We were able to explore
community issues and strategies throughout our region at an in-depth level
and bring this knowledge back to the communities that we work with
Community Builders Gather to Learn
From Each Other
With so much experience and expertise in the
Community Builders ranks, in two regions of the country, Secretarys
Representatives have led retreats designed to introduce new Fellows and
share knowledge and ideas among all HUD Community Builders.
In HUDs Southeast/Caribbean region,
Secretarys Representative Davey Gibson welcomed the regions
newest Community Builder Fellows with two days of orientation in mid-April,
emphasizing teamwork and training. The conference gave Davey an early opportunity
to provide essential information, set the tone, and pump-up the regions
Class of 1999 CB fellows as they reported to their field offices after receiving
the initial two week orientation in Washington, DC.
During his opening remarks the following day,
Davey asked everyone Community Builder Fellows, Atlanta staff, and
career Community Builders to write the words "I" and "Me"
on small pieces of paper to be placed in a cup being passed around the room.
He then asked that the cup be discarded into the trash can. As he put it,
"We are one team now
the only word we use is We."
Upbeat and inspiring, Davey made it clear that each Community Builder Fellow
would receive the support they needed in order to be successful in their
Program representatives showed-off their expertise
on a wide range of issues, offering region-specific aspects of their programs.
HUDs Public Trust Officers briefed new Community Builders on Multi-Family
Housing, Public Housing, Single Family Housing, Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity,
The Enforcement Center, The Real Estate Assessment Center, Community Planning
and Development, and Economic Development.
Southeast Community Builder Fellows present
uniformly expressed positive comments in regards to the training they received.
Andrea Schmidt, a newly assigned Fellow in the Greensboro office stated
that "as a new Community Builder Fellow, I found the training and orientation
offered by the Atlanta regional office to be most useful in my work on the
local level. I learned about HUD's unique organizational structure and how
it impacts upon program and service delivery. And it helps keep my spirits
up to learn that I am part of such a large and supportive family! Together
we can change the world (or at least our little piece of it)!"
Mid-Atlantic Community Builders converged
upon Ellicott City, Maryland to share best practices and to develop a rich
peer network of Community Builders throughout the region. On the first day
of the conference, Secretarys Representative Karen Miller and Senior
Community Builders Diane Lello (Delaware Field Office), Richard Nemoytin
(Pittsburgh Field Office), Fred Roncaglione (Charleston Field Office), Bob
Warner (a Community Builder representing the District of Columbia), Mary
Ann Wilson (Richmond Field Office), and Harold Young (Baltimore Field Office)
showcased the roles that Community Builders in each office are playing in
addressing HUDs mission. Over sixty Community Builders provided unique
insight into the successes and challenges of serving as the community convenor
and relationship manager for HUD.
The Mid-Atlantic conference successfully tapped
into the diverse knowledge and experiences of career personnel and fellows.
An entire day was devoted to 16 peer workshops that were led by Community
Builders. These sessions focused on issues that every field office is currently
facing, such as rural development (led by George Klaus), housing development
(led by Al Curatola), and consolidated planning (led by Margie Coccodrilli).
Discussion in each session fused an in-depth understanding of community
issues, such as with the knowledge of best practices from various public,
corporate, nonprofit, and education perspectives.
Before heading back to local offices, Community
Builders met Bud Carter, Director of the Philadelphia Home Ownership Center,
to discuss the current transition to new contractors for marketing HUD properties
for sale. Afterwards, Karen accompanied by Senior Community Builders, facilitated
a forum to address any remaining questions and concerns across the region.
I found this retreat extremely valuable,
said Virginia Community Builder Anne Davis. We were able to
explore community issues and strategies throughout our region at an in-depth
level and bring this knowledge back to the communities that we work with,
Through these two regional convenings, HUDs
leadership is preparing Community Builders for success in their roles. New
recruits are given a thorough grounding in preparation for the challenges
they will face. In addition, HUD is striving to achieve synergy by fully
accessing the knowledge, insight, and experiences that exists in its ranks.