Cover art for podcast Community TrailBlazers

Community TrailBlazers

78 EpisodesProduced by Nan McKayWebsite

Housing and community development's evolvement rests on the shoulders of women and men who have played a strong role in developing affordable housing and communities throughout the country. Their stories provide a human historical perspective on our cities and the housing within our cities.

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Ep. 78 - Connecting People to Opportunities Across America: CEO Circle

April 12th, 2021


Join In a lively discussion among five leaders of the CEO Circle regarding managing nonprofits for excellence and connecting people to opportunities across America. this episode, we feature members of the CEO Circle who …

Ep. 77 - A Legend of Building Cities and Parks: Leonard Zax

April 5th, 2021


Leonard Zax is the CEO of the Hamilton Partnership, a nonprofit organization that led the effort to create the Paterson Great Falls National Park in his hometown of Paterson New Jersey. He has degrees in law and city …

Ep. 76 - Is Workforce Housing Viable?

March 29th, 2021


David Engel shares his successes and challenges working in affordable housing for decades and the concern he still expresses for the industry. He has a unique perspective since he worked in research at HUD, not …

Ep. 75 - How to Be an Economic Development Leader: Jeff Finkle

March 22nd, 2021


As President and CEO of the International Economic Development Council, Jeff Finkle is a recognized leader and authority on economic development. In …

Ep. 74 - How to Create Thought Leadership: Alison Gross

March 15th, 2021


Ep. 74 – Alison Gross weaves a fascinating story of handling global events in Monte Carlo to coordinating the Maccabi  games and a world sailing race in the U.S. She started a business during COVID and explains how the …

Ep. 73 - How to Impact Lives as an Attorney: Lisa Walker

March 8th, 2021


Lisa L. Walker has discovered the way to both succeed as an attorney while satisfying her other passion, impacting lives. Housing Development Law Institute, referred to as HDLI fills a unique need – a one-stop shop for …

Ep. 72 - MBA's Affordable Housing Initiatives: Steve O'Connor

March 1st, 2021


As senior vice president for affordable housing initiatives at the Mortgage Bankers Association, Steve O’Connor is rolling out affordable housing …

Ep. 71 - China and International Trade: Stanley Marcuss

February 22nd, 2021


Stanley Marcuss explains the negative effects of the adverse consequences of international trade. Listen to his story on Adlai Stevenson and why foreign corruption is still rampant in international marketplaces.

Key …

Ep. 70 - Earl Rose: Multi-Talented Emmy and ASCAP Award Winner

February 15th, 2021


Top Takeaways:

  • The importance of supporting your children’s passions which might become their lifelong careers
  • The power of persistence and taking …

Ep. 69 - Michael Moskow: A Manager to Remember

February 8th, 2021


Michael Moskow is a manager personified. Mike’s professional accomplishments include service in both the public and private sectors, as well as higher education. During the course of his career, he has been confirmed by …

Ep. 68 - Shekar Narasimhan: A Mover and Shaker in Community Development

February 1st, 2021


How do you turn around a dying town? What happens to small to medium-sized cities when their largest employer pulls out?  Shekar Narasimhan has been …

Ep. 67 - William Lilley: American Western History Buff ++

January 25th, 2021


“Bill Lilley taught at Yale, worked for the federal government, worked at CBS in New York, and started a software company, which he sold,” said John …

Ep. 66 - Al Dellibovi: HUD Reform in the 1980's

January 18th, 2021


Meet Alfred Dellibovi, President and CEO of the Federal Home Bank of New York and a nationally recognized authority on banking, the lending industry, housing, and public finance. He was United States Deputy Secretary of …

Ep. 65 - Lynne Sagalyn: Demystifying the Politics and Planning of Cities

January 11th, 2021


Lynne Sagalyn, an expert in real estate development and finance, gives us the theory and thinking behind how and why cities exist as they do today. …

Ep. 64 - Antonio Santaella: International Flamenco Maestro

January 3rd, 2021


Antonio Santaella, a very famous flamenco dancer referred to as the international flamenco maestro whose culture influence qualifies him to be a …

Ep. 63 - Robert Rozen: The Birth of the Tax Credit Program

December 28th, 2020


Robert Rozen, referred to as Bobby,  worked for many years in the U.S. Senate and was involved in the establishment of the Low Income Housing Tax …

Ep. 62 - Amy Glassman: Is Fair Housing Fair?

