OUR TEAM

Staff 

Micaela Connery

Founder and CEO

Inspired by her cousin Kelsey, Micaela has been working on inclusion in communities her entire life. She has seen firsthand the housing crisis facing adults with developmental disabilities and their families.  As a research fellow at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, she spent a year studying the issue in detail. The Kelsey exists to turn the challenge of disability housing into the opportunity of inclusive community.

Micaela completed her MPP at Harvard Kennedy School focusing on housing, disability inclusion, and community development. She was a Cheng Fellow at the Harvard Social Innovation and Change Initiative where she worked on designing The Kelsey. In 2017, she received her MBA as a Mitchell Scholar in the Smurfit School at University College Dublin.  She's a proud University of Virginia Wahoo.  

Prior to The Kelsey, Micaela was founder and CEO of Unified Theater.

Caroline Bas

Chief Operations Officer

Caroline has over ten years of business operations experience across the non-profit, corporate, startup, and philanthropic sectors. Most recently she was a management consultant at Deloitte focused on corporate finance, but spent most of her free time thinking about housing. As a Bay Area native she saw her mother with disabilities experience a series of evictions and witnessed first-hand how housing insecurity has become wide-spread across the region. To help counter this, she founded an urbanist neighborhood association in San Francisco and joined The Kelsey to oversee finance and operations.

 

She grew up in Hayward, California, has a BA from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and an MBA from UC Berkeley. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two-year-old daughter.

Eric Mondragon

Manager, Communications and Partnerships

Eric’s personal and professional career have focused on design and human rights.  He’s excited to combine the two in his role at The Kelsey as he supports community outreach, stakeholder communications, and program development. Previously, Eric led marketing and communication efforts for design firms, WRNS and Fugro. His work had a particular focus on publicly-engaged, civic and education design projects. Eric has been active in the Bay Area community as a volunteer at Hamilton Families and the SF LGBT Center.

 

Eric received his masters degree in Communications from the Brian Lamb School at Purdue University, and his bachelor’s degree in Communications at the University of Texas, San Antonio.

Allie Cannington 

Manager, Advocacy and Organizing 

From the Bay Area, Allie Cannington is a white, Queer, Disabled community advocate and organizer. For over ten years, Allie has led and organized people with disabilities on local, state, national and international levels, always centering people with disabilities who live at  the margins, including but not limited to LGBTQIA, people of color, low/no income, and youth with disabilities. 

 

Allie is excited and humbled to join The Kelsey on their mission to create more possibilities for inclusive communities. Allie will be able to integrate her years of work in the Disability Rights Movement and her experience at Larkin Street Youth Services, where she organized and amplified youth leadership and their solutions for ending youth homelessness.  

 

Ultimately, Allie’s work is dedicated to unveiling everyone’s proximity to disability and to fueling justice movements that are intersectional, sustainable and intergenerational.

Board of Directors

Erik Doyle, Chair 

As a Managing Director with Jones Lang LaSalle's Capital Markets group in Menlo Park. During his 29-year career, Mr. Doyle has been involved with sales of more than 35 million square feet of property and more than 700 acres of land representing a value in excess of $7.1 billion. Of Mr. Doyle's many transactions, he spearheaded the close of the largest office deal in Silicon Valley history -- the Peery Arrillaga Portfolio sale to RREEF. Erik currently sits on the board of MidPen Housing Corp., one of the largest providers of affordable housing and services in the Bay Area.  Prior to Jones Lang LaSalle, Mr. Doyle was President and Executive Managing Director of Newmark Knight Frank Cornish & Carey Commercial Group.

Carol Weld King, Treasurer 

As a Partner in Morris, Manning & Martin's Commercial Real Estate Development and Finance and Hospitality practices. Her nationally recognized practice focuses on transaction structuring, financing, acquisition, and development activities in the hospitality and lodging industry. Carol has represented various owners, investors, developers, and lenders in a broad range of transactional work for hospitality and gaming, office, multifamily, mixed-use, and light industrial projects. She currently serves as principal counsel to several hotel equity funds and public and private corporations in connection with a series of hotel acquisitions, financings, and ground-up developments throughout the United States. She regularly counsels clients in capital markets transactions and has successfully led several recent real estate merger and acquisition transactions.  Carol also represents several major real estate development companies and corporate clients, both locally and nationally, in a variety of land and office development projects.  Carol graduated from the University of Virginia and the University of Virginia’s School of Law.

Cate Sullivan, Secretary 

Cate learned about inclusion from a young age. Her sister, Kelsey, has multiple significant special needs, but that never stopped her family from skiing, camping, or conquering roller coasters. Originally from Rhode Island, Cate went to Boston College where she studied Political Science. As president of the Boston College Campus School Volunteers, she coordinated over 500 volunteers to work at an on-campus school for students aged 3-21 with special needs, and raised over $300,000 for support services and adaptive technologies. After college, she served for two years with City Year Boston at the Burke High School. As a City on a Hill Urban Teaching Fellow, she then earned her Masters in Education from Simmons College. She is now a high school civics teacher and history department head at City on a Hill Dudley Square in Boston. Inclusivity, especially in education, has become a lifelong passion. 

​(More about Cate and Kelsey.)

