Investing in People, Strengthening Communities

Staff Contacts

Jordan Garrison
Associate Program Manager  

Jordan is a an Associate Program Manager at CAAB. Jordan is a native Washingtonian. She manages the day to day operations of the Making Money Grow Matched Savings Program offered to older foster youth in Washington, DC. Jordan brings passion for youth empowerment, financial education and financial independence. She also brings to work her experiences as a recent College graduate as well as the lessons learned through programs at Washington Latin Public Charter School High School and Higher Achievement. Jordan believes that by working with youth in the District of Columbia, it gives her a chance of finding ways in which she can better her self through those she serves as well. 

Jordan has a BA in Healthcare Communication from Marshall University. 


Lou Bouzie Edwige Kouassi
Matched Savings Program Associate

Lou is CAAB's Matched Savings Program Associate. She oversees matched savings program operations and is in charge of recording applicants’ information into the system, creating individual development accounts and processing withdrawal requests. 

Prior to Joining CAAB, she has been working as a math instructor at Mathnasium, a math learning franchise, where she has helped kids and teenagers overcome their difficulties in math and also increase their level of confidence in life in general. 

Lou is convinced that helping and reaching out to others is the way to go to create a stronger community.

Lou has a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Science in Applied Mathematics from the University of Central Arkansas. She has a passion for analysis and is always looking for area of improvement. Lou speaks English and French and believes that language diversity is a mean to reach people from different cultural backgrounds as well.


Joseph Leitmann-Santa Cruz
Executive Director

Joseph is CAAB’s Executive Director. He is an Asset Building, Financial Capability and Financial Services professional with 20 years of experience in a broad spectrum of executive management, strategic planning, program & project management, team management, business development and investment strategy & portfolio management in 1) the Asset Building field working with Non-Profit Organizations, Small Business Entrepreneurs and Low- and Moderate-Income Families, and 2) the Wealth Management and Investment Management fields servicing Wealth Management Firms, High-Net-Worth Individuals & Families, Endowments, Foundations and Retirement Plans. Joseph was previously CAAB's Acting Executive Director, Deputy Director and Director of External Relations.

At CAAB, Joseph oversees CAAB’s management, strategic planning implementation, and relationships with key funding supporters, private sector employers, media organizations, elected officials in Washington, DC and individual donors.  

Prior to joining CAAB, for over 2 ½ years Joseph was Managing Director of Investment Operations & Portfolio Management at McLean Asset Management, a wealth management firm in McLean, Virginia. Before that position, for over 8 ½ years Joseph was Vice President of Client Services & Managed Accounts at Advisor Partners, LLC, an institutional money management firm in San Francisco, California. His first job was with the San Francisco, California-based global investment management firm Dresdner RCM Global Investors where he worked with corporate retirement and pension plans throughout the US. 

Joseph is a guest speaker and analyst on personal financial planning, tax planning, tax credits for low- and moderate-income families, asset building and other socio-economic matters. Recently he has been interviewed by or quoted in English and Spanish in The New York Times, PBS News Hour, PBS American Graduate Day, NPR News' All Things Considered, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, Comcast's Newsmakers, The Right Side with Armstrong Williams, SiriusXM Urban View, NewsChannel 8's Hispanic Agenda, La Opinion, El Diario La Prensa, CBS Radio-WZLZ, Telemundo's Agenda,, Pacifica Radio Network-WPFW, El Tiempo Latino, El Pregonero, H.U.R. Voices on SiriusXM, WHUT's Vocal Point, DC Radio-96.3FM, WERA Radio Arlington, Street Sense, AFRO, The Washington Informer, East of the River Magazine, Washington Hispanic, Telemundo-Washington, Radio America-WACA, La Nueva-WDCN, Guadalupe Radio Network-WMET and Howard University Radio-WHUR. 

Joseph holds a BA in International Relations from San Francisco State University. Joseph is also a proud graduate of the Leadership Greater Washington's Rising Leaders Program (2015), Center for Nonprofit Advancement's Executive Preparation Institute (2017), Georgetown University's Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program, and Boston College's Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership (2019). Joseph is currently enrolled in the University of Oxford's Executive Leadership Programme (2020).

