Board and Staff

The Trust has been defined by the vision and wisdom of its board: the late Frank Melville and his wife Allen Melville, their son Steve, his wife Ruth, and close family friends, Ben Maiden, and the late John R. Gibb.

Long-time trusted advisors, Shelley Geballe, co-founder of Connecticut Voices for Children and Carla Javits, Executive Director of REDF and formerly Executive Director of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, joined the Melville board in 2008 and 2010 respectively. David Hadden, formerly of Robinson& Cole LLP, joined in 2013 after many years of trusted counsel. The Trust is fortunate to have Arthur C. Evans Jr. PhD, Commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services, join the board in 2014.

The Trust has also benefited from the enthusiasm and generosity of the late Ruth Berlin and the late Margaret M. Blackwell.

Board Members

    • Stephen Melville, Chair
    • Ruth Melville
    • Shelley Geballe JD, MPH
    • Carla Javits
    • J.C. David Hadden
    • Arthur C. Evans Jr., Ph.D


Janice Elliott, Executive Director

Janice Elliott brings to the Trust over twenty-five years of innovation and achievement in creating solutions to prevent and end homelessness through advocacy for systems change, and the creation of supportive and affordable housing for vulnerable individuals and families.

Before joining the Trust in September 2012, Janice led InSite Housing Solutions, a professional consulting firm specializing in the planning and creation of affordable housing that integrates human services. In this capacity, she served as a consultant to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and was the principal author of Opening Doors – Connecticut, a strategic framework for preventing and ending homelessness and the nation’s first state plan to be modeled on the federal Opening Doors initiative.

Janice served as Managing Director for the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) and was responsible for their four national programs: Policy and Research, Project Development and Finance, Resource Center, and Strategic Partnerships. She led several national programmatic and policy initiatives with CSH, including Taking Health Care Home, a multi-site initiative that advanced systems reforms to address chronic homelessness. In her prior role as Director of National and Southern New England programs at CSH, Janice worked in close partnership with the Melville Trust, advising Trust staff and board while leading the design of several statewide initiatives that have served as national models for the finance and production of supportive housing. She coordinated an unprecedented collaboration between philanthropy and the State of Connecticut’s housing, behavioral health, human service, child welfare, and workforce agencies to fund the creation of over 1,500 new units of supportive and mixed income housing in 40 communities.

Prior to joining CSH, Janice served as project manager for The Community Builders, a major nonprofit developer of affordable housing in the northeast.

Contact Janice at

Aimee Hendrigan, Senior Program Officer

Aimee’s responsibilities include analysis and review of grant proposals, program and project monitoring, research on regional and national issues, and strategy development. She coordinates activities between and among the range of initiatives the Trust has underway with particular emphasis on neighborhood building.

Aimee has a Masters degree in City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley with a focus on community development. During graduate school she worked at the Fund for the City of New York and Berkeley’s Center for Independent Living. She was formerly a project manager at Santa Barbara County with responsibilities including: community and strategic planning, process improvement, and employee training. Before that Aimee was the Director of Communications at a software company. Aimee received her undergraduate degree from Harvard College.

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Holly Sullivan, Finance Specialist

Holly’s responsibilities include financial tasks to support the mission and strategic goals of the Trust, including financial reporting, policies and procedures, budgeting, accounts payable, payroll, purchasing and benefits management.

Holly has a Masters of Business Administration from Boston University and an undergraduate degree in Finance. She has extensive experience in profit and loss management, budgeting and forecasting, cash flow development management, audit, banking and investment analysis. Holly is a Trustee of the Marblehead Community Charter Public School Educational Foundation.

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Gabrielle DeFord, Executive Assistant

Gabrielle provides administrative support for the Trust’s staff. She has an extensive background in communications and marketing, having worked for more than 15 years in the Washington, DC, area as an editor, communications coordinator and project manager at archaeology magazines, George Mason University, and at American Red Cross National headquarters. The recent recipient of a master’s degree from Yale Divinity School in ethics, Gabrielle focuses on issues of social justice in her advocacy, research, teaching, writing and volunteer activities in New Haven. Some of her research supports the efforts of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture’s Adolescent Faith and Flourishing program, for instance, and she is particularly interested in exploring ways resilience can be taught.

Contact Gabrielle at

Remembering Bob Hohler

The Trust fondly remembers and will be forever grateful for the innumerable contributions and dedication of its first Executive Director, Robert Hohler, who passed away in 2011. Bob had been involved in the Trust virtually since its inception, and his bold imagination, unflagging energy, and relentless optimism were the driving force behind its activities and those of its many partners for close to two decades.

There was nothing abstract in Bob’s life-long commitment to social justice: It arose out of the deepest feeling for the lives and possibilities of people too easily and often overlooked or pushed aside, and it was everywhere seasoned with realism, humor, and a genuine love for the push and pull – the real social work – of getting things done. All this went hand-in-hand with an extraordinary zest for life. In him we had not only a colleague of immeasurable value but the dearest of friends.

Staff Photos: © Mike Ritter;