The Housing Authority of Portland has appointed Shelli Romero and Jim Smith to its board of directors. The nine-member board has five Portland seats, two Multnomah County seats, and two Gresham seats, with one of the Portland seats reserved for a HAP resident.
Romero, who takes a Portland seat, has public sector and non-profit experience in housing and supportive services.
Smith, who represents Multnomah County, brings a strong background in business management to the board. After several decades in executive posts in the high tech industry that started at IBM and included guiding start-ups to success, he now is the CEO of YCHANGE International, a management consulting firm for small and medium-sized companies.
Smith is a member of the city of Portland's Small Business Advisory Committee and serves as chair of the Portland chapter of SCORE, an all-volunteer counseling organization with a mission to help small businesses and entrepreneurs become successful.
On the HAP board, Smith said he plans to use his expertise and experience to build bridges between the agency's efforts to help its clients become more self-sufficient and the local business community.
"After finding them affordable housing, the next step in the 'hand up' we give many of our clients is helping them achieve economic independence," he said. "I would like to focus my efforts on the HAP board on tying this process to the Portland small business economy while making it as relevant as possible to our clients' needs."