Meet The Team

Felipe Rael
Executive Director

Rita Final Copy 2.jpg

Rita Gonzalez, CPA
Controller

Miriam Hicks

Miriam Hicks, AIA
Director of Housing Development

 

Kelle Senyé, ARM®
Director of Asset Management

David Poole
Social Services Coordinator

Ameerah Suina Thomas
Social Engagement Associate

Arlene Engel
Office Assistant

Ameerah Suina Thomas

Ameerah (she/they), a woman of Keres (Pueblo) and African descent, is an early career professional in non-profit spaces. She comes to the GAHP just after earning her B.A in Africana Studies with a minor in Peace Studies and graduating from the University of New Mexico in May 2021. Ameerah displays a passion for socio-political reform to the benefit of marginalized and oppressed populations, and with experience as an Intern in Congresswoman Deb Haaland’s D.C. office, as well as UNM’s Africana and Peace Studies programs, offers a fresh perspective on connecting with marginalized communities here in New Mexico. She is currently expanding on her American Sign Language education, as well as working on fixing up her childhood home. She enjoys listening to music, dancing, getting her hair done, watching new films and shows, and checking out new breweries.

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Arlene Engel

Arlene joined the GAHP team in March 2021 as the Office Assistant. Arlene was born and raised in Detroit and holds a B.S. from the University of Arizona and an Associate Degree in Network System Administration from ITT Technical Institute, Santa Clara, CA.  Arlene moved from the Bay Area to Albuquerque in 2005 and held a supportive position at the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce before joining Animal Protection of New Mexico as their Office Manager in 2007.   Her hobbies include calligraphy, drawing, and needlework.

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David Poole

An Albuquerque native, David has had a varied career as a musician, teacher, carpenter and writer. He comes to the GAHP after 27 years with the La Mesa Presbyterian Church, located in the International District. While teaching and directing music, he was also involved in the church’s food pantry, the beautification of the neighborhood, the founding of the La Mesa Arts Academy, and providing free after-school arts education. Other adventures include the Albuquerque Opportunity Center, a shelter for homeless men, and New Mexico Women’s Global Pathways, a non-profit building economic opportunity for refugee women and girls.

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Felipe Rael

Felipe joined the GAHP from the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority, where he provided debt and equity solutions for affordable housing development throughout New Mexico.  Prior to MFA, he held management positions at Arbor Commercial Mortgage, Bank of America, Berkshire Mortgage and Bascom Group.  Felipe was born and raised in Taos and holds degrees from Claremont McKenna College and an MBA in Finance from the Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family and training for endurance races throughout the west. 

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Kelle Senyé, ARM®, CPM® Candidate

Kelle (she/her) has more than 15 years of property management experience and 10 years of non-profit management. Directly prior to arriving at GAHP, she served 9 years advocating for and educating rental property owners and managers as the Executive Director of the Apartment Association of New Mexico. She graduated from ENMU with a Bachelor’s degree in 1993, and received an ARM® certification from the Institute for Real Estate Management in 1996. She is currently the Education Chair for the local IREM NM Board of Directors and is a past Board President of the New Mexico Society of Association Executives and past President of the Governing Council for Mountain Mahogany Community School. In 2015, Kelle became a faculty member of National Apartment Association Education Institute since 2015 and has been an approved instructor for the New Mexico Real Estate Commission since 2011. As a community workout fanatic, theatre lover, and craft beer snob, New Mexico is her first choice to call home.

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Miriam Hicks, AIA

Miriam’s passion for affordable housing brought her to the GAHP after more than 20 years working for Dekker/Perich/Sabatini in Albuquerque. As a licensed Architect, she works to refine and enrich the GAHP’s building standards, as well as use her experience with entitlements, affordable housing funding applications, construction administration, and design to support the GAHP’s mission to create exceptional housing communities. Miriam graduated from Socorro High School and received her Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She enjoys spending time with her family, backyard farming, and working on various healthy living and homesteading projects.

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Rita Gonzalez, CPA

An Albuquerque native, Rita lives in Dallas, Texas and works remotely. She began her career as a public accountant working in both audit and tax while in Albuquerque and San Antonio. Additionally, she has also held several controller positions in the construction and restaurant industries. As controller with GAHP, Rita is responsible for overseeing all financial, accounting, and human resources activities. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and practicing yoga.

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