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 12 years of experience in the community development sector, Ms. Raspberry
believes that through thoughtful engagement and strategic collaboration, organizations and mission-driven stakeholders have the ability to transform communities.
Since her appointment in 2012, Ms. Raspberry has led HAND's strategic, financial and administrative operations with innovative thinking and strong coalition building among various sectors of the industry.
leadership, HAND's membership has increased to include over 300 diverse members representing various sectors represented within the community development industry.
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.
tenure, Ms. Raspberry
has expanded the breadth of educational offerings to her
members to deepen their impact in the region: GenerationHAND
, a leadership program designed for intergenerational learnings; Matters@HAND, a thought-leadership series authored by the National Housing Conference that provides a regional perspective on housing needs, challenges and solutions; the first-ever Regional Housing Symposium co-convened with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD), an annual dialogue with HUD officials on programs and policies directly impacting the region; and a public service awareness campaign to demonstrate the critical need for housing that is affordable.
has also strengthened HAND's
networking outreaches to encompass the broad cross-sections within the industry, and has notably increased participation at the HAND
Annual Meeting & Housing Expo to more than 1300 attendees.Prior to her
role with HAND, Ms. Raspberry
held various leadership positions within the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
Most recently she 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, Ms. Raspberry 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 Vanderburgh County Commissioner in the state of Indiana.
Additionally, Ms. Raspberry
operated a robust consultancy business that developed comprehensive branding strategies for companies to increase their competitive edge.
In 2012, Ms. Raspberry
received the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children DC's Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition of her
passion to represent the best interest of youth in foster care to the District of Columbia Family Court.
In 2013, she
was named 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 was named a Young Leader by Affordable Housing Finance Magazine
She volunteers with the NO MURDERS DC movement and enjoys serving as the administrator to the Saturday Leadership Academy for the 100 Black Men of Greater Washington, D.C.
Ms. Raspberry also serves on BB&T Community Reinvestment Act Steering Committee, the board of directors of her homeowners association and is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
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 in 2014.