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Chief Executive Officer

East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation  ·  Akron, OH  ·  Posted on June 2

The East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation (EANDC) offers an entrepreneurial Chief Executive Officer the opportunity to further the impact of a highly respected and multi-faceted community development organization with a four-decade track record of improving neighborhood conditions in East Akron and surrounding communities. 

The Organization


East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation (EANDC) “improves communities by providing quality and affordable housing, comprehensive homeownership services and economic development opportunities.” The organization’s vision is to create residential and business communities that are safe, vibrant, economically secure and self-sustaining.

Early Years

Formed in 1982, EANDC was the first nonprofit housing organization of its kind in the city of Akron. With help from East Akron Community House and the Council of Block Club Presidents, EANDC was able to identify the housing needs of the community and begin to revitalize the substandard housing stock in East Akron. Since its founding, its programs have grown to include additional residential services and major economic development projects visible throughout East Akron and beyond.

During its early years, EANDC purchased and rehabilitated vacant and abandoned homes, then sold them to first time or low to moderate income homebuyers. The organization also had an initial focus on weatherization and energy conservation programming to help families cut their utility costs. A major turning point came in 1993 when EANDC was able to leverage credit by working with local banking institutions to increase lending opportunities for low income homebuyers. This resulted in a number of families putting roots down in East Akron, which stimulated additional investment and development that fueled positive change for the community. In 1996 EANDC reached another milestone through completed construction of Arlington Homes, the organization’s first single-family development.

Recent Accomplishments

By the time EANDC celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2012, its assets had grown to more than $25 million including property in Canton, Barberton and west Akron. At this point, the organization made a strategic decision to return its focus to East Akron. In 2015, EANDC purchased its current corporate headquarters in the center of East Akron, where staff are now housed under one roof and EANDC can provide office and meeting space for other organizations and the community at large. EANDC’s Robinson Homes East Project, a 27-unit scattered-site development completed in 2014, replaced vacant parcels with high-quality single-family homes, followed by a nearby 10-unit townhome development for veterans. In 2015 alone, more than 1,700 energy audits were completed by EANDC’s team along with home repair services for 114 households. The Center for Homeownership assisted 200 homebuyers to purchase a home during a two-year period, and the organization expanded its vacant lot repurposing and resident empowerment efforts.

Community Responsiveness

EANDC proactively responds to needs and opportunities to improve Akron’s housing stock and spur community renewal on a local and regional level. Some of these efforts include:

  • Establishment of the Lead Based Paint Hazard Control Program in 1998 in partnership with the Akron Health Department. This program continued through 2015
  • Expansion of homebuyer education to include foreclosure prevention services to respond to the housing crisis facing the area in the late 2000’s
  • Transformation of a Brownfields site in 2004 to become Middlebury Marketplace, the first inner city retail center within the Akron city limits in 40 years. Employing 160 people, this flagship plaza is an active commercial center anchored by a full-service supermarket in an urban area that lacks access to fresh produce and home to a dental clinic and community-based businesses
  • Development of the Village at New Seasons, a mixed-use development completed in 2011 with a 10,000 square foot health clinic and apartments for low-income seniors. This project represents EANDC’s commitment to holistic community development that bridges health and housing
  • Completion of the East Akron Neighborhood Plan in 2013. The plan promotes the reuse of vacant lots and encourages the transformation of those lots into community assets.

This responsive, diverse, neighborhood-centric approach is a core competency of the organization.


EANDC’s 50-person staff works across real estate development, property management, home ownership and preservation, community building and administration functions. A large portion of the staff is comprised of property managers, security guards, and energy auditors. The organization is governed by 18 board members representing a mix of community leaders and experienced civic and industry professionals. EANDC’s FY 2017 expense budget is $3.9 million. In 2004, EANDC became a chartered member of NeighborWorks America. Since then, EANDC has gained a stronger foothold in the community and has been able to build capacity, serve more families and grow its programs through NeighborWorks trainings, financial support and technical assistance. EANDC holds an Exemplary rating, the intermediary’s highest organizational categorization.

Grady Appleton, EANDC’s outgoing CEO, has served in this role since its inception 35 years ago. He plans to retire from the organization at the end of 2017 after four decades of service to the community.

Major business lines include:

  • Real Estate Development: Since its inception, EANDC has developed 620 affordable housing units, directing $108 million of investment into the community. Developments include single-family homes, multi-family rental developments built primarily using Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) financing, mixed-use buildings and commercial development. In 2010, EANDC tenants began to be eligible to purchase the homes they were renting. Since this time, more than 40 households moved into homeownership using this strategy. The CEO is currently the lead staff person for EANDC’s real estate development portfolio and pipeline.
  • Center for Homeownership: Since 2006, this division has supported individuals and families to purchase and retain homes through counseling and education (both in-person and via eHome America’s online platform), financial literacy, and foreclosure intervention counseling. Since inception403families have become homebuyers,2170 families have received homebuyer counseling and 666(success around foreclosure prevention).
  • Energy Services: EANDC runs two programs under this business line – weatherization services and energy audits to families across Akron.  Historically, this business line also included emergency home repairs to low income homeowners. EANDC completes between 1,300 and 1,700 energy audits annually, providing a significant service to Akron residents to lower utility bills and modernize older housing stock. One third of the organization’s budget is represented by contracts under this program.
  • Property Management and Rentals: EANDC owns and operates 623 residential and commercial units across 22 properties with an investment value of more than $80 million and fee manages an additional 80 units. Approximately two-thirds of these units are in Akron with the remainder in Canton. Eighteen of the 22 properties managed by EANDC are developments financed via the LIHTC, and the majority are collections of single-family homes.
  • Community Development: Within this business line, EANDC oversees community engagement and resident leadership services. Staff promotes neighborhood stability and resident engagement in East Akron by working with neighborhood stakeholders to implement the vacant land reuse strategies presented in the East Akron Neighborhood Revitalization Plan. Projects include repurposing lots into pathways, parks, and garden spaces, creating public art and murals on vacant homes, and mobilizing community members to take leadership roles in shaping and improving the area in which they live, work, and play.

