Deputy Executive Director
Serving as the Director of Strategic Planning for the past 16 years, Shelley Smith works closely with the senior leadership team to provide planning and technical support for HANO’s operational, programmatic, and capital development initiatives. Smith also coordinates the Public Housing Agency (PHA) Plan’s annual preparation process and facilitates various grants and special applications, policy analysis, needs assessments, performance monitoring, and organizational improvement efforts for the Housing Authority. Formerly, Smith was Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Office of Planning and Community Services where she, in conjunction with nine planners, formulated strategic plans for housing, human services, and neighborhood revitalization in partnership with the City’s Community Development Block Grant Program. She earned a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree from Tulane University.
Acting Deputy Director of Administration / CFO
Stacy Jackson is the Acting Deputy Director of Administration / Chief Financial Officer for the Housing Authority of New Orleans. In this role, Stacy provides financial leadership for the Agency’s operating and capital budgets, accounting and internal controls processes. Stacy joined HANO in 2012 as a Staff Accountant and was promoted to Finance Director in 2018. Prior to joining HANO, Stacy held several finance and accounting roles in banking and manufacturing at Provident Bank,Kroger and Pepsi. She has deep domain expertise in financial planning and analysis, accounting, internal controls, enterprise risk management, auditing and compliance. A native of New Orleans, LA, Stacy attended the University of Notre Dame on an academic scholarship where she received her undergraduate degree in Finance and Business Economics in 1990.
Director of Client Services
Jedidiah Jackson is the Director of Client Services after joining the HANO team in July 2020. As the Director of Client Services, Jedidiah manages the day-to-day operations of the Client Services Department which works to develop pathways to self-sufficiency for HANO public housing residents and Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) participants.
Prior to joining HANO, Jedidiah spent eight years as the Director of Jefferson Community Action Programs (JeffCAP) in Jefferson Parish government as a member of the administration of two Parish Presidents. As the Director of JeffCAP, Jedidiah worked to grow and develop programs for the low to median income residents of Jefferson Parish. For example, Jedidiah and his team successfully expanded the Head Start program to a best practices birth to 5 model, and also restarted the summer youth employment program that was dormant for years.
Prior to working in Jefferson Parish, Jedidiah was a member of the district office staff for Congressman Joseph Cao, and was tasked with dealing with housing and education issues. He also worked for Stantec/MWH where he developed a community outreach plan with the City of New Orleans for keeping the community on recovery projects.
A native of New Orleans, Jedidiah is a graduate of De La Salle High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans, and a master’s degree from Tulane University.
Director of Development & Modernization
Gionne Jourdan is the Director of Development and Modernization at the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO). In her current role, Jourdan manages the agency’s in-progress development and modernization projects, and provides direction for capital improvement grants budgeting for agency and strategic plans. She is also responsible for overseeing the Section 3/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program, and works closely with the Finance and Legal departments to negotiate business terms on development loans.
Jourdan brings over 12 years of experience in affordable housing development - rental and homeownership – and project management to HANO. In 2015, she founded GLJ Consulting, LLC., a housing and development consulting company that provides development, project management, and affordable housing services to public housing authorities and private, first-time affordable housing developers. Jourdan has previously served as a Project Management/Strategic Planning Consultant to the Phenix City Housing Authority (PHCA), assisting the Executive Director with the revitalization of four of its public housing sites, including Riverview Courts Apartments, a multi-phase, multi-site development located on the Chattahoochee River. In addition, she assisted PCHA with the preparation of the its Developer RFQ, developer selection process, Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) financing plan and RCC submissions packages, preparation and submission of its FHLB Affordable Housing Program application as well as performing other project management duties.
Prior to starting GLJ Consulting, Gionne worked as a Project Manager II with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), where she primarily worked with development partners and consortium members to construct affordable housing under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2) – managing six partners for the creation of 90 single-family homes throughout the City of New Orleans, specifically in neighborhoods heavily impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Under NSP2, Gionne also spearheaded the development of The S. Saratoga Street Residences, a five-unit, new construction, affordable housing effort in which NORA performed as a first-time developer. Gionne managed both the residential and non-residential component of the project, the latter using Target Zone Program Income funds. Her affordable housing experience with NORA also included managing three developers under NORA’s Residential Construction Lending program for the creation of an additional 25 units of affordable housing.
Prior to working with NORA, Gionne worked with Michaels Development Company as a Development Officer in its Southeast Regional office. As an Officer, she assisted the Sr. Vice President of Development in all aspects of project development and management, including securing financing; community outreach; coordinating with the public housing authorities, housing finance agencies, and community partners and stakeholders; and development team. She actively worked on two, large-scale HOPE VI Community Revitalization efforts in New Orleans, Louisiana and Tampa, Florida. These developments totaled more than 1,300 units of mixed-income housing with a combined total development cost of nearly $125 million. In New Orleans, for each respective development phase, she helped to secure 4% and 9% low-income housing tax credits – pre and post Katrina – through the Louisiana Housing Corporation (formerly the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency), tax exempt-bonds and PILOTs through the New Orleans Industrial Development Board, Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) funding through FHLB Chicago and HA loans through the Housing Authority of New Orleans. Gionne is also a licensed Louisiana realtor. As a result, she understands the local housing market and analyzing property for rental development or sale.
Jourdan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Print Journalism from Loyola University New Orleans, and a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from University of New Orleans. She is a member of the National Association of Realtors, New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors, Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans, and the Preservation Resource Center.