December 21st, 2020


Is fair housing fair? What is disparate impact and how can housing authorities and landlords determine the application of it?  What is reasonable accommodation? How is HUD conducting market testing to determine racial …

Ep. 61 - William Kelly: Co-creation Model to Bring Social Change

December 14th, 2020


Referred to as Bill Kelly, he is the developer of a co-creation model to bring social change to affordable housing. He was a special assistant and executive assistant to the secretary of HUD Carla Hills from 1975 to …

Ep. 60 - Sarah Rosen Wartell: Elevate the Debate

December 7th, 2020


Sarah Rosen Wartell: Elevate the Debate Ep. 60 - Sarah Rosen Wartell has articulated a strategy for Urban: elevate the debate. She is the public …

Ep. 59 - Muriel Tillinghast: Desegregation Activism on the Front Lines

November 30th, 2020


Meet Muriel Tillinghast, a human rights activist from the 1960’s to today! She takes us on a long but fascinating journey from the initial civil rights activities in the 1960’s through an extensive career in revenue …

Ep. 58 - Norman McLoughlin: Creative Real Estate Financing Podcast

November 23rd, 2020


Norm McLoughlin is a master of creative real estate financing in the public sector. Whether it is tax exempt bonds, tax credit, or federal, state or local funds, Norm has experience in all of them! As President of the …

Ep. 57 - Joseph Shuldiner: Engage the Residents

November 16th, 2020


Can you imagine managing a 500K+ subsidized housing unit program with 10,238 employees? How about 9.375 units plus 58,000 families in the Section 8 …

Ep. 56 - David Stevens: Close the Diversity Gap in Housing Podcast

November 9th, 2020


David Stevens believes in a better and diverse America, a country where the economic gap is less wide and both the majority and the minority have safe affordable places to call home. The only way to do that is to close …

Ep. 55 - Bryan Greene: Racial Bias in Housing

November 2nd, 2020


Bryan Greene knows what discrimination looks like, especially in housing. But how do we end racial bias in housing so that housing is equally available to everyone?  Bryan handled many discrimination cases while he …

Ep. 54 - James Stockard: Housing Is a Right, Not a Privilege

October 26th, 2020


“It’s time to ensure that no American has to worry about where they and their families will sleep tonight.” James Stockard, referred to as Jim, feels …

Ep. 53 - Mark Willis: Revival of Cities

October 26th, 2020


Mark Willis’s life work is about stabilizing and revitalizing cities, with a strong focus on New York City, but creating theory and systems which …

Ep. 52 - David Smith: Part 2 The Affordable Housing Guru Reveals the Future

October 19th, 2020


Walk through a detector into a commercial building and be safe! Retrofit your house and be safe! Install an app that will let you know when someone with COVID is within your range. David Smith, the affordable housing …

Ep. 51 - Gerald Benoit: The Guru of Housing Vouchers

October 12th, 2020


Meet Gerald Benoit, referred to as Jerry, one of the icons from the 1970s and a member of the Academy of Housing and Communities. He started out by directing a Section 23 Leased Housing program for the department of HUD …

Ep. 50 - DeeDee Strum: Making her Mark as a Black Woman in Community Development

October 5th, 2020


Meet DeLois Strum, referred to as DeeDee, a 40+ year entrepreneur, a public speaker, an affordable housing advocate, and is currently involved in …

Ep. 49 - Carla Hills: Former U.S. Trade Ambassador and HUD Secretary

September 28th, 2020


What would it be like to be responsible for negotiating a trade agreement with China or Japan or any other world country? Imagine yourself about to …

Ep. 48 - Bruno Fulda: A French Global Change Agent

September 21st, 2020


Bruno Fulda is a Frenchman who is determined to bring real change on a global scale. He believes in regulated capitalism’s interface with climate …

Ep. 47 - Judith Hermanson: Smart City. Just City.

September 14th, 2020


Judith Hermanson, President and CEO of IHC Global, brings a Smart City. Just City initiative to increase inclusiveness and equity in cities across the globe. The Smart City. Just City. Initiative will develop and 

Ep. 46 - Shel Shreiberg: Challenges? Not Me!

September 7th, 2020


Shel Schreiberg considers himself very lucky for not experiencing any challenges during his career in the affordable housing sector. He is also very modest in all the projects he and his team members contributed to …

Ep. 45 - Jack Sullivan: The Good Fight

August 31st, 2020


Meet John H. (“Jack”) Sullivan – if it’s part of his passion – watch out!  If he wants something enough, he’ll fight for it until he gets it!  He …

Ep. 44 - Marcia Blum: Omaha's Tireless Giver

August 24th, 2020


Marcia Blum is a retired social worker and mental health therapist whose professional career included pioneering open adoption, hospice care and grief programs. She has worked in the private, public, and non-profit …

Ep. 43 - Stockton Williams: State and National Role in Housing

August 17th, 2020


Stockton Williams is Executive Director of the National Council of State Housing Agencies. NCSHA’s state housing finance agency members have delivered nearly $500 billion in financing to make possible the purchase, …

Ep. 42 - Malcomb Peabody: Freedom of Choice

August 10th, 2020


Malcolm ‘Mike’ Peabody’s life has been founded on giving people the freedom of choice. He is known as the man who reinvented Public Housing. Working …

