Bickerdike Apartments, the property management arm of Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, oversees a portfolio of 1,194 units of quality, affordable housing with apartments ranging from single room occupancy studios (SROs) to co-op units, to townhouse apartments.
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For media inquiries contact Libby Juliá, Director of Communications & Engagement
Ms. Aruguete has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation for 26 years. She leads this 54-year-old award-winning nonprofit community development corporation whose works hasincluded: the development of 2,060 housing units, including 154 single family homes, with an additional 207 units under construction 731 apartments under development; resident-involved property management of 1,194 rental housing units; management of over 90,000 square ft. of commercial space across eight sites; the performance of minor repairs in over 700 households; the development of hundreds of jobs for community residents; and the development of hundreds of community leaders.
Ms. Aruguete provides leadership in efforts to ensure effective policy, capacity and resources for affordable housing and community development in Chicago and nationally through her active engagement. She is an active Board member of the Chicago Rehab Network, and currently serves as board President. Ms. Aruguete also serves on the Board of the Chicago Housing Trust (formerly Chicago Community Land Trust), and was appointed to serve as President of the board in 2020. In 2021 Ms. Aruguete was appointed to the Cook County Land Bank Authority.
In May 2018 Ms. Aruguete received the Outstanding Community Leader Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Chicago Chapter. In 2009 Ms. Aruguete was presented with the 40 Who’ve Made A Difference Award by Business and Professional People for the Public Interest. Ms. Aruguete has been active in the nonprofit sector for over 30 years. She received her Masters Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also holds a Certificate in NonProfit Management from Roosevelt University, and an Illinois Real Estate Managing Broker License.
VP of Admin & Operations
Ms. Calderon has over 30 years of progressive experience and responsibilities with Bickerdike. She has been an essential leader in Bickerdike’s administration department, serving several years in administrative operations and then moving into human resources where she served as Human Resource Manager. For nearly twenty years, Ms. Calderon led an managed all aspects of the organization’s human resource program, including recruitment, retention, salary and wage policies and programming, all benefits programming and administration, HR policy development and implementation, and union engagement.
Ms. Calderon became Vice President of Administration & Operations in 2022. In that she leads and manages all aspects of the organization’s administrative and operations, including oversight of Information Technology, Human Resources, Communications, and Resource Development.
Ms. Calderon is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management member and an SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM – CP).
VP of Real Estate Development
Mr. Dunne has been developing Affordable Housing in the City of Chicago for over 14 years. Prior to joining Bickerdike, Mr. Dunne worked for Holsten Real Estate Development Corporation where he participated in the development or refinancing of over 1,200 units of affordable housing throughout the Chicagoland area. During this time, Mr. Dunne has worked on all aspects of the development process including securing financing, project design, entitlements, negotiation of contracts, closing, and monitoring construction. Mr. Dunne is familiar multi-layered financing models, utilizing sources including Low Income Housing Tax Credits, New Market Tax Credits, Federal and State Historic Tax Credits, tax exempt bonds, and other private and governmental sources. Prior to joining Holsten, Mr. Dunne served as Deputy Director of the Illinois Medical District Commission where he was responsible for the District’s property acquisition, redevelopment and management activities. Mr. Dunne has also served as a Project Manager in the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development.
VP of Asset Management
Michael Burton oversees the long term sustainability efforts for all of Bickerdike’s properties, including 1,194 affordable housing units in 145 buildings and over 70,000 square feet of commercial space. His duties encompass capital planning and improvements, commercial leasing and long term property preservation including recapitalization, refinance, partner exits and green retrofits. Michael has worked at Bickerdike for 22 years and formerly led the organization’s housing development efforts.
Michael brings a wealth of housing industry experience to Bickerdike. For six years, Michael served as the Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator at the Statewide Housing Action Coalition (SHAC), where he was a consultant to affordable housing developments throughout Illinois. Prior to SHAC, Michael was the Cooperative Housing Program Director at Peoples Housing, where he oversaw the conversion of an affordable rental housing project to a tenant-owned cooperative. As a volunteer, Michael provided technical assistance to launch two student cooperative houses at the University of Chicago.
Michael is an organizer and leader of numerous grass roots initiatives. He is a founder of Chicago Bike Winter, the Zoning for Transportation Equity Coalition and the Logan Square UFO Club. He is lead singer and guitarist in the band Urban Spaceman. Michael has guided five Sierra Club wilderness service trips in the Rocky Mountains and has led bike tours in South America. He has travelled in more than 35 countries and is the founding brewer of La Cascada Brewery in Banos, Ecuador.
Michael holds a M.S. in Human Administration from Spertus College in Chicago and a B.A. in English and Economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
VP of Property Management
Ms. Jones has worked in the Property Management and Affordable Housing industry for the past 27 years. Prior to joining Bickerdike and throughout her career, Ms. Jones has worked for and with several government agencies, non-profit corporations, public and private ownership entities to manage and oversee portfolios of properties ranging from 1,500 – 19,000 units. Ms. Jones has a wide range of experience with several property types, including Conventional and Luxury, Condominium and Cooperative, Residential with Commercial/Office space, Community Centers, New Construction and Full- Moderate Rehab, and Green and Sustainable properties. Additionally, Ms. Jones’ extensive Affordable Housing program experience includes the management and compliance oversight of Section 8 programs (Project Based, HCV, 202, 236, RAD) SRO/MOD Shelter Plus Care, Low Income Housing Tax Credit, HOME, Public Housing, Dual Subsidy and Mixed Finance programs. During her career Ms. Jones’ leadership and track record has proven successful due to her strategic management, adept operational style, and her focus on strengthening internal processes, compliance, employee training and development, and team building.
Ms. Cruz has been at Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation since 1989. She oversees and manages all aspects of Bickerdike’s Accounting operations including the effective financial management and fiscal health of Bickerdike, our subsidiaries, and our partnerships. She is also responsible for annual budgeting, fiscal control systems, and financial reporting for all entitites. She coordinates the annual financial audit process for Bickerdike and all affiliated entities. She works with the Chief Executive Officer on overall management and planning.
Ms. Juliá is an award-winning communications professional. She has over 15 years of experience developing communication strategies that help advance organizational efforts. These strategies include content creation, digital marketing, social media, media outreach, public relations, and event planning.
As Director of Communications & Engagement, Ms. Juliá oversees all aspects of branding, public and media relations, Bickerdike’s membership program, community engagement, and tenant organizing efforts. In 2021, Ms. Juliá, with co-producer Lakeshore Public Media, was awarded a Silver Telly Award in the Non-Broadcast – Public Relations category for the mission video, There’s No Place Like Home.
Before joining Bickerdike, Ms. Juliá worked in higher education, with a focus on student and graduate relations and communications.
A passionate community activist, Ms. Juliá served on the Board of Directors of Archi-treasures, the Advisory Board for Women Empowerment, and as a Volunteer Leader with Chicago Cares. She has also served as a mentor, tutor, and trainer with programs such as the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the Boys & Girls Club.
Ms. Juliá holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Roosevelt University and is a member of Publicity Club of Chicago.
Director of Information Technology
God has blessed Dr Omokhai Imoukhuede with several gifts which he uses for the expansion of God’s kingdom. In addition to his Pastoral calling, Dr. Omokhai is passionate about Technology, Entrepreneurship and Education.
As a technology specialist, Dr. Omokhai serves as the Director of Information Technology at Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, a nonprofit organization specializing in the development of affordable housing in the Chicago area.
As an educator, Dr. Omokhai served as an Adjunct professor in the Computer Science department of East-West University Chicago another nonprofit University for the college freshmen.
Dr. Omokhai seeks to inspire, encourage and uplift individuals using various creative outlets like inspirational writings through his books, trainings and speaking.
He has a degree in International Business from Schiller International University, Florida, a Master’s degree in Information Systems, with a concentration in Networking from Depaul University, Chicago and obtained his PhD in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Regent University Virginia.
Sr Development Project Manager
Mr. Figueroa has been involved in affordable housing development for nearly 8 years. As the Senior Development Project Manager, Mr. Figueroa works with the Vice President of Real Estate Development to ensure the day-to-day progression of all aspects of the development process from inception through construction and final turnover. This includes feasibility analysis, financial structuring, entitlements, community engagement, and physical design and construction.
Prior to joining Bickerdike, Mr. Figueroa worked in the for-profit affordable housing sector in both property management and development of affordable housing. His experience in management included working within the compliance and asset management sectors before transitioning to development in 2017. His experience in development included all aspects of the development process, including project design, securing financing, acquiring subsidies, contract negotiation, due diligence, financial closing, and construction monitoring.
Mr. Figueroa is also experienced with the preservation and restoration of historic properties in the Chicagoland area. Mr. Figueroa has worked with the State Historic Preservation Office on the renovation of the Historic Strand Hotel, the Midwest Apartments, and the Lawson House YMCA, all of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. His preservation work at Bickerdike includes the preservation of two historic buildings in Victory Apartments Preservation as well as the preservation of two historic buildings at Boulevard Apartments Preservation which are scheduled for construction in Q1 of 2023.
Resource Development Manager
Jack has a decade of experience working for nonprofit organizations. He has previously worked for the Special Recreation Association of Lake County (SRACLC), the VING Project, Coalition of Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO). Before joining Bickerdike, Jack served as the Director of Operations and Development at the Reeb Center, a nationally-recognized model for nonprofit collaboration and human service delivery where partners addressing a range of needs from housing to employment to food insecurity all lived and worked under one roof. He earned degrees from the Ohio State University (OSU) in Public Administration and Policy, African-American and African Studies, and minored in Spanish. While attending OSU, Jack also led a variety of community programs in the Department of Social Change, including managing two award-winning youth prison programs. Jack earned a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from OSU as well. He is passionate about holistically serving under-resourced and marginalized communities through effective, efficient, and client-centered systems of service delivery.