Our Team

Tapestry Development Group has over two decades of experience in affordable housing development.

Tapestry Development Group Staff

Jon Toppen

Jon Toppen

President

Jon has been in the affdable housing development field since 2002 and has been involved in the development or preservation of over 1,200 housing units. In his current position, he administers Tapestry Development Group’s corporate affairs and works with the staff and Board of Directors to implement the goals of the organization. Jon’s responsibilities include the oversight and management of development projects, with specialties in permanent supportive housing and Low Income Housing Tax Credits. His current and past experience with project development also includes historic preservation, affordable housing preservation, and green building design. Jon is a certified C.P.A. in Virginia and held a variety of accounting positions prior to entering the affordable housing field. Prior to co-founding Tapestry, he served as a Project Manager and controller for other affordable housing development organizations. He has a B.S. degree in Accounting from the University of Richmond, Virginia, and a Masters of City Planning degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Supportive Housing Association. He is active as an officer at North Avenue Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. Jon is a 2013 graduate of the Urban Land Institute-Atlanta’s Center for Leadership. He and his wife, Jodi Wheeler-Toppen, live in Atlanta and have two children, Natalie and Zachary.

Sara Patenaude

Sara Patenaude

Project Manager

Sara Patenaude has been an affordable housing researcher and advocate since 2012. In her current position as Project Manager at Tapestry Development Group, Sara manages development projects and sources new development opportunities for permanent supportive housing and affordable housing development and rehabilitation. Her previous experience includes helping create comprehensive city and county housing strategies and providing input into affordable housing needs for communities across the southeast. Sara has a PhD in urban history and a Certificate in Planning and Economic Development from Georgia State University, where she studied affordable housing policy. In addition, she has an MA from University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a BA from Northern Kentucky University. Sara volunteers her time on advisory councils for projects including HouseATL and CATLYST and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Friends School of Atlanta.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of Tapestry Development Group is comprised of innovative leaders in the community with diverse expertise and backgrounds. They each bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to guide Tapestry’s efforts to fulfill its mission.

Kathleen Brownlee

Vice President of Operations and Principal Financial Officer

Affiliated with Purpose Built Communities since its inception in 2009, Kathleen Brownlee has extensive experience in affordable real estate financing, development, and asset management. For two years prior to joining Purpose Built Communities, she led the C.F. Foundation’s real estate initiatives in Atlanta, focusing primarily on planning and developing mixed-use, mixed-income developments in and around the East Lake community.

Before joining the C.F. Foundation, Kathleen was the first President of Mercy Housing Southeast, a subsidiary of Mercy Housing, Inc., a national not-for-profit affordable housing developer and manager, and lender to affordable housing initiatives. She initiated and administered a community development information program to introduce the Mercy Housing System in the southeastern region, the first such venture by the corporation east of the Mississippi. She led a team of developers, and in less than five years, successfully secured the financing for over $40 million in affordable housing for low-income families and seniors.

Before her appointment as President of Mercy Housing Southeast, Kathleen served as Mercy Housing, Inc.’s Director of Portfolio Risk Management. She was responsible for underwriting housing developments and portfolio asset management for the entire Mercy Housing system. Additionally, she supervised Mercy Housing’s audit and tax management services, responsible for insurance oversight of corporate assets in excess of $500 million.

Kathleen chairs the Tapestry Development Group Board and serves on the Board of Hope Atlanta and the Low Income Investment Fund’s New Market Tax Credit Advisory. She is a member of CREW Atlanta, has served on boards of several community and national organizations. Kathleen graduated with honors from Agnes Scott College.

Katie Delp

Executive Director, FCS Urban Ministries

Katie is the Executive Director of Focused Community Strategies (FCS Ministries) where she leads holistic community re-development of under-resourced neighborhoods. She has invested over a decade of her life as an engaged neighbor, community developer and passionate activator in the Historic South Atlanta neighborhood. In addition to her organizational leadership, she has established a number of successful urban initiatives including youth development programs, community-building events, awareness campaigns and a local food co-operative. Katie is strong communicator and an effective consultant who has worked with numerous non-profit organizations to strengthen their capacity and impact.

Katie earned a degree in Business Administration from Texas Tech University, is recognized as an Emerging Leader in the Christian Community Development Association, a 2015 Fellow in the New Leaders Council of Atlanta, and serves on the executive team of her neighborhood association, the South Atlanta Civic League. Katie also works alongside her husband, Jeff Delp, Executive Director of Community Economic Development, focusing on strategic investment in local, small businesses in their neighborhood. She is also mother to Sam and Maya.