Ep. 41-Joyce Cowin: Never Stop Learning

August 3rd, 2020


Joyce Cowin of New York City is a 90-year-old Fellow of the Academy going on 55. She never ceases to amaze those around her with her activities and …

Ep. 40 - Dwight Ink: The Indiana Jones of Public Administrators

July 27th, 2020


One of the best storytellers ever, the 97-year-old activitist has had a fascinating life! Dwight Ink's government career serving seven Presidents is …

Ep. 39 - James W Loewen: Racial History and Sundown Towns

July 20th, 2020


James Loewen's gripping retelling of American history as it should, and could, be taught, Lies My Teacher Told Me, has sold more than 1,500,000 …

Ep. 38 - Lyn Burton: Facilitating Leadership for the Affordable Housing Industry

July 10th, 2020


Lyn Burton is President and Executive Director of Affordable Housing Connections, a nonprofit organization that provides training and education services to owners, managers, and tenants of affordable rental housing …

Ep. 37 - Stanley Newman: Federal History of Segregation, Redlining and Civil Rights

July 3rd, 2020


Stanley Newman is interviewed by Nan McKay on Community TrailBlazers Podcast ( Mr. Newman has had a distinguished career in local and federal government since …

Ep. 36 - Helen Dunlap: Creator of Mark-to-Market and REAC at HUD

June 26th, 2020


Helen Dunlap contrasts policy at HUD in problem-solving and practice in 1993 to today. She feels the layers of complexities have grown exponentially. …

Ep. 35-Rod Solomon: Creating Laws for Affordable Housing

June 19th, 2020


Rod Solomon, a practicing attorney, has worked in the affordable housing and community development sectors for the last 4 decades as Deputy Assistant …

Ep. 34-James Hindman: Building Business Around Helping Others

June 12th, 2020


With his strong entrepreneurial spirit, James Hindman has spent most of his professional life leading companies, educating young people, and working towards helping others.
He has worked as a real estate developer, …

Ep. 33-Art Hessel: Changing Times in Housing Development

June 5th, 2020


Arthur spent more than four decades practicing law in Washington DC where he was largely involved with housing clients and working for the Federal …

Ep. 32-Jane Katz: Taking a Global View

May 29th, 2020


As an international studies major, Jane Katz came to Washington, D.C. with high ideals about the future. Yet like many who have had a non-linear career path, she found herself working in the housing arena, spending time …

Ep. 31-John Koskinen: His Role as the Fixer

May 22nd, 2020


John Koskinen's role as a fixer focused on dealing with a crisis without panicking the public. He has had a plethora of impactful jobs, most of them …

Ep.30-John Weicher: A Scholar's Take on Housing

May 15th, 2020


John Weicher is a senior Fellow and Director of the Hudson Institute. He also is a sought-after expert in housing policy and economics. He served …

Ep. 29-Marion McFadden: Why We Need Political Will

May 10th, 2020


After 15 years at HUD, Marion Mollegen McFadden felt she could make a bigger impact outside of the government. She now leads the public policy team …

Ep. 28-Michael Bodaken: Going Green for Smarter Housing

May 3rd, 2020


Michael Bodaken knows it’s going to take serious innovation and creativity to turn around the nation's neglect of its affordable housing crisis. He’s worked directly on the issue for years, with a long tenure as head of …

Ep.27-Barbara Adams: Pennsylvania's Housing Champion

April 26th, 2020


 Barbara Adams is an influential leader in Pennsylvania for her tireless efforts to implement housing projects, help reduce poverty, and advocate for social justice issues. She spent nearly 30 years at a …

Ep. 26-Robert Elliott: Race Relations is Our Biggest Problem

April 19th, 2020


Bob Elliot has held significant roles in many of the critical decisions that shaped housing policy. He served as general counsel of HUD, a time he …

Ep. 25-Barry Zigas: Building A Housing Landscape

April 12th, 2020


After starting his career as a journalist, Barry Zigas decided he wanted to do more than just report on policy — he wanted to help craft it. He has …

Ep. 24-Harry Finger: The Rocket Man for Housing

April 5th, 2020


Harry Finger already had a distinguished career before he arrived at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1969. An aeronautical nuclear …

Ep. 23-Sharon Wilson Geno: Marrying Healthcare and Housing

March 29th, 2020


Sharon Wilson Geno was fresh out of law school and working for a firm when she realized it wasn’t the path she wanted. So she changed course, earning …

Ep. 22-Larry Pearl: The Real History of Fair Housing

March 22nd, 2020


Larry Pearl spent nearly 40 years inside HUD and offers a first-hand account of how the agency battled discrimination, was forced to adapt to …

