This incredible group of caring, experienced leaders creates and executes the strategies and plans that bring the vision to life.
Kristine Giornalista, Vice President of Real Estate (Interim)
As Senior Director of Real Estate Development, Kristine Giornalista is focused primarily on expanding the AbleLight Village concept across the U.S. Giornalista, who joined in 2019, works with advocates, guardians and service providers to design communities that support choice, inclusion and independence. She also coordinates housing development tasks from site identification through construction closing.
Giornalista most recently served as VP of Asset Management for The Commonwealth Companies and VP of Real Estate Development for Impact Seven, both in Madison, Wisconsin. Her expertise is in creating and managing affordable housing developments in urban and rural communities. Kristine also was Neighborhood Services Manager for the Village of Oak Park, Illinois.
Giornalista earned a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Public affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Chris Dettling, Senior Director of Real Estate Development
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Chris advances AbleLight’s Village concept throughout the nation with a particular focus on the organization’s expanding MN presence. Chris’ career in affordable housing spans 25 years and he applies this experience to all aspects of the development process from concept creation though construction completion. Dettling has been directly responsible for the creation of over $150M in multifamily and mixed-use affordable housing developments and managed teams delivering another $200M+.
Chris’ career has focused on the creation of deeply affordable housing and most recently has focused on creating permanent supportive housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Dettling has held various leadership roles in public and nonprofit organizations where he has been responsible for making strategic and mission critical decisions in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment. Most recently, Chris served as Director of Housing Development for Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative and, for 15 years prior, with Project for Pride in Living, Inc. Chris earned a dual Bachelor degree in History and American Indian Studies and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Julie Hughes, Onsite Leasing and Programming Manager
As Onsite Leasing and Programming Manager, Julie Hughes is focused on AbleLight Village-Victoria in Victoria, Minnesota. She is the public face of the development, leasing individual units and creating programming that empowers residents to be independent, active and integrated with a blended community.
Prior to joining in early 2020, Hughes served as Programming Director for New Challenges, in which she managed and operated six group homes in the Twin Cities. She brings 20 years of administration experience to her role and also served as an advisor for Bridging the Gap, a Christian women’s ministry in Minnesota, and lead advisor for Single Moms Retreat.
Hughes earned a degree in human services from Southeastern University.
Jenny LeMaster, Director of Property Management
As Director of Property Management, Jenny LeMaster leads AbleLight’s team of property managers who oversee all real estate management, building and grounds management, environmental services, and regulatory compliance for 300 owned and leased residential and commercial properties.
LeMaster has led the development of physical properties for new and existing services lines for the corporation. She works with municipal officials to ensure AbleLight adheres to local and state building and zoning laws nationwide. LeMaster is the lead resource for buying, leasing and selling property to and for the corporation, and for identifying real estate opportunities for programs and services.
Prior to joining AbleLight in 2015, LeMaster worked at CH2M HILL (now Jacobs Engineering) in which she worked on large environmental projects for the EPA and DOT. She earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and is currently working towards her MBA.
John Pechan, Senior Real Estate Project Manager
John Pechan is a Senior Project specializing in housing developments that utilize low income housing tax credits, historic tax credits and private equity. As a Senior Project Manager John is involved in every facet of the development process from concept through stabilization.
John most recently served as a Finance Project Manager for J. Jeffers and Company and as a consultant at Baker Tilly. From this experience John has developed an expertise in complex Section 42 and 47 transactions, structuring debt and equity and soft funding sources. John has experience working with multiple asset classes including commercial, hospitality, affordable and market rate multifamily and has been involved in the closing of more than 50 real estate transactions.
John’s expertise essential as we move forward with the AbleLight Village mission to create inclusive communities across the United States.
John earned a bachelor degree in Business Administration and Finance from Seattle University in Seattle, Washington.
Joshua Pluer, Advocacy and Community Outreach Senior Manager
Joshua Pluer has worked in the affordable housing space for over fifteen years, with a focus on serving the most vulnerable populations. He is passionate about inclusive and transformative housing and believes it to be part of the solution for homelessness, social isolation and mental health.
As a former Regional Director of Property Management, Josh led the strategic operation of Gorman’s RAD/Public Housing portfolio, with a focus on social service agency and housing authority partnerships. His team included Project Specialists, Area Managers, Relocation Specialists and Resident Service Coordinators, all tasked with enhancing the lives of specialty populations in need of supportive, social and wrap around services.
Prior to directing operations, Josh developed and implemented various training programs and teams to help transition national management operations internally. Joshua holds a B.S. in Sociology and Spanish Literature from UW-Milwaukee. He also currently holds COS, HCCP, MHS and RAD-PBV designations. Joshua resides in Greendale, WI with his wife of 18 years and 3 children. He is fluent in Spanish and has a passion for coaching youth sports and volunteering.