A home of one’s own: it’s core to what it means to be human. Very few people choose to live on the street, in a shelter or institution. For many, supportive housing – affordability plus supportive services – is key to finding and maintaining a home.
At Brilliant Corners, we’ve seen amazing things happen when people embrace this Housing First mindset and a commitment to align the right housing and supportive service resources. With public and private partners, we’re building new, scalable supportive housing platforms to rapidly house thousands of formerly homeless people and those at risk of homelessness each year. We’ve also partnered with state and local agencies to create community-based housing for over 1,000 previously institutionalized Californians with developmental disabilities.
We are honored to be part of this collaborative work – meeting each person where they are, advocating for transformative systems change, aligning existing and new resources for better results. We embrace the challenge of scaling supportive housing solutions, confident that together, we can bring about the better world our hearts know is possible.
William F. Pickel
Video: Get to Know Brilliant Corners
Renee Escalante, Chief People Officer
Serena Fields, Director of Housing Development & Management
Tyler Fong, Senior Director of Program Initiatives
Sabrina Gillan, Chief Strategic Partnership Officer
Katy Halasz, Director of Data & Technology
Chulssang Ham, Chief Financial Officer
Lindsey Horton, Director of Learning and Development
Daryl James, Director of Capital Improvement Intermediary Program (CIIP)
Lisa Johnson, Statewide Case Management Director
Vanessa Luna, Director of Multifamily Supportive Housing Development
Jennifer Malvoux, Housing Services Director, Northern California
Teja McDaniel, Director of Talent Acquisition
Jonas Mok, Chief Operating Officer
Cristobal Nava, Director of Finance
Narmin Nuru, Housing Services Director, Inland Empire
Jose Osuna, Director of External Affairs
William F. Pickel, Chief Executive Officer
Sophia Rice, LA Housing Services Director
Morgan Soloski, Director of Marketing and Communications
Christopher Tolbert, Director of Human Resources
Board of Directors
Shamus Roller, Board President, Executive Director, National Housing Law Practice
Bob Mills, Board Vice President, Partner, Goldfarb & Lipman
Nancy Conk, Board Treasurer, Principal, CAC Consulting
Chris Ko, Board Secretary, Director of Homeless Initiatives, United Way of Greater Los Angeles
Earl Edwards, Research Fellow, California Policy Lab at UCLA and UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools, Doctoral Candidate at the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies
Navneet Grewal, Litigation Counsel, Civil Rights Practice Group at Disability Rights California
Donny Lieberman, Past President Emeritus, President and CEO, Sunseri Construction
Bruce Oka, Advisory Member Emeritus, Disability Rights Advocate
Director of Multifamily Supportive Housing Development
LA Housing Services Director
Sophia provides high-level oversight for the Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool in Los Angeles. Sophia has worked in both the San Francisco and Los Angeles offices at Brilliant Corners and in several different programs serving individuals with intellectual and development disabilities and people experiencing homelessness since joining the organization in 2010. In 2013, she was instrumental in writing the proposal that launched the Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool, a nationally recognized supportive housing program that houses thousands of individuals each year. As the first Associate Director overseeing Tenancy Supports for the Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool in 2018, Sophia helped to scale the program during a period of immense growth. Sophia spent many years working in direct client services and is a strong advocate for ensuring services are client-centered. Prior to joining Brilliant Corners, Sophia worked in mental health residential treatment. She holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.
Director of Talent Acquisition
Teja joined Brilliant Corners in 2022, bringing over fifteen years of strategic, international, Talent Acquisition, HR, Culture & People experience. He leads Brilliant Corners’ internal Talent Acquisition Team, that handles all recruitment needs, recruitment and hiring processes and procedures, as well as branding associated with Talent Acquisition. Prior to joining Brilliant Corners, Teja launched his own successful recruitment agency in Melbourne, Australia and has either worked with or directly for Social Media giants (LinkedIn), Big Tech (Microsoft, GitHub), Fortune 10 (Hewlett Packard), and BIG 4 (Accenture). Considering himself a collaborative builder, he has consistently worked closely with C-Suite and senior leadership, helping startups & established businesses get turned around or evolve into industry leaders.
