Network StaffStaci Berger, President and CEO - As the President and CEO of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, Staci Berger directs this statewide association of over 150 community-based development organizations, created in 1989 to enhance the efforts of these groups to create affordable housing and revitalize their communities, and to improve the climate for community development in New Jersey. Before becoming the President and CEO, Staci served as the Director of Advocacy & Policy. In this role she was responsible for leading the community development policy staff team, including working with the Policy Coordinator and field organizers, to broaden and mobilize support for the Network’s public policy agenda. Prior to joining the Network, Staci worked for nine years with New Jersey Citizen Action where she went from being an organizer to the Political and Legislative Director. As the Political and Legislative Director, she devised and implemented political, legislative, and electoral strategy for the state’s largest non-profit, non-partisan independent watchdog coalition. She received her Masters in Public Affairs and Politics from Rutgers University in 2004. Staci has served as a associate trainer for the Midwest Academy, a leading national training institute for the progressive movement, and worked as a labor organizer with the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute and the Health Professionals and Allied Employees/AFT/AFL-CIO. She lives with her husband and two sons in Middlesex County.
Sharon K. Barker, Vice President and COO - Sharon brings over 30 years of non-profit experience across a broad range of community and national human service organizations. Most recently, she served as Interim Co-CEO and Senior Vice President of Community Impact and Development for the United Way of Bucks County. Sharon is a Certified Fundraising Executive who has raised millions of dollars throughout her career. She has been a trainer and consultant for numerous non-profits with a focus on fundraising, capacity building, and planning. Additionally, she has been certified as a Section 8 Housing Specialist and has experience working with numerous communities in the areas of rental assistance, rental rehabilitation, housing rehabilitation, homelessness prevention, program development and community development programs. Sharon has a track record of building strong corporate and community relationships as well as initiating innovative programs and services. As Vice President and COO of the Network, Sharon is responsible for the daily operations of the organization, as well as fund development and the areas of training, consulting and technical assistance.
Arnold Cohen, Senior Policy Coordinator - Responsible for coordinating the Network’s public policy advocacy and outreach activities. Prior to joining the Network in 1994, Arnold began his career as a grassroots advocate organizing statewide public policy campaigns in the areas of affordable housing, early childhood education, health care, and environmental justice. In addition to his work at the Network, Arnold sits on the boards of the Coalition for Affordable Housing and the Environment and the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness and is a member of the Anti-Poverty Network Steering Committee. He represents the Network on the HUD Sustainable Communities grant through Together North Jersey’s Regional Plan which includes the 13 county North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority Region of New Jersey. In his role as the Sr. Policy Coordinator at the Network, Arnold has been instrumental in leading campaigns that have led to the passage of the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit, State Rental Assistance Program and the Abandoned Properties Act. Through Arnold’s efforts, the Network has been a leader in advocacy for creating homes lower income people can afford, revitalizing the communities where they live and strengthening the work of nonprofits in these areas.
Carrie Garcis, Finance Coordinator - Responsible for the bookkeeping and accounting of the Network's finances, including payroll, employee benefits, banking, grants and insurance. Prior to joining the Network, Carrie worked in the fields of project management, financial analysis and financial services in the private sector for the last 13 years. Carrie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Communication from Rutgers University.
Janelle Y. Greene, JD, Housing Counseling Grant Coordinator - Responsible for coordinating the Network’s technical assistance and training components for its membership and extended community partners. Janelle has nearly twenty years of experience working in the not-for-profit community with a focus on social, environmental, community and economic development and faith-based causes in Boston and New York City. She has successfully worked in non-profit management with a focus on government and community relations grant writing and contracting compliance. Prior to joining the Network, Janelle worked as the Director, Government and Community Relations at Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, Inc. She has advocated for counseling and financial programs, directed and wrote government grant initiatives, and managed certification processes with agencies like U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Janelle holds a Juris Doctorate from Boston College Law School and a Bachelors of Science in Urban Regional Studies from Cornell University.
Raphael Kasen, Community Building Specialist - Responsible for supporting community development members’ network objectives and advancing Network policy goals such as problem properties reclamation and neighborhood stabilization. Prior to joining the Network, Raphael worked as a community organizer with Network member Community Access Unlimited, where he advocated and organized on housing and community integration issues for adults with developmental disabilities. He has worked as a consultant with Cornerstone Partnership, a national peer network promoting long-term affordable homeownership, and has been published in Rooflines, the Shelterforce blog, as well as by Cornerstone. He holds a Master of City and Regional Planning degree from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.
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