NCALL Announces New Executive Director

karen speakman to be ncalls new edJune 14, 2018: The Board of Directors of National Council on Agricultural Life and Labor Research Fund, Inc. (“NCALL”) is very proud to announce the appointment of Karen B. Speakman as the organization’s Executive Director. Speakman, NCALL’s current Deputy Director, will succeed Joe L. Myer, who has been with NCALL for 42 years, 37 of those years as its Executive Director. Speakman will start in her new role on July 16th.

“NCALL’s board conducted an extensive search, which resulted in a number of qualified candidates, and ultimately felt that Karen’s depth of experience, commitment to mission, and vision for NCALL will be valuable assets as the organization writes its next chapter,” stated Randy Kunkle, President of NCALL’s Board of Directors.

Speakman, who began her career at NCALL as a Housing Specialist, was appointed Deputy Director in 1981. As Deputy Director, she has been integrally involved in all aspects of the organization and oversees the Real Estate Development line of business, Restoring Central Dover initiative, Homeownership Counseling, Foreclosure Prevention Counseling, and $tand by Me financial coaching.

Besides her work at NCALL, Speakman is an Executive Committee member and past president of the National Rural Housing Coalition, a board member of Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity, and is a member of the Delaware Chapter of the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials and Housing Alliance Delaware. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Urban Affairs from the University of Virginia.

“It is an honor to be selected as NCALL’s next Executive Director. I am deeply committed to NCALL’s mission of empowering moderate and low-income people through better housing and community development endeavors. I look forward to leading this wonderful organization and to working with its dedicated board and staff in furthering NCALL’s positive impact on people’s lives, nonprofit customers, and communities.”

Joe Myer shares that “Karen has been an important part of NCALL’s success and accomplishments over the years. She has a high standard of work and a real heart for NCALL’s mission and the services we provide. Karen will provide a steady hand along with innovative ideas as NCALL’s new leader.”

NCALL’s board of directors was advised by Raffa, a consulting and professional services firm whose mission is to be a catalyst for positive, systemic change. Raffa was engaged to identify the leadership skills and experiences needed and to recruit candidates and manage the search for the organization.

NCALL currently has a 36-person staff and an operating budget of $4.3 million. Founded in 1955, NCALL works to promote affordable housing, improved communities, and sustainable development on the Delmarva Peninsula by educating and empowering people to achieve their housing goals and improve their finances; developing affordable housing and strengthening the capacity of other nonprofit housing organizations; providing innovative lending products and services targeted to affordable housing and community development; revitalizing neighborhoods; and increasing public awareness about housing needs and resources and advocating for improved public policy.

NCALL has been a chartered member of NeighborWorks® since 2003 and received an exemplary rating during the last program review in 2015. NCALL was also certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in 2004. NCALL voluntarily participates in the Comprehensive Ratings for CDFI Investments (Aeris) review and rating process, which yielded a current rating of ★★★AA for impact performance, financial strength, and policy work.

Karen can be reached at: