More:  About Our Staff

Trudy Soucoup, MAOL CEO


Trudy joined Homes First as Chief Executive in October, 2011, and began leading the organization into its third decade of creating safe, healthy, and affordable rental housing in Thurston County. Trudy came to Homes First from Community Youth Services where she served as Manager of Organizational Development.

She has over 30 years experience working in nonprofits around the world. Trudy volunteers her time with many mission-driven organizations that include being a member of the Board for the Washington State Employee’s Credit Union and Washington Nonprofits.


A 2008 graduate of Lead Thurston County, Trudy’s passion is for working with staff and leaders to grow nonprofits and plan for their future so that our community members can have better, healthier lives.


Candace Wood, CPA
Director of Finance

Candace joined Homes First in September of 2020 to help support the financial stability and long term planning which will enhance our ability to provide more homes for our community.  Candace owns and operates a local CPA company "The Back Office Services" which provides all aspects of bookkeeping, payroll, and state/payroll tax services, such as accounts payable/receivable, and reconciliation for businesses ranging in size.  Prior to working with Homes First, Candace was an Assistant State Auditor and was the Chief Financial Officer for Community Youth Services.  In her off time, when she can find it, she loves country life, hiking, and spending time with her family.


Jena Embry Loes, B.Ed
Director of Operations

Jena brings her two decades of experience serving in Olympia area non profit organizations to her new position as Director of Operations for Homes First. Her recent position in low income Senior and Disabled HUD Housing helped foster a desire to increase her role in work that supports affordable housing. She is enthusiastic about the community efforts to promote safe, decent homes that are accessible to those who need them most and providing support and leadership to the hardworking staff team of Homes First.


Jena was born and raised in Olympia and with her husband Matt they have raised their two children, cared for aging parents and nurtured many friendships over the years. She loves to travel, enjoys playing with their two pugs, Rocket and Violet, and spends as much time in her flower and vegetable gardens as possible. She believes the PNW is filled with beautiful scenery and community minded people and wouldn’t live anywhere else!

Shannon Michlitsch, CFRE
Director of Development

Shannon is a knowledgeable development professional of 20 years and a Certified Fundraising Executive, bringing a broad range of nonprofit work experience ranging from Education and Employment to Food Banks and Foundations. She is thrilled to connect and create new opportunities for the community to support housing those most in need with the permanent, stable, rental housing at Homes First. 

Along with working hard to leave the world a better place than when she entered, Shannon spends her free time golfing, home renovating, traveling with her daughter, and searching for the perfect burger and fries. 


Amy Sewell, MS
Finance Coordinator

Amy joined Homes First in 2009 to help support daily office operations. Since that time, she has gone from working 20 hours a week to being a full time Office Manager. She has seen many changes at the organization and helps ensure that the daily care of our tenants and our finances stay on track.


When she isn’t at work, Amy is a loving mother and avid gardener. Amy has a masters degree in biology and still loves studying nature. You will often see Amy on her bike commuting to work or using the FREE Intercity bus system.


Ron Stewart, Property Manager

Ron celebrated his 15th Anniversary with Homes First in 2019. With experience in construction, renovation, and rehabilitation Ron is a stalwart at our organization, supporting the maintenance of both our homes and our tenants. He doesn’t hesitate to enter crawlspaces or climb ladders when the day calls for it.


Ron is active in a local youth football league and a member of the Legion of BOOM! #Go12s . Homes First is lucky to have had his dedication to excellence for so many years.


Dyana Todd, Tenant Services Navigator

Dyana Todd is compelled to leave the world better than how she found it. It’s not likely to be a big, splashy, newsworthy effort that defines her, but someone’s life, hopefully, many someone’s lives will be happier, healthier, or better because she was a part of it.


The catapult that moved her into the world of social services was the birth of her first son, Justin. He has special needs, and Dyana’s job became to bend the rest of the world to his needs. Some success there led to an education, and a job helping parents of school-aged children, including spearheading a resource apartment in a neighborhood severely impacted by poverty, teaching parenting, supporting parents, participating on endless committees and boards, and continuing to raise her own family, now two boys strong.

Dyana likes to read, write, travel, take excellent care of her puppy, Luna, (now our official office mascot) and spend as much time as possible with friends and family.


Keith Garlinghouse,
Maintenance Coordinator

A resident of Shelton, Keith comes to us with a broad background and skills in property maintenance work, including over 10 years' experience working with local property companies.


Keith enjoys fishing, the Dallas Cowboys, and sports in general. He also enjoys spending time with his family and 2 kids on the weekends.


Felly Giorgianni, Jr. , Maintenance Technician

Felly began working with us in 2013 as a contractor.  Now staff, he is also a former tenant, a leader in his faith community and in the Oxford House International program.


He has many years of maintenance and remodeling skills learned alongside his father, who is a professional builder. In his spare time, Felly collects knives and is a rabid Subaru fanatic, #SubieFlowBro. We are happy to have Felly on our team.