Our Staff

Lee Raagas

Chief Executive Officer

Lee Janc Raagas has 20 years experience in financial services, investment sector, distressed assets, and housing/mortgage industries. Her career began with Dean Witter as a Loan Officer and moved up to supervision before being recruited by former DW Executives into a startup under Plaza Bank and Fleet Financial; she designed, built and managed Lending Operations supporting $5B monthly fundings and selling 80% of those originations to the secondary market which included private investors and public structures. That Division was the operating hub between Lending, Secondary Markets, Administration, International Operations and Servicing. Asked by Parent, H&R Block (HRB), she transitioned to Chief Strategy Officer. That role served as a liaison between HRB and its subsidiaries, responsible for five-year strategic plans, and a $250M Capital Expenditure budget with an Enterprise Program Management Office that included dedicated resources to 501c3 Housing Alliances. Her last strategic initiative was divesting/selling the Company to Cerberus and Wilbur Ross. Ms. Raagas went to Equator (nka AltiSource) during formative years to lead the technology company’s Business Development and Corporate Strategy to secure key relationships with HUD, FNMA, and FHLMC. The development included brand transition eventually leading the sale to AltiSource. Leveraging experience in Lending (OO), Capital Markets (HRB) and Technology (AltiSource), Ms. Raagas launched a privately held, but captive, Asset Management Company for the nations leading distressed Bond Holder; and their goal to purchase, oversee, manage and sell real estate assets in their primary and subsequent fundraisings. That fund was allocated to ensure foreclosure mitigation tactics while securing investor required ROI and IRR. Recent accomplishments include building a Merger & Acquisition Division and Virgin Island operations for Private Calabasas based Investment Firm.

Edward Romanov Jr.

Chief Financial Officer

Ed Romanov has 25+ years experience in commercial real estate finance and real estate development at the CEO and CFO levels. That experience includes leading an IPO, all aspects of an S-1 filing along with creating and establishing an NYSE REIT. Mr. Romanov began his career at Fidelity Bank and Ernst & Young where he quickly rose to managerial levels. From those roles, he was recruited and led large development projects that ranged from the $125MM to $500MM that included complex acquisitions, design and construction efforts. Rounding out that experience, Mr. Romanov continued leading real estate development efforts but transitioned into creating, negotiating and managing complex financial transactions and financing in excess of $1.2B which included public and private health care companies. The health care experience included leading a Healthcare REIT (UPREIT) and led the organization to success by facilitating and executing on a $140MM line of credit and an initial public offering of $125MM that included $275MM of healthcare assets. Furthering his financial acumen, Mr. Romanov transitioned into the technology sector where he continued his financial management success by completing three rounds of equity and debt financing ultimately selling the business. Deepening his turnaround experience, he was recruited into an organization to focus on strategic planning and diversification, which included the development of industrial parks. By building out the management team and negotiating extensive land deals resulting in a significant impact on industrial development nationwide, Mr. Romanov procured over $150MM in commitments for public infrastructure funding. That prompted winning a national development competition for major ‘build-to-suit’ project. Mr. Romanov is currently the Chief Financial Officer of the nationwide influencer in affordable, permanent supportive housing; Skid Row Housing Trust.

Sierra Atilano

Chief Real Estate Officer

Sierra Atilano holds over 22 years of experience in multiple facets of real estate, including development, portfolio management, property management, finance and construction. Her track record includes oversight and development of high value, complex real estate portfolios. Sierra has developed a sophisticated acumen related to market rate and affordable housing, including permanent supportive housing, senior housing, farm worker housing, commercial real estate, mixed use, and student housing. She has developed over 2,000 apartment homes, in 17 cities across 3 states as well as 5 luxury single family estates, and 1 million square feet of commercial retail. Starting her career with one of the largest Real Estate Investment Trust’s, Lincoln Property Company, Sierra gained a firm foundation in leadership and portfolio oversight. She then transitioned to work for a construction company specializing in the apartment industry in which she gained project management experience working on new-construction and rehab projects. Sierra then went on to work for several family owned developers such as Cal- American, Korda Construction and Miller Family Companies in which her unique experience in both project and portfolio management earned her a reputation as a problem solver and an asset to the finance and development teams . Following the real estate market crash of 2008, Sierra found her way to a small non-profit, Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation, where she applied her expertise in finance and portfolio management to affordable housing. She was then sought out by Watt Residential to oversee their residential portfolio, and assisted with several affordable acquisitions and rehabs. Over the last 9 years she has honed her asset management and development expertise working for one of the nation’s top developers, AMCAL Residential, and now as the Chief Real Estate Officer at Skid Row Housing Trust.

