Ivette Benitez 

Director of Business & Finance


Texas Real Estate License #652281


Ivette is a founding team member of Community Wheelhouse. She has worked in the small business lending and affordable mortgage industry for over 5 years, and she was in private banking prior to her direct work in the community. Ivette was a Loan Officer at PeopleFund and a Program Manager at HomeBase Texas, both organizations are certified community development financial institutions (CDFIs). She has extensive grant and contract reporting and compliance experience.

Ivette is a licensed mortgage loan originator and a licensed real estate agent. She is working toward her CPA, and enjoys working directly with the community. Ivette is bilingual in Spanish, and she lives in South Austin with her husband.

Ramon G. Valeriano
Sr. Vice President

Texas Realtor License #619826

Ramon began his career with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and the City of Austin's Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department.

Ramon then worked in the private banking industry with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage as their Regional Emerging Markets Manager and with Guaranty Residential Lending as their Operations Manager.

Ramon joined PeopleFund in 2008, and they co-founded Community Wheelhouse, Inc. in 2015.  He most recently served as the Vice President of Austin Habitat for Humanity. Ramon enjoys coaching his daughter's soccer team and volunteering with his church.

Christina Thompson

Loan Adminstrator



Kelly Weiss, J.D.



Kelly is the co-founder of Community Wheelhouse. She began her career at Anderson Consulting, where she honed her systems analysis and problem solving skills. After receiving her law degree from the University of Texas, she practiced in the areas real estate development, property law, and wills and estates. 

Finding her calling in Housing &  Community Development, Kelly served as the Executive Director of the Austin Housing Finance Corporation. She left her position at the City to start a non-profit organization and has served as a non-profit CEO for the past thirteen years - from start-up organizations to well-established non-profits.  She has extensive organizational development and board governance experience. In addition, she has the hands-on, working knowledge for all aspects of operational, project, and program management.

Raising millions of dollars to support various initiatives, Kelly has a very successful grant writing  and fundraising track record, as a Certified Fund Raising Executive. She has successfully established and sustained corporate, foundation, and individual giving programs, including Annual Fund Campaigns, Major Donor Programs, Capital Campaigns, and Planned Giving Programs. Kelly has secured major federal funding awards from HUD, Department of Commerce, Department of Treasury, SBA, in addition to tax credits and bond financing.

Recent Awards & Recognition

2015 Community Vision Award (Austin AIA)

2014 CEO of the Year  KPMG Leadership Award (Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce)

2013  Excellence Award for the Built Environment (Austin Foundation for Architecture)

2012 iACT Housing Hero Award

2012 Enterprise Foundation Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute Award