CAROL J. ORNELAS
Carol J. Ornelas is a visionary and advocate for providing quality “affordable housing” to families within the Central Valley – Fresno, San Andreas, San Joaquin, Sacramento, and Stanislaus. For the past 30 years, she has served as Chief Executive Officer for Visionary Home Builders of California, formerly ACLC, Inc.; a non-profit residential development company and provider of social services in housing related issues. VHB is headquartered in Stockton, California.
Carol is highly recognized as a leader within the community, as well as nationally in the housing industry. Her strength is in building and creating partnerships with citizens of the community, and collaborating with local city, state officials and other agencies to provide quality “affordable housing” for the communities she serves. Under Carol’s direct leadership, Visionary Home Builders has built and rehabilitated more than 1200 units of rental housing and more than 500 residential homes for first time homebuyers within San Joaquin, Sacramento, Stanislaus and Merced counties.
Through the VHB Homeownership and Rental Center, educational opportunities are available to members of the community seeking guidance on purchasing a home, with special emphasis on financial responsibility, understanding mortgage and lending, as well as general education for sustaining a healthy home and lifestyle. The VHB Homeownership and Rental Center has also assisted thousands of families through the foreclosure or loan modification process with HUD certified counselors. Stockton has received national attention and has been considered “ground zero” of foreclosures. To help combat this situation, VHB received funding to implement the Neighborhood Stabilization Program for the City of Stockton and the County of San Joaquin.
Carol is one of 49 leaders nationwide selected for the NeighborWorks® Achieving Excellence in Community Development program in collaboration with Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She completed the course in the fall of 2012.
Carol is passionate about her work and the work that her staff accomplishes on a daily basis. She takes pride in knowing that her organization has the resources to provide quality housing for the “underserved”. This allows her to continue Visionary Home Builders’ mission, “to focus on a clear vision of providing balanced communities that incorporate housing, education and child development services for its’ residents.” A perfect example of Visionary Home Builders is its work with the County of San Joaquin in the development of a community of 76 units of housing for Farmworker families who live here all year round. The community includes childcare with an emphasis on early development, social services and a medical clinic. The project was awarded “Best Affordable Housing Project” in its category in the nation by Affordable Housing Finance magazine. Through her leadership, she has been able to bring over six-hundred million dollars in grants and private dollars to develop affordable housing in the San Joaquin Valley.
Carol is extremely involved in the community and currently serves on numerous local, state and national boards and committees:
- Board of Directors – St. Joseph’s Medical Center Community
- Member – Affiliate Council of the National Council of La Raza
- Board of Directors – Building Industry Association (BIA), Delta Charter
- Board Member – Bank of America National Community Advisory Council
- Board Member – California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley
- Chairman – City of Stockton Climate Action Team
- Board of Directors – San Joaquin Business Council
- Commissioner- City of Stockton Development Oversight Committee
- University of the Pacific Beyond the Gates Committee
- Vice Chair – San Joaquin Valley Housing Collaborative
- Past President – California Coalition for Rural Housing and current board member
She has also been selected for numerous awards and achievements including:
- 2011 – Darrel Hildebrand Blueprint Leadership Award
- 2010 – Best Residential Development in San Joaquin
- 2010 – NeighborWorks Achieving Excellence in Community Development Program
- 2007 – BlueCross of California – Community Service Award
- 2006 – Congressional Award – Angels of Adoption
- 2006 – Elected to the Mexican-American Hall of Fame
- 2005 – Building Industry of the Delta – Commitment to Excellence Award
- 2005 – Head Start – For Outstanding Community Service
- 2004 – Recipient of the “Business Woman of the Year” San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- 1999 Recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Women Achievement Award