Ms. Jennica Huff, CEO of BCNI, has over 20 years of experience in community development, housing and urban planning. Most recently she worked for The Community Builders, Inc., holding the position of Senior Project Manager. She has independently developed and managed a pipeline of development projects from initial procurement and permitting to stabilized operations. Her financial oversight experience is extensive, taking projects from concept to completion with initial financing, conversion and permanent financing using a multitude of funding mechanisms including State and Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, State and Federal Historic Tax Credits, New Markets Tax Credits and Brownfields Tax Credits. Additionally, she has worked with a variety of funding from NYS HCR, NYS OTDA, NYS DEC, NYS OMH, DASNY, HUD, among others. Ms. Huff has constructed multifamily rental to single family homeownership opportunities, retail spaces and community service facilities and coordinating service providers and other community stakeholders for comprehensive, meaningful redevelopment efforts.
Ms. Huff’s credentials include:
Certificate in Advanced Study in Philanthropy, Loyola University of Chicago
Bachelor of Arts in Urban & Regional Planning, Miami University of Ohio
Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography, Miami University of Ohio
Cities in the 21st Century Program, International Honors Program, Bard College
Ms. Huff’s development awards include:
Affordable Housing Finance Reader’s Choice Award for Best Green Development
NAHB Best in American Living for Affordable, Multifamily Housing
NAHB Best in Green for Multifamily Development
NYSAFAH Upstate Project of the Year Award
Preservation League of NY Excellence in Historic Preservation
Beverly is the Director of Development for BCNI. She manages the administration of multiple grants matching clients and homeowners with the appropriate Grant to meet their needs for home repairs and accessibility/mobility issues. Beverly works closely with Local and State agencies procuring Grants for a wide variety of projects.
Prior to the merger Beverly was the Executive Director for the Community Land Trust of Schenectady where she ran the agency for more than 25 years. She has extensive experience in managing a wide variety of Grants including Access, Restore and Home Grants. She was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Agency as well as reporting to and working with the Board of Directors.
Beverly provided pre-and post-purchase housing counseling to prospective homeowners as well as instructing homeowners in various home repairs with hands on workshops. She conducted Homebuyer Education Classes and expanded the Land Trust Homeownership program.
Prior to joining the Community Land Trust, Beverly owned and operated Womens Work, a home renovation business for 15 years. She was the camp director for the Hudson Valley Girl Scouts for several years where she managed the day to day operations of an overnight camp for 200+ girl scouts.
Beverly holds a degree in Human Services as well as a degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from SUNY Albany.
BRENDA BADGER RYAN is the Project Associate in Better Community Neighborhoods Inc.’s Development Department. She assists and coordinates grant recipients from intake to rehabilitation of their homes to additional referral sources.
Brenda began in this field in 2017 at Community Land Trust of Schenectady Inc as Project Assistant/Housing Counselor. There she assisted the clients from being homeless to owning a home. As well as home repair assistance with grant funding. She earned her HUD Housing Counseling certification in the end of 2018, which enhanced her ability to direct the people with their living circumstances.
Brenda moved from New York City in 2008 and have been servicing the community of Schenectady ever since. From decorating their homes ( in a used furniture store) to obtaining a home ( at New Choices Recovery Center to becoming a homeowner ( at Community Land Trust of Schenectady, Inc.)
Brenda has a diverse background in customer service with the help of her past positions and certifications in Digital and Graphic Design ,Bookkeeping; and Medical Receptionist. Brenda is always looking for ways to improve her skills and knowledge to help others in her community.
Mitchell Grossman is Director of Property Operations at Better Community Neighborhoods, Inc. (BCNI) and has been working at the agency (formerly known as Better Neighborhoods, Inc) since 2016. During his tenure Mr. Grossman had been responsible for various departments which included Housing Counseling, Property Management, and the oversight of agency daily operations.
Prior to joining BCNI, Mr. Grossman was a full time Real Estate Broker with experience in residential and commercial sales, investments, and leases. Having developed a specialty in assisting nonprofits in their real estate needs, a move into the nonprofit field was inevitable. Mr. Grossman was previously the owner of a successful retail business related to the medical field.
Mr. Grossman remains a licensed Real Estate Broker and holds a Master’s Degree from Long Island University and a Bachelor’s Degree from the City University of New York.
Deawattie Kumar is one of our part time Administrative Assistant. She brings over 12 years of Administrative Assistance experiences in corporate and not for profit sector. Deawattie oversee all of the administrative functions in the Property Management department. She is the person you will need to contact for all of your rental related matter such as showing of rental unit, rental collection and rental repairs and maintenance matter
Deawattie is a graduate of Hostos Community College with an associate degree in Gerontology ( study of the Aging process).
Deawattie is extremely passionate about providing exceptional customer services to the residents and work vendor to ensure a smooth and professional atmosphere for everyone.
