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Will Jordan is the Executive Director of the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing & Opportunity Council (EHOC), which works to ensure equal access to housing for all people through education, counseling, investigation, and enforcement. EHOC was recognized in 2008 with HUD’s Blue Ribbon Award and by FOCUS St. Louis in 2003 with a “What’s Right with the Region” Award. Will personally was awarded the 2012 Missouri Commission on Human Rights Fair Housing Advocate Award and the 2005 Governor’s Human Rights Award from the State of Illinois. Will received his B.S. in Psychology from Southeast Missouri State University and his J.D. from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Before coming to EHOC, he served as Program Manager for the Emerson Park Development Corporation’s YouthBuild Program in East St. Louis, as Hearing Officer for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, as Regional Trainer for the Missouri Division of Youth Services, and as Community Outreach Coordinator for the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. He is a member of Stand for Children’s grassroots organizing initiative.
Zachary Schmook is the Deputy Director and Managing Attorney for EHOC and is dedicated to helping clients with housing discrimination complaints. He has represented EHOC and individual clients before state and federal courts, as well as in administrative actions with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Zack received his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis and is admitted to practice law in Missouri and Illinois, as well as federal courts in the Eastern District of Missouri and the Southern District of Illinois. He started his service with EHOC as a volunteer tester while he was in law school. After his second year of law school, he served as a summer intern, researching issues related to disability discrimination and assisting with landlord/tenant complaints. Upon graduation, he became EHOC’s first licensed attorney on staff and built EHOC’s legal department. Zack has also served as an intern with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division and as a summer associate with University of KwaZulu-Natal Law Clinic in Durban, South Africa. In addition to his work at EHOC, Zack serves in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Katina Combs is the EHOC’s Director of Investigation and Fair Lending Specialist. Katina supervises EHOC’s testing program and is actively involved in all aspects of EHOC’s enforcement activities. Katina has been with EHOC for more than ten years and previously served as Fair Housing Assistant. She has completed training through the National Fair Housing Alliance in Fair Housing Fundamentals and Real Estate Sales. She has also completed training on accessibility through Fair Housing FIRST and predatory lending at John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Katina received her associate degree from St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. She has a passion for fair housing and fair lending and is deeply committed to EHOC’s clients.
Elisabeth Risch is the Director of Education and Research for EHOC. She joined EHOC as a full-time volunteer through the Mennonite Voluntary Service and subsequently became a full-time employee. She works mainly on banking issues by analyzing data, researching banks, and writing reports and public comment letters. She helped found the St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance (SLEHCRA) and works directly with banks to increase performance and services to low-income and minority communities. She graduated from Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a B.A. in Sociology and International Development Studies and completed her M.S.W. at Washington University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work.
Kalila Jackson is a native of St. Louis and represents clients with fair housing complaints and other legal issues as EHOC’s Staff Attorney. She earned her law degree from Washington University in St. Louis and her undergraduate degree from Saint Louis University. She is admitted to practice law in Missouri. Before coming to EHOC, Kalila worked as an Associate Attorney at a civil litigation firm, where she represented individuals and businesses in a diverse range of civil litigation matters, including employment and housing discrimination. Kalila is also a member of the Board of Directors of Catholic Family Services.
Donna Bradley is in charge of EHOC’s fair housing training program as the Education and Outreach Coordinator. Before coming to EHOC, Donna worked in the inner city of St. Louis in Christian Community Development, assisting community residents move from dependence to self-sufficiency through advocacy, life skills training, education, and outreach. She is also a licensed attorney who practiced labor and employment law, primarily with the National Labor Relations Board. Donna received a B.A. in Political Science from Brown University, a M.S. in Criminal Justice from Columbia College, a J.D. from Howard University, and is near completion of a Ph.D. in Public Safety and Criminal Justice from Capella University. She also teaches at Webster University, Lindenwood University, and Columbia College.
Sam Stragand is a native of St. Louis, and is dedicated to housing justice in the greater St. Louis area. He received his B.A. in philosophy from Grinnell College in Iowa and his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. Sam previously served as a legal intern for EHOC through Washington University’s Civil Rights, Community Justice, and Mediation Clinic. He also completed legal internships at the Legal Resources Centre in Durban, South Africa, and the Federal Public Defenders of the Eastern District of Missouri. During law school, Sam spent a semester studying abroad at the Law Faculty of Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Prior to law school, Sam served two years in Peace Corp Turkmenistan.