Jim Bildner 

As the CEO of Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation where he focuses on investing in nonprofits and social enterprises that are working to solve complex issues including systemic poverty, food insecurity, access to health care, homelessness, community development, and second generation strategies to address these issues. Jim comes to DRK from Harvard where he is an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Senior Research Fellow at the Hauser Institute for Civil Society and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University. At the Kennedy School, his research interests include understanding the role of private capital in solving public problems, extending the capacity of foundations to solve complex societal issues, and the sustainability of public and private systems when governments disinvest in these systems. He is a trustee of The Kresge Foundation, the Nonprofit Finance Fund, Case Western Reserve University, the Public Citizen Foundation, the Health Foundation for the Americas, the Women’s Funding Network, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Newport Festivals Foundation, the Lizard Island Research Foundation in Australia, an Overseer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, WBUR, and WGBH Public TV and Radio. He also serves on the boards of Fox Islands Wind, LLC, the EBSF Loan Fund, the Island Institute and Coastal Innovation Loan Fund, TurboVote/Democracy Works Inc., Blueprint Schools, Education SuperHighway, WorldReader, and Sirum. Jim serves on the Investment Committees of boards with aggregate endowments in excess of $5.5B as well as a member of ten finance, investment and/or audit committees of these boards.  In 2014 he was named Chair of Kresge’s Investment Committee.  Jim earned his AB from Dartmouth College, his MPA from Harvard, his J.D. from Case Western Reserve School of Law and an MFA from Lesley University.

Elizabeth Grigsby 

As the Consumer Rights Advocate for the Golden Gate Regional Center. For over 20 years, she's been advocating for the rights of people with disabilities to help individuals thrive and get the best services possible that they deserve. She's passionate about person-centered planning and elevating the voices of self-advocates in the community, policymaking, and program design.  Liz is a Bay Area native who is well-versed in the housing challenges that impact individuals with disabilities in the region. She regularly speaks on topics of self-advocacy, disability policy, and the need for inclusion of people with disabilities.

Will Goodman 

As a Vice President at Strada Investment Group in San Francisco, where he leads entitlement and development efforts on mixed-use, mixed-income projects in the Bay Area.  Prior to joining Strada, Will was Chief of Staff at Jonathan Rose Companies in New York City, where he worked on acquisitions and development of office, multifamily, and mixed-use buildings across the country.  Throughout his career, Will has worked on public policy initiatives, at both local and national levels, to advance smart urban development that prioritizes environmental, social, and economic prosperity.  Will has an M.A. in Urban Planning and Real Estate from Harvard University and a B.A. from Brown University. 

Colleen Kelly 

As founding staff and Program Manager at the Social Innovation and Change Initiative (SICI) at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she supports SICI’s mission by empowering individuals and organizations to advance solutions to the world’s most pressing social problems. She works hands-on with students through the New World Social Enterprise Fellows Program and Social Innovation Studio to help innovators more effectively initiate and implement change for positive social impact. Colleen has previously supported research and educational efforts in global philanthropy and nonprofit leadership at HKS’ Hauser Institute for Civil Society and The Philanthropic Initiative. While at Hauser, she co-authored, From Prosperity to Purpose, a report that explores philanthropic giving and social investment among high net worth individuals and families in six Latin American countries. Colleen received her B.A. from Northeastern University in International Affairs and Political Science and is an Ed.M. Candidate in International Education Policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Lindsay Johnson 

As a law student at Georgetown University. Previously, she worked at The Kelsey as Director of Policy and Partnerships. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Lindsay was drawn to public interest work from a young age. Most recently, she worked for Tipping Point Community on their Chronic Homelessness Initiative where she managed a research project that examined how homeless individuals in San Francisco interact with the criminal justice system. Previously, she worked with adults and children with cognitive and physical disabilities at Higher Ground, a nonprofit that gives individuals with disabilities the opportunity to experience recreation and the outdoors without limitations. As an undergraduate, she worked for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office in the Community Justice Center, a collaborative court and social service center located in the Tenderloin. She graduated with degrees in Political Science and History from Yale University, where she served as President of the Yale chapter of Best Buddies International.

 

Shaina Li 

As the Director of Customer Development at Social Construct, a construction technology company inventing new ways to deliver better housing, faster and for less, so we can all afford to live in places we love. Prior to joining Social Construct, Shaina was the Senior Director of Real Estate at Common and responsible for the portfolio of redevelopment and ground-up coliving projects in the western US. Prior to joining Common, Shaina was an investment professional at Hines covering acquisitions, development, and asset management of a $1.2 billion portfolio. Shaina started her career at Colony Capital focused on portfolio management and dispositions. Shaina graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Princeton University.

Swathi Bonda 

As a Director at Brookfield Properties in San Francisco, where she manages the development of the 5M project. Her responsibilities include directing and administering 5M’s community benefits strategies and obligations, such as the donation of the historic Dempster Building to the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST).

 

Prior to working for Brookfield, Swathi led affordable housing  development for Forest City’s New York office, including nearly 800 units of mixed-income housing at Pacific Park Brooklyn. Through her work, she has deep expertise in structuring financing for 100% affordable housing projects and negotiating tax abatements. Before becoming a real estate developer, Swathi was a Senior Consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton and an Economist with Fannie Mae. Swathi earned both her B.S. in Economics and MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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© 2019 The Kelsey™ The Kelsey is fiscally sponsored by Community Solutions.

 

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