Meet the NNA Board Pt 1
We're excited to kick off our Meet the National NeighborWorks Association Board series with three relatively new members who are united by their passion for community, affordable housing and the Network of Excellence.
Our board of directors is comprised of 26 NeighborWorks organizations' leaders with representation from all 4 regions associated with NeighborWorks America. Their commitment to our organization, to their colleagues, and to their communities exemplifies what it takes to be a leader in a network of excellence.
This week you'll get a better understanding of the folks serving on the NNA Board of Directors.
Here are some fast facts about these leaders:
As we emerge from a two year historic pandemic, the need for community development resources and tools are even more urgent. I am excited to be a part of NNA's work around advocacy and influencing public policy initiatives that impact lives and communities.
Small group peep to peer network convenings. Also, its commitment and effectiveness in advocating for NWA funding.
I have not yet been on the Hill but am looking forward to it as a Washingtonian, and new NNA board member.
NeighborWorks epitomizes the power of partnerships and working together to build strong communities.
A 3-week multi-region tour to see the ancient pyramids of Egypt, then to Ghana and Nigeria where my ancestry originates, and finally to east Africa to visit the Serengeti and be one with nature.
My predecessor, Dennis Oshiro was involved and loved it. He recommended that I get involved too. I've been part of the network for many years and know the value of being part of the network. I've participated in NW committees in the past and really enjoyed/benefitted from working with others in the network - I wanted to contribute to what NNA was doing.
The funding support that NNA helps to make possible - the coaching to connect/communicate with my Congressional leaders to participate in gaining the NW appropriation is appreciated too.
During one of my visits, a staff person who grew up in Hawaii and had not lived here for many years shared about his dream to return to Hawaii in retirement on the Big Island. That longer than normal visit created a warm connection. While that Representative is no longer in officer, that staff person has worked for other Hawaii Congress members.
NW is thoughtful regarding its capacity to support organizations in a meaningful way - building the network is always done in a thoughtful way. I appreciate that they allocate grants for the NWOs first in their budgeting process before allocating funds to other projects and expenses.
I'd like to visit Japan again (anywhere in Japan) - after my dad passed away, I'd be my mom's travel partner on 1 trip a year and Japan is one of our favorite places. That is where she'd like to visit next and I'd like to go w/ her while she's healthy and well. We love the food, culture, and experiences we can have in Japan.
I wanted to serve in a greater capacity to effect positive change across our country by ensuring the financial stability of the organizations that are the lifeblood of our communities and our nation's change agents.
I value the opportunity to advocate tirelessly along side so many incredible leaders.
One of my favorite stories was at the NNA Hill reception a few years ago. The reception occurred the day that President Trump zeroed out NeighborWorks funding. Of course, the atmosphere in the room where the reception was being held was tense in the face of this new information. I had the pleasure of introducing Senator Collins who was slated to speak briefly at the event. After acknowledging the Maine NWO's and the great work being accomplished by all the organizations in the room, she also acknowledged that we had been zeroed out. She then proceeded to state, "We must all remember. The President proposes. Congress Disposes." The room erupted with appreciation and applause. It was awesome.
I would share that NWA is an incredible partner and resource to housing and community developers across the country.
My dream vacation is any vacation that includes time deep in the woods, swimming and kayaking on a beautiful body of water, evenings under the stars, and uninterrupted time to play and talk with my boy.
Keep an eye out for Part 2 where we will get to know more NNA Board members!