Future of the Profession

A forward-looking initiative to design a stronger, healthier, and more sustainable campus housing profession.


ACUHO-I Foundation Leadership

Stewards of the profession.

The ACUHO-I Foundation is the only organization that raises money for ACUHO-I to fund large-scale educational programs, research initiatives, and practice innovations for campus housing and residence life professionals around the world.

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, the Foundation receives donations from individuals and corporate partners to help advance the ACUHO-I mission, empower those working in campus housing and the residence life profession, and engage the broader higher education community. Guided by a set of bylaws and a mission to support ACUHO-I’s strategic efforts, the ACUHO-I Foundation board is dedicated to fostering a stronger future.

2024 ACUHO-I Foundation Board

Foundation Chair

Tom Hardy
Executive Director of University Housing and the Resident Experience
University of Louisville

With more than 27 years in various positions within campus housing, Tom Hardy has demonstrated a strong commitment to professional development amongst his team and has served on the Governing Council for the South East Association of Housing Officers (SEAHO) for more than a dozen years in various roles. He has served on four host teams for SEAHO, and he served as chair of the annual conference in 2008 and 2014. In 2015 SEAHO honored Hardy with the Founders Award, their highest honor. He has also served internationally on the ACUHO-I host team, been the Exhibits Committee chair, the SEAHO representative to the ACUHO-I Foundation, and the Vice Chair for Individual Giving and Outreach.


Tim Touchette
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
Brandeis University

Tim Touchette oversees the Brandeis University departments of community living, new student orientation, and the behavioral intervention care team. He attributes his professional growth to his involvement in the North East Association of College and University Housing Officers (NEACUHO). Touchette has served as the Annual Conference Chair, Parliamentarian, President (2014-2015), and Past President (2016-Present). Tim is also an active member of ACUHO-I. He formerly served as ACUHO-I Foundation Regional Cabinet Member for NEACUHO (2018-2020).

Past Chair 

Patricia Martinez
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Patricia Martinez has served the housing profession for more than 25 years. Her career has encompassed both private and public institutions in the United States. Serving as the assistant vice president for student services, she is responsible for student housing and residence life, dining, student center operations, technology and assessment, student media, and marketing, as well as capital projects and planning for student affairs. For ACUHO-I, Martinez has held several elected positions, including president and the Finance & Corporate Records Officer.

Finance and Corporate Records Officer

Ray Gasser
Assistant Vice President for Residence Education and Housing Services
Michigan State University

In his role at Michigan State University, Ray Gasser’s responsibilities include oversight of 27 residence halls, three apartment complex facilities with a total occupancy capacity of nearly 17,000 beds, a $70 million annual operating budget, and providing leadership and vision to a department of more than 300 full-time employees. Before beginning his work with the ACUHO-I Foundation, Gasser previously chaired the Campus Housing Index Committee and the annual conference Program Committee. He also has presented numerous programs at both regional and national conferences, as well as been a faculty member for the James C. Grimm National Housing Training Institute. 

Vice Chair, Annual Programs

Sasha Masoomi
Assistant Director of Residence Life
Miami University

As the assistant director of residence life at Miami University, Sasha Masoomi supervises a staff of 11 live-in professionals and oversees the departmental leadership and coordination of professional and paraprofessional staff trainings and development. In addition, Masoomi has served as the on-campus advisor to the Miami University Chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH), as well as recently serving as the Central Atlantic Regional NRHH Advisor for the National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH). For ACUHO-I, she has served as a member of the ACUHO-I membership Committee, the ACUHO-I Foundations Annual Giving Committee, and from 2017-2019 a faculty member for the ACUHO-I STARS college.

Vice Chair, Individual Giving & Outreach

LaFarin Meriwether
Associate Director for Residence Life
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Since she arrived at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2019, LaFarin Meriwether has provided direction and leadership for residential education as well as the live-in staff and student crisis and support efforts. In all, she is responsible for a residential community of more than 5,600 residents, 21 professional staff, four graduate students, and more 150 student staff. For ACUHO-I, she has served as one of the guest editors for a themed-issue of the Journal of College & University Student Housing on “housing while black.” She is also co-host of the “The Meeting After the Meeting” podcast.