Director of Human Resources
CT joined Brilliant Corners as Director of Human Resources in 2022, bringing over 20 years’ experience. After playing professional football for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Canada, CT launched his career as a Human Resources professional with the VA North Texas Healthcare System in Dallas, TX. Over the years, he has gained expertise and specialization in the areas of labor and employee relations, mediation, and federal EEO compliance. Prior to joining Brilliant Corners, CT most recently was the Director of HR at American National University. He holds a BA from the University of Kentucky and a Master’s in Education from Argosy University.
Director of Learning and Development
Lindsey joined Brilliant Corners in 2021, bringing over a decade of organizational development experience to the organization and currently serves as the Director of Learning and Development. In this role, she oversees the Organizational Development team which includes Learning and Development, Culture and Engagement, and Project Management. She is passionate about the employee experience and champions initiatives designed to improve it. Prior to joining Brilliant Corners, she spent a decade working for the Walt Disney Company in the People’s Republic of China. Lindsey holds a B.A. in Modern Language Studies with a focus on English and Spanish and is a certified Neurolinguistic Programming practitioner.
Housing Services Director, Northern California
Chief Program Officer
Chris leads the development and implementation of Brilliant Corners’ housing services programs statewide. He has served as a key member of Brilliant Corner’ housing services and agency-wide leadership teams in various roles since joining the organization in 2014. He is especially known for his work in developing and implementing the Los Angeles Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool (FHSP), a widely recognized model for addressing homelessness, that has facilitated permanent supportive housing placements for roughly 10,500 formerly unhoused Angelenos. As Chief Program Officer, Chris strives to serve as a trusted thought partner for system-level stakeholders and is responsible for operationalizing substantial changes to staffing, programmatic and administrative workflows to enhance capacity and performance throughout Brilliant Corners’ statewide footprint. He is passionate about ending homelessness and is committed to making an impact in designing inclusive initiatives and budgeting mechanisms that intentionally remove structural barriers for people experiencing homelessness. Chris is an alumni of Social Justice Partners LA’s Racial Equity Fellowship and was recently awarded the 2023 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award.
Chief Strategic Partnership Officer
Sabrina joined Brilliant Corners in October 2022 as the Chief Strategic Partnership Officer. Her early years as a direct service provider deeply influences her approach to public policy and organizational work. Prior to her role at Brilliant Corners, Sabrina worked for The Salvation Army, advancing through six roles in her eleven years at the international non-profit. During her tenure she coordinated the scaling of a national initiative and secured multiple million dollar gifts to support the implementation; developed and executed outcomes for the policy advocacy strategy; and most recently led the organization’s Way Out initiative to double the organizational impact on homelessness in the Western U.S. Sabrina received her Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in social change from George Mason University and has a B.S. from Northeastern University in American Sign Language and Psychology.
Chief People Officer
As Chief People Officer, Renee is responsible for developing, overseeing, and operationalizing all things people-related at Brilliant Corners, including organizational and personnel development, performance management, talent acquisition, policy and compliance, and benefits administration. Renee provides leadership and drives accountability within the People Operations team, while ensuring high performance and effective communication across the organization. Renee has been an employee with Brilliant Corners for over 18 years, from leading Brilliant Corners’ Operations, where she developed and honed her knowledge of non-profit management, operations and human resources in a fast growing, start-up environment, to her current role as Chief People Officer, given her leadership experience, deep institutional knowledge, and commitment to Brilliant Corners’ mission. Over her tenure, she’s played a critical role in growing Brilliant Corners from a staff of two to our current workforce of nearly 500.
Director, Capital Improvement Intermediary Program (CIIP)
Before joining Brilliant Corners, Daryl served as the Director of Housing for H.O.P.E., Inc., where he oversaw all aspects of both housing development and asset management for a portfolio of over 150 affordable housing properties serving over 350 individuals in Los Angeles County. Prior to that he served as the Executive Director at Rebuilding Together Long Beach where he coordinated more than 180 community revitalization projects in and around the city. Daryl received his J.D. at USC and his B.S. in Finance from Howard University. In addition, Daryl completed the James Weldon Johnson Civil Rights Law Fellowship at the University of Miami in the summer of 2004. In 2015, he completed the Beyond the Basics Leadership Certificate Program, a pilot leadership training and educational program at California State University Long Beach. He is also a graduate of the Leadership Long Beach Institute class of 2015 and the Leadership Long Beach Executive Leadership Series class of 2016. Most recently, Daryl was recognized as one of the “40 Under 40” by the Long Beach Post.
