On December 13, HAND hosted its Annual Holiday Mixer. The Board of Directors and staff thank all of our members, partners and sponsors who attended! The event served as a great opportunity to connect with fellow colleagues, celebrate the holiday season and recognize both seasoned and emerging leaders in our industry.
Over 300 guests convened at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, DC for the
event. HAND’s President Ray Skinner addressed the crowd, highlighting several special HAND moments over the course of 2017. Skinner also recognized outgoing Board members Rob Goldman of Montgomery Housing Partnership and Mike Pitchford of Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC). Both Goldman and Pitchford have served on HAND’s Board for several years and we thank them for their dedicated service.
Executive Director Heather Raspberry also gave remarks, honoring the four recipients of the GenerationHAND scholarship: Nory Flores, Lee Goldstein, Samantha Pedreiro and Jazzmin Reid.
The GenerationHAND initiative launched two years ago with the mission of equipping the emerging leaders in our industry with the tools they need to thrive as they navigate their careers. The initiative has blossomed tremendously – from its offerings of intimate sit-downs with industry trailblazers to volunteering to install solar panels on the roof of our members’ developments. The Braintrust Committee oversees all GenerationHAND programming and is comprised of emerging leaders in the HAND family. Similar to our other committees, the Braintrust meets on a regular basis to plan and execute its programming throughout the year to bring fresh and innovative programming to our members.
Earlier this year HAND hosted a GenerationHAND SoulCycle Fundraiser to benefit local graduate students studying real estate, architecture, urban planning and other related fields. In total we raised $2,000 to be used for each students’ educational expenses. Each recipient was selected by our review committee, which was comprised of Braintrust Committee Chair and HAND Board Member Derrick Perkins, Maia Shanklin Roberts of Ballard Spahr and HAND’s Heather Raspberry.
Some highlights on our award recipients:
Nory Flores is pursuing her Master of Professional Studies in Sustainable Urban Planning at George Washington University. The review committee was particularly impressed with her passion for including the voices of all residents as our communities continue to transform through development.
Lee Goldstein is an active and engaged member of HAND’s Braintrust and Program committees, and pursuing his Master of Science in Real Estate and Infrastructure at Johns Hopkins University. In his application Lee touched on the historic use of redlining and policies used to create concentrated areas of poverty and segregation. The committee wholeheartedly agreed with his thoughtful response suggesting that we must be intentional in incorporating this discussion into the conversation on affordable housing.
Samantha Pedreiro is pursuing her Masters of Public Administration at American University. Her commitment to serving her community – and particularly women – is not only evident in her application, but her experience working with multiple agencies in New York city’s government. To use her own words, “housing first; the rest will follow.” She understands that without the safety and security of affordable housing, an individual cannot put time and energy into finding a job or other basic human needs.
Jazzmin Reid is pursuing a Masters of Architecture/Master of Sustainable Design at Catholic University of America. Jazzmin realizes that “our design can have a far greater impact if we pay attention to its relation to the space around it.” In the future she has plans to champion community integrated design that is inclusive rather than divisive, and ensures that affordable housing is reflecting what its residents value most.
HAND applauds these emerging leaders for their academic pursuits in support of the development of thriving communities here in the Washington region. In addition to their scholarships, each recipient received a complimentary HAND membership.
Check out additional photos from the evening below: