By Rachel Walker
On December 1st, the Austin Tenants Council announced that its Board of Directors had chosen Jeannie Nelson to serve as the organization’s new Executive Director. Nelson joins ATC following nearly three years as the Director of Dental Services at AIDS Services of Austin (ASA). Before working with ASA, Nelson was Lead Dental Hygienist at Austin Dental Arts. She also brings many years of experience working in human resource management.
“After a thorough search process, the Board is pleased to have found Jeannie Nelson as the best person to assume leadership of this important Austin organization,” said board chair Kate Moore. “Jeannie has 20 years of experience and the management skills to keep the organization healthy and growing. This, combined with her dedication to equity and social justice, makes Jeannie uniquely qualified to lead the Austin Tenants Council.”
While Nelson’s background involves work in several fields, she believes that “the common thread has been a desire to help others and an ability to develop teams and systems to achieve mission-driven, data-supported results.” In particular, her work at AIDS Services of Austin prepared her for this role: “it enlightened me to the housing issues in our community and helped me see first-hand how essential affordable, safe, and sanitary housing is to the health and well-being of each individual and the community as a whole.”
Nelson has lived in Austin for fourteen years, and was a tenant until 2016. During this time, she has witnessed the city’s population growth as well as the dramatic increase in housing costs. Nelson says that bearing witness to these changes motivated her to join ATC’s mission:
We now have a housing shortage in Austin and certainly a shortage of affordable
housing. This creates a climate that also has the potential to promote
housing discrimination. The work of the Tenants Council is as relevant now as it
has ever been and I am excited to join the team.