OUR TEAM

 
 

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together"

Vincent van Gogh

 

BOARD

GOVERNANCE & SUSTAINABILITY

 

MARILYN MELKONAIN

FOUNDER & CHAIR

Marilyn is the CEO and founder of Telesis Corporation which plans, finances, and rebuilds urban communities. She also founded the National Housing Trust and Neighborhood Associates. She serves on the boards of Common Cause and the Brookings Institute’s Center on Urban & Metropolitan Policy. During the Carter Administration, she was the Deputy Assistant Undersecretary of HUD. She contributed to the Repairing the Breach report which still guides Neighborhood Associates' work.

ROBERT HACKETT

VICE CHAIR

Bobby has served as the President of the Bonner Foundation since 2010. Prior to Bonner, he worked at the affordable housing development firm, Telesis, and also served as managing director of the Campus Outreach Opportunity League. For the past twenty years, he has worked in various capacities with the Youth Policy Institute, an organization that researches and reports on youth-related policies and programs. Bobby earned his bachelors degree from Harvard University in 1985 and received an MBA from Yale University's School of Organization and Management in 1990.

RON GRYZWINSKI

TREASURER

Ron is a community development banker and one of four founders of ShoreBank. He retired as chair of ShoreBank Corporation in 2010 and became an advisor to its Board of Directors. He assisted with the establishment of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and the Southern Development Bank Corporation in rural Arkansas. In 2007, he helped launch ShoreBank Pacific, the nation’s first bank formed to support environmentally sustainable development.

GLORIA COUSAR

DIRECTOR

Gloria holds a Master’s degree in Public Affairs and Urban Planning from Princeton University and has an extensive career in the field of housing, community building, and neighborhood revitalization. Her executive experience is rooted in the public sector as a former administrator of multiple housing programs for HUD, and in the private sector as a consultant, entrepreneur, and CEO. She is also a  board member of the National Alliance for Resident Services in Affordable and Assisted Housing.

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VIRGINA HARRISON

DIRECTOR

V.V. is a native of Camden, South Carolina and Baltimore, Maryland. She is the author of the books, Confusion to The Enemy and Changing Habits. She has also been a contributing writer for the Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine, and the newsletter of the Citizens of Georgetown Association. Her public service experience includes working on Capitol Hill, at the White House, and as a member of Robert F. Kennedy’s campaign and office staff.

It is with great sadness that we share that V.V. recently passed after a strong fight against ALS. Her spirit carries on in the lives she touched through her writing, philanthropy, and the organizations she helped develop. She will be missed by all at Neighborhood Associates.

STAFF

GROWING OPPORTUNITIES FOR RESILIENT NEIGHBORHOODS.

 

DR. BOBBY WILLIAM AUSTIN

PRESIDENT

For over thirty years, Bobby has worked as a sociologist, author, educator, and CEO of national nonprofits to strengthen the social fabric of urban neighborhoods. He held the General Hal G. Moore Chair on Contemplative Leadership at the Merton Institute and is recognized for his work in American Culture and Public Kinship. His leadership as the Director for the National Taskforce on African American Men and Boys led to the seminal 1996 report, Repairing the Breach, and launched philanthropic efforts that reached over 17,000 young black men in the U.S. At Neighborhood Associates, he leads our approach to sharing Repairing the Breach strategies with our allied communities. Dr. Austin received his education at McMaster University, Fisk University, and Western Kentucky University. He has a diploma in Education Management from Harvard University.

DR. ALEX BAIN

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

Alex has twenty years of experience in higher education and the humanities as a professor, researcher, and writer. Throughout his career, he has been a strong advocate for the centrality of culture and the arts in building civic engagement and resilient public spheres in American life. Alex leads Neighborhood Associates' media and outreach efforts to bridge the arts and civic dialogue. Prior to Neighborhood Associates, Alex served as a strategic planning consultant and program manager for Humanities DC, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was also a professor of 20th-century literature and culture at major universities in Oklahoma, California, and New Jersey.  Dr. Bain holds a Ph.D. in English from Rutgers University.

AFNAN RASHID

VICE PRESIDENT

Afnan joined Neighborhood Associates in 2015, he develops programs and partnerships with our allied communities. Prior  to Neighborhood Associates, he was the Program Manager for a joint AmeriCorps VISTA Program between the Bonner Foundation and NJ Campus Compact. The program supported building the capacity of city-wide coalitions across NJ with varied anti-poverty missions including access to care, college access, and youth development. Afnan has also worked for a progressive Detroit Congressman, Kaplan Test Prep, and interned at the Grameen Bank. He graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelors degree in economics.

