The Principles

Rick Ballard

Rick Ballard brings over 30 years of experience in housing, community development, community services and advocacy experience. From 1989 through 2010, Rick worked for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, most recently as its Director of the Office of Community Development.  He brings national experience to your project, both as a leader—as  President of the Council of State Community Development Agencies—and  as a trainer and technical assistance provider, with training and project experience in 12 states.

Martha Baumgart

Martha Baumgart was an urban planner with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).   Martha began her career with MSHDA after completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Planning from Michigan State University in 1978.   During her thirty-three year tenure at MSHDA Martha worked with a broad range of housing and community development programs using federal Section 8 subsidies, Homeless, HOME, Community Development Block Grant, Neighborhood Stabilization Program and MSHDA resources.  Martha was also responsible for the coordination and preparation of the State of Michigan Consolidated Plan and its related planning and compliance documents.

Julie Hales Smith

After half a decade with the MSU Cooperative Extension Service in Program Evaluation and Reporting, Julie Hales Smith became the Homeless Coordinator for the Authority. At MSHDA, Julie administered millions of federal and MSHDA dollars in programs to serve across the homeless continuum – from prevention of homelessness, to emergency shelters and services, to permanent supportive housing. Beginning in 1999 Julie restructured MSHDA’s Neighborhood Preservation Program, working  closely with communities across the state to develop and implement plans for revitalization of their neighborhoods and downtowns. From 2004 through 2010, Julie worked with the MSHDA Executive Director and Governor Granholm’s office on targeted  initiatives including the Cool Cities program.