Joseph is also involved with supporting non-profit organizations in the Washington metropolitan region: providing pro bono financial planning classes with Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF) and Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) and having served from 2014-2017 in the Board of Directors of Dream Project, Inc. Previously, Joseph has been a Member of the Investment Committee of The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, Strategy Advisor to the Executive Director of the Hispanic Committee of Virginia and intern for the United National High Commissioner for Refugees in Ankara, Turkey and Flughafen Frankfurt/Main AG in Frankfurt, Germany. 

Joseph lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and their two children.


Ann McCreedy 
Grants Manager  

Ann is the Grants Manager at CAAB. With over 15 years’ experience in the areas of program design and implementation, outcome measurement and evaluation, strategic planning, budget and financial leadership and organizational leadership, Ann provides consulting services to increase organizations' resources and improve their capacity to deliver on their missions. In past role as Chief Operating Officer at N Street Village, she demonstrated strategic vision needed to ensure sustainability of the organization. She was a key leader during a merger with a smaller organization in 2012 and led two reorganization projects involving reduction of direct service staff and outsourcing of finance staff that provided strategic and financial advantages to the organization. In current role, she develops and implements fundraising plans to raise funds from institutional sources (foundations, corporations and government) and provides training and technical assistance to communities in Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Ann earned a Master of Business Administration from The George Washington University. Ann has served in leadership positions of Boards of Directors for organizations including Open Arms Housing and the Social Enterprise Alliance.

Nahlah Melaih
Associate Program Manager

Nahlah is CAAB’s Associate Program Manager, Emergency Savings & Credit Building. She oversees CAAB's EmergencySavingsPlus initiative and provides assistance to the DC Builds Credit initiative. Nahlah has a background in public policy and program administration/management. She has lived and worked in the DMV area since 2014, specializing in community development, emergency management, and financial services at organizations including the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the International Social Service (ISS), and as a contractor supporting the U.S. Repatriation Program at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) headquarter office in D.C. She helped connect community organizations and residents to resources designed to improve neighborhoods and create economic success.

Before joining CAAB, Nahlah helped low-income residents purchase over $2 million in mortgages and build assets in Maryland. She led the financial education and the matched savings federal grant at the IRC and was featured on NPR hosted by Sheilah Kast regarding the success of the program.

Nahlah has a Master’s in Public Administration and Public Policy from the University of Baltimore and has studied at Simmons College, George Washington University, and Harvard University’s Summer Program.


Jackson Sarter
Associate Program Manager

Jackson is CAAB’s Associate Program Manager, Matched Savings. Jackson is a native Washingtonian. He is an experienced Social Impact Strategist with a demonstrated history of working in the philanthropic industry and human services consulting space by building strategic partnerships with internal and external stakeholders; in an effort to help individuals, families, and organizations transition to healthy interdependency. Jackson has  worked as a Case Manager for DC Public Schools and the DC Department of Human Services. This experience led him to working in the Corporate Social Responsibility and asset building sector to financially empower disinvested communities.

Jackson has a BA in Economics from Morehouse College and a Masters of Social Work focused on Social Economic Development from the Washington University in St. Louis.


Markia Smith 
Associate Program Manager

Markia is CAAB’s Associate Program Manager. Markia is a native Washingtonian. She manages the day to day operations supporting low- to moderate-income residents of Washington, DC with assistance in paying their monthly rent along with promoting long-term housing stability. Markia prides herself in giving back to her community with the mentality of each one teach one.

Prior to working with CAAB, Markia was an project assistant in the Construction industry for 9 years.


Connie Woodland
Chief Operating Officer 

Connie is CAAB’s Chief Operating Officer. She is responsible for overseeing the accounting department and office management. Connie has over 30 years of experience in contract and budget administration in the field of banking and has worked in the non-profit area for over 5 years.

How to give

Now, more than ever, non-profits like Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) need your help. Please support CAAB as we continue to help DC residents manage and/or improve their financial situation during these difficult times. If you can't afford to give a monetary gift, please visit our Amazon Wish List where you can choose from a variety of items that CAAB needs in order to better serve our community.

or send a check or money order to
Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB)
c/o Joseph Leitmann-Santa Cruz, Director of External Relations
1100 H Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005