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executive team

Home Forward is led by a CEO, who oversees all of its programs and its 300+ employees. The CEO implements board-approved policies and programs, and directly supervises three officers and two department heads. 

Ivory Mathews
Kitty Miller
Ian Davie
Kandy Sage
Martha Calhoon

Chief Communication Officer (CCO)

Christina Dirks
Policy and Planning
Kellie Shaw
Ivory Mathews
Executive Director

Ivory N. Mathews has dedicated more than 20 years of her professional career to the work of providing equitable housing solutions and supportive services to families. As Executive Director of the largest provider of affordable housing in Oregon, she oversees an annual budget of $198M, serving 15,000 households; a team of 300 plus employees; a housing portfolio of more than 6,300 apartments; 

and the administration of a variety of rent assistance programs, including 8,900 Housing Choice Vouchers, a short-term rent assistance program that consolidates funding from several different sources and provides assistance through 19 social service partners; and partnerships with more than 100 community organizations.

Under Mathews’ leadership, Home Forward continues fostering cooperation and partnerships among a collection of external constituencies and stakeholders, including federal, state, and local government officials; private and non-profit agencies; jurisdictional partners; housing clientele; and the community as a whole. She also continues the implementation of Home Forward’s vision, mission, strategies, policies, and operational objectives, towards its evolution to a diverse, anti-racist, equitable, and inclusive organization. In addition, she continues to lead the work of attracting, developing, managing, and retaining an effective, diverse workforce.

Prior to joining Home Forward, Mathews was the Chief Executive Officer for Columbia Housing and Cayce Housing in South Carolina. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Legislative Network Advisory Committee for the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) and is on the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) board.

Mathews holds a master’s degree in Counseling & Psychology from Troy University, a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Newberry College, and several nationally recognized certifications in the affordable housing arena. She is a Riley Institute Diversity Leadership Initiative Fellow and has recently been named Top 20 Dynamic CEOs for 2021 by The CEO Publication. Mathews was also named as one of the 50 Most Influential in the Midlands by Columbia Business Monthly in 2020 and 2021.

She is happily married for 20 years to Donnie Mathews; they are the proud parents of two children, Mahogany, 17 and Dalton, 12.

Kitty Miller Deputy Executive Director, Administration

Kitty Miller
Deputy Director, Administration

Kitty Miller, LCSW, joined Home Forward in 2010 as the Organizational Development Manager. She quickly advanced to Director of Community Services, where she fortified the department’s infrastructure and deepened strategic community partnerships. 

Under her leadership, Home Forward built stronger connections to the health, workforce, domestic violence, and education systems in the county. 

As Deputy Executive Director, Kitty expands her strengths and experience in organizational development, service delivery, and systems alignment, as Home Forward prioritizes inter-jurisdictional collaborations. Furthermore, Kitty will guide Home Forward’s commitment to expand supportive housing in the community over the next 10 years, while she oversees the business lines of Community Services, Human Resources, Contracts and Procurement, and key policy staff.

Ian Davie Deputy Executive Director, Operations

Ian Davie
Deputy Director, Operations

Ian Davie began at Home Forward in September, 2016. After a rural Oregon upbringing and some college years in Los Angeles, Ian spent nearly twelve years in New York City. 

Among other things, he biked through as many neighborhoods as possible, figured out where to get a good late-night slice, and tried his best to remain productive while commuting two hours a day on the subway. A lawyer by training, Ian became Deputy Director of Housing at the Bronx office of Legal Services NYC, where he focused on eviction prevention, legal services, civil rights litigation, fair housing advocacy, and anti-poverty policy. At Home Forward, Ian oversees various departments including Rent Assistance, Homelessness Initiatives, Facilities and Safety, and Property Management.

Kandy Sage Deputy Director, Finance at Home Forward

Kandy Sage
Deputy Director, Finance

Kandy Sage joined Home Forward in 2008 as the Senior Development and Construction Accountant, bringing with her a deep knowledge of real estate development and finance.

Through her previous professional experience in this area of the accounting filed, she was charged with the creation and implementation of this new accounting role and was responsible for oversight of accounting and analysis for over $100M of development projects. Additionally, she streamlined financial reporting for development projects, administered and provided compliance oversight for the HUD Capital Fund Program and Replacement Housing Factor grants, and implemented improvements to the agency’s fixed asset tracking process. In 2015, she advanced to Controller, where she managed the ongoing operations of agency’s finance and accounting department, oversaw monthly internal and external financial reporting, and managed the independent annual audit of Home Forward’s financials and compliance, which contributed to six consecutive years of clean financial audits. In August, 2021, Kandy was promoted to Deputy Executive Director of Finance and now oversees various departments including Development & Community Revitalization, Asset Management, Accounting & Finance, Reporting & Analytics, Risk and Treasury. 

Martha Calhoon
Chief Communication Officer (CCO)

Martha Calhoon brings more than a decade of strategic communications and public policy experience to her role as Chief Communications Officer at Home Forward. Prior to joining Home Forward in 2023, she served as the Public Information Manager for the Portland Housing Bureau, where she led communications for nine years with a focus on promoting the success of the local housing bonds,

developing an equitable outreach campaign for the N/NE Preference Policy, and demonstrating the agency’s impact through visual communications and people-centered storytelling. She believes safe, stable, affordable housing is the foundation upon which people can build new lives and achieve their potential.

She previously worked as the Communications Manager for Our Children Oregon, an advocacy nonprofit working to advance public policy supports for children and families throughout Oregon. She is passionate about racial and economic justice, and views strategic communications as a critical tool to build will for our public systems and investments in the common good. She holds a BA in Comparative Literature and Romance Languages, and a master’s degree in journalism, from the University of Oregon. She has lived in SE Portland with her son and several cats since 2009.

Christina Dirks

Christina Dirks (she/her) joined Home Forward in 2022 and is the Director of Policy and Planning for Home Forward. In that role, she leads policy change and long-term planning work at Home Forward with a focus on reducing barriers to accessing Home Forward programs, promoting housing stability, and advancing racial equity.

Christina has spent her professional career advocating for vulnerable renters and marginalized communities. After graduating law school, Christina began working at Oregon Law Center and then Legal Aid Services of Oregon as a Staff Attorney and then a Supervising Attorney. Through her practice, Christina represented low-income tenants, including hundreds of Home Forward residents and Housing Choice Voucher holders, in all types of housing related legal matters for 18 years. In addition to direct client representation, Christina coordinated the office’s housing justice legal work and served in various policy forums. After stepping away from the practice of law, Christina joined the Rental Services Office of the Portland Housing Bureau. While with the Portland Housing Bureau, Christina developed, implemented, and oversaw various programs that advancing housing stability for low-income renters.

Kellie Shaw Director of Equity
Kellie Shaw
Director of Equity

Kellie is a Black woman born and raised in NE Portland who understands firsthand, the challenges of staying housed in this city, as well as the history of policy and development practices that have consistently and disproportionately displaced and created barriers to staying adequately housed for Black, Indigenous and other communities of color.

In her lengthy career as a consultant, she has been able to shift and guide systems of practice within many organizations and she is excited to help Home Forward in its endeavors to transform its culture toward being an anti-racist, social justice agency. Kellie has over 15 years of professional social justice expertise, advocating for historically marginalized communities, with the ability to recognize and address underlying injustice. She was the previous Board Chair at Trillium Charter School and is a skilled facilitator who has created and delivered workshops and trainings on social and racial justice for over a decade.

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