Three New Board Members

We are a membership organization whose board is empowered by its members, which includes all CLT homeowners. In addition, the board is tri-partite, reserving one-third of its seats for CLT homeowners. Board members are elected by our membership at the annual meeting.


This past year, we have added three new board members.

Joan Fitzgerald

Joan Fitzgerald is Mortgage Consultant with Meridian Bank and works closely with low-income first-time home buyers. She lives in Arden, an historic land-lease community in north Wilmington, which was founded on the single-tax principles of Henry George. She has been one of the most knowledgeable and consistent supporters of the CLT model in Delaware. She holds a community seat on the board.

Joan Fitzgerald
Denise Jackson

Denise Jackson came to ​our board through her work as the Program Manager at Whatcoat Social Services in Dover, for People’s Place, one of our nonprofit partners. Denise is known for her commitment to helping end homelessness. As a representative of People’s Place, she occupies a home owner seat on the board.

Denise Jackson
Gina Miserendino

Gina Miserendino was a long-time staff member of the Delaware Housing Coalition, during which time, she helped to start the Diamond State CLT. She was also instrumental in starting West Rehoboth CLT. As a founder of the Diamond State CLT, she joins fellow founding member, Dawn Poczynek-Holdridge, on the board. She lives in Kent County and is active in the League of Women Voters. She teaches at  Wilmington University and the PolyTech School District and holds a community seat on the board.

Gina Miserendino

They helped us swim against the stream

Amy Walls and Jo Ann Zorb

Two formative leaders of Diamond State Community Land Trust are stepping away from the tremendous responsibility they have undertaken for the last eight years or more, and moving into much-needed but less demanding roles.

They came to us – avid, yet duly diligent – and served, during a time of tremendous uncertainty. Because of them, above all, it can be looked back upon now as a period of significant growth, consolidation, and coming of age as an organization.

Amy Walls and Jo Ann Zorb moved us forward remarkably.

Jo Ann, our Home Ownership Program Manager, has been the face of permanent affordability in Delaware and nationally for her entire time with us. Even more, she has been the the one to think through and implement, at the most practical level, helping people to have that moment of recognition of how a community land trust model can work with them. Some of those people include mortgage lenders, home appraisers, real estate agents, funders, local government representatives, and, most importantly, home buyers. In short, almost everybody.

Amy brought increasingly strong personal leadership to the board of directors, working strategically on board and program development with a longer view in mind. She displayed, on one hand, a deftness and intelligence finely tuned to our situation; and, on the other, an occasionally adamantine will. Her strength and determination brought us through.

While not, technically, founders of our organization, Amy and Jo Ann are formative figures. Despite the currents of scepticism about the shared-equity model and, in a nonprofit funding environment of rising uncertainty, they helped us move against the stream toward the firmer establishment of an organization providing permanently affordable homes in Delaware.

We can never thank them enough.


New FY2018 Board Officers & Directors

[Left to Right] Denise Freeman, Lillian Harrison (P), Sarah Keifer (VP), Dawn Poczynek-Holdridge (T), Dave Buches (S), and Amy Walls
New Board Officers Confirmed

At our April 2017 Annual Membership meeting, Board Officers were presented to the membership and then confirmed by the Board of Directors at our meeting on May 11th.

The new Board Officers are:

  • Lillian Harrison – President
  • Sarah Keifer – Vice President
  • Dave Buches – Secretary
  • Dawn Poczynek-Holdridge – Treasurer

We congratulate them and thank the entire board for their willingness to serve the membership.

A special thanks goes to Amy Walls, outgoing President, after her many years of devoted service

New DSCLT Board Member

Also at our 2017 Annual Membership Meeting, Joan Fitzgerald was nominated and confirmed as a new Board Member for DSCLT.

Joan is the Senior Loan Officer at Embrace Home Loans. Previously a Senior Loan Officer at Meridian Bank, Joan has a strong reputation in the local lending community. She has been honored as Delaware Today’s Top Mortgage Professional and has received the Five Star Mortgage Professional Award for five consecutive years. She is on the advisory counsel at Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware and the Delaware State Housing Authority. She is a member of the Delaware Mortgage Bankers Association and teaches the mortgage section of the HUD Approved class. She is passionate about helping first-time homebuyers.

Joan is also very active in the community. She is a trustee of the Village of Ardentown, on the Board of Directors of the Arden Building & Loan Association, and is an active member of the Diamond State Community Land Trust. We know she will continue to be a great asset to us in this new role.

Joan grew up in North Wilmington and lives in Ardentown. She enjoys reading, quilting, and spending time with her two granddaughters and great-grandson.

The full list of the board of directors can be found here.

Home Owners Serve on Our Board

Board President Amy Walls with Lillian Harrison, Diane Crockett and daughter, Jacob and Lydia Arguelles, Dominic Mancuso

In recent months, Diamond State CLT welcomed four new board members; Lillian Harrison, Diane Crockett, Lydia Arguelles, and Dominic Mancuso.

Lillian Harrison

Lillian serves as the Housing and Credit Clinic Director at the Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council (DCRAC), as well as the AmeriCorps VISTA Veterans Program Director.

Diane Crockett

Diane (with her daughter) became a DSCLT home owner last spring. Since then she has convened a subcommittee of the board strategic planning process and is a member of the Matched Savings Program Committee.

Lydia Arguelles

Lydia is a retired home-maker and mother of three. Her DSCLT Home is in Camden and she has been very active on our Community Engagement Committee. She often assists by attending Homebuyer Fairs and other events to speak with potential applicants.

Dominic Mancuso

Dominic is a retired information tech from Virginia who is purchasing a CLT home in Ingram Village.

The addition of Diane, Lydia, and Dominic to the board means that our homeowners now comprise one-third of our board of directors. The goal of CLT boards such as ours is to have one third of board members to come from CLT homeowners, community members, and public representatives, respectively.