Director of Housing Choice Voucher Program / Special Programs Administrator
April Kennedy is the Director of the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP). In her current role, Kennedy is responsible for the direction and leadership of the HCVP department that serves 18,000 participating families and the services provided to clients. She also oversees the admissions, initial leasing, inspections, occupancy, annual re-certification, and client/customer relation services for the HCVP.
Kennedy joined the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) in 2012 to oversee the implementation of the Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) Grant awarded to HANO and the City of New Orleans. As part of the grant implementation, she was responsible for the coordination and management of all three core areas of the grant which focuses on housing, people, and neighborhoods. Working closely with the Iberville Resident Working Team (IRWT), HANO departments, the City of New Orleans, project developers, and other partners, Kennedy led one of the most important initiatives in the City of New Orleans. She also served as the key point of contact with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) staff in Washington, D.C.
Prior to her current position at HANO, Kennedy worked with the Louisiana Quadel Housing Services under the Statewide Permanent Supportive Housing Program (PSH). Her professional background includes over 15 years of experience in affordable housing, community development, not-for-profit management, and federal, state, and local grants administration. Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University.
Kevin Oufnac is the General Counsel for the Housing Authority of New Orleans, and manages the agency’s Legal Department. In conjunction with the Legal staff, Oufnac oversees, identifies, and responds to legal issues on behalf of the Board of Commissioners and various agency departments; represents the agency in court and administrative proceedings; and handles public record requests. Oufnac joined HANO in April 2012 as an Attorney for the agency, and was eventually promoted to Deputy General Counsel. Prior to joining HANO, Oufnac spent more than 20 years litigating cases in more than thirty states, and is also a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the South Carolina State Bar Association. Oufnac received his Bachelor’s Degree from Tulane University, and is a graduate of Loyola University’s School of Law.
Director of Information Technology
Allan Rivera is the Director of HANO’s Information Technology Department and has more than 14 years of Information Technology experience. He joined HANO in 2010, and presently oversees the Information Technology Department. Prior to joining HANO, Rivera was a Senior Network Consultant and Engineer for Carrollton Technology Partners and the Manager of Information System for The Blood Center. With over 14 years of professional experience, Rivera has an extensive knowledge of the Information Technology field and has a number of certifications, including Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE), Microsoft Certified System Administrator Messaging (MCSA), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), and CompTIA IT Project Management (Project+). Rivera holds an Associate’s Degree in Computer Information Technology, and Computer Networking from Delgado Community College and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Computing Systems and Technology at Tulane University.
Lesley E. Thomas
Lesley E. Thomas
Director of Communications & Intergovernmental Relations
Lesley E. Thomas is the Director of Communications and Intergovernmental Relations and manages the day-to-day implementation of the agency’s public and media relations strategy. Thomas is responsible for maintaining organizational goals and objectives by developing external and internal informational programs, including the dissemination of newsletters, briefing documents, pamphlets and brochures, and other marketing and public relations tools, and provides intergovernmental support to the Executive Director on legislative activities at the state and federal level. Prior to her current position, Thomas served as HANO’s Public Information Officer and was responsible for managing media and community relations. Before joining HANO in 2011, Thomas worked as a Senior Publicist and Press Writer for the City of New Orleans. Thomas holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mass Communications from Southern University and A&M College.
Director of Human Resources
Kelly Walker is the Director of Human Resources at HANO and supervises various functions of the Human Resources Department. In her current position, Walker manages the day-to-day processes of the HR Department, consisting of recruitment, orientation, compensation, staff management, employee relations, organizational change, employee development, and employee training. Before her appointment as Manager of Human Resources this year, Walker previously served as the HR Generalist and Senior HR Generalist at HANO. Walker holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and a Masters of Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resource Management (MBA/HRM). In addition, Walker is an active member and Conference Ambassador for the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the local Human Resource Management Association (HRMA) of New Orleans.
Bejide Legania is the Head of the Procurement and Contracts Department for the Housing Authority of New Orleans. In her current role, she is responsible for managing Procurement and Contract Administration, including Minority Business Enterprise, Women Business Enterprise, Section 3 Agency Plans, and Inventory Management. As Procurement Manager, Bejide serves as HANO's contracting advisor and is responsible for providing the Authority with an overall efficient, skillful, and timely procurement process. Specializing in procurement, contract, human resource, budget, and training administration, Bejide has garnered over 14 years of experience as the highest-ranked department administrator throughout her pre-HANO professional tenure. Bejide refined many of her skills during her nine years of progressive experience as the Procurement, HR, and Budget Manager for the City of New Orleans' Office of Information Technology & Innovation. She was held in high regard throughout the City as a reliable point-of-contact for her procurement expertise which landed her a Super User role in Buyspeed, the City’s previous ERP system. She also served as a Project Lead for the implementation of the City's new ERP system, BRASS. Additionally, Bejide held roles with procurement oversight as the HR Training Administrator at Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery (formerly ConocoPhillips) and as the Administrative Unit Manager for the Louisiana Department of Health's STD, HIV, and Hepatitis Program. Bejide attended Louisiana Tech University on a track & field and academic scholarship. She was an All-American long jumper and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Pre-Law) and a minor in Journalism. She also has a Master of Science in Hospitality & Tourism Management and an MBA from the University of New Orleans and a Master of Public Administration from Capella University. She loves music, traveling, cooking, event planning, coaching with her husband on their summer track team, Sprint Nola, and spending time with her two kids, Nile Jr. and Nia.