After nearly 34 years, I have decided to retire as Executive Director of the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition this coming January after several years of answering the grey haired question “When are you going to ………?” It was a tough decision but I take with me the memories of families working together to build homes for each other: self-help home owners pulling trucks up full of furniture waiting for the final inspection approval so they can move-in; the “pachanga” afterwards; students living in CVHC homes, receiving our scholarships and getting ready for college; hardworking farmworkers moving out of unhealthy trailers into beautiful ample new apartments; kids at computers, building robots, studying STEM, learning mariachi, ballet folklorico, or tennis; hearing children tell their parents “now I have my own room where I can study”. Can’t beat this job!
Can’t beat the fully dedicated “Coalicionistas” either who make everything happen successfully at CVHC. How lucky I was to meet, work and have fun with everyone at CVHC, and achieve with them the development of more than 4,500 homes for farmworkers, seniors, service workers, the homeless, those with mental or physical disabilities and people with chronic illnesses. And just a few days ago we broke ground to house veterans and their families.
Since CVHC’s creation more than three decades ago we’ve had strong, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, supportive, “let’s do it” Board Members. Lucky again! They helped me to make the difficult retirement easier by selecting Julie Bornstein, former CVHC Board President, California State Assemblywoman and Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development, as my successor.
I’ve also had the opportunity to know, become friends and work with many partners in community organizations, corporations, banks, foundations, lenders, investors and government agencies across the country and even in Mexico.
I look forward to traveling and spending more time with my wife Patricia and our strings of families here and in various states, although after a few months I expect Patricia to give me hints that there are greeting jobs open at the big box stores.
In the coming months I hope to stay in touch. I hear a buzz that there might be an event in February.