Skip to content

Our Staff


Contact Us


Danny Knee

Executive Director

dannyk@cictucson.org | 520.529.1766 ext. 203

Danny’s Bio

Danny has two decades experience in the public and non-profit sectors including 14 years in executive management. He earned a BA from Johns Hopkins University in The Writing Seminars.  He also holds Master Degrees in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University and Business Administration from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Business.  He has a wide array of community development and affordable housing experience through his work at the Tucson Urban League and Habitat for Humanity Tucson, organizations where he also served terms as Interim Director.  Danny was a middle school teacher early in his professional career and remains passionate about education from serving as the Chief Operating Officer of Earn to Learn, an Arizona-wide college scholarship organization.  As co-founder of Single Focus Web, a web development company he started with his wife, Cecily, he brings experience as an entrepreneur and small business owner to Community Investment Corporation.  He was named one of Tucson’s “40-Under-40” in 2007 for contributions to his profession and the community. Danny also captained his nationally ranked Division III men’s basketball team at Johns Hopkins. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he has called Tucson his home since 2004.

Leadership Team:

Caroline Nelson

Caroline Nelson

Chief Operating Officer

caroline@cictucson.org | 520.529.1766 ext. 206

Caroline’s Bio

Caroline Nelson, a native Tucsonan, has spent the last 18 years in the financial services industry. She started with Community Investment Corporation in September 2016 and has spent time in each of CIC’s three program areas. Caroline is currently the Chief Operating Officer and oversees the small business lending program. Prior to CIC, the majority of her career was spent working for Northern Trust Bank where she held various positions in the banking and wealth strategies departments. Caroline earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Phoenix and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. She is a graduate of the Greater Tucson Leadership program and earned a certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from the University of Arizona.

Aaron Eden_low res_web

Aaron Eden
Chief Innovation Officer

aaron@cictucson.org | 520.529.1766 ext. 214

Aaron’s Bio

Aaron’s life vision is to utilize his innovative product and IT leadership skills to continue acceleration of our global shift toward a value creation economy. This will be accomplished by leading innovators, mentoring entrepreneurs and collaborating with businesses to create more value for each of their customers.

For more than 25 years, Aaron has utilized his passions for entrepreneurship and leadership to launch multiple successful businesses and turbo-charge organizations in industries ranging from information technology, healthcare, education, financial services, and management consulting.

In his corporate life, Aaron worked in multiple IT, business, and HR teams during his time at Intuit with a specific recent focus on supporting senior leaders in application of Lean Startup principles. As an Innovation Catalyst, Aaron used  his design thinking, lean startup, design for delight and rapid experimentation skills to coach leaders on how to effectively integrate innovation across the entire enterprise, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars of impact, highly engaged employees and delighted customers. 

Staff:

Carie Davis

Director of Alternative Business Funding

carie@cictucson.org | 520.529.1766 ext. 216

Carie’s Bio

Carie spent most of her career as a corporate innovation leader, focused on helping large companies collaborate with the tech community to drive growth. She’s worked both inside corporations and as the founder of her own consulting practice and tech commercialization accelerator. A long-time volunteer in the startup community, Carie is excited to be working directly with entrepreneurs to bring alternative business funding solutions to the community.

Malisa Evans

Malisa Evans

Program Assistant

malisa@cictucson.org | 520.529.1766 ext. 211

Malisa’s Bio

Malisa is a Tucson native who joined the CIC team in January 2017.  She received a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree in Education: Curriculum and Technology from Grand Canyon University.  Prior to joining CIC, she taught high school Mathematics in Tucson for over ten years. Along with teaching she was also the Head Coach for Cross Country and Track & Field Coach for a local Salpointe Catholic High School where she led her teams to 5 state championships and was named as Arizona’s Coach of the Year three times. She is an avid distance runner and enjoys hiking the trails of Tucson. If she is not working or coaching, she is spending time with her family outdoors or nestled on the couch watching the next best series on Netflix with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Joanna Garcia, Program Support Associate

Joanna Garcia

Program Assistant

joanna@cictucson.org | 520.529.1766 ext. 208

Joanna’s Bio

Joanna is a Southern California native, and has called Tucson home for 13 years. She has worked in customer service for over 9 years, most recently at Wells Fargo for 6.5 years with an ending position of Service Manager, leading a team of 12 tellers. She has a strong background in meeting customer needs, compliance and financial operating standards. She is passionate about providing assistance and resources to those in need to help make Tucson a better city. When she is not working, Joanna enjoys spending time with her family.

