Becoming the executive director of NCALL is a special honor. NCALL is fortunate to have the skills and resources to focus on our mission of “promoting affordable housing, improved communities, and sustainable development.” As an organization, NCALL has:
- Great staff who are committed to our affordable housing and community development mission
- NCALL produces results -- meaningful production and outcomes that positively affect lives
- A positive financial position with excellent stakeholder relationships, and
- A supportive and thoughtful Board of Directors who provide guidance.
I am delighted the Board has chosen me to lead our efforts in providing positive change for our customers. This includes augmenting our consumer services so that more Delaware households become informed consumers when buying a house, mitigating foreclosure and default, and managing their money as well as looking for ways we can strive to address the existing racial wealth gap. NCALL’s services to our nonprofit partners and customers, be it providing housing development expertise, community development/neighborhood revitalization work, or lending for affordable housing or community facilities, will be enhanced and expanded.
I have been meeting with my co-workers, either individually or in groups, to get their perspective on NCALL’s challenges and opportunities. More recently, I have met with Board members and various stakeholders to get their views.
I am working on the goals set out for me by the Board of Directors, which include:
- Evaluate the infrastructure needed for NCALL to grow and thrive
- Examine the organizational and management structure
- Develop a branding and marketing strategy
- Stay abreast of the changing public policy and funding environment and evaluate the impacts on NCALL’s lines of business
My vision for NCALL includes:
- Embracing change and taking advantage of the many opportunities NCALL has for growth
- To always be searching for the next housing and community development related niche or need that NCALL can address in a meaningful manner
- Hosting greater discussions of diverse issues, and
- Developing the next generation of leaders
There are many stories that resonate with me as to why I work in the affordable housing field and the impact we have on people’s lives. One, in particular, was a family who at the dedication of an apartment complex shared that they were so happy to be moving in because their children could now bring their friends home. In their former place, they were too ashamed and embarrassed to have friends over. So through housing and community development efforts, we affect families and future generations.
I look forward to working with you all towards achieving NCALL’s vision of affordable homes and thriving communities for all.
Karen B. Speakman