Heather Raspberry is the executive director of the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND), the largest regional membership association dedicated to supporting the community development industry in its efforts to increase the supply of affordable housing in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Through education, engagement and training, HAND provides its membership needed tools and resources to positively impact communities across the region.
With more than 15 years of experience in the community development sector, Heather believes that through thoughtful engagement and strategic collaboration, organizations and mission-driven stakeholders have the ability to transform communities. Since her appointment in 2012, Heather has led HAND’s strategic, financial and administrative operations with innovative thinking and strong coalition building among various sectors of the industry. Under her leadership, HAND’s membership has increased to include over 350 diverse members representing various sectors represented within the community development industry. Through her dedicated fundraising efforts, the organization has advanced the scale and depth of its programs to keep pace with the evolving capacity building needs of its active membership.
During her tenure, Heather has expanded the breadth of educational offerings to members to deepen their impact in the region: GenerationHAND, a leadership program designed for intergenerational learnings; Matters@HAND, a thought-leadership series authored by Dr. Lisa Sturtevant, Principal, Lisa Sturtevant & Associates, that provides a regional perspective on housing needs, challenges and solutions; the first-ever Regional Housing Symposium held in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); and a public service awareness campaign to demonstrate the critical need for affordable housing to the public.
Heather has notably increased participation at the HAND Annual Meeting & Housing Expo to more than 1,4000 attendees. Prior to her role with HAND, she held various leadership positions within the public, private and nonprofit sectors. She previously worked for leading syndicator Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. and developed and executed national and regional public relations campaigns that advanced the business and philanthropic priorities of the organization. Before Enterprise, Heather led the communication and programmatic initiatives as a senior program officer for the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development. Her career also included public service positions with the U.S. Department of Transportation and a political campaign for a County Commissioner in the state of Indiana. Heather has also operated a robust consultancy business that developed comprehensive branding strategies for companies to increase their competitive edge.
Over the course of her career, Heather has been recognized for her accomplishments in the community. She was named the Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children’s Volunteer of the Year in recognition of her passion to represent the best interest of youth in foster care to the District of Columbia Family Court; honored as a Rising Leader in Community Development by the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development; tapped to participate in the NTL Institute’s Leaders of Color Program; and named a Young Leader by Affordable Housing Finance Magazine. Ms. Raspberry serves on the boards of New Partners Community Solar, Women of Color in Community Development (Vice President), BB&T CRA Steering Committee, City First Capital Advisory Board and her homeowners association. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Leadership Greater Washington (’18).
Ms. Raspberry holds a dual bachelor’s degree in public relations and business management from Hampton University, and earned the National Development Council’s Housing Development Finance Professional Certification.
The challenges of providing housing that people can afford impact each local jurisdiction and thus our entire region. This is exactly why HAND plays a critical role in the support of the region’s affordable housing industry. Through thoughtful engagement and strategic collaboration, HAND’s collective membership has the ability to transform communities across the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region.”
Courtney Battle joins the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) as the Membership Manager.
Courtney brings a wealth of experience in journalism and communications to this role. Prior to HAND, she was an Account Manager for a local public affairs firm, and also spent several years at CNN’s Washington, DC bureau as a News Assistant and Media Coordinator.
She received her Bachelor’s degree from Howard University in Washington, DC, where she majored in Journalism and minored in Afro-American Studies. She has been very engaged in her community via several organizations which include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Reading Partners, and Community ONE. Additionally, she is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), ColorComm, and Washington Women in PR.
She is originally from Southfield, Michigan, but has found a second home in Washington, DC.
I consider it an honor to work for an organization that plays such a critical role in increasing and maintaining affordable housing in the city that has been so good to me personally and professionally. This issue is one that touches all of us, and I am very excited to be involved in creating solutions to this pressing challenge.”