Patty Gonzalez

Homeownership Assistance Manager

patty@cictucson.org | 520.529.1766 ext. 205

Patty’s Bio

Patty is a customer service expert and has served for over 22 years as a program coordinator to the non-profit organization Family Housing Resources.  New to CIC in 2017, she brings on board a wealth of expertise in numerous areas including management, consultation, housing markets, and home buyer assistance programs.

Patty has worked as a program educator teaching classes on homebuyer education and serves as a certified bi-lingual housing counselor.  She also teaches classes covering a variety of topics including credit, budgeting, mortgages, realtor services, titling, inspections, appraisals, home maintenance, foreclosure prevention, and post-purchase education.

She has spent the past 20+ years building relationships with lenders, realtors and other professionals. In this time, she has also devoted herself to motherhood and family, which keeps her extremely busy with all the events her amazing children and extended family are involved in.  She has committed her life to the pursuit of helping others and is happiest when doing so.

 Jennie Grabel

Director of Marketing and Communications

jennie@cictucson.org | 520.529.1766 ext.213

Jennie’s Bio

Jennie is a native Arizonan with a background in media and nonprofit leadership. She joins the CIC family as Director of Marketing and Communications for CIC and sister organizations Family Housing Resources (FHR) and Southern Arizona Land Trust (SALT). Her background in radio, both commercial and community, and nonprofit management, funding and program/event creation provide a unique understanding of and connection to the local community. Jennie graduated from the University of Arizona, Cum Laude with an Interdisciplinary Studies degree focused on Humanities, Classics and English Literature. Her passion is working with and for the community, building initiatives, supporting progress and spotlighting the individuals and organizations that are doing the hard work to move identified community needs forward. She is also the mother of four and loves cooking for family and friends, yoga, and fitness.

Nick Henry - 2019 - Low Res - sRGB (web)

Nick Henry

Director of Community Lending & Impact

nick@cictucson.org | 520.529.1766 ext. 209

Nick’s Bio

Nick is a native Southwesterner but has lived in various parts of the U.S. and Latin America throughout his life.  He earned his degree in physics in 2004 at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR.  After subsequently spending time traveling and volunteering in rural southern Mexico, Nick returned to the U.S. and worked as a translator, researcher, and educator on border and immigration issues in New Mexico, Chihuahua, Arizona, and Sonora.  One of Nick’s great passions lies at the intersection between social issues and food, food policy, and food justice, and so when he was given the opportunity to join the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona in 2010, he leapt at the opportunity.  In Nick’s eight years there, he helped build a school gardening program, and eventually directed their Community Food Resource Center.  In joining CIC, Nick brings a tremendous passion for supporting southern Arizona’s robust community of non-profits and grassroots organizations.   

Amisadai Licea

School Bond Compliance Associate

ami@cictucson.org | 520.529.1766 ext. 202

Ami’s Bio

Ami was born in Long Beach, CA, but has lived in Tucson most of his life. After high school, Ami earned a scholarship to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, German Studies, and a Minor in Latin American and Latinx Studies. While in college, he was involved in a multitude of extracurriculars, serving on the executive board for MEChA, Poder Latinx, and The Latinx Student Union. During his junior year, he had the opportunity to study a semester in Berlin where he immersed himself in the culture and improved his German. Upon his return, he was appointed as the German Academic Exchange Service Young Ambassador at his campus, visiting classrooms and presenting on study and internship opportunities in Germany. Through his college experience, Ami developed a passion for expanding access to higher education, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and spent many afternoons volunteering at the local middle school.  His drive and commitment to education make him a perfect fit for the CIC Bond Compliance Department, where he will meet educators from all different types of schools and will be able to share some of his own experiences with clients. In his free time, Ami enjoys outdoor activities, such as tennis, running, hiking, and simply hanging out with friends.