Howard L. Robinson, Jr.

President, Redclay-Hill

Howard is an Atlanta native and the founder of Redclay-Hill, a full-service creative services firm that connects individuals, organizations, and institutions to their audiences for greater impact and more sustainable results. The firm provides solutions in branding and graphic design, social media content creation and management, public relations, marketing and advertising, fundraising, professional development and continuing education, direct community engagement, event planning, campaign strategy, web and application development, partnership strategy, and a growing list of wraparound services.

Before Redclay-Hill, Howard led online engagement and field organizing efforts as Obama for America’s Digital Media and Organizing Director for the State of Georgia in 2012. Since 2013, Howard and Redclay-Hill have supported equitable and sustainable housing and development in Atlanta through support and promotion of City of Atlanta infrastructure initiatives, production and distribution of educational and communications materials with private developers, and a workforce development partnership with the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia.

John E Taylor

Attorney, Taylor English Duma LLP

John practices in the areas of commercial real estate investment, lending, development and leasing; as well as corporate and asset-based lending.  He received a B.A., magna cum laude, in Political Science from Valdosta State College (now University) in 1981. He proceeded to the University of Georgia School of Law, where he earned a J.D., magna cum laude, in 1984. At Georgia, he served on the law review and was selected to Order of the Coif. Beginning his legal career as a clerk to the Honorable Lewis R. Morgan of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, he subsequently practiced in Atlanta with prominent Atlanta law firms until he started his own law practice in November, 2008.  He joined Taylor English Duma in January, 2018. Throughout his career, John has represented institutional and individual investors in equity and debt investments in a wide variety of real property types, including hotels, office buildings, retail developments, multi-family properties (including low-income), timberland, warehouse properties and mixed-use developments. He has represented lenders in foreclosures and loan workouts and restructurings, as well as national and regional retailers in the acquisition, development, leasing and disposition of operating retail properties. In additional to continuing those aspects of his practice, he currently represents commercial landlords and tenants in lease and sublease transactions and lenders in asset-based loan transactions.   

John has lectured at various programs sponsored by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia on topics such as professionalism, ethics, Georgia land bank authority legislation and tax lien enforcement; is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and the Florida Bar (currently inactive) and serves on the Executive Committee of the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia and as co-chair of the Legislative Subcommittee. 

Sara Toering

Senior Fellow, Center for Community Progress Senior Advisor, Project on Affordable Housing and Community Development, Emory Law

Sara is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Community Progress, a national non-profit focused on transformational change in communities struggling with vacancy, abandonment, deterioration, and disinvestment. She’s also a Senior Advisor at the Project on Affordable Housing and Community Development at Emory University School of Law. Beginning almost twenty years ago as a tenant organizer in Brooklyn, NY, Sara’s vocation and expertise are focused on addressing inequities resulting from generations of federal, state and local policy that systematically denied wealth and opportunity to communities of color. 

Sara began her current work in equitable community development after several years in practice at a large Atlanta law firm where she litigated a wide range of complex business matters, and also defended men detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and on Georgia’s death row. Sara currently works with state and local governments and community leaders throughout the country on land banking, code enforcement, tax foreclosure reform and other issues related to neighborhood stabilization.

James Winston

Construction Manager, Pollack Shores Real Estate Group

James manages construction and design of multi-family developments for Pollack Shores Real Estate Group (PSREG). He has more than 15-years of experience in the real estate development and construction industry. James has worked on the development and construction of more than 2,500 multi-family units throughout the Southeast and his experience also includes development and construction management roles with a variety of product types including retail, hospitality, educational, municipal, and mixed-use projects. 

Prior to joining Pollack Shores Real Estate Group James served as Principal of Roark Management Group (RMG). At RMG he provided consulting services to asset management groups for retail and residential projects as well as construction management services for commercial and non-profit development groups. Before RMG, James worked with Lane Investment and Development, LLC as a construction manager where he also managed the construction and design of multi-family development projects. At Lane James was responsible for construction activity that represented $250 million of investments in Atlanta, Alabama, and South Florida.  James is able to provide insight on project schedules, budgets, constructability and is effective at coordinating with Architects, Engineers, and municipal organizations.

James received a degree in Economics from Morehouse College and a Masters in Real Estate Development from Auburn University.    

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