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THE END OF AN ERA

After more than three years of service, Pedro Alfonso is stepping down from his position as chairman of the District of Columbia Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.

Employees and fellow board members honored him at the December 10 board meeting.

“It pains me to have to execute this next item,” said Executive Director Adrianne Todman. “Mr. Alfonso is stepping down as chairman of the board.” ”

She called Alfonso a seasoned businessman who increased access for small and local businesses to partner with DCHA. He helped create the Human Services Symposium and led the board and authority “in a fair and balanced manner.”

Terri Thompson, acting board chairperson, agreed.

“The board, I believe has been served well by his leadership,” she said. “We agree and disagree when we need to, but our work got done and that is something he has insured.”

Board member Ken Grossinger told Alfonso that what stood out was the “sensitivity that you brought to the people we serve. That is what I saw before anything else.”

That sensitivity and respect for others is what Board member Jenny Reed spoke about at the meeting. She said, when she first came in as a new member, he sat down with her and explained his vision. Then he asked for her vision for DCHA.

“I really appreciated that,” she said. “[Alfonso] made sure we all had a chance to share.”

Board member Aquarius Vann-Ghasri said Alfonso set goals and made sure the board achieved them. Lancaster most valued Alfonso’s personal touch, especially with the senior clients, he said.

Alfonso said he was proud of the work the board and DCHA staff has accomplished, from reengineering the wait list to installing a more efficient work order system.

“The staff has stepped up and exceeded expectations many times,” he said. He noted that the board wasn’t easy to please, either. “This board has a mind of its own, but when it all comes around it is always in the best interest of those we represent--the DCHA community.”

He said he appreciates all that he learned and hopes the compassion and understanding will continue to help guide DCHA’s housing policy management.

“I want to thank everybody for allowing me to serve” at what he called a “highly scrutinized” housing authority due to the location with District and federal officials so close by, Alfonso said. “What we do speaks loudly across the country and they listen to our actions.”

DCHA Executive Director Adrianne Todman and former Chairman Pedro Alfonso surrounded by the board.
DCHA Executive Director Adrianne Todman and former Chairman Pedro Alfonso surrounded by the board.
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