Lisa Y. Gordon
President & CEO
Lisa Y. Gordon, CPA, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity—one of the top 10 Habitat for Humanity International affiliates in the United States. She is a recognized leader in transformational redevelopment efforts for quality affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization.
Lisa joined Atlanta Habitat in July 2015 and set the nonprofit homebuilder on a new course to become a catalyst for holistic neighborhood revitalization. She developed and now guides the organization’s new five-year strategic plan and new vision and mission—making an annual $6 million economic impact on the city of Atlanta through new home constructions, renovations and critical repair projects. As a credit to the organization’s commitment to its refreshed mission and new leadership, Habitat for Humanity International named Atlanta Habitat a 2017 Affiliate of Distinction and the Atlanta Business Chronicle designated it as of One of the Best Places to Work in 2016.
As a leader in urban redevelopment and government service before joining Atlanta Habitat, Lisa was Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., cabinet member in former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin’s administration, City Manager of East Point, GA and Assistant City Manager of Austin, Texas. Prior to these roles, she worked in county government for 10 years.
She earned an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and holds a Master’s of Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a Master’s of Accounting degree from Nova Southeast University. She has been a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of Florida since 1999.
In 2016 Lisa was inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. She is an Advisory Board member of the Urban Land Institute, a member of the U.S. Council Advocacy Committee for Habitat for Humanity International, International Women’s Forum, Women’s Affordable Housing Network, Leadership Atlanta and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW). She is the recipient of several honors and awards including the YWCA of Greater Atlanta 2017 Women of Achievement, WTS International’s Woman of the Year in Transportation, Bisnow magazine’s Top 40 most influential women in commercial real estate in 2014, and CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Network’s 2013 Economic Impact Award.
Dan Maddox Jr.
Executive Vice President & COO
Dan Maddox Jr. came to Atlanta Habitat in February 2012 following a 27-year career at Georgia-Pacific Corporation (GP). Prior to joining our organization, Maddox was vice president, GP Harmon International, Rolls Division, India Business. He also served at Arthur Andersen and Company (Accenture) as senior manager in the Consulting Division.
As Executive Vice President & COO, Maddox sets goals, implements strategic plans, and maintains fiscal oversight of seven groups within the organization: Family Services, Construction, Real Estate, Site Planning and Design, Staff Development, Warehouse, and Restore. His responsibilities also include oversight of safety, facilities, and information technology for the entire organization. With extensive experience in marketing, logistics, and technology utilization, Maddox is recognized for his ability to lead and motivate in cost-conscious, changing environments.
Maddox holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Illinois State University and an Executive MBA from the University of Michigan. He has served on the board of directors of Atlanta Habitat as both treasurer and board chair and has been a member of Atlanta Habitat’s Advisory Council.
Vice President & Chief Development Officer
Melinda Kelleher is the Vice President & Chief Development Officer. She oversees all resource development initiatives including fundraising and volunteer management for the organization.
Melinda joined Atlanta Habitat for Humanity in February 2011 and brings over 23 years of fundraising and nonprofit management experience to Atlanta Habitat. Before Atlanta Habitat, Melinda was Vice President of Development & Marketing for Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. She has also served as a director for an Atlanta-based consulting firm specializing in services for nonprofit organizations, where she successfully managed capital campaigns in the $3M - $12M range and led other resource development initiatives for various clients.
Prior to her consulting work, Kelleher held a 12-year career with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) of Greater Georgia. While with MDA, she led multiple areas of fundraising and outreach, including special events and individual and corporate giving for the southeast region. Her expertise in fundraising, coupled with her exceptional relationship building and communications skills, led her to exceed revenue goals by at least 50% each year.
A native of Decatur, GA, Kelleher began her career in the hospitality industry at the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB), followed by director of sales positions at convention hotels in Bozeman and Helena, Montana. Kelleher serves on the Board of the Atlanta chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals as President-Elect and served as the 2015 Chair of the National Philanthropy Day luncheon. Additionally, she serves on the Advisory Council of the Refugee Career Hub at Friends of Refugees. She enjoys volunteering for several animal rescue organizations, gardening, traveling, reading, and spending time in the mountains. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and English from Brenau Women’s College in Gainesville, GA.
Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Joe Lessard, as the Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Joe brings 24 years of diverse financial knowledge to Atlanta Habitat and is responsible for all aspects of the fiscal functions of the organization ranging from insurance, banking, mortgage services and accounting as well as annual budgeting and long-term strategic planning from a financial perspective. With extensive experience in financial analysis, strategic planning, and operational finance functions, he clearly recognizes finance’s role in partnering with the entire organization to successfully achieve the mission at Atlanta Habitat.
He joined Atlanta Habitat in October 2014 following a 12-year career at Reed Construction Data in Norcross, GA where he served as the senior director of financial planning and analysis for North America.
Joe began his career at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, CT, holding several key finance positions in his eight-year tenure prior to relocating to Georgia in 1998. He holds a bachelor of science in finance from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, and an MBA from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. An avid sports enthusiast, Lessard has been active as a volunteer soccer coach in Forsyth County since 2005.
Brett A. Steele
Vice President & Chief Legal Officer
Brett Steele, Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, leads the legal affairs for Atlanta Habitat. His career includes serving as the Associate General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for eight years at Beazer Homes where he was responsible for the legal affairs across the company, including litigation management, HR/employment, and ethics training and compliance. Brett was also in-house counsel at General Electric Energy and Siemens Energy & Automation and an attorney with King & Spalding in Atlanta.
Brett received his undergraduate degree from Huntingdon College and completed his legal education at Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law, where he graduated cum laude and served on the Moot Court Board and as Editor-In-Chief of the Mercer Law Review. After graduating law school, Mr. Steele completed a two-year clerkship with the Honorable Hugh Lawson, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.
Jill Strickland Luse
Vice President of Communications
Jill Strickland Luse joined Atlanta Habitat in August 2016 as Vice President of Communications. She leads a communications team in developing and implementing communications strategies that effectively share the Atlanta Habitat story through media relations, social media, marketing, and other channels.
As a communications leader for nearly 20 years, Jill has provided communications counsel and services to the C-suite, elected officials, local governments and nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining Atlanta Habitat, she served as Executive Director of Communications & Public Engagement for Atlanta Public Schools and was a communications strategist for corporate communications initiatives.
Jill’s career has also included owning and managing J. Strickland Communications Co., an integrated marketing communications firm focused on enhancing a client’s brand awareness and stakeholder engagement for clients including The Coca-Cola Company, Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure Group, Invest Atlanta and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. She was also the Pennsylvania state press secretary for the Gore-Lieberman Presidential Campaign. Her work has also included leading crisis communications strategies for countless organizations and public figures.
She has provided communications counsel as a volunteer on several boards of directors including Communities in Schools of Atlanta and The National NAMES Project.
Early in her career, Jill was an award-winning broadcast news journalist in Huntsville, Alabama and Atlanta. She earned her Bachelor of Journalism degree from the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. She was born and raised in Atlanta and her husband and she have one daughter.
Vice President of Housing and Neighborhood Engagement
Wesley Brooks is Vice President of Housing and Neighborhood Engagement and leads the organization's new department that focuses on housing development, strategic policy and neighborhood engagement.
Before coming to Atlanta Habitat in June 2017, Wesley served as manager of Housing and Policy for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
As a leader in affordable housing across Georgia, Wesley was invested in the development and preservation of affordable housing along the full spectrum of housing needs throughout the state. From the coordination of supportive services and housing for Georgia’s homeless population and the integration of state supportive housing into thriving communities, to the development of programs—providing relief to underwater homes in our cities. Wesley also led the Housing Outreach Coordinators for the Community Affairs department— connecting Georgians to housing throughout the state and training communities to realize their housing visions through the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing.
Prior to his work with the State of Georgia, Wesley served as the program manager for the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative in Atlanta, a Senior Policy Analyst for the Office of Sustainability in New Haven, Connecticut, and as an Architectural Designer in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Wesley earned a Bachelor of Architecture at Hampton University and holds a Master of City and Regional Planning from Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a reservist in the US Army Corps of Engineers and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Photography by www.rickbanksphotography.com and Toshé Byrd