NANCY HALL

ACTING CFO

Nancy serves as the Acting Chief Financial Officer for Neighborhood Associates. With over thirty years of experience in the legal structure and finances of nonprofits, Nancy has assisted in the start-up and merger of hundreds of NGOs. She is currently the president of 501(c) Solutions and an adjunct faculty member at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland School of Social Work, and the University of Maryland Baltimore County where she teaches courses on nonprofit management, governance, and finance. Nancy was one of the first women to receive an MBA from Harvard Business School.

MICHAEL SHUMAN

DIRECTOR, LOCAL ECONOMIC PROJECTS

Michael is an economist, attorney, author, entrepreneur, and a thought leader on community economics. At Neighborhood Associates, he researches and develops programs and policies to support entrepreneurship, access to capital, and wealth-building at our allied communities. He is also an adjunct instructor at Bard Business School and at Simon Fraser University. He is a Fellow at Cutting Edge Capital and a founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies. He is credited with being one of the architects of the 2012 JOBS Act and several state laws overhauling securities regulation of crowdfunding. His most recent book is The Local Economy Solution: How Innovative, Self-Financing Pollinator Enterprises Can Grow Jobs and Prosperity.

NICHOLAS DROZDIAK

GREEN INITIATIVES ASSOCIATE

Nick is passionate about urban gardening and farming. He leads the development and fundraising for community gardens at three Washington, DC affordable housing communities Neighborhood Associates allies with. Nick was instrumental in updating the Paradise at Parkside Apartments community garden where he supported the growth of a Paradise Gardening Club and added low maintenance hydroponic growing towers that produced over 300 lbs of strawberries. He continues to raise funds and work with residents to further advance the project. He is also a financial risk analyst, entrepreneur, and an ultra-marathon runner. Nick holds an MBA from Vlerick Business School and a Masters of Finance degree from the Luxembourg School of Finance.

EMMA SULLIVAN

COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT

Emma is the Communications Assistant at Neighborhood Associates. She has four years of experience with communications and social media development working with Rooted, a small business in Pennsylvania, and as Social Chair for George Washington University’s Cross Country Club team. Her background in micro-level sociological concepts complements Neighborhood Associates’ community-building work and she has built a track record of improving our digital media practices and presence. Emma is currently a senior at George Washington University studying Political Science and Criminal Justice with a minor in Spanish.

NINA YOUNG

THINK TANK DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT

Nina Young is a Detroit native whose a 2019 graduate of the MFA Film program at Howard University and holds a BA in Psychology with a concentration in Media Studies from Kalamazoo College in Michigan. A filmmaker and storyteller, Nina wrote and directed The Problem with Erin, a 10-minute short film. She also worked on other film productions, such as, The D (Detroit), Rosenwald (DC) and 4:53 (Port au Prince, Haiti, and Miami). She is excited to be a part of the Neighborhood Associate's Think Tank project. She is excited to use her skills in visual storytelling and graphic design to assist NAC in developing cultural kinship and exploring the narrative of Black Americans through this bold and exciting project. 

RESEARCH

FELLOWS OF THE REPAIRING THE BREACH INSTITUTE

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DR. JOHN GILDERBLOOM

URBAN & PUBLIC AFFAIRS

MR. GEORGE SPENCER

PUBLIC SAFETY

COMMUNITY

BUILDING PUBLIC KINSHIP EVERYDAY

 

XAVIER RUSELL

NATIONAL DIRECTOR,
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

NEIGHBORHOOD PARTNERS, LLC
(ORGANIZING BODY)

SHANTE' DURHAM

RESIDENT SERVICES COORDINATOR

CITY VIEW PARK
LOUISVILLE, KY

VELMA LANDERS

RESIDENT SERVIES COORDINATOR

THOMAS PAINE SQUARE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA

KAREN BILLETT

RESIDENT SERVICES COORDINATOR

CARVER TERRACE
WASHINGTON, DC

CAPRICE CASSON

RESIDENT SERVICES COORDINATOR

BASS CIRCLE
WASHINGTON, DC

ANNA SUTTON

YOUTH
COORDINATOR

PARADISE AT PARKSIDE
WASHINGTON, DC

QUINCY SPRUELL

COMMUNITY
CONNECTOR

BARCLAY COMMUNITY
BALTIMORE, MD

TARAHN HARRIS

RESIDENT SERVICES COORDINATOR

BARCLAY COMMUNITY
BALTIMORE, MD

RODNEY JONES

RESIDENT SERVICES COORDINATOR

BRADENTON VILLAGE
BRADENTON, FL

MARQUITA MARSHBURN

ASSISTANT PROPERTY MANAGER

ROBERT S. JERVAY PLACE

WILMINGTON, NC

CONTACT

1101 30th St NW, Fourth Floor
Washington, DC 2007

Office: (202) 333-8447

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