CHW’s Board of Directors


  • Robert Gottlieb – Chair; Chief Financial Officer | H.G. Fenton Company
  • Vice Chair – Vacant
  • Stephen Baker – Treasurer; Sr. Vice President | BBVA Compass Consumer Finance
  • Roberto Garcia – Secretary; Planning Commissioner | City of National City


Board Bios


Robert Gottlieb, Chair – Robert brings more than thirty years of real estate financial experience to Community HousingWorks. Robert has been employed with H.G. Fenton Company since 1990 and has been the chief financial officer since 1998. He is responsible for accounting, tax, treasury, business systems and finance functions of H.G. Fenton Company which is one of the San Diego region’s largest real estate organizations, with 3,500 apartment homes and over 4.5 million square feet of office and industrial space to their credit. His accomplishments have included strategic plan development, the transition from an operating company to being exclusively a real estate company, and consolidation and implementation of numerous related corporations. Robert holds an undergraduate economics degree from UCLA, a master’s degree in business from SDSU, and is also a CPA. His other involvements have included being a Board Member of The Grauer School as well as being involved in community and trade associations. He has served on the Board since 2013.

Stephen Baker, Treasurer – Stephen is Senior Vice President, Western Regional Manager of BBVA Compass Consumer Finance. Baker has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the banking and financial services industries. Prior to BBVA Compass, he held senior line and management positions at JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Ford Motor Credit Company. He has leadership experience in commercial and consumer banking, real estate lending, construction finance, operations, credit and risk management. He is active in the greater San Diego business community in addition to his participation with other community service organizations as a Board Member and fundraising campaigns. Stephen has served on our Board since 2011.

Roberto Garcia, Secretary – Roberto is a Planning Commissioner for the City of National City. He works with elected officials, city staff, developers, and businesses to ensure that the city is meeting its smart growth goals. Roberto is committed to uplifting San Diego communities. Through his work over the past ten year in nonprofit, government, and private entities, he has worked towards bringing investment to improving and rehabilitating neighborhoods. Through his leadership in the nonprofit sector via United Way and Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) San Diego, he has brought together multiple people to collaborate in coordinating events, facilitate fundraising efforts, as well as marketing campaigns. He envisions a San Diego rich with economic, housing, and transportation opportunities for people to fulfill their lives. Roberto has served our Board since 2016.


Albert Graff – Albert is a retired business executive who leads an active church and volunteer life. He is a Deacon with the Diocese of San Diego serving principally the spiritual and temporal needs of the Latino community of St. James and St. Leo Catholic Churches. In addition, he is a Director of St. Leo’s medical and dental programs, is the co-founder of Esperanza International, serves on the Board of the Community Resource Center and the Mexican American Educator Guidance Associates, and is a member of the San Dieguito Interfaith Ministerial Association. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, CA. He was a founding member of the Esperanza Housing and Community Development Corporation Board, one of our founding organizations, and has served on the Board since 1992.

Cristal Salinas – Cristal is a Principal Consultant at Prometheus Laboratories, Inc.. Her mix of finance, operational and strategic expertise provides important contributions to the Board. Cristal has held positions of management responsibility in operations and project management in a variety of industries including biotech, technology, and financial services. She has successfully lead and implemented projects ranging from $100,000 to multi-million dollar projects and was awarded with the Exception Performance Awards by both Kyocera Communications Incorporated and Hologic | Gen-Probe Incorporated. Cristal received an M.B.A. with an emphasis in Finance from the University of Redlands in 2010, and is a Whitehead Leadership Society Member. She has served on the Board since 2013.

Fanik Jama – Fanik is a Somali interpreter at Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA). As a long-time Somali community leader and CHW resident, and as a previous on-site property manager at Bandar Salaam, a CHW rental community in City Heights, he brings experience as a leader in the community to our Board. As a quad lingual speaker, he has developed relationships with community organizers and the Somali community at large. A graduate of Gahayr University of Somalia, Fanik strives to strengthen relationships and bridge new ones in fostering positive community involvement. Fanik has served on the Board since 2016.

Gustavo Santiago-Ruiz – Gustavo joined the board as a resident of Orange Place, a CHW rental community in Escondido. He contributes his unique perspective and experience as a CHW resident to the group. Gustavo is an active member of the Organization Committee for the City of Oceanside, striving to improve the city where he is currently a business partner. An active community volunteer, Gustavo has participated in the student union and other on-campus organizations at Cal State San Marcos, working to improve community alliance through campus events. Gustavo has served on the Board since 2015.

Jorge Cuevas Antillon – Jorge is an education leader who works at the College of Education at San Diego State University, and at the San Diego County Office of Education, preparing teachers to effectively serve English Learners and students in dual language immersion programs. He is an apt teacher, professional learning provider, curriculum writer and advocate for biliteracy, multilingualism and worldly responsibility. Jorge continually renews himself with several life inspirations: teaching, reading, social justice and generational responsibility. His larger life purpose is to foster a more healthy and compassionate world. Jorge holds advanced degrees from Stanford University and the University of California Los Angeles. Jorge has served on the CHW board since 2017.

Karen Bucey – Karen is an urban enthusiast, City Heights activist and urban planner. As Chair of the City Heights Redevelopment Area Project Area Committee, she led community input into eight million dollars a year of public investment into San Diego’s gateway immigrant community. Karen is an Associate Planner for the City of San Diego, drawing on her past experience as a Senior Land Use and Environmental Planner for TRS Consultants. Professional affiliations include the American Planning Association (AICP) and Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP). Her other community involvements have included a mayoral appointment to the San Diego Relocation Appeals Board, San Diego Downtown Rotary, San Diego’s Pride Festival and the Azalea Park Neighborhood Association. She holds a degree from San Diego State University in Public Administration and City Planning. A volunteer with Community HousingWorks for over 10 years, Karen has served on the Board since 2006.

Michael Innis-Thompson – Michael is Managing Director–Head of Community Lending & Industry Relations with Union Bank. He is responsible for directing and managing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and Multi-Cultural lending strategy and leading engagement of strategic relationships with key industry organizations. In 2010, he was named Chief Compliance Officer for the Bank’s Consumer Lending group. Prior to joining Union Bank, Michael spent four years with Bank of America in leadership roles as Business Development Executive and Home Loans and Fair Lending Executive; six years with Freddie Mac where he served as Senior Director, Expanding Markets; Director Affordable Lending Sales; and Product Marketing Director. His earlier experience includes Vice President, Fair Lending Risk Management at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Vice President, Regulatory Compliance for Mellon Mortgage Company. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Rutgers University. He has served our Board since 2012.

Steve Siemers – Steve is a Private Mortgage Banker at Wells Fargo, an active home and commercial real estate lender, and a long-time advocate for lender involvement in affordable home lending: NMLS ID 594409. In the mid-1990′s he helped to create one of San Diego’s first 100% home financing products, a 90% first mortgage product paired with Community HousingWorks’ HOOP loan. A long-time treasurer for the organization, he has served on the Board since 1996, through our co-founder San Diego Neighborhood Housing Services.