Senior Director of Program Initiatives
Tyler joined Brilliant Corners in 2009. Tyler initially provided support and oversight for Brilliant Corners’ first scattered-site supportive housing program, located in San Francisco, to house over 150 people experiencing homelessness. In 2013, Tyler moved to Los Angeles to expand Brilliant Corners’ operations in Southern California, while also launching Brilliant Corners’ first partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Health Services – Housing for Health office. Two years later, Tyler helped to launch the Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool in Los Angeles County. Tyler currently provides oversight to innovative supportive housing programs in the Inland Empire and the Bay Area.
Director of Housing Development & Management
Serena joined Brilliant Corners in 2016 and currently serves as the Director of Housing Development & Management. In this role, she oversees all development and property management operations for the Community Placement Plan (CPP) program statewide, which includes an overall portfolio of more than 250 small licensed residential care homes. Additionally, Serena oversees management of all CPP projects in the development pipeline. Prior to relocating to Northern California, Serena started her career at Brilliant Corners as a Development Project Manager in BC’s San Diego satellite office, managing CPP development in partnership with the San Diego Regional Center. Before joining Brilliant Corners, she spent more than ten years as a City Planner, managing various levels of residential and commercial projects through government entitlement processes. She holds a B.S. in Health Science from Saint Mary’s College, Moraga, CA and is currently a licensed salesperson with the California Bureau of Real Estate.
Statewide Case Management Director
Lisa joined Brilliant Corners in 2015. She oversees Brilliant Corners’ case management programs and services in San Francisco, the Inland Empire, and Los Angeles County. Lisa engages with high-level government and partner stakeholders to develop, operationalize, and scale supportive housing services that embrace a Housing First model. She developed and managed Brilliant Corners’ Breaking Barriers program, an innovative rapid rehousing and case management program serving Los Angeles County adult probationers. Prior to joining Brilliant Corners, Lisa provided clinical case management to former foster care and probation youth. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Stanford University and a Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Lisa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (#75963, California Board of Behavioral Services).
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Director of Finance
Housing Services Director, Inland Empire
William F. Pickel
Chief Executive Officer
Bill joined Brilliant Corners in 2007. During his tenure, he has been fortunate to work with internal and external partners who shared and operationalized his belief in the power of supportive housing to change lives and improve communities. During his decade with the organization, Brilliant Corners has emerged as a leading supportive housing provider with a track record of piloting, replicating and scaling system-changing programs – particularly programs for people transitioning from homelessness or institutionalization. He has championed the agency’s re-branding, its alignment with the guiding principles of supportive housing, its geographic expansion outside the Bay Area, and expanding its mission to serving a range of vulnerable individuals who could benefit from supportive housing. Under his tenure, Brilliant Corners’ workforce has grown from 2 to over 300 full-time team members working in our San Francisco and Los Angeles hubs with expertise in supportive housing development, property management, housing services, and case management. Prior to joining Brilliant Corners, William served as Director of Housing Development for California Community Housing, where he had primary responsibility for all real estate development and financing, securing $250M in federal, state, local and private funding in support of 18 multi-family projects including HUD and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit housing. He holds an M.A. in Religious Studies from Boston University, a Bachelor’s degree in Literature from the State University of New Jersey, and an Advanced Affordable Housing Development Training Institute Certificate from the Local Initiative Support Corporation.