Ep. 21-Rick Gentry: One Size Doesn't Fit All

March 15th, 2020


Local governments often know best when it comes to housing solutions for their community says says Rick Gentry, the president and CEO of the San …

Ep. 20-Charles Edson: Founder of Affordable Housing Organizations

March 12th, 2020


Housing expert Chuck Edson knew just the moment when affordable housing would become a national issue — when people had to move in with their …

Ep. 19-Mayra Callazo: Devoted to Dance

March 11th, 2020


For Mayra Collazo, dance and the arts are vital for any culture. A lifelong performer and now professor of dance in Puerto Rico, she wants to expand …

Ep. 18-Robert Embry: Leading Change in Baltimore

March 8th, 2020


Robert Embry has been a change agent in Baltimore, playing a pivotal role in shaping the area’s housing policy as Commissioner of the Department of …

Ep. 17-Conrad Egan: Millennials! Power Up at the Local Level

March 5th, 2020


The future of housing must change, according to Conrad Egan. With 20 years of service to HUD and ongoing work with housing agencies in Northern Virginia, he points to communities that are embracing greater density to …

Ep. 16-Kent Colton: The Ivory Prize and Other Innovations

February 29th, 2020


Kent Colton is a sought-after voice in housing policy. As president of the Colton Housing Group and senior research fellow at the Harvard Joint …

Ep. 15-Emil Frankel: Transportation Links to Urbanism

February 27th, 2020


Transportation policy is a path to understanding how U.S. cities were built and their role in shaping people’s lives. Emil Frankel has a …

Ep. 14-Joe Schiff: Banish the Blinders

February 26th, 2020


Joe Schiff has been at the highest levels of HUD, responsible for housing millions of families and a continual voice for reforming the system. He deep dives into what is and isn’t working in public housing. He urges …

Ep. 13-Joe Ventrone: Time for Radical Change

February 26th, 2020


Joe Ventrone believes that HUD and federal housing policy need a radical realignment. After over 40 years of industry experience in the private …

Ep.12-William Gilmartin: Bridging a Partisan Divide

February 26th, 2020


William Gilmartin has led a life committed to public service. He spent over 44 years in Washington with the Army, Congressional offices, and reaching the level of Assistant Secretary of Congress and Intergovernmental …

Ep. 11-Ann Schnare: Freddie Mac, Credit Ratings and Segregation

February 23rd, 2020


Ann Schnare is an expert in housing and mortgage finance, with 20 years as president of her own consulting firm. With a Harvard Ph.D in economics, …

Ep. 10-Tom Buzzuto: Doing Housing Right

February 16th, 2020


For too long, the issue wasn’t even on the national dialogue and inaction has only worsened the crisis.

Yet he’s optimistic about the new conversations amongst the current presidential candidates and the traction the …

Ep. 9-Elisabette Calero: High Priestess of Culture in Puerto Rico

February 9th, 2020


Elisabette Calero is known as the high priestess of culture in Puerto Rico. At 14 she joined the Boston Ballet, the launch for a storied career …

Ep. 8-Marshall Kaplan: A First-Hand Historical Overview of HUD

February 2nd, 2020


Marshall Kaplan gives an excellent first-hand account of HUD's evolution and expectations and its ability to meet them. He discusses the difficulties …

Ep. 7-Monica Sussman: Do Good to Do Well

January 26th, 2020


Monica Sussman has been on both sides of the affordable housing sector, serving as a deputy general counsel with HUD and currently practicing at a …

Ep. 6-David Smith: Sure! I Can Do That!

January 19th, 2020


David is a self-taught pioneer in affordable housing, building two successful companies including the Affordable Housing Institute which has worked …

Ep. 5-Carol Lamberg: From Ashes to Triumph

January 12th, 2020


Building housing in New York isn’t easy. There’s lots of red tape and high housing costs, but none of that detracted Carol Lamberg from pushing …

Ep. 4-Bob Moss: Innovate to Fix Housing Woes

January 5th, 2020


After 36 years in the affordable housing industry, Bob Moss has a clear vision for what must change.

He discusses that to meet the myriad of needs in housing, the U.S. needs to be more creative about finding sufficient …

Ep. 3-John McIlwain: Easing the Housing Squeeze

December 29th, 2019


John Mcllwain has been on the ground floor of the country’s affordable housing movement, becoming a trusted voice on Capitol Hill for his deep …

Ep. 2-Denise Muha: Respect on Capitol Hill

December 22nd, 2019


 Housing expert Denise Muha is a sought after expert in Washington for her insight on affordable housing policy. As Executive Director of the …

Ep.1-Kent Watkins & Nan McKay: A Historical Perspective of Housing and Communities

December 10th, 2019


Kent Watkins and Nan McKay reflect on their decades of work in the affordable housing industry and analyze the many challenges on the horizon. They …

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