Yolanda McCarty

Yolanda McCarty

Director of Bond Compliance

yolanda@cictucson.org | 520.529.1766 ext. 201

Yolanda’s Bio

Yolanda is Director of Bond Compliance and CIC’s longest tenured employee. Her expertise in the post-issuance continuing disclosure process for tax exempt bond financing makes her an invaluable resource for bond trustees, counsel, borrowers, and clients.  Yolanda started her banking career at the age of 16 with Southern Arizona Bank.  At that time, Tucson banks housed all their departments locally, allowing her opportunities to fill a wide array of back-shop roles learn an equally diverse set of financial skills, and work with various support teams.  These experiences proved invaluable during her 39 years in the industry (mostly with Wells Fargo Bank) where she assembled and managed teams well-known for their focus on the customer experience. Her previous work has contributed greatly to her success in her current role.  A devoted wife, mother of three, and ‘Nana’ to five grandkids, “Yolie” works hard and plays hard, enjoying travel, beach vacations and family camping trips.  

Sahar Mitchell

Sahar Mitchell

Program Support Associate

sahar@cictucson.org | 520.529.1766

Sahar’s Bio

Sahar originally joined the staff of Community Investment Corporation in 2017 and is glad to be back on the team. Since graduating with BA from Wellesley College, she has worked with non-profit organizations with a focus in arts administration. Through work with theatre companies, performance troupes and community arts projects, she developed skills in event planning, fundraising, advocacy and marketing. For her work with the Strange Family Circus and Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts, Sahar won several accolades from the New Times’ Best of Phoenix and Tucson Weekly’s Best of Tucson. She is thrilled to provide program support at CIC while she takes a leave of absence from the MFA creative writing program at University of Montana. Sahar has lived in the beautiful City of Tucson with her husband and two daughters since 2013.

Sarah Price

Operations Support

sarah@cictucson.org | 520.529.1766 ext. 200

Sarah’s Bio

Sarah was born and raised in Tucson, and became a part of the CIC family in June of 2019.  She is an alumni of the University of Arizona where she graduated summa cum laude, earning a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a master’s degree in Philosophy.  She is also a licensed REALTOR®and hangs her hat with Tierra Antigua Realty. In the years before joining CIC, Sarah worked in two main professions: education and accounting. She taught Philosophy at Pima Community College, high school English, and worked with special education students at a local school. She also spent nearly eleven years working as a bookkeeper for various small, local businesses, and through this work developed a passion for local entrepreneurship. In her free time, she enjoys taking occasional classes, writing short stories, solving crossword puzzles, gardening, dreaming up business ideas or inventions, and enjoying all that the beautiful Sonoran desert has to offer.

Lori Simmons, Small Business Lending Manager

Lori Simmons

Small Business Lending Manager

lori@cictucson.org | 520.529.1766 ext. 204

Lori’s Bio

Lori brings CIC over twenty years of commercial underwriting and lending experience.  Prior to joining CIC, she managed commercial banking relationships for two large banks and a smaller community bank.  She received her degree in Finance from Northern Arizona University, and spent most of her professional career in Northern Arizona.  Lori’s passion has always been serving on non-profit boards, primarily those that serve youth in our communities.  She has been a public school board member, Booster Club and PTO President, and Economic Development Council Treasurer.  Since relocating to Tucson four years ago, Lori has become of Member of the Southern AZ Chapter of the National Football Foundation, she is a volunteer for Project Mom at U of A, a Community Foodbank volunteer, and a member of 100+ Women Who Care Tucson.  Lori spends as much time outdoors with her family as possible (often kayaking, boating, fishing, or laying on the beach in Rocky Point), and tries to keep up with her three grown sons!

Carla Wallace, School Bond Compliance Associate

Carla Wallace

School Bond Compliance Associate

carla@cictucson.org | 520.529.1766 ext. 212

Carla’s Bio

Carla joined CIC in May of 2020 and brings over 15 years of financial industry experience to her role. She has worked as a licensed stockbroker, personal financial adviser, Trust Analyst, and most recently as a Bond Trustee. Her insight from her work as a Bond Trustee is invaluable to helping our Bond Compliance clients achieve success. Carla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics and a Master’s Degree in Accounting. She is passionate about education and an avid reader. Her two sons keep her busy and she loves enjoying the beauty of our Arizona desert and wildlife. Carla has a lifelong passion for travel and worked as a flight attendant while earning her undergraduate degree. Providing excellent client service has been a priority in each of Carla’s professional roles and she looks forward to making a difference here at CIC and planning her next family beach getaway.