Chief Program Officer
Director of External Affairs
Jose joined Brilliant Corners in 2021. As Director of External Affairs, Jose focuses on building out relationships with external stakeholders in an effort to secure funding for Brilliant Corners’ programs, as well as heading up the organization’s advocacy efforts around issues that impact our neighbors affected by homelessness and housing insecurity. Jose’s previous work centered around empowering those most marginalized in our communities, including former gang members and formerly incarcerated people. His experience working with these communities, communities he actually belongs to himself, is the major motivator for his current work with people that have experienced homelessness. Jose was recently appointed to the Long Beach Civil Service Commission, and serves on L.A. County’s Public Safety Realignment Team and the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Multi Cultural Advisory Commission.
Director of Data & Technology
Katy joined Brilliant Corners in January 2019. She has served in multiple roles in the Data and Technology department and currently serves as its Director, leading IT, Data and Analytics, Training and Support, and Product Development units. During her time at BC, she has played pivotal roles in designing, building, and implementing innovative technical solutions for Brilliant Corners, including automating subsidy payment processes, expanding the organization’s custom Salesforce instance to teams statewide, and implementing integrations between key software platforms. Prior to joining Brilliant Corners, Katy gained data and technology related experience at a healthcare technology company in Orange County and more recently at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, managing a team of Data Analysts. Katy is a proud Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having served from 2011-2014 in Peru. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Michigan.
Director of Marketing and Communications
Morgan joined Brilliant Corners in 2019, bringing over a decade of experience in strategic communications. She leads Brilliant Corners internal and external communications, from branding and executive communications to marketing, digital and social media, and media relations. Prior to joining Brilliant Corners, Morgan worked as a communications strategist for nonprofits and foundations across a range of issues including anti-hunger advocacy, sexual assault and domestic violence prevention, and international human rights. In these roles, she managed national public awareness campaigns and policy initiatives, and developed communications and marketing plans to promote advocacy, fundraising, and engagement. Morgan holds a Master’s of Public Administration in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, and a BA in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley.
Past President Emeritus
Donny is President and CEO of Sunseri Construction, a general contracting company with operations in California and Nevada. Founded in the early 1970’s, Sunseri has a mission to serve organizations providing affordable multi-family and senior housing. This mission has been realized with the construction of over 8,000 units of housing for low-income seniors, families, homeless individuals and people needing assistance. Donny has been active in housing advocacy since the early 1980’s and is a member and contributor to numerous organizations, including East Bay Housing Organization, Housing California, Sacramento Housing Alliance and the Non Profit Housing Association of Northern California.
Bob is a practicing attorney with Goldfarb & Lipman, emphasizing transactional real estate involving the development and preservation of affordable housing Bob’s focus is on structuring complex transactions involving multiple layers of financing, especially those with some type of federal assistance, including, for example, tax credits, FHA mortgage assistance, and Section 8 rental subsidies. Prior to Goldfarb & Lipman, Bob was an attorney at HUD, participating in numerous loan closings, negotiating the sale of properties from HUD’s multifamily portfolio, and enforcing the federal Fair Housing Act. Bob has also worked as a newspaper reporter in Los Angeles and Australia before abandoning all creative thought processes and attending law school. For fun, he occasionally sports odd facial hair, to the deep embarrassment of his two daughters. When that ceases to provide enjoyment, Bob likes to run, read, and tend to the backyard garden.
Shamus is the Executive Director at the National Housing Law Practice, a non-profit national housing and legal advocacy center with a mission to advance housing justice for poor people. Prior to his work at NHLP, Shamus was Executive Director of Housing California. While there, Shamus led advocates statewide in advancing important initiatives that improved California’s policy frameworks for housing its most vulnerable communities, including the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program, the Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program, the CalWorks Housing Support Program, and Bringing Families Home. Prior to Housing California, Shamus served as Executive Director of the Sacramento Housing Alliance where he spearheaded policy initiatives that cleared the path for increased mixed income housing and transit-oriented development. He started his career running street outreach programs for homeless youth and adults.
Earl Edwards is an education and homeless policy researcher and consultant. In 2018, he co-facilitated an ad hoc committee on Black people experiencing homelessness for the Los Angeles Homelessness Service Authority, and contributed to the committee’s groundbreaking report on structural racism as a primary driver of Black homelessness. Earl is a research fellow for two UCLA labs–the California Policy Lab and UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools. He is also a member of the National Racial Equity Working Group on Homelessness and Housing and the USC Homeless Policy Research Institute. Currently, Earl is a doctoral candidate at the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies. He earned his Master’s in Public School Leadership from Teachers’ College, Columbia University, and he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Boston College.
