Christopher Persons has led Community Roots Housing (formerly Capitol Hill Housing) since 2007. Chris has more than three decades of senior nonprofit leadership experience. Prior to joining, he was executive director of Inspiration Corporation, a homeless and housing services agency in Chicago. Under his leadership, it grew from a neighborhood agency to a city-wide, award-winning corporation. Chris guided the organization through two mergers, started a housing program and opened a restaurant doubling as a job training and employment center.
Chris has led Community Roots through the development of two strategic plans and has refined a vision framework to drive the organization forward. In 2010 he oversaw the creation of a Foundation to develop resources to support the work of the enterprise. Under Chris's leadership, the organization has grown significantly - adding several buildings and more than 350 affordable apartments to the portfolio as well as much more commercial space. 12th Avenue Arts, completed in 2014, is the organization's biggest project to date. This $47 Million development houses two performing arts theaters, 88 apartments, nonprofit offices and local retail, and has received several awards. Community Roots Housing continues to expand its community development work including the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict and a growing resident services program.
Chris has a long-standing commitment to leadership in community development. He served as Chair of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce for three years and served on the Seattle Planning Commission for four years. Chris is actively involved in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and is leading community partnerships in the Central District. Chris served as treasurer of the board of the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle and King County, is currently on the board of the Foundation, serves on the Housing Partnership Network's board of directors and public policy Committee, and is a member of the Yesler Community Collaborative.