387

Tony Rivera, the Event Manager for NALCAB helps spread the associations mission by coordinating trainings, conferences and networking opportunities for members and other industry professionals.

Tony is a Certified Meeting planner and Certified Special Events Professional with over 21 years of experience in venue management, meeting planning, volunteer coordination, event coordination, site selection, entertainment acquisition, festival coordination and contract negotiations.

Tony, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio Texas.


Carol Rodríguez, Director of Training and Leadership Development

Email: crodriguez@nalcab.org | Direct Line: 210.775.6055

As NALCAB’s Director of Training and Leadership Development, Carol Rodriguez manages all programmatic work, including equitable neighborhood development, small business development and family financial capability. In addition, she oversees NALCAB’s federally-funded technical assistance programs to municipalities, states and rural nonprofit asset builders. Carol directs NALCAB’s grant making program and training events to ensure NALCAB members receive best practices in the community development field.

She also guides the NALCAB Colegio Community Economic Development Fellowship Program—a program that will begin its seventh year and has produced 83 new and emerging Latino leaders.

Carol joined NALCAB after having served as Executive Director of the Community Leadership Institute; a nonprofit dedicated to providing community leadership development and training. She has more than 25 years of experience in the public and nonprofit sector at the national, state and local level. Her work has focused on expanding asset building and leadership opportunities for low income people.

She is a certified Technology of Participation (ToP) facilitator, and a founder and former board director for Conjunto Heritage Taller, a cultural arts nonprofit in San Antonio.

Carol is bilingual and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) in San Marcos, TX.


Christopher W. Sanchez, Director of Asset Management

Email: csanchez@nalcab.org |Direct Line: 210.399.4534

As Asset Management Director, Christopher serves as NALCAB’s lead for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Neighborhood Stabilization Program II and has helped NALCAB establish its Federal Technical Assistance Program, which was made possible by funding provided by HUD’s One CPD Program and more recently, HUD’s Rural Capacity Building TA Program. Chris has also been involved in the management of NALCAB’s Northwest Area Foundation Grant Program, which seeks to expand the capacity of member organizations in the eight state region of the Northwestern United States.

Christopher launched his career at a federal credit union where he served as the Quality Assurance Manager, responsible for managing a multi-million dollar loan portfolio. Later, he went on to work for Tierra Del Sol Housing Corporation (TDS) where he served as the Homeownership Center Director. Christopher has served on various housing related boards and was instrumental in the success of a self-help affordable housing project that created a brand new 36 unit subdivision. He also developed an infill housing project that successfully created new housing units in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods within the city.

Christopher is a certified Homebuyer Education Facilitator and has conducted several financial literacy workshops and assisted in the creation of a rural IDA program. In recognition of his accomplishments at TDS, Christopher was recruited by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage to assist in the development of their Emerging Markets Program where he was instrumental in creating homeownership opportunities for underserved minority communities. Christopher utilized his knowledge of financial markets and products to successfully match borrowers with First Time Homebuyer bond funds and other down payment assistance grants intended for low and moderate income families.

Christopher is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, with a minor in Management.


Storm Taliaferrow, Membership and Impact Assessment Manager

Email: staliaferrow@nalcab.org |Direct Line: 210.767.2553

As the Membership and Impact Assessment Manager, Storm Taliaferrow oversees NALCAB’s efforts to support economic development organizations through opening access to capital and other technical assistance. She also manages membership, tracking NALCAB’s impact and services provided to members, and directs the annual membership drive.

Before joining NALCAB, Storm worked at the University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development’s Center for Community and Business Research conducting analysis on projects ranging from the economic impact of toll roads to a health care needs assessment for Texas counties in the Eagle Ford Shale. Storm has over 10 years of experience working with financial services companies including Prudential Insurance and Lazard Frères. She has also served on the Finance and Investment Committee of the New York Women’s Foundation.

Storm is originally from New York, NY and is a graduate of Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in Government.