To create a community that provides networking and professional development opportunities and promotes advancement and leadership of women in affordable housing.
THE BENNET GROUP
Director of Development Operations
Prior to joining The Bennett Group, Cindy worked as a Paralegal for ten years with a focus on commercial and residential real estate transactions. She also brings with her several years of experience in affordable housing, having previously worked as a Development Coordinator at Charter Development. During that time, Cindy worked with both Mr. Bennett and Ms. Rowlett on developments throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
VP | PRESIDENT ELECT
HOLLYHAND DEVELOPMENT GROUP, LLC
VP of Development
Marcella Roberts is Vice President of Development, Hollyhand Development, LLC. Hollyhand Development, a multifamily development company specializing in low-income housing tax credits, is the development affiliate of Doug Hollyhand Realty, Inc. based in Northport, Alabama. Ms. Roberts has 15 years of experience in the affordable multifamily housing development industry and works in partnership with nonprofit organizations, public housing authorities and other for-profit developers to develop quality, accessible, affordable and safe multifamily housing for families throughout the Southeast.
Caleigh Miller, CPA
BANYAN FOUNDATION INC.
Vice President of Development
Caleigh Miller, CPA is the Vice President of Development at The Banyan Foundation, Inc. (TBF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit affordable housing developer with a focus in the southeast region. She has been with TBF since November 2019. Prior to joining TBF, Caleigh worked three years as an auditor for the Tidwell Group, LLC, a public accounting firm, where she performed various assurance services for both for profit and non-profit entities with a focus in the affordable housing sector. She also performed Service Organization Control audits and reviews over internal controls for companies in the healthcare and information technology industries. Caleigh also served a brief period as an internal auditor with BBVA Compass, over-seeing and performing a number of audits and reviews on internal controls and compliance with various banking regulations. Caleigh has a B.S. in Accounting from The University of Alabama at Birmingham and is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Alabama.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
HIGHLAND COMMERCIAL MORTGAGE
Abby Drummond began working for Highland Commercial Mortgage in 2020 as the Marketing Director. Abby Is responsible for planning and executing all marketing efforts for HCM. This includes event planning, internal and external communications, advertisement, public relations and more. Before joining the Highland team, Abby most recently worked in the marketing department at Fleetio, a Birmingham-based SaaS startup. Abby graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and business. She currently serves on the board of the Birmingham chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) as well as the Alabama chapter of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
DIRECTOR OF EVENTS
Leigh Anne Rula
HIGHLAND COMMERCIAL MORTGAGE
Leigh Anne Rula has worked for Highland Commercial Mortgage since 2015, first working as the marketing director and recently moving over to the loan originations team. She has since taken a special interest in the industry and proven her ability to identify successful business opportunities and develop lasting industry relationships. Prior to joining HCM she served as marketing director at Alabama Forever. Leigh Anne earned her Bachelor of Science degree with emphasis in food science and nutrition from Mississippi State University in 1999. She graduated from the Mississippi School of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork in 2004 and owned a private therapy clinic for 10 years. In her free time, Leigh Anne enjoys trail running, tennis, live music, traveling and watching both of her sons play collegiate soccer in North Carolina.
DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Mary Ann Givens
HOPE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
VP Regional Branch Administrator
Mary Ann is the Vice President Regional Branch Administrator at Hope Federal Credit Union in Montgomery, AL. In this capacity, Givens leads a group of five branch managers in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana to expand business development opportunities and deepen HOPE’s impact through high quality member service in its retail operations. Givens brings to the position 13 years of progressive leadership experience at Hope Credit Union and Tri-Rivers Credit Union rising from a Member Service Representative to Vice President Branch Manager prior to her promotion. Previously she worked for the General Casualty Insurance Company in Montgomery, Alabama. Givens has a Master of Business Administration from Amridge University, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Auburn University and serves on the Financial Advisory Board with Ignite Alabama.
Ann Marie Rowlett
THE BENNETT GROUP
Ann Marie Rowlett joined The Bennett Group in 2002 and is currently Partner and Chief Operating Officer. As COO, she oversees the day-to-day operations of the company, ensuring that staff is knowledgeable about the overall goals of the company and how those can best be achieved. Ann Marie coordinates all employee training, benefits, and continued education, while also maintaining a close working relationship with our partners, attorneys, accountants, and other third-party professionals. Ann Marie is actively engaged in ongoing strategic planning for the company’s continued growth and success, reviewing all financial statements, projections, and tax documents. She is also a general partner in numerous LIHTC and HOME developments in Alabama and South Carolina.
Leslie Austin, CPA
Leslie Austin, CPA is a Tax Manager at Tidwell Group, a full-service accounting and consulting firm that specializes in Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Real Estate and Construction, in Birmingham Alabama. With 10 years of experience in public accounting, she specializes in tax compliance and consulting for regional and national clients within the low income housing industry and construction industry. Leslie has a B.S in Accounting and a Masters in Tax Accounting from The University of Alabama.