Teresa Stephens, VP of Givens Affordable Communities, receives Outstanding Woman in Nonprofit Leadership Award

It is an honor to announce that Teresa Stephens, VP of Givens Affordable Communities, has won Asheville’s Chamber of Commerce’s Outstanding Woman in Nonprofit Leadership Award for 2022. Teresa was among many nominees- consisting of successful and innovative businesswomen and leaders in Asheville. The award was presented November 3rd at the WomanUP Celebration.

Teresa exemplifies what WomanUP stands for as mentorship is the foundation of her success. She has partnered with and encouraged many women during her career, from training, to advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion within Givens Communities, to aiding in the growth and development of future leaders.

Teresa Stephens joined Givens Communities in 2005 and grew through several positions. Teresa has a passion for serving older adults, particularly those of low and middle income that need additional support. It is through demonstrating this passion, that Teresa is now the Vice President of Affordable Communities.

During her tenure, she supported the development and financing of Givens Great Laurels in Waynesville, which created 100 HUD/tax credit apartments for seniors ages 55 and older. Teresa worked tirelessly with HUD to get tax credit application approvals for the development and creation of Givens Gerber Park in South Asheville, which has 180 apartments for low income seniors and 82 apartments for middle-income seniors.

Teresa is a true pioneer of affordable senior housing, being a national leader of creating a sustainable affordable housing model that not only provides seniors with accessible, safe homes, but also provides support services such as Resident Service Coordinators and a Community Nurse. Teresa’s work impacts the lives of many, each day, providing security for those in need.

On a national level, affordable housing is a public health crisis. Teresa’s commitment to solving this issue on a regional level is apparent in just spending a few minutes with her. She has served on the Haywood Street Community Development Board, working alongside them, and shares her time and talents as they embark on a journey to create an affordable housing model in downtown Asheville. Her leadership and successes are apt examples of WomanUP’s mission- she works collaboratively and positively with others interested in learning about affordable housing and meets them wherever they are on their journey to create an affordable housing model by offering advice and encouragement.

It is inevitable that with her mentorship in offering an affordable housing model structure, she’s had a tremendous impact on those working closely with her on staff in Givens Affordable Communities. The promotion of one of our very own at Givens Gerber Park, Nicole Allen our Community Manager, is one such example. Nicole began her journey with Givens as the Social Work Intern 6 years ago. Teresa recognized her talent and offered her a position with the team as the Marketing & Leasing Assistant. Teresa was a consistent mentor, no doubt fostering the competent and compassionate leader and Community Manager Nicole has grown into. Teresa speaks highly of her staff and often of having a plan for her team members as she recognizes talent and invests her time and energy into helping them achieve their goals.

We’re beyond proud of Teresa’s dedication to the Givens Communities mission as she is expanding what it means to age independently, comfortably, and at an affordable price. Her impact is profound and will continue to grow as she works alongside Dogwood Health Trust to develop more affordable housing for seniors in WNC. We are honored to have the recognition from Asheville’s Chamber of Commerce WomanUP initiative for Teresa Stephens as this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Woman in Nonprofit Leadership award.