A Dedicated Team

Christiana Foglio-PalmerChristiana Foglio spearheads and oversees all of Community Investment Strategies (CIS), Inc.’s fully integrated real estate activities, including multi-family housing, mixed-use redevelopment, market-rate, and affordable housing. An industry veteran with more than 30 years experience in the private and public sectors, she specializes in real estate developments and affordable housing initiatives that reflect each community’s vision, needs, and character.

Today, the company’s diverse portfolio includes more than 3,000 apartment-rental units. Headquartered in Lawrenceville, CIS is a woman-owned business enterprise (WBE) committed to promoting gender and ethnic diversity throughout its own organization as well as the communities it develops. Affordable Housing Finance (AHF) Magazine has named CIS one of the Top 50 Affordable Housing Developers in the nation.

CIS is widely acknowledged for its dedication to developing the most appropriate low-to-moderate housing options and has been consistently recognized for its award-winning communities, business model, corporate citizenship, and advocacy, as well as its people-first philosophy. The company is a member of several national, regional, and local industry groups, including the National Association of Home Builders, Institute of Real Estate Management, and New Jersey Apartment Association.

Prior to forming CIS, Christiana served in the administrations of Governor Florio and Governor Whitman as executive director of the New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency (1992-1995), where she was responsible for more than $1 billion of multi-family bond financing. During this time, Christiana is credited with creating the Housing Policy for the State of New Jersey as well as national awards for innovative state housing initiatives. She also was appointed by Governors Florio and Whitman to serve as chair of the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing. Prior to joining NJHMFA, Christiana served as president of the New Brunswick Development Corporation, a not-for-profit real estate development company located in New Brunswick, NJ, implementing more than $300 million of urban redevelopment projects and reporting to the board of directors of J&J companies. Christiana is credited with creating the foundation of New Brunswick’s economic rebirth.

Christiana is a graduate of Rutgers University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Masters Degree in City and Regional Planning with a concentration in Housing Finance and Economic Development. A licensed planner in the State of New Jersey, Christiana is a highly sought-after guest speaker who has garnered numerous business and industry awards, including the PlanSmart NJ Van Zandt Community Involvement Award; Urban Land Institute’s Edward J. Bloustein Award for Exemplary Achievement in Civic Leadership; New Jersey Business of the Year; Top Woman-Owned Business in New Jersey; and among the Top Women in Business.

Elsie VelezElsie Velez Daily is chief financial officer of Community Investment Strategies (CIS) and CFO of the firm’s two divisions: CIS Construction, LLC and CIS Management, Inc. The latter provides property management for the company’s $400 million portfolio of more than 3,000 rental apartment units as well as for third-party property owners.

Through her financial oversight of all three entities, Elsie has successfully guided CIS through rapid growth over the past decade, helping to maintain year-over-year profitability. During her tenure, Affordable Housing Finance (AHF) Magazine named CIS one of the Top 50 Affordable Housing Developers in the nation.

Prior to joining CIS in 2005, Elsie served as vice president of finance for Kaplan Companies, a leading builder of market-rate residential and commercial development throughout the East Coast and Texas. She launched her real estate finance career in the public accounting sector.

Barbara K. Schoor

Barbara K. Schoor is vice president of Community Investment Strategies (CIS), where she manages CIS’ affordable housing initiatives – including new construction and substantial rehabilitation projects – handling all aspects of development, from due diligence to design, regulatory approvals to financing. Since joining CIS, Barbara has acquired more than a dozen properties and managed development of more than 2,200 apartment units.

Previously, Barbara was director of planning, acquisition, and development for SGS Communities, a division of D.R. Horton, the country’s largest new-home builder. She managed site planning, regulatory approvals, and due diligence for more than 6,000 residences. Barbara has also worked for Schoor DePalma Engineering in its financial services and private development divisions.

Active in numerous professional organizations, Barbara is a lifetime board member of both the New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA) and the Shore Builders Association of Central New Jersey (SBACNJ), as well as a board member of Affordable Housing Professionals of New Jersey. Named Builder of the Year by SBACNJ and a recipient of NJBA’s Affordable Housing Award, Barbara is responsible for numerous award-winning communities.

Theresa ReedTheresa Reed is vice president of Community Investment Strategies (CIS), where she handles residential projects from inception to completion, including acquiring land, securing financing, conducting due diligence, obtaining permits and approvals, managing construction, and coordinating management transition. She has more than 20 years of experience, including such areas as affordable housing development, urban planning, and multi-family underwriting.

Since joining CIS, Theresa has developed 1,100 residential units, including four communities for the city of Elizabeth’s HOPE VI Revitalization Program, which replaced distressed public housing with new rental and owner-occupied residences.

Previously, Theresa was the administrator of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s Tax Credit Program, serving as the agency’s chief underwriter and monitoring compliance by the state’s 8,400 tax-credit units. She has also worked as a real estate specialist for the city of New Brunswick, where she implemented affordable housing programs and secured state and federal grants for more than 300 affordable units.

Mark IssaMark Issa is president of CIS Construction, where he oversees all construction-related duties, from contract negotiations to field operations to on-site property management. Since joining CIS in 2002, Mark has managed construction of approximately 2,500 residential units – all delivered on time and within budget. He is currently expanding CIS’ third-party construction services.

Mark previously served as Northeast regional manager of The Stoncor Group, where he developed and managed installations worth more than $100 million for the chemical products and construction company.

C LessingCheryl Lessing serves as the director of compliance for CIS Management after previously holding the title of compliance occupancy specialist and account manager.

In this role, Cheryl coordinates all of CIS Management’s properties for compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal regulations. In addition, she facilitates the implementation of new and revised affordable housing programs and requirements.

Cheryl received certification as a housing credit certified professional (HCCP) and certified specialist in housing credit management® (SHCM) by the National Affordable Housing Management Association. She is also certified as a tax credit compliance specialist by the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) and as a certified site compliance specialist (SCS) by the Housing Credit College of Elizabeth Moreland Consulting, Inc.