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Resident Leadership had a fond farewell luncheon for the District of Columbia Housing Authority’s outgoing Executive Director Adrianne Todman.

“This is one of those times that are bittersweet,” said Interim Executive Director Nathan Bovelle at the luncheon on May 16 at the Southwest Family Enhancement and Career Center.

Bovelle said that Todman was a woman of power, persistence, and strength who led DCHA on a successful path. “Now she will have even more of a strong impact...supporting housing issues across the country,” he said.

Todman announced in April that she will leave DCHA on June 1, 2017 to become the first female CEO of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). NAHRO is the leading housing and community development advocacy organization that promotes affordable housing policy for all Americans, particularly those with low- and moderate-incomes. The nearly 20,000-member organization is comprised of community development agencies, housing authorities, and individuals, among others. NAHRO’s members provide homes to nearly 8 million low-income households.

Bovelle said Todman was a phenomenal leader who touched the lives of many people with grace and humility.

“I will do my best to fill the huge shoes such a little woman has left behind at the housing authority,” he said.

Todman thanked everyone in the audience and said, “[Being with the residents] is the best part of this job. This is my heart. It is not building the buildings and I cherish my employees, but it is the residents who always have my heart.”

Todman explained that it was DCHA families’ energy that inspired her to continue on her path to fight for affordable housing in the District. She said that NAHRO is not far away and she expects to be invited to birthday parties and holiday celebrations in the future.

Her new position will give her “the opportunity to speak on behalf of all of us who support affordable housing, who believe our babies deserve better,” she said. And since the position is outside of government, she said she can advocate a lot harder than she has in the past.

Todman said her success is due to her parents—who lived in modest means means—working to make sure she could get the best education possible “because that makes all the difference. Everyone has that spirit in them,” she said.

She plans to begin a small program called Todman’s Scholars to create a fund that will help youth with all of the unexpected costs that may deter them from finishing their educational goals.

Director of the Office of Resident Services Sherrill Hampton said Todman has set high goals for the employees at DCHA. In that spirit, Hampton quoted President John F. Kennedy, “The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were, and ask why not.”

Hampton said Todman always challenged them to not “try,” but do.

Ms. Carter from Potomac Gardens Senior recited a poem thanking Todman for her service.

Todman said, “I love you dearly. This is not goodbye or farewell, but see you later!”
 

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Last modified: 5/18/2017 1:57:12 PM