Advisory Member Emeritus
Bruce has over 40 years of experience in the field of disabled rights advocacy. A San Francisco native, he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from San Francisco State University. His clients include Hyatt Hotels, the San Francisco Paratransit Broker, and the San Francisco Municipal Railway. He has served on numerous boards of directors and brings a thorough knowledge of accessibility and civil rights.
Cynthia Nagendra is the Executive Director of the UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative. Prior to joining UCSF, Cynthia served as the director for the Center for Capacity Building at the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Her experience includes over 10 years of providing assistance to communities around the country in building system capacity to provide more effective responses to homelessness. Before working at the Alliance, Cynthia worked as a staff attorney for HomeBase, The Center for Common Concerns. She also worked in direct services for several years as a program manager for the St. Anthony Foundation Learning Center with homeless individuals and families in San Francisco. She has performed legal and policy work related to women’s rights, immigration and re-entry programming in New York City.
Debbie is the National Vice President of Supportive Housing at National Equity Fund, Inc. (NEF), a leading non-profit syndicator of low-income housing tax credits. She has overseen the acquisition and/or underwriting of more than $1 billion in tax credit equity for special-needs projects including more than 4,000 units of housing for homeless veterans in 15 states. Debbie founded and directs LISC-NEF’s Bring Them HOMES, a supportive housing initiative for homeless veterans. She serves on the boards of National Coalition for Homeless Veterans and Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH). Debbie received the Corporate Silver Star Award from Volunteers of America Illinois, the Community Hero Award from New Directions, and was profiled by Affordable Housing Finance as one of ten women leading the affordable housing industry. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Duke University and Master’s degrees in Business Administration and City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Nancy Conk served for nearly 20 years as an executive director and CEO of nonprofit affordable housing and community development organizations. She has expertise in affordable housing development, property and asset management, community engagement, and advocacy. Her development financing expertise, enhanced by experience in community development lending as a relationship manager for a major national bank, spans work with varied housing types. Along with executive management positions reporting to boards of directors, Nancy has served on boards of numerous local, regional, and statewide organizations. Her current practice includes board governance coaching and organizational development consulting from her base in Sacramento, California.
Chris Ko serves as the Director of Homeless Initiatives for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, managing Home For Good, LA’s collective plan to end homelessness. In this role, he leads California’s largest community-based effort to end homelessness and developed the Coordinated Entry System, which went on to become a national model. The Coro Foundation named Chris a Public Affairs Leadership fellow through which he worked for the LA District Attorney, SEIU, KPCC, and LAUSD. Previously, he served on the boards of Coro Southern CA and the Supply Education Group.
Derric J. Johnson
Derric is the Founding Director of the Equity & Justice Institute at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences in Santa Monica, CA. He has served in leadership roles at several non-profits, including the California Community Foundation, the MLK Community Health Foundation, the Alliance for Children’s Rights and the Community Oriented Correctional Health Services in Oakland. He recently served as Senior Deputy for Public Safety and Justice for the Office of Los Angeles County Board Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Derric was appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to represent the Second District as a Commissioner for the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission; he was recently elected Vice President. In addition, Derric is an Executive Council Member of the Children’s Defense Fund-CA, and serves on the Alumni Board of Pitzer College. Derric holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology from Pitzer College. He earned his Master’s in Public Administration from Baruch College-City University of New York and his Master’s in Business Management from Azusa Pacific University.
Mildred (Millie) Brown has been a CSH SpeakUp Advocate for five years, speaking regularly on homelessness, trauma and mental health at organizations and community events. She advocates for more permanent supportive housing and funding due to her own lived experience with homelessness. Millie is a survivor of domestic violence and is an advocate for the Domestic Violence and Homeless Services Coalition. She is passionate about helping people struggling to find and maintain housing. Millie is excited to bring her experience to the Brilliant Corners board and connect with other people working to end homelessness. Millie lives in permanent supportive housing in Los Angeles.