Our Team

Meet the OTSH Team
These are among the people who are interacting with 
our community on an ongoing basis

Victor Almanza, bookkeeper for OTSH

Victor Almanza

Victor, who is bilingual and bicultural, grew up in St Helena and knows the importance of maintaining a diverse, vital community. He received his AA at Napa Valley College and is currently a student at California State University, East Bay studying Business Administration. Victor managing the accounting and compliance issues related to our USDA Brenkle Court project as well as providing bookkeeping service and general office management assistance.

our town st helena jen la liberty executive director

Jennifer La Liberte
Executive Director

Jennifer La Liberte’s public sector career has spanned 30 years. She has worked in economic development and redevelopment for the Sacramento Housing & Redevelopment Agency (1987-1997) and the City of Napa (1997-2017). She managed the Napa Community Redevelopment Agency, which funded infrastructure improvements and stimulated economic activity in the downtown area and affordable housing citywide. Jennifer retired in 2017 and began consulting, focusing on economic development and community and government relations. She works with nonprofits and public and private sector organizations. Jennifer began working with OTSH in December 2020 to further its mission. Read more.

our town st helena building affordable housing at Brenkle court

Janet Peischel

Janet Peischel is a writer and internet marketing specialist. Like her colleagues, she’s become a zealot on the subject of affordable housing. After a long career in corporate marketing, she launched Top of Mind Marketing in 2009. She develops and executes comprehensive marketing strategies for her clients that include blogs, newsletters, social media, websites and PR. Janet is a dedicated world traveler who is always working on her next adventure.

our town st helena Larry vermeulen project manager

Larry Vermeulen
project MANAGER

Larry Vermeulen is the Brenkle Court Project Manager. Larry began his construction experience while attending U.C. Davis. He founded UpValley Construction and was a residential contractor for many years before co-founding Occidental Technical Group, where he provided IT services. OTSH relies on Larry for his construction knowledge, community building and mentoring skills. It’s Larry who keeps the project moving forward—ordering materials, keeping his team focused from one weekend to the next. He’s teaching them carpentry skills, taking care of administrative details and scheduling inspections. Larry has played a key role in keeping our homeowners on track as they build their homes.

our town st helena vanessa von hessert

Vanessa Von Hessert
Documentary Filmmaker

Vanessa is a documentary cinematographer and director with a passion for vérité, a fly-on-the wall style of storytelling. Prior to becoming a filmmaker, Vanessa was a web and graphic designer in NYC, working with nonprofits and independent international artists. Vanessa has an MFA in Social Documentary Film from NY’s School of Visual Arts and an Honors BFA in Multimedia and Art History from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. Vanessa volunteers with several local nonprofits and is an enthusiastic advocate of affordable housing.