|Lejla Prljaca, Chief Executive Officer
As CEO of the Gwinnett Housing Corporation (GHC), Lejla Prljaca is responsible for the planning, organizing and directing of operations of one of the largest affordable housing agencies in Gwinnett. Her realization of the growing need for affordable housing inspired her to expand GHC’s programs to include roles as Gwinnett County NSP3 Asset Manager and the Gwinnett County Community Housing Development Organization. She is the co-lead for City of Norcross program with the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH).
Lejla is also active in state and national housing associations. As a Legislation Chair of the Georgia Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities (GAHRA) she has lobbied the state and federal government for deregulation of public housing and adequate funding. She is a Board member of the GA Department of Community Affairs Homeless Continuum of Care and serves on the Regional Housing Task Force and currently serves on ARC’s Regional Housing Task Force.
Lejla holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgia State University.
|Keira Drane, Deputy Director
Keira joined the GHC team in April 2018 in the capacity of Deputy Director. She brings with her over 20 years of combined experience as a former Property Manager in mixed income housing and project management. As a former Senior Project Manager, she led a team responsible for impacting lives of families who lived in the Nation’s 2nd largest housing development during the Chicago Housing Authority’s Relocation Transformation process. She then relocated to Georgia, where she embarked on a new role as a Program Specialist administering Community Development Block Grant funding to low income communities and people residing within Gwinnett County. Keira is responsible for assisting the Executive Director in overall administrative and management of the Agency’s housing programs, personnel functions, and finance.
|Karen Ramsey, Housing Initiatives Director
Karen Ramsey joined the GHC team in August 2022 as the Housing Initiatives Director. As the Housing Initiatives Director, Karen is responsible for the planning, supervision and operation of various programs and initiatives. She is also responsible for seeking grant funding opportunities for GHC and completing the grant application process. Karen brings to GHC 15 years of affordable housing experience as well as certifications in Housing Choice Voucher Program Management, Fair Housing and Reasonable Accommodations Specialist, HCPV Program Specialist, and Low-Income Tax Credit Specialist. Karen has a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Georgia State University and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Keller Graduate School.
|Paula Hollis, Property Manager
Paula Hollis has worked for public housing authorities since 2002. As supervisor for the Housing Department, her staff’s roles and responsibilities include maintaining the waiting list, moving new residents into units, re-certifying tenants yearly in accordance with HUD regulations, maintaining accurate and organized tenant files, ensuring exterior maintenance compliance and overall excellence in property management. In addition to these roles, Ms. Hollis maintains a proficient knowledge in changes with federally assisted housing and has certifications in multifamily housing, MOR, rent calculation, executive management, and occupancy specialist. She has participated in training with SACS software, TenMast software, PIC, and fair housing and reasonable accommodations.
|Tiffani Payne, Grants Program Manager
Tiffani Payne joined GHC in July 2018 and currently holds the position of Grants Program Manager. In this role, Tiffani is tasked with the administration and oversight of grant-funded programs. With a wealth of experience in affordable housing spanning several years, Tiffani has proven expertise in her field. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Georgia and a Master’s Degree in Managerial Leadership from Piedmont College.
|Beth Bannister, Operations Manager
Beth Bannister has been with the Gwinnett Housing Corporation since 2007 and is an integral part of the Authority’s daily reporting and agency operations. She has over 21+ years of experience in the public management sector. In her role as Operations Manager, Beth is responsible for preparation of all procurement documents including Requests for Proposals, Requests for Quotes, Invitations for Bid, and preparation of contracts to be executed between the Housing Authority and Contractors. Additionally, she manages payroll, benefits, and other human resources needs of the agency. Beth received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Berry College and is a certified public housing manager. She most recently received her Management Occupancy Review Specialist (MORS) certification in October of 2018 and Society of Human Resources Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) certification in 2022.
|Darren Barber, Construction Manager
Darren Barber has over twenty-five years of construction and maintenance experience. He exercises direct supervision of the entire maintenance department and is in charge of planning, implementing, and overseeing the complete rehabilitation of GHC’s portfolio. Mr. Barber works closely with Gwinnett County’s inspector in acquisition of properties for both sale and rental. Darren brings a wealth of expertise to the agency as he is a licensed General Contractor and is Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS) certified.
|Denise Kleinman, Development Manager
Denise joined the Gwinnett Housing Corporation in February of 2020. In her role as GHC’s Development Manager, Denise oversees the day to day management of the GHC’s real estate programs including strategic housing acquisition, rehabilitation, and disposition, buyer eligibility, and program compliance. As development manager, she also manages the maintenance and expansion of GHC’s public and private funding opportunities. Denise has over twenty years’ experience in the residential construction development industry, working in project management, administration, and design capacities; as well as more than seven years in the non-profit sector aiding in economic, housing, and community development. In construction development, she has performed pre-development work, as well as project management for the development of affordable housing. She has grant proposal writing experience, and also had her own research consulting LLC for ten years, working on projects which included surveying people, parcels, and neighborhoods. A native of New Jersey, and a Georgia resident for 15 years, Denise earned an AS in Architecture, a BA in Interior Design, an MS in Urban Studies, and a Certificate in Building Construction Technology.
|Ebone` Shane, Assistant Property Manager
Ebone` joined the GHC team in 2023. Previously, she worked for the South Bend Housing Authority for over 6 years, working in various aspects of the LIPH and HCV programs. Most recently, she worked as a compliance support specialist for housing agencies nationwide. Ebone` has a keen focus for compliance and program accuracy. She is skilled in program application processing and eligibility, file audits and annual and interim re-certifications and is highly knowledgeable in HUD regulations.
|Aukesha Cherry, HUD Certified Housing Counselor - Homeowner Resource Center
Aukesha has over 15 years of professional experience helping homebuyers and homeowners successfully navigate the journey to achieve their real estate goals. She is passionate about implementing affordable solutions for homebuyers. As the Housing Counselor for the Homeowner Resource Center, she is responsible for housing counseling, homebuyer education and helping clients plan for homeownership success. Aukesha has a BA from Alabama A&M University and is also a Freddie Mac CreditSmart Coach.
|Yajaira Delacruz, Intake Specialist - Housing Resource Center
Yajaira joined the GHC team in 2023. As an intake specialist, she manages waiting lists, processes client applications, verifies client program eligibility and ensures that properties are eligible. She has her bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Ferris State University in Michigan and has worked with non-profit organizations for over 15 years.
|Aldin Besic, Lead Maintenance Technician
Aldin has been with the GHC since 2016 and has over 20 years of experience in construction and maintenance. His responsibility as a maintenance lead is to oversee, plan, direct, supervise daily activities of maintenance personnel. Aldin is OSHA, EPA and certified manager of maintenance (CMM) certified, and has exceptional knowledge of all aspects of construction and maintenance areas.
| Ray Casaday, Maintenance Technician
|Robert Brown, Maintenance Technician
| Nigel Tobella, Maintenance Technician
|Tiffany Chambliss, Groundskeeper