OCCH Staff Spotlight: People in the News

June 3, 2020

OCCH is Proud to Recognize the Following New Hires:

Ashley Castricone, Development Assistant

Ms. Castricone joined Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) in February 2020 as Development Assistant. In this role, she assists the Development Team and Fund Management with a variety of administrative and project-based tasks. Prior to joining OCCH, Ms. Castricone was an Assistant Manager of the Title Department of a local law firm. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from The Ohio State University. She also obtained her Master’s in Public Administration and Policy from American University.


Ben Goates, Vice President of Development

Mr. Goates rejoined Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) in 2020 as Vice President of Development, having previously been with OCCH from 2008-2014 in the role of Development Analyst. From 2014-2016 he was Vice President of KeyBank’s Community Development Lending group, providing construction and permanent lending solutions to affordable housing developers for LIHTC housing in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky. From 2016-2020, he was Acquisitions Manager of New York-based National Development Council’s Corporate Equity Fund (CEF) where he originated LIHTC investment for developments throughout Ohio, Indiana, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Washington, and Maine as well as assisted in raising capital from new investors for CEF’s multi-investor fund. Mr. Goates has considerable experience in affordable housing types and populations served, including traditional LIHTC, mixed-income, mixed-use, PSH, and Affordable Assisted Living. Additionally, he is well-versed in the programmatic requirements and implementation of HUD Section 8 and RAD, USDA RD, FHLB AHP, State and Historic tax credits, GSE debt financing, bond loans, and various layered subsidies that can accompany projects that serve the most vulnerable tenant populations. He has provided housing investment and finance solutions in markets across the country, ranging from Greenfield new construction to complicated historical renovation, from dense inner city-urban settings to sprawling Native American housing on rural reservations in the Southwestern US. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance degree from The University of Utah and a Masters of Business Administration degree from The Ohio State University.


Erum Gul, Accounts Payable Specialist

Ms. Gul joined Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) in May 2020 as an Accounts Payable Specialist with the Finance Department. Her responsibilities include keeping track of payments and expense activity for all corporate entities and equity funds, generating checks, initiating wire requests and posting journal entries. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.


Ryan Schmitt, Development Analyst

Mr. Schmitt joined Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) as a Development Analyst in February 2020. In this role, he provides technical support and underwriting of affordable housing developments in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. Prior to joining OCCH, Mr. Schmitt was an Associate Project Manager at SB Friedman Development Advisors, a development advisory consultant based in Chicago. In this role he provided analytical and technical expertise across SB Friedman’s portfolio of development advisory services including housing policy, financial gap, and fiscal impact analyses; tax increment financing; and comprehensive planning services to both public and private sector clients. Prior to his work at SB Friedman, Mr. Schmitt was the Research and Policy Analyst at the Institute for Housing Studies (IHS) at DePaul University, where he provided research and policy analysis and technical assistance to IHS and its non-profit partners and clients. Mr. Schmitt holds a Master’s of Urban Planning and Policy degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor’s of Urban Planning degree from the University of Cincinnati.


Mariama Sheriff, Accounting Coordinator

Ms. Sheriff joined Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) in May 2020 as an Accounting Coordinator with the Finance Department. Her responsibilities include processing Reserve Requests. Prior to joining OCCH, she worked in the hospitality industry, overseeing the service management and the accounting aspect of The Cube Restaurant. She is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. 


Jodi Stickel, Lending Program Specialist

Mrs. Stickel joined Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) in April 2020 and currently serves as the Lending Program Specialist for Ohio Capital Finance Corporation (OCFC), the lending arm of OCCH. She is responsible for assisting with OCFC’s affordable housing and community development lending platform by evaluating lending risks while developing solutions to finance, underwriting and closing issues. Functioning collaboratively, Mrs. Stickel assists with coordination and execution of the lending process with all stakeholders (project sponsors, investors, attorneys, 3rd party consultants, internal staff as well as state and local jurisdictions) in an effort to help transform neighborhoods.

Prior to joining OCCH, Mrs. Stickel spent several years as the Equity Administrator for The National Affordable Housing Trust (NAHT). Previously Mrs. Stickel enjoyed a long career in retail lending as both an underwriter and a compliance analyst. Mrs. Stickel is a Specialist in Housing Credit Management (SHCM).


Marcus Vivona, Vice President of Asset and Risk Management

Mr. Vivona joined Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) in 2020 and currently serves as Vice President of Asset and Risk Management. In this capacity, he is responsible for overseeing the production of investor reporting, project evaluation during the underwriting process, identifying project and portfolio risks and trends, and supporting asset managers with troubled assets, incident reporting and resolution. Mr. Vivona has 24 years of experience in the affordable housing industry. Prior to joining OCCH, he held senior-level positions in asset management, development, investor relations and originations with several prominent for-profit and not-for-profit affordable housing organizations. Mr. Vivona holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Economics from Nazareth College of Rochester and an Executive Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the University of Notre Dame – Mendoza College of Business.