Our Team

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

Tapestry Development Group Staff

Jon Toppen

Jon Toppen



Jon has been in the affordable housing development field since 2002 and developed over 1,500 housing units in his career. 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.

Avery W Smith

Avery W Smith

Project Manager


Since 2015 Avery W. Smith has been actively involved in the affordable housing industry. First working with Public Housing Authorities, she has helped convert over 1500 units from HUD’s Public Housing sector to the Section 8 platform via Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) for both Project Based Voucher and Project Based Rental Assistance transactions. Additionally, she has had the opportunity to
assist PHA’s in other opportunities of Asset Repositioning such as Section 18 Demo/Dispo applications as well as Section 22 Streamline Voluntary Conversions. Many of these transactions are also paired with
competitive sources of funding. She has been successful in obtaining funding through 9% and 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Now as a part of the Tapestry Team, she is actively gaining LIHTC experience in Georgia and South Carolina while providing
her experienced knowledge on Alabama and PHA-partnered deals. Within her role as Project Manager, she works closely with development partners, driving developments from start to finish. She is HCCP certified and has a degree in Geography from Auburn University.

Outside General Counsel


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. 

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

Realtor, Board Chair, Executive Committee Investment Committee

Kathleen Brownlee is an experienced realtor with Coldwell Banker and has expertise in helping sellers, buyers, and renters.  She is certified as a Senior Real Estate Specialist and much more. 

Prior she was 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’ 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 Treasurer Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Committee

As FCS Executive Director, Katie Delp oversees all FCS activities alongside President Jim Wehner. Her areas of focus include operations, staffing, programming, and financial stewardship. She joined FCS in 2001 as a Program Assistant, and then served as Chief Operations Officer from 2004 until stepping into her current role in 2014. She previously served as City Director for Mission Year, a year-long urban immersion volunteer program. She holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from Texas Tech University, and is a candidate for an MBA in Real Estate from Georgia State University. She actively gives back to her community by serving on the boards of organizations such as Tapestry Development Group, Purpose Built Schools Community Engagement Inc., and Wesley International Academy, and through speaking engagements with outlets such as 60 Minutes, NPR, PBS, Urban Land Institute Atlanta, Georgia Tech, many other conferences. She is active in the South Atlanta Civic League and leads the Friends of South Atlanta Parks. She has been recognized as an Emerging Leader in the Christian Community Development Association, and as a 2018 Alum of the Year in the New Leaders Council of Atlanta. She is an avid runner and reader. She and her husband Jeff have been residents of Historic South Atlanta since 2001.

Ryan Fleming

Senior Loan Officer, Enterprise Community Loan Fund

Ryan is a Senior Loan Officer at Enterprise Community Loan Fund (ECLF), a Community Development Financial Institution which meets the critical capital needs of communities across the country. ECLF provides community developers access to financing, which may otherwise be unavailable for local projects such as affordable housing (both multifamily and single family), charter schools and community health centers. In this role, Ryan underwrites loans for the acquisition and construction of affordable housing and community development initiatives, with a focus on development opportunities in the Southeast region.

Prior to joining ECLF, Ryan worked as the Director of the Office of Housing Finance at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, administering the state’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program (LIHTC) along with other HUD-funded programs such as HOME, NHTF, TCAP, CDBG-DR. The 30-person team which he managed reviewed all 9% and 4% LIHTC applications in Georgia. 

Ryan was selected as one of the 30 National Housing Conference (NHC) Emerging Leaders in 2019 and received his Masters of City & Regional Planning (MCRP) from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2017.

Howard L. Robinson, Jr.

President, Redclay-Hill Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Committee

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.

Sara Toering

Owner and General Counsel, SJT Partners, LLC Secretary Investment Committee Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Committee

Sara Toering is the Owner and General Counsel of SJT Partners, LLC, a Georgia based consulting firm that serves organizations and leaders around the country seeking to impact federal, state, and local policy focused on land, housing affordability and equitable neighborhood stabilization. Sara is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for Community Progress, America’s non-profit leader for turning “Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Places.” Beginning over 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. Publications include the Georgia Land Bank Resource Manual (Center for Community Progress, June 2013) (with Frank S. Alexander), Georgia Real Estate Finance and Foreclosure Law, 2022-2023 Ed. (Thomson West-2022) (with Frank S. Alexander and Sarah Bolling-Mancini), and Georgia Land Bank Manual 2.0: Templates and Forms (forthcoming, Center for Community Progress, fall 2022) (with Allie Jett).

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 received a J. D. from Emory University School of Law, a Master’s in Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and a B.A. from Calvin College. 

James Winston

Project Executive, AHS Residential
Vice Chair Executive Committee Investment Committee

James works with AHS’s development team to oversee the construction of approximately 2,000 multifamily housing units in Metro Atlanta. He has 17 years of experience in real estate development.

Previously, James managed construction and design of multi-family developments for RangeWater Real Estate (formerly PollackShores Real Estate Group).  James worked on the development and construction of more than 2,500 multi-family units throughout the Southeast.  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 Pollack Shores, 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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