NEW YORK – August 13, 2014 –– The National Development Council, a mission based non-profit community development organization, is pleased to announce the selection of Saundra Hudson to serve as the Council's Chairperson of the Board. Ms. Hudson is the first woman and minority to chair the organization. She is replacing Samuel S. Beard, founder of The National Development Council (NDC).
“I am honored to be NDC’s new Chair and humbled to follow Samuel Beard in the role,” Ms. Hudson said. “I believe that NDC represents the best of what a national for-purpose economic and community development organization can offer and successfully deliver: affordable housing, small business lending, economic revitalizing and professional training for everyone from developers to practitioners.”
Ms. Hudson's successful career in several industries has led her to her role as Chairperson of the Board at NDC. In New York at IBM Corporation, she worked in technology as a Systems Programmer. Later, she returned to her roots in St. Louis where she continued in the technology field with Olin Corporation as Manager of Information Systems. Ms. Hudson left the corporate world to purchase a franchise which she operated for 8 years and helped to strengthen her understanding of capital raising and job creation.
Although varied, all aspects of her career path share one common thread, problem-solving. She transitioned this analytical skill set to her work as President and CEO of the Madison County Urban League. Judge Duane Bailey, Board Chairperson of the Madison County Urban League, credited Ms. Hudson with stabilizing the organization during her tenure and expanding the group's work into developing affordable housing. “Saundra Hudson brought a steady hand to the ship of the Madison County Urban League,” he said. Her work in the Madison County Affordable Housing market was where Ms. Hudson was first introduced to NDC nearly twenty years ago.
Ms. Hudson was invited to join the NDC Board of Directors in 2007, because of her extensive experience and community engagement in Madison County, IL. Inspired by her parents, who taught her that education is the key to improving one's station in life. She is a passionate advocate for human rights and has fought for quality public education with the goal of leveraging the future for children, especially those who live in an urban environment. Ms. Hudson has served as an elected member of the Edwardsville School Board for sixteen years, as well as a member of the three-person financial oversight panel appointed by the Illinois Board of Education for East St. Louis Public Schools.
“Saundra Hudson’s positive ability to lead people and to motivate them to do things that they would not otherwise do can only be seen in a very few people across this country,” said Dr. Ed Hightower, Superintendent of District 7 (Edwardsville Public Schools). “The support that she provided for me was without question a huge reason that I have served for 18 years as Superintendent of the largest school district in Madison County,” he said.
Ms. Hudson also serves on the boards of the Alton Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Affordable Housing Development Corporation, and the Alton Women's Home Association, and on the Administrative Board of her church.
“Ms. Hudson truly understands what our organization does in the trenches in our communities, NDC is fortunate to have her serve in such an important role as Chairperson of our Board,” said NDC President Robert W. Davenport “Her insight on issues facing our communities is thoughtful and inspiring. She is a strong, passionate, and fearless leader and has been a true partner to NDC over the years.”
Mr. Beard founded NDC, and for forty-five years has served as NDCs only Chairman. He will continue to serve on the Board of Directors and help plan the future of NDC. He will use his experience and wealth of contacts to take the organization to new heights and help lessen its dependency on federal funding.
“Sam has been a strong and inspiring leader of NDC from its inception through difficult economic times until today. He is a brilliant collaborator, with a deeply humanistic view of community development. I am delighted that he will continue to be my friend, colleague, and advisor on the Board,” Hudson said.
“It has been an honor to have served as the Chairman of the Board for the National Development Council since 1969,” Mr. Beard said. “During this time I have seen NDC grow into one of the leading community development organizations in the country. Saundra brings new and creative ideas to this leadership role, and I am looking forward to her success as we continue to support the efforts of NDC.”
About National Development Council
Founded in 1969, the National Development Council (NDC) is a national non-profit organization that has evolved into one of the most progressive and innovative community and economic development organizations in the country. From a seminal role in the earliest days of the community development movement, NDC has grown into one of the most comprehensive providers of financing, development expertise, technical assistance and training for community revitalization efforts throughout the U.S. NDC is headquartered in New York City with offices in Seattle, WA and Edgewood, KY. For more information visit www.NationalDevelopmentCouncil.org
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