Our Staff

 

Oji Alexander - Executive director

Oji Alexander is the former Senior Project Manager at Project Home Again, a nonprofit housing and community development organization in New Orleans. In this capacity, Oji led the development, maintenance and sale of over 170 new, energy-efficient, hurricane-resistant homes in the neighborhoods of northern Gentilly. He has worked with NORA and private real estate professionals to facilitate the transfer of over 250 properties that were blighted or abandoned so they could be used for housing development, gardens or lot-next-door expansions. Oji managed a staff of two in addition to overseeing Project Home Again’s construction team. He worked at PHA since 2008.

Prior to joining Project Home Again, Oji was the manager of a 190-seat restaurant in Westhampton Beach, NY where he managed a staff of 50 employees.  Oji received a Bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communication with minor in secondary education from The State University of New York at Albany.

Oji is a resident of the Oak Park neighborhood in Gentilly and is an active member in the Oak Park Neighborhood Association. Oji also sits on the boards of Hike for Katreena, a non-profit organization dedicated to replacing the tens of thousands of trees lost during Hurricane Katrina and Home By Hand, a non-profit self-help housing developer. 

 

erica toriello - director of outreach and homebuyer services

Erica is the former Director of Sales and Marketing at Project Home Again and a Licensed Realtor with The Birdsong Realty Group. A native New Yorker, she received her B.A. from Oberlin College in Ohio. Erica joined the Project Home Again team in 2009 and began working with PHA to assist people who had lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina. Since then, Erica has helped over 150 returning families and 1st time homebuyers move into brand new PHA homes. She guided them through the entire home-buying process, including application, intake, assistance with credit repair and title clearing, income verification, packaging loan applications and negotiating with lenders. In addition to sales and marketing of the homes, Erica has worked with several federal and private grant programs to help facilitate the buying process, qualify applicants, and ensure program compliance.

 

andy fritzshall - Senior project manager

Andy Fritzshall is a founding member of Home by Hand, the former Project Manager at Project Home Again, and is also a licensed Realtor with The Birdsong Realty Group. As a member of the Project Home Again staff from 2011-2016, Andy assisted with project development, federal grant compliance, and guiding both returning and first-time homeowners to their new PHA homes. He also administered a city-wide demolition program using federal NSP2 funds, and performed intake and site-assessment for a home weatherization retrofitting program.

Originally from Chicago, Andy moved to New Orleans in 2005 to attend Tulane University. After graduating in 2009, he served as an AmeriCorps volunteer with two New Orleans nonprofits. While at Rebuilding Together New Orleans, Andy rebuilt homes destroyed during Hurricane Katrina and managed volunteer groups of all ages and sizes. At Southeast Louisiana Legal Services he helped organize the group's response to the BP oil spill by coordinating outreach and client intake efforts. 

catelyn williams - project manager

Catelyn Williams is the former Community and Corporate Relations Manager at Rebuilding Together New Orleans, a program of the Preservation Resource Center. While at RTNO, she over saw day-to-day operations of intake, various corporate volunteer builds, and partnerships. She has organized hundreds of volunteer teams and planned RTNO's biggest annual fundraiser, October Build. Catelyn is a native New Orleanian, raised in Central City, and received her B.A in Mass Communications from Dillard University. She has worked at various local non-profits across the city ranging from healthcare, housing, education, and community outreach.

 

Carey SHea - director of special initiatives

As the Director of Special Initiatives, Carey is leading the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act initiative.  Carey Shea is the former Executive Director of Home by Hand and of Project Home Again, a community revitalization and affordable housing organization rebuilding the neighborhoods of northern New Orleans. From September 2012 until December 2013 Carey was a loaned-executive to the City of New Orleans where she worked with the Director of Housing Policy and Community Development to design and implement a $52 million soft-second mortgage program that enabled over 1,000 residents to become first-time homeowners in Orleans Parish.  She arrived in New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina to project manage the disaster recovery planning process -- the Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP) -- for the Rockefeller Foundation.  Upon completion of the planning process, she launched and implemented the $25 million Community Revitalization Fund for the Greater New Orleans Foundation.  Carey has also worked for the Surdna Foundation, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Habitat for Humanity, and the East New York Urban Youth Corps, which she founded.  Carey was the founder and president of an urban homesteading (sweat-equity) rehab project in New York City in the 1980s.

 

Our Board

Nia Davis - BOARD PRESIDENT

A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Nia received her Bachelor’s Degree from Louisiana State University and Master's Degree in Education from the University of New Orleans. As both a researcher and practitioner, Nia has contributed to the fields of Adult Education, Non-Profit Leadership and Entrepreneurship. In addition to her professional work, Nia serves as a Success Strategist to agencies and individuals and a Social Media Influencer. Nia has applied her achievements in Post-Secondary and Higher Education to her current role as Student Services Coordinator in the Adult Education Program at Delgado Community College in New Orleans where she oversees programing focused on student persists and transition along their academic goals’ continuum. In recent years she also served as Adjunct Faculty at Delgado teaching College and Career Success Skills and Entrepreneurship and at Richland Community College of Dallas, Texas’ Non-Profit Leadership Program. In her free time, Nia can be found being of service to her beloved New Orleans community through Board and Committee Memberships and also promoting learning, love and growth through speaking engagements and various written and digital formats. Nia is a Home by Hand homeowner.

Matthew Texler - Board Treasurer

Veronica Reed - Board Secretary

Aimee Chambers

Jana Graber

Melissa Soniat

Dee Green