February 28, 2022
Staff Anniversaries: Spotlight on Jen Foell
Our wonderful staff here at DHIC makes everything we do possible. Please join us in congratulating Jen Foell, who has been here for the last 18 years!
Jen Foell, 18 years
Jen made her way to DHIC thanks to an opportunity to fill the needs of a growing organization, which was presented by a former colleague, Sharon Lorden, our CFO/SVP of Finance & Administration. This came at the perfect time in Jen’s career, so when Sharon reached out to Jen about the new role at DHIC, she was immediately interested.
“I had worked in accounting throughout my career in the commercial real estate and restaurant industries, but I was new to the nonprofit world. The transition felt seamless and it instantly felt great being able to use the skills I’d developed over the years for the betterment of people in the Triangle. Being able to work for a nonprofit and learn more about affordable housing, see the impact it has on the community, and hear the individual stories of our residents has been rewarding on so many levels,” explains Jen.
Originally, Jen was hired to fill a few different needs, but her role has evolved into a life of its own over the years. In fact, her responsibilities span a few different areas of the company. “Accounting is the main part of my job, but I also provide IT support and coordination, as well as manage residents and the building we all work in,” she says.
Jen was proud to be an integral part of the opening of the Homeownership Center from day one, preparing the facilities and setting up the necessary technology to get the office up and running. She has also helped improve efficiencies throughout the organization by creating and maintaining a database for resident census and demographic info for DHIC’s entire portfolio. “While I developed it primarily for our annual reporting to NeighborWorks at first, it has become a valuable internal tool that we use for a myriad of needs,” she details.
Beyond that, her IT expertise, in particular, was vital to the launch of the NeighborhoodLIFT program, when DHIC was chosen to administer the program locally through the Homeownership Center. Jen explains, “I provided all implementation and technology support when we started the LIFT program. All the software and tools that we use had to be built, mapped, and written basically from scratch. It was not something we were prepared for so that made it extra challenging!”
In her limited free time, she’s also made it a point to complete professional certifications over the years, including many for LIHTC compliance, Microsoft Access Expert, and she became a Notary.
“All of these roles allow me to draw on my past work experience to navigate my changing responsibilities on a day to day basis. Expanding my skill set here over the past 18 years has been very fulfilling,” Jen says.
More than anything though, Jen’s favorite part of the job is the connections she’s made with her colleagues. She says, “The culture here is amazing. One thing that’s always stuck out to me is how well our team works together because we have a shared passion for the organization’s mission. I honestly couldn’t dream up a better situation than what we have here. It’s amazing to know that even though we’re all busy, we work as a team and everyone is more than willing to help wherever needed. Having that kind of support from each other makes it a joy to come to work each day.”
We also want to thank Jackie Salvati for her invaluable work here at DHIC as she celebrates her 2 year anniversary.