James joined the Northwest Side Housing Center as Executive Director in May 2012. James came to the NWSHC with over four years of experience in the non-profit housing sector. James is a graduate of John Carroll University with a BA in Race and Identity Studies. James also holds his Masters in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University. During James’ tenure at NWSHC, he has focused on expanding the NWSHC’s programs, services, and organizing efforts. He has led the growth of the NWSHC from a team of eight to 27 and increased NWSHC’s annual operating budget by over 300 percent.
Director of Operations
Sean joined the NWSHC in 2013 and is responsible for all of the programmatic reporting, compliance, and auditing for the NWSHC. He also assists with staff management, development, and organizational meetings. Before joining the NWSHC, Sean served at various non-profit and foreclosure prevention agencies, holding a leadership role at each, and brings his experience in management and leadership to the NWSHC. Sean is a graduate of Upper Iowa University, where he studied Psychology and Human Services.
Director of Programs (English/Spanish)
Esteban Rodriguez joined the NWSHC as Director of Programs in August 2016. With nearly 10 years of experience in the public sector, Esteban has devoted his career in community development that has led him working in Health, Education, Safety, Criminal Justice and now Housing. He holds a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master’s in Public Administration through the National Urban Fellow Program in New York City.
Director of Community Organizing (English/Spanish)
Vanessa Valentin was born in Puerto Rico and has lived in Chicago for 27 years. As a long-term resident of the Northwest Side, Vanessa has always been passionate about the community and working to make Northwest Chicago a great place to live. Vanessa graduated from Lincoln Park High School and holds an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Triton College.
Director of Community Development (English/Spanish)
Julio Rodríguez is a Chicago native, born and raised on the Northwest side. In his role, Julio promotes the Businesses and Jobs and Housing goals from the Belmont Cragin Quality of Life Plan. Prior to the NWSHC, Julio worked at Neighborhood Lending Services as a loan officer helping clients achieve homeownership in low-to-moderate communities. Julio graduated the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with a B.A. in Criminology, Law and Justice in 2012, and he holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Baruch College, City University of New York.
Director of Development
Linda joined the NWSHC in December 2016, bringing over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector, both in Chicago and in Providence, Rhode Island. Linda served as a fundraising and public relations consultant for BCOG Community Development, Inc.; Central Falls High School; and for Barrington Christian Academy, all in Rhode Island. She worked in fundraising and development at Chicago Youth Programs and Ballet Chicago, and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Linda holds a BA in British and American Literature from Brown University, and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Providence College.