The Position

Reporting to the Board and its Executive Committee, the CEO is responsible for providing overall leadership, direction, and operational and financial management for EANDC. The CEO directly supervises a four-person senior management team, including the Vice President of Operations and Administration, Vice President of Residential Services, Director of Fund Development and Communications, and Director of Urban Planning. The CEO focuses on organizational development and management, growth of the real estate pipeline, external relations and strategic relationship building, and resource development.

Toward these ends, near term priorities (next 12-18 months) for the CEO will include:

  • Overseeing completion of EANDC’s next long-range strategic plan, with a beginning timeframe of January 2019.
  • Securing funding for EANDC’s Real Estate Development line of business, moving forward projects in predevelopment, and reviewing and possibly changing EANDC’s current approach to its real estate development line of business to expand the types of financing mechanisms the organization uses to develop housing.
  • Ensuring that annual programmatic and financial goals across business lines are met, including continuing EANDC’s commitment to the revitalization of East Akron and furthering the Board’s focus on expanding unrestricted net assets.
  • Working with senior staff on plans and goals for growth of EANDC Contractors, LLC, geographic expansion of energy services, third-party fee-based property management services, and possible resyndication of LIHTC properties approaching their 15-year mark.
  • Maintaining and growing strong collaborative partnerships with public and private stakeholders at local and regional levels.
  • Building a strong working relationship with the staff and Board and furthering the Board’s focus on effective governance of the organization and increased board engagement.

Key Responsibilities

Key responsibilities of the CEO position include:

Strategic, vision and leadership:

  • Collaborate with the Board to refine and implement the strategic plan while ensuring that the budget, staff, and priorities are aligned with EANDC’s non-profit’s core mission.
  • Provide inspirational leadership and direction to all executives, and ensure the continued development and management of a professional and efficient organization; establish effective decision-making processes that will enable EANDC to achieve its long and short term goals and objectives. This includes retaining EANDC’s high performance senior management team.
  • Ensure effective strategic vision systems to track progress, and regularly evaluate program components, so as to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the board, funders and other constituents.
  • Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board and ensure open communication about the measurement of financial, programmatic, and impact performance against stated milestones and goals.
  • In partnership with the board, help build a diverse and inclusive board representative of the community that is highly engaged and willing to leverage and secure resources.

Fund development:

  • Ensure that the flow of funds permits EANDC to make continuous progress towards the achievement of its mission and that those funds are allocated properly to reflect present needs and future potential. Expand local revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing program operations while simultaneously retiring building debt.
  • Formulate and execute comprehensive marketing, branding and development strategies that will ensure consistency throughout the organization and enhance revenue from major donors, foundations, government agencies and corporations.

Strengthening infrastructure and operations:

  • Ensure the delivery of high quality services while managing for current and future growth.
  • Facilitate cross-departmental collaboration and strengthen internal communications with staff throughout the organization; create and promote a positive, multicultural work environment that supports consistency throughout the organization’s strategy, operational methods, and data collection needs.
  • Oversee the financial status of the organization, monitor the budget and ensure sound financial controls are in place; set financial priorities accurately to ensure the organization is operating in a manner that supports the needs of the program and staff.

Program Development:

  • Plan and implement affordable housing and economic development projects using a mix of private and public funding sources, including oversight of pre-development, development and post development stages.
  • Be an external local and national presence that communicates program results.

Experience and Attributes

The CEO position demands an entrepreneurial, mission-driven and highly skilled leader who is motivated by neighborhood revitalization and the intersection of housing, community development and resident empowerment.  Ideal candidates for this position will bring a variety of experiences and attributes to the position, including:

  • Progressive and proven big-picture thinker who can adapt to shifting circumstances and take advantage of opportunities
  • Experience and understanding of real estate development for low-income households, including a high degree of familiarity with how Low Income Housing Tax Credit funding and other affordable housing financing is accessed and used to develop affordable housing
  • Senior leadership experience that demonstrates career advancement, including a track record of effectively leading a performance- and outcome-based organization or business line and overseeing financial performance.
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach executive personnel and manage and develop high-performing teams.
  • Ability to collaborate – strong interpersonal skills, both internal and external to EANDC
  • Ability to authentically relate to and connect with residents of inner city neighborhoods; comfort level working with racially and socioeconomically diverse populations
  • Fund development experience, evidence of ability to successfully raise funds from diverse sources to further an organization’s programmatic goals, including public, corporate and philanthropic entities
  • Experience ‘at the table’ with key decisionmakers and funders.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively work with Boards of Directors in furthering an organization’s mission
  • Strong negotiation and public speaking skills
  • High degree of integrity
  • Degree in urban planning and/or evidence of education, certification, experience, or verified knowledge in community development, and real estate development in particular. Bachelors degree required, advanced degree preferred

Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits.

Application Process

The EANDC Board has hired Raffa to assist with the executive search and transition. To apply, e-mail resume, cover letter and salary requirements to: eandc@raffa.com (e-mail applications are required and will only be accepted at this email address).  For other inquiries contact:

Jill Fioravanti, Search Consultant, Raffa

Resume reviews begin immediately. Interviews will begin in late summer and EANDC anticipates announcing the selection of the new executive in fall 2017, with a start-date of January 2018.

EANDC seeks to provide equal employment opportunities and does not discriminate in hiring on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. EANDC fully complies with all applicable federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws.