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Donna Wickes Resume

Donna Wickes

Over 25 years of professional experience as an industry expert in strategic planning with a focus on the construction of affordable housing and community opportunities that increase self-sufficiency, long-term sustainability and increase quality of life. Manage a budget of over $2.55 B for the implementation of Public and Indian Housing Grants to over 832 public housing agencies across a 5-state network (Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana). Together with staff have the authority to monitor these grants ensure that all regulatory requirements, including CFR 200, are implemented correctly. Provide a senior level of expertise involving specific objectives for all operations support assigned programs or projects, in compliance with approved regulatory requirements. Represent the Office of Public and Indian Housing both internally, as well as, externally through speeches, briefings, etc. Provide quality control for on-site reviews, audits and surveys of all assets including public Multifamily properties, Low Income Tax Credit (LITC) properties, and HUD subsidized assets, to determine compliance with contractual and regulatory obligations.


  • Dedicated to bringing sustainable and resilient affordable housing to communities across the SW Network; expert in various financing methods including leveraging funding with other HUD programs, low income tax credits (LITC), FHA insured financing, and private lending. Working with communities to leverage Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) with various funding streams: public and private funding, tax increment funding, tax credits, and enterprise zones.
  • Experienced in various methods for repositioning fixed assets to a more sustainable and resilient platform using such tools as RAD and Section 18 demo/disposition.
  • Working with key stakeholders to leverage HUD and private funding that increases the stock of affordable housing in metropolitan areas; has experience with the Family Self Sufficiency Program, VASH Program, Housing Choice Voucher Program, and implementing preferences including a homeless preference and disaster preference.
  • Working with key stakeholders to measurably address the issue of homelessness that is impacting cities across the United States.
  • Promote the implementation of small business incubators that leveraged the use of small business loans and grants disadvantaged businesses.
  • Sourced, secured and managed projects and budgets from $250,000 to $250 million.
  • Spearheaded a team to define and implement the Nation's first tornado wind resistant Building Codes for the City of Moore, OK.
  • Supported the long-term recovery for 3 major Region 6 National Disasters: Moore, OK F5 tornado, Louisiana Floods, and Hurricane Harvey. First responder for SW Network, Region 6 during a national disaster or local weather-related disaster.

SW Network Public Housing Director
 Houston, TX - July 2011 to Present 
Responsible for the implementation of Housing and Urban Developments (HUD) Public and Indian Housing Programs in the SW Network which includes the states of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Manage 7 Public Housing Directors and 80 + staff across six offices, who coordinate the implementation of over $2.5 billion in HUD public housing grants across 814 public housing agencies and over 2000 programs. This also includes the family self-sufficiency program, jobs plus and VASH program. As SW Regional Public Housing Director, is responsible for ensuring that Public Housing Agencies implement these programs in accordance with regulatory requirements and provide technical assistance and training when appropriate.

Work with all levels of city government including Mayors, County Judges, and Parish Presidents, to provide guidance that maximizes the utilization of the HUD funds. Work closely with all PHAs in the major metropolitan area, including Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, and New Orleans. Work hand-and-hand with associated elected officials and PHA senior management to address the issue of homelessness, utilization of VASH vouchers, and the ability to implement public/private partnerships that enhance the ability to increase both affordable housing and opportunities to increase self-sufficiency. Expert is all aspect of repositioning, including RAD and Section 18 demo/disposition and construction of affordable housing through private financing and low income tax credits (LITC).

An active partner with the Houston Coalition for the Homeless and is researching data and trends on the formerly homeless who have been placed in housing through the Continuum of Care Partners and the Houston Housing Authority. This data will be used to recommend socially focused interventions that support the ability to re-integrate the formerly homeless back into the community so that the risk of returning to homelessness can be mitigated.

Works to create a high-energy work environment for staff that empowers creativity and innovation. Well versed in various human resource theories of motivation and team building and working through organizational change issues. Active proponent of empowering employees and in the implementation of high performance teams.

First responder in the event of a natural or local disaster in Region 6. Responsible for defining the immediate response plan and the long-term recovery plan. As part of this process, work with all level of stakeholders to support those agencies, locals, and individuals that have been impacted. Accountable for working directly with FEMA and other partners to support the recovery of those impacted. During the Louisiana Floods and Hurricane Harvey, worked at the Joint Field Office (JFO) and various FEMA recovery centers to ensure the short-term and long-term recovery of those impacted.

Director of Community Planning and DevelopmentState of Mississippi, City of Jackson Field Office - July 2014 to September 2015
Responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the state's HUD entitlement programs including CDBG, ESG, COC, HMIS, HOME and Disaster Recovery, CDBG-DR allocation. Duties include grant management and monitoring, implementation of all Federal Regulations and Laws and overseeing over $50 million in annual grant funding. Managed diverse staff of four employees and created a high-energy work environment. Assisted the State and CoC Members on the development of a state-wide housing strategy that integrates with the priorities of the Governor's Interagency Council on Homelessness. Worked directly with the CoC members to ensure that funds were dispersed to address the goal of ending and managing homelessness.

Director of Community Planning and Development State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Field Office - July 2011 to July 2014
Responsible for the implementation of the state's HUD entitlement programs including CDBG, ESG, COC, HMIS, NSP, HOME and Disaster Recovery, CDBG-DR allocation. Duties include grant management and monitoring, implementation of all Federal Regulations and Laws and overseeing over $150 M in annual grant funding. Accountable for bringing over $150 million in Disaster Funds to the State and the City of Moore. Spearheaded the team to define and implement the Nation's first tornado building codes that focused on wind  resistance construction techniques. Performed risk analysis on an annual basis to determine a monitoring strategy for high risk grantees. Was an active member on the Governor's Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Was a key contributor/stakeholder in the roll-out of the "100,000 Homes/Zero 2016) campaign in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. To rollout this Campaign in Oklahoma City, over 50 community stakeholders, including HUD and the area Public Housing Authorities, joined the team to support the goal to reduce the chronically homeless population. As part of this process, the team spent three days counting the chronically homeless in the City. This baseline population of 391 was used to rank the group and determine the housing priority for each person. This baseline was used as the benchmark to measure the progress of the team.

The team began housing individuals on February 14, 2013 and by October 1, 2013 had housed over 200 of the 391 chronically homeless. Those housed received case management services so that the client's overall health could be supported from financial to medical issues. To track the progress towards sustainability over the long-term, each case manager filled out a Sustainability Output Matrix for each person on an annual basis. In addition, interviewed a sample of people who had been housed after 12/24 months to gain information on their progress towards sustainability. The quantitative data will illustrate trends for the individuals who have been housed to understand the progression towards increasing self-sufficiency and the correlation to housing retention. As part of this effort, worked with the local Housing Authorities to implement a Homeless Preference to provide Housing Choice Vouchers to the chronically homeless.

Along with staff were the first responders during the Moore, OK F5 Tornado. Worked with the entire impacted area on both a short-term and long-term recovery plan.

City Of Amarillo, Housing And Community Development Amarillo, TX Director of Housing and Community Development - Nov 2010 to July 2011
Responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the City's CDBG, ESG, COC, HMIS, HOME and Section 8 Voucher Choice Program. Duties included grant management and monitoring, implementation of all Federal Regulations and Laws; Responsible for managing the Section 8 Housing Voucher Choice Program with an annual budget of about $4 million, with about 1,200 vouchers monthly. Was responsible for implementing a successful Family Self-Sufficiency Program that graduated 1-2 people annually into a homeownership opportunity. Was expert in operating an effective and efficient HCV program and understanding the fiduciary  responsibilities of operating a successful program.

Worked as a key stakeholder with local non-profits who supported the Cities vulnerable population through CoC, ESG Rapid Rehousing and CDBG grants. Worked to implement community initiatives such as permanent supportive housing, rehabilitation centers, and additional initiatives that build a high sense of community.

City of Augusta Georgia Housing and Community Development Department Urban Planner - November 2008 to November 2010
Working with a team to revitalize the Laney-Walker and Bethlehem neighborhoods in the downtown area of Augusta, GA. The purpose of this project was to purchase property in the neighborhoods that could be used to transform the downtown into sustainable neighborhoods that promote innovation and the live, work play paradigm. This Urban Transformation utilized a special hotel tax from the city to provide a substantial revenue stream for the next 20 years. In addition, certain neighborhoods utilized CDBG funds for rehabilitation of era homes and HOME funds for development of mixed-income single family homes. The tax revenue was $750,000 annually through a special use motel tax and was used to secure $8 million in bond financing.

Atlantica Investments, INC. (self-employed)
Executive Director of Sales and Development - January 2005 to November 2008
Atlanta Developers/Sandy Springs Affordable Housing As Director of Sales and Development, worked in a variety of roles to bring quality rental housing and affordable singlefamily homes to the Atlanta market. Established network of affordable housing lenders to create events where they can exhibit their products to the community. Was also active with Government Affairs Committee and lobbing for laws that protect the rights of homeowners and real estate agents, networking to the Senate and Congressional level. Maintained a strong presence in Atlanta, speaking and aligning interests. Network has led to marketing and increased sales of lender's products.

Information Technology Group, INC. President/CEO (Founder and President of Women Owned Business) - September 1991 to December 2005
Managed the company with 50 employees (direct reports) and $12 million in sales. Hired and mentored staff over several divisions: Vice Presidents, Process and Portfolio Management, and Software Development, CFO, and HR. Hired and trained consultative staff with growth qualifying it as an Inc. 500 company. Initiated M&A and stock offering, and defined benefit plans. Company delivered high-tech, high-touch consulting services to name brand accounts such as Delta Air Lines, SunTrust, LG, GE, and Home Depot, as well as venture-capital startups, and developed products such as AccuMetrix® and the e3D Object Model.

Was responsible for the day to day management of the staff and creating all corporate human resource policies and procedures. Worked to evaluate each employee and to implement various employee incentive programs. Part of this incentive program was a stock option plan and a commission plan whereby the employee received part of the company profits.

Established and leveraged key strategic partnerships that had a natural affiliation with and could benefit win-win from partnering with ITG in service delivery, from process and project management vendors such as Platinum and CA, to tool vendors such as TI and Bachman. Quality results and A-player consultants established ITG as a premier provider for support and implementation services for these channel partners. Co-marketed and sold licenses, implementation and follow-on services, and renewal contracts.

Walden University
, Minneapolis, MN
Currently pursuing PhD Public Policy and Administration
Public Policy and Administration: Local Government Management for Sustainable Communities (In progress) PhD Dissertation Topic: Understanding the Relationship Between Social Integration and Homelessness

Albany State University, Albany, GA
Master of Business Administration, 1988

University Of Rhodes Island, Kingston, RI
Bachelor of Arts in Biology, 1980

Nominated for 2015 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal for Disaster Recovery Work in the State of Oklahoma
- Disaster Recovery F5 Tornado - Moore, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Metro Area Region VI Regional Administrator Outstanding Award 2013 for work to manage homelessness


  • Public Policy and Administration at the City, State and Federal Level
  • Covey Project Management, Developing Effective Teams and Setting Wildly Important Goal
  • Arbinger Institute The Outward Mindset
  • Karrass Institute Effective Negotiating
  • HUD Disaster Recovery Process (CDBG-DR)
  • Low Rent Public Housing (Cap Fund, Operating Subsidy)
  • Section 8 Program (HCV) (HAP, ADM Fees)
  • Low Income Tax Credits (LITC), Multi/Single Family Development
  • Housing First - Dr. Sam Tsemberis
  • OrgCode Consulting Tools: SPDAT/VI-SPDAT - Iain De Jong
  • Psychological Sense of Community Index - Chavis and McMillan
  • Social Support Questionnaire - Sarason, Levine, Basham and Sarason
  • Sense of Community Index - McMillan and Wandersman
  • Quality of Life Index - World Health Organization

Board Training, Grant, Proposal Writing, Corporate Development, Financial Management, Fund Raising (Capital Campaign Development) and Board Member Staffing and Training. Strategic Partner for working directly with Boards of all capacity. Has provided board training to over 80 non-profit boards across the Southwest. Training includes the role of the board and the executive director and the role in financial analysis and operations of the agency.

Board President private, non-profit Montessori School. Provided organizational, financial, business and leadership skills and ten-year strategic plan. Headed the main Development effort to raise $229,000 for capital improvements to the school. A portion of funding went towards student scholarships each year.

Member of the Advisory Board for SciTech, the Atlanta hands-on, science museum, networking with state-level politicians to gain Grants and State funding for the museum. Ms. Wickes' company donated in-kind web services to rewrite the corporate web site.

Treasurer and Member of the Board of Girls, Inc. in Atlanta, a non profit that inspires young women to achieve success in life. Attended board meetings, participated in strategic planning, and brought in new donations.

Member of the Advisory Board for Clayton State College and University. Supports SIFE, Students in Free Enterprise by evaluating student projects and presentations. Regular speaker for the Georgia Small Business Development Network on marketing women-owned businesses. ITG was certified as a women-owned business through the NWBOC (National Women Business Owners Corporation).