Jennielynn Holmes, Akash Kalia and Jen Klose are the founding members of Functional Zero Partners. Jennielynn, a homeless systems of care expert, Jen, an attorney with experience in real estate and government affairs, and Akash, a hotel owner and entrepreneur, came together to transform the Palms Inn, a budget hotel in Santa Rosa, California, into a permanent supportive housing community for 120 previously homeless veterans and vulnerable individuals.
Functional Zero Partners added Tom Schwedhelm to this team in September 2017 for his expertise in organizational development, government relations, law enforcement and public safety.
The Palms Inn conversion has been hailed as an innovative model for repurposing existing properties and creating comprehensive supportive housing communities.
Meet the Team
Jennielynn Holmes has been developing and maximizing homeless systems of care for several years. She currently operates as the Director of Shelter and Housing for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, and oversees all aspects of the largest shelter system between the Golden Gate Bridge and Oregon border. Jennielynn was born and raised in Santa Rosa, CA and received her undergraduate degree from the University of California Davis as well as her Masters in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco. She was recognized by the North Bay Business Journal as a one of the top 40 business professionals under the age of 40 and more recently was recognized by Senator Mike McGuire as Sonoma County’s Woman of the Year. Jennielynn has a passion for developing innovative programs and much of her work has been nationally recognized as best practices. She also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Sonoma County Continuum of Care Board, Board Member for the Burbank Housing Neighborhood Revitalization Corporation, serves on the City of Santa Rosa Community Advisory Board, and co-chairs the RENT Sonoma County Housing Stabilization Committee.
Jennielynn has a knack for re-designing social systems of care, creating innovative solutions to complex social problems as well as maximizing public resources and support.
Akash Kalia studied business with a focus on Entrepreneurship at the University of Oregon before returning home to save his family business. While still in high school and in college, Akash started a number of small businesses in the technology sector. After college, Akash bought and overhauled his family’s hotel; nearly doubling the profits within a year while paying each employee a living wage.
Akash saw the innovative value of leveraging existing housing vouchers to convert his Palms Inn into permanent supportive housing. Akash was very hands-on in the conversion, particularly with the collaborative efforts to build a sustainable community and in fostering positive respectful relationships between the residents and staff during the transition.
Akash had the honor of being awarded the Merit Award for the innovative conversion of the Palms Inn by the City of Santa Rosa at the 35th annual Merit Awards.
Aptly named a “social entrepreneur” by the India West newspaper, Akash is focused on creating sustainable opportunities for business owners to serve their communities while maintaining business viability.
Jen Klose brings a broad array of skills and experience to FZP. Jen earned a degree in biochemistry from UCLA and her JD with honors from Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington. Jen has spent more than a decade as an attorney specializing in real estate and business litigation and transactions. Jen serves as an elected member of the Board of Education for Santa Rosa City Schools, the largest district in Sonoma County. Jen is the founder and president of a local non-profit, the College Tee Project, and served as a director the YMCA, CASA, and Sonoma County Library Foundation board. Jen currently serves on the steering committees for the Sonoma County Boys and Girls Club REACH program, the Sonoma County Keeping Kids in School initiative and the Leadership Institute for the Economy and Ecology, and volunteers with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Election Protection program.
Jen used her experience gained in the legal arena, local politics and non-profit leadership to facilitate the conversion of the Palms Inn from a budget tourist hotel to Supportive Permanent Housing for 60 previously homeless veterans and 44 elderly and disabled homeless individuals.
Jen is passionate about finding creative, collaborative solutions the benefit business and community.
Tom Schwedhelm has been serving the public for over 35 years. Elected in 2014, he is currently a member of the Santa Rosa City Council having served as the Vice-Mayor in 2016. Tom is currently the Chair of the Santa Rosa Violence Prevention Partnership, the Vice-Chair of the Groundwater Sustainability Agency and served on the City Council Homeless Policy Subcommittee and Rent Stabilization Subcommittee.
Prior to his election, Tom worked for the Santa Rosa Police Department for 31 years retiring in 2013 as the Chief of Police. He’s been a very active member of the community by serving on boards, designing team building workshops and volunteering in a number of ways with an array of not-for-profit organizations as diverse as the United Way of the Wine Country, Social Advocates for Youth, Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County, Chop’s Teen Club, VIDAS Immigration Services and the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Service in Sonoma County.
Tom possesses an undergraduate degree in Business Management and a graduate degree in Psychology with a focus on Organizational Development.