Vice Chair, Industry Partner Outreach and Giving

Andy McDade
Storage Squad

Andy McDade, currently president of Storage Squad, has spent more than 40 years being a trusted partner to more than 1,000 colleges and universities, connecting the needs of students, families, and campuses to meaningful services at crucial times of the student experience. He has been an active supporter of ACUHO-I and NACURH. For his many contributions, McDade received the ACUHO-I Parthenon Award in 2018.

Vice Chair, Regional Cabinet

Mari Strombom
Executive Director of Housing & Dining Services
Colorado State University

Currently serving as the executive director of housing and dining services at Colorado State University, Mari Strombom oversees housing, dining services, conference and event services, housing facilities and technology, and others. Strombom has been an active association member for ACUHO-I and at the regional level. She graduated from the ACUHO-I Professional Standards Institute in 2010 and has been repeatedly involved with the AIMHO region. For her many contributions, in 2017, she was named the AIMHO Sage. 

Ex Officio Board Member

Charles Holmes-Hope
Director of Residential Life 
University of Vermont

Since 2022, Charles Holmes-Hope has served as the director of residential life at The University of Vermont. There he is responsible for bringing a relational, strategic, and coordinated approach to enact a renewed vision to the administration, leadership, and management for setting annual priorities and goals for the residential life program and operations for both students and staff. Before his time at Vermont, he served as the director of residential life at Northwestern University where he provided direction for the department’s training, development, recruitment and selection, staff supervision, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and the area programming model. For his ACUHO-I efforts, he has received the James A. Hurd Award and the Presidential Service Award.

Ex Officio Board Member

Jennifer Wilder
Director of University Housing
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Jennifer Wilder’s volunteer service includes being active in each ACUHO-I region she has worked in. She served as a conference chair in the Southwestern Association of College and University Housing Officers (SWACUHO) and has been active in the Southeastern Association of Housing Officers (SEAHO). She is a past president of NWACHO, past RELI faculty member, presenter at SEAHO and ACUHO-I, and currently serves as the co-facilitator for the HBCU Roundtable. On her campus, she provides overall leadership and programmatic direction for the department. Since her arrival in 2017, she has led the transformation of the department through accountability measures and the introduction of ACUHO-I competencies.

ACUHO-I Vice President (ex officio)

Olan Garrett
Associate Vice Chancellor
Temple University

Each year, the ACUHO-I Vice President holds an ex officio position on the Foundation Board, serving as a liaison between the two entities. Olan Garrett, an active ACUHO-I presenter and volunteer, previously served as the ACUHO-I Finance and Corporate Records Officer. Along with completing the ACUHO-I Professional Standards Institute, he has been a James C. Grimm National Housing Training Institute faculty member and was a core member of the Program Committee and Regional Affiliation Task Force. An active supporter of regional associations as well, Garrett has been involved in both the GLACUHO and MACUHO regions, serving in various appointed and elected roles. He was president of MACUHO as well as a multiple-time faculty member for the MACUHO/NEACUHO Regional Entry Level Institute.

Director of Development (ex officio)

Laurel Palmer
Director of Development
ACUHO-I Foundation

Before joining the ACUHO-I Foundation, Laurel Palmer’s career spanned two decades in the Greek nonprofit sector. She served as a senior development director for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation, where she contributed to a $30 million increase in the foundation’s net assets. Palmer is passionate about fostering a culture of inclusion, where each donor is not only valued but also profoundly connected to the organization’s mission.

CEO | Executive Director (ex officio)

Mary DeNiro
CEO / Executive Director

ACUHO-I’s CEO and executive director since 2015, Mary DeNiro oversees the association’s home office. She works closely with the Executive Board to fulfill the strategic plan and serve the needs of association members while also supporting the ACUHO-I Foundation in their fundraising efforts. Previously, DeNiro was the Wisconsin Alumni Association’s chief operating officer and executive vice president and vice president of marketing and communications. She also has been the senior vice president of sales and marketing for Capital Newspapers and the vice president of advertising for Thomson Newspapers. She is a graduate of Ohio University and holds an MBA degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mary has also studied at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Of Business and the Northwestern University executive management programs.

Regional Cabinet

Cory Shapiro

Arizona State University

Michelle Sujka

University of Cincinnati

Crystal Lopez

Caldwell University

Vinnie Birkenmeyer

Pace University

Paula Diaz

University of Washington

Steve Syoen

University of Tennessee

Jill Eckardt

Texas Woman's University

Rian Nostrum

North Dakota State University

W. Jeff Cooper

California State University, Monterey Bay

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.