Homes at willow bend

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
― Maya Angelou

Founded in 2007, Partners for Better Housing is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) housing development organization endeavoring to build quality workforce housing and facilitate upward mobility for modest and moderate-income families in Northwest Arkansas (NWA). Through the grassroots efforts of many community partners over the past 15 years, Partners is now proudly poised to scale our programs, leverage our development expertise, and champion effective housing policy to meaningfully address housing challenges in Northwest Arkansas.

We are committed to building thriving mixed-income communities while preparing families for long-term economic stability through our flagship Homeownership Program and Partners’ first neighborhood, The Homes at Willow Bend. Willow Bend is a mixed-income community that promotes homeownership for working-class families. New homes are currently under construction.

About Partners

Meet the team!

Tenisha is an experienced community connector with a demonstrated history of working within the government administration industry and nonprofit sector. She's skilled in developing talent and leadership, effective in customer relations, creating, facilitating, and implementing programming, and strategic planning. She's a strong social services professional with a Master of Education (MEd,) and experience in public health, human relations, and organizational behavior management.

Interim Executive Director

(479) 434-1163

Tenisha Gist

Christina has more than 20 years' experience in the private nonprofit sector in a variety of operations and technology roles. She specializes in nonprofit accounting and technology, identifying and managing business risks, tracking and evaluating program outcomes, and strategic planning. She has a degree in computer programming and graduates in May with a bachelor's degree in accounting. She is also a freelance accountant serving the local nonprofit sector.


(479) 434-1176

Christina Weldon

Patsy is a Partners’ team member and Veteran. She leads with excellence and volunteers on a number of community Boards including Lighthouse Solutions, LLC, Veterans Hospital Satellite Organization (VHSO), and the Women’s Health Program for the Veterans Administration.

Office Manager

(479) 434-1084

Patsy Warren-COOK

Our board consists of community leaders with expertise in banking, finance, community building, urban design, nonprofit leadership, sustainability and energy efficiency, social entrepreneurship, global education & diversity.

2023 - 2024 Board of Directors

Julie Trivitt is a lifelong Razorback who has been privileged to live in Fayetteville since 2012. She taught economics and data analysis for the University of Arkansas for 8 years and is now the Senior Economist for Human Capital and Workforce Development at Heartland Forward. She is passionate about paying it forward and contributing to the solutions we need so everyone has an opportunity to attend a good school, live in good home, and work in a job that lets them help build the future we all want for our kids. When she grows up she wants to be an herb gardener, librarian, and cruise director. Julie lives in southeast Fayetteville with her husband, Tim Trivitt, son Ethan, and their dog Ellie.

Chair of the Board

Diana Dominguez is a bicultural (Mexican American) and bilingual (English and Spanish) professional with over 7 years of experience in community engagement and outreach primarily in non-profit organizations and community-centered groups. Currently, she is the Community Outreach Coordinator for Entrepreneurship for All, a Massachusetts based nonprofit organization that supports minoritized small business owners and entrepreneurs in starting their business. She serves on the Board of Directors for Partners for Better Housing and Washington Regional Medical Foundation. She graduated from Missouri State University with a Secondary English Education degree and took graduate courses in Comparative Literature from the University of Arkansas.


Cedric was born and raised in Star City, Arkansas. After high school, he went on to serve 6 years in the Navy as an Avionics Technician. He finished his service and returned back to Arkansas to complete his bachelor's degree in Finance at the University of Arkansas in 2016. He later launched his small business, ICE LLC, and now operates it while also serving as the Chief of Staff at INTERFORM, an arts and fashion nonprofit based in Springdale, Arkansas.


John Folan is Architecture Department Head at the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
(FJSoA+D) at the University of Arkansas and Director of the Urban Design Build Studio (UDBS). John founded the UDBS in 2008 as the T. David Fitzgibbon Chair at Carnegie Mellon University to work with
underrepresented communities on the development and implementation of catalytic projects through participatory design processes. The work prioritizes public interest, social justice and equity as a productive end. In 2011 John founded and assumed responsibility as the Executive Director of PROJECT RE_ to expand the capacity of the UDBS through strategic partnerships with other non-profit entities in addressing problems of regional and global significance at scale. His efforts through PROJECT RE_ address physical and transactional needs in providing job skill development and the promotion of entrepreneurial opportunities for under-represented populations; supporting simultaneous aspirations of community restoration, resident empowerment, and material resource advocacy. Focused efforts in affordable housing design, development, and construction have informed the creation of the UDBS AR HOME LAB which focuses on coalition building, partnerships of difference, and collective intelligence as paths to a more inclusive future for resident populations.

Board Member

Amber is a budding community development professional with a passion for social science and storytelling. She is actively honing her skills in development review, community engagement, and comprehensive planning. She is experienced in working with historically marginalized and underserved groups, including new Americans, youth, seniors, and returned citizens. She is a proud alumna of The Ohio State University and the AmeriCorps Summer VISTA program.  

Board Member

Dustin McGowan is a five-year resident of NWA from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He currently serves as the Outreach Director at Genesis Church in Fayetteville and is the owner of Converge Consulting. Dustin is married to Joi and have three young children. Dustin’s' passions include Diversity, Equity and inclusion advocacy, particularly related to economically under resourced communities. 

Board Member

Keaton Smith is a Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager at First Horizon Bank, where he supports entrepreneurs of all kinds with capital and counsel. Active in the community, Keaton has served in volunteer leadership positions with the Fayetteville Forward Green Economy Group, US Green Building Council, Arkansas Advanced Energy Association, NWA Entrepreneurship Alliance, Citizens Climate Lobby, Arkansas Citizens Climate League, and Green Drinks NWA. He currently serves on the Board of Education for Fayetteville Public Schools, on the board of the Community Development Corporation of Bentonville/Bella Vista, and the Advisory Board of Urban Land Institute NWA.Keaton is lucky to be married to his beautiful wife Megan. They live in Fayetteville with their two daughters.

Board Member

A former homeless shelter case manager, educator, banker, and insulation/energy efficiency subcontractor, Joe is currently Vice President of eSCO Processing & Recycling, a NW Arkansas based company focused on responsible end-of-life handling of electronic waste. In his current role, he is proud to say that last year his company’s efforts reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 26 million pounds and recovered more precious metals than any mining company in the Midwest. Joe is the loving husband of KC Tucker, an attorney and proud father of two sons, James, and Louis. His family is his top priority, and he wants to leave the world a better place for his sons, their friends, and future generations.

Board member