Alexandria T. Carver is the Housing Counseling Program Manager at Better Community Neighborhoods Inc. (BNCI) and has been working at the agency (formerly known as Better Neighborhoods, Inc.) since 2016. During her tenure, Mrs. Carver has overseen the expansion of the BCNI HUD Approved Housing Counseling Program. Mrs. Carver’s work has included Pre-Purchase Homebuyer Education, Foreclosure Prevention, Rental Counseling, Financial Coaching, and the creation of a Financial Confidence counseling agenda and education for BCNI.
Prior to joining the BCNI team, Mrs. Carver served as a Legislative Analyst for the New York State Assembly under the leadership of Assemblywoman Latrice Walker.
Mrs. Carver is currently a member of the City of Schenectady Home Ownership Made Easy Initiative and sits on the National Association of Real-estate Brokers (NAREB) Local Chapter Board (Albany Realist) where she serves as the Treasurer.
Mrs. Carver holds several certifications to include HUD Certified Housing Counselor and a Professional Certificate in Homeownership and Lending. Mrs. Carver is known for her passion and ability to grapple with complex issues related to housing sustainability.
Ms. Carver received a Bachelor’s Degree from Russell Sage College in Troy, NY.
James joined BCNI as a Project Coordinator two years ago. He has worked within Grant Administration performing Feasibility Studies and working with Contractors throughout the Grant life cycle. James currently works in Admin coordinating merger activities within the organization.
Prior to joining BCNI James worked as a consultant and software designer for the Oil and Petroleum industry for 12 years. He worked as the Chief Information Officer for ALM Holding for 17 years. James hold a degree in Computer Science from CCC in Chicago, Illinois.
He served as an advisor for the Masters of Software Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. James served as the Chairman of the Technology Advisor Committee for the City of Onalaska. His charity involvements have been with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater La Crosse, Aquinas Middle and High Schools, St. Patrick’s Church and as a member of the Rotary.
Jonah joined BCNI in November 2020 as a design and construction manager. Jonah is responsible for the implementation of various grant initiatives which vary in scope and size. These can range from accessibility improvements in single-family homes, to entire gut-rehabs, and the development of larger multifamily projects as affordable housing. Jonah will act as an interface between BCNI and the various parties involved in the grant process, whether that be the general public; contractors, architects, engineers, municipal services, or other local stakeholders. In executing a grant program, Jonah will facilitate various phases of the process from initial review, feasibility study, design, planning, and implantation. Jonah will ensure that work done within different grant initiatives meets all qualitative and professional standards, while progressing a project in a timely and well-coordinated manor.
Prior to joining to BCNI, Jonah was a project manager for Sunrise Management and Consulting in Albany NY. As the PM for the builder, owner and operator, Jonah facilitated the construction of a multifamily project of 21 market-rate apartments and a 2-floor office building. Jonah additionally coordinated improvements to other properties across Sunrise’s multifamily portfolio, as well as other related capital expenditures. His primary responsibilities included processing permits and applications with the local municipality and utilities, writing requests for pricing and specification sheets, coordinating with sub-contractors, selecting FFE items, holding site meetings/walk-throughs, document/contract control, and budget management.
Jonah graduated from Ithaca College while majoring in Architectural Studies, with a minor in Studio Art. During his undergraduate education, Jonah interned with Omni Development Co., in Albany NY where he assisted in the redevelopment of several affordable housing projects in the Capital Region. He additionally interned with a real estate developer and property management company in Ithaca NY, Travis Hyde Properties, at which he was able to further his real estate development studies. This included assisting in planning and design of a new senior housing development in a historic district, the acquisition and refurbishment of a historic mansion to serve as the new office for Travis Hyde, as well as coordinating improvement/turnover work for rental units. In advancing his project management skills while an undergrad, Jonah interned with a Hayes Strategy, a construction project manager in Ithaca. At Hayes Strategy, Jonah assisted the proprietor in several construction projects ranging from renovation of student housing to the fit-up of a restaurant space for a commercial client.
While at Ithaca College, outside of his academics, Jonah acted as a clinical volunteer in a program run by the speech-pathology and occupational therapy departments known as ICREATE (Ithaca College Readiness to Expand and Explore All Transitional Experiences). Jonah assisted in fostering a fun and nurturing environment in a weekly social support group for adolescents with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The goal of the group being to help develop social and communication skills through group discussions, activities, and community outreach.
For recreation, Jonah enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, fishing, as well as golf and skiing. Jonah also enjoys playing and watching sports such as baseball, basketball, and boxing.
Doreen Colon is the Housing Specialist of Better Community Neighborhoods Inc. She is the newest member of the Housing Counseling Department. Ms. Colon brings 20 years of Customer Service experience in the Social Services and Health Insurance sector to BCNI.
Prior to Ms. Colon joining BCNI team, she worked for Maximus for 10 yrs. as a Lead Field Client Service Rep /Certified Application Counselor, while serving as a liaison for Schenectady County Department of Social Service.
Before joining Maximus in 2011, Ms. Colon worked for the Cardiology Associates of Schenectady as a Patient Financial Counselor where she implemented their Charity Care Program and assisted clients that were in financial hardship.
Ms. Colon is very passionate about helping people achieve their personal goals and creating pathways to overcome obstacles.