Plenary Panelists

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    2019 Housing & Conservation Conference
    Building and Sustaining Healthy Communities

    VHCB is excited to announce the plenary panelists for our conference, Dr. Tiffany Manuel, Alfred Diaz-Infante, and Jeannette Tuitele-Lewis.


  • Tiffany Manuel, PhD, President & CEO, TheCaseMade
    Dr. Tiffany Manuel is the President and CEO of TheCaseMade, a public benefit corporation dedicated to helping leaders powerfully and intentionally make the case for systems change. In this role, Dr. Manuel works with hundreds of passionate social change leaders, changemakers and innovators around the United States who are building better, stronger communities that are diverse, equitable and inclusive. By aligning their community stakeholders around the kind of deep systems changes that can improve population outcomes, these leaders are able to grow their impact, scale their programs, and harness the investments they need to improve their communities.

    Dr. Manuel is a dynamic speaker, thought leader, and writer on the issues of community development, social change and cross-sector partnerships. Trained as a social scientist, she is committed to building the capacity of changemakers and leaders to grow their social impact. She has worked to expand opportunity for low-income workers, families and communities through 25+ years of professional and volunteer experience spanning the private and non-profit sectors, government and academia. She is the primary architect of the Opportunity360, a data platform with more than 100k+ users in the community development field, it remains the most comprehensive data platform for practitioners looking to advance systems change and population outcomes. Dr. Manuel is passionate about translating the insights harvested from this work to increase opportunities for public deliberation and public will-building around the issues of poverty, inequality and social exclusion. Dr. Manuel holds doctorate and master’s degrees in public policy from the University of Massachusetts Boston, a master’s degree in political science from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago.

    Alfred Diaz-Infante, President & CEO, Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association (CHISPA), Salinas, CA
    Alfred Diaz-Infante was born and raised in Salinas. He earned an M.B.A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, with an emphasis in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics, and a B.S. degree in Finance from California State University, Sacramento. He serves as the President and CEO of Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association, Inc. (CHISPA) and its affiliated companies. CHISPA is the largest non-profit affordable housing provider based in Monterey County.

    He is currently a Board Member of the Hartnell College Foundation, Community Foundation for Monterey County, Literacy Campaign for Monterey County, Salinas Planning & Research Corporation, Youth Orchestra Salinas (YOSAL) and Salinas Regional Sports Authority.

    His recreational interests include mountain biking, karate, reading and attending his children's sports activities. Alfred and his wife, Elvira, and their three children, Karina, Alexis and Marcos, live in Salinas.

    Jeannette Tuitele-Lewis, President & CEO, Big Sur Land Trust, Big Sur, CA
    Jeannette Tuitele-Lewis became president and CEO of Big Sur Land (BSLT) Trust in October of 2014. Prior to coming to BSLT, she worked for Sierra Foothill Conservancy for five years as executive director, following three years as development and outreach director. During her tenure, the organization doubled its operations capacity, reached a milestone of 25,000 acres of conserved lands, and became Land Trust Alliance accredited.

    Born in California, Jeannette split much of her youth between the West Coast and the Pacific Islands. Her earliest outdoor memories include long days at the beach while living on Guam. Her teen years were spent exploring the oak woodlands of California's Solano County. These experiences sparked a lifelong passion for land conservation and the study of the relationship between land and people.

    Upon graduating from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa with a botany degree, Jeannette worked in the American Samoan Islands for the Community and Natural Resources Division. There she documented medicinal uses of plants by traditional healers, worked with local farmers to promote non-timber forest products, and coordinated village tree plantings in areas devastated by recent hurricanes. She received her master's degree in forest science from Oregon State University, where her studies integrated ecological analysis, agroforestry, and land tenure systems. Following graduate school, Jeannette worked as a forest science technician, collecting data on old growth forests across the Pacific Northwest.

    Jeannette serves on the board of the California Council of Land Trusts and on the national Leadership Council of the Land Trust Alliance. She is also an alumnus of the Center for Whole Communities. She spends her free time exploring coastal lands with her husband, Jamie, and their two young children, Amaelia and Malae. She also maintains her Pacific Island connections and occasionally advises on projects in the region.