Monique Davis

Chief Community and Engagement Officer

As Chief Community Officer, Monique Davis is the secondary organizational contact for local, State, and Federal officials, government agencies, the business community, financial contributors, and the press to facilitate primary advocacy and ambassador functions. Monique previously served as Chief Operating Officer at Skid Row Housing Trust managing operations while overseeing cross-functional leaders to drive business continuity, administration, and project management. Monique joins the Trust with over 20 years of experience in the financial sector and service industries. At H&R Block she led operating hubs between Lending, Secondary Markets, Administration and Servicing Divisions overseeing records and collateral management requirements. At Morgan Stanley, she led the Corporate Oversight Division, which included; Human Resources, Risk Management and the Fraud Department.

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Monique’s extensive experience in varied private-sector industries provides her with a unique lens to oversee her current not-for-profit responsibilities. Previously, she served as Human Resources Manager for Drybar, a successful startup concept with over 70 locations nationwide. Weathering the challenging environment of the financial industry, from 2007-2013, Monique held Human Resources and operations positions of increasing responsibility at Morgan Stanley; Mountain LTD (an AT&T provider); and Equator, LLC (now Altisource). She enjoyed an 8-year career at H&R block as Director, Administration & Human Resources where she earned six sigma and project management certifications and was recognized by the Gallup Organization as a Top Tier (3%) nationwide leader.

Monique began her career with Disney, leading their Human Resource and Training Programs. A native of Los Angeles, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Organizational Leadership and is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach & Consultant (StrengthsFinder 2.0) through the Gallup Organization.

As an advocate for affordable housing, in addition to being a member of several housing-focused organizations within the greater Los Angeles area, Monique was an early adopter of a nationwide partnership with Habitat for Humanity which allowed for strong community alliances focused on housing. Her history in the financial sector brought the opportunity for Monique to work on several HUD initiatives including Hope Now, an initiative to facilitate maintaining homeownership during the economic real estate recession.

Monique started at the Trust as a Chief Administration Officer where she designed and administered programs, procedures, and guidelines to align the workforce with the strategic goals of the organization. With a comprehensive background in Human Resources and corporate administration, Monique understands compliance requirements, HR laws, and has the confidence and ability to make tough business and personnel decisions when necessary. Monique is a listener; she identifies and learns how challenges are affecting her organization and she solves complex problems with oftentimes simple solutions. She is adept at shifting mindsets and cultural standards in a proactive and positive way; taking what has been done well and maximizing it to become even better.

Working to end homelessness Monique was recognized by US Bank, in conjunction with People magazine, for her work with Skid Row Housing Trust. As the Chief Community Officer she partners with multiple entities for purposes related to advocacy and ambassadorship for the homeless community and the 2000 Skid Row Housing Trust residents housed in one of their 26 buildings.

She advocates for the homeless community in efforts to address the disparate impact of homelessness in the African American, Women, LBGTQI, and previously incarcerated communities. Those efforts address policies specific to these communities. Monique addresses the needs of these communities by providing suggested legal or policy changes at the appropriate government level and finds “This work, in particular, the most rewarding because I feel I am truly having a positive impact and helping to change lives for the better.”

Under Monique’s leadership as the Chief Community Officer, Skid Row Housing Trust is constantly improving internal organizational effectiveness while diligently working to transform Los Angeles into a community where everyone has a home. Monique has led these efforts by placing an emphasis on client service & expectations, identifying opportunities, streamlining processes, and enhancing personal & professional accountability. Monique has also established a strategic direction based on creating a culture of learning and training which has resulted in significantly improved employee and client engagement and optimism.

Monique’s executive-level strengths propel her to fearlessly direct, execute, and accomplish critical responsibilities within the organizations she leads. She has a strong, diversified business acumen and pays keen attention to financial accountability. Her approach to leadership has been defined as one focused on teamwork, customer service, and financial excellence while creating opportunities for staff to grow, learn, and operate within a positive and flourishing environment.

More details on Monique Davis’ career and related activities can be found via LinkedIn.

Mike Alvidrez

External Ambassador

CEO Emeritus

Having devoted 28 years to ending homelessness with Skid Row Housing Trust, 14 of those years as Executive Director then Chief Executive Officer, Mike continues to serve the Trust following his retirement in a newly created External Ambassador role. He continues to promote the work of the Trust’s affordable and permanent supportive housing services as an evidence-based solution to breaking the cycle of homelessness.

Mike is an advocate of Housing First, an innovative strategy that prioritizes the security of a permanent home as the first step to ending homelessness. Thanks to his hands-on experience, he pioneered the development of permanent supportive housing to help those facing the toughest challenges to obtaining stability and wellness.

During his tenure, the Trust has become a nationally recognized provider of permanent supportive housing that is on the forefront of building and program design. By creating beautiful, dignified buildings with on-site support services, the Trust alters both how people view our residents and how our residents view themselves.

A native Angelino with a Master’s degree from UCLA’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Mike previously worked for Community Corporation of Santa Monica. In his spare time Mike is an avid gardner, cyclist, and enjoys pickleball.

Staff and residents at the
2019 United Way HomeWalk