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Community TrailBlazers

History Podcasts

Housing and community development's evolvement rests on the shoulders of women and men who have played a strong role in developing affordable housing and communities throughout the country. Their stories provide a human historical perspective on our cities and the housing within our cities.


United States


Housing and community development's evolvement rests on the shoulders of women and men who have played a strong role in developing affordable housing and communities throughout the country. Their stories provide a human historical perspective on our cities and the housing within our cities.








Ep. 78 - Connecting People to Opportunities Across America: CEO Circle

Join In a lively discussion among five leaders of the CEO Circle regarding managing nonprofits for excellence and connecting people to opportunities across America. this episode, we feature members of the CEO Circle who are the CEOs of community development and justice organizations. They are leaders in their fields working to create new ways for communities to enrich where people live and connect them to the opportunities they need. Listen in to learn how to leverage your experience as a leader of color in community development to better serve communities of color. Key Takeaways:


Ep. 77 - A Legend of Building Cities and Parks: Leonard Zax

Leonard Zax is the CEO of the Hamilton Partnership, a nonprofit organization that led the effort to create the Paterson Great Falls National Park in his hometown of Paterson New Jersey. He has degrees in law and city planning from Harvard University and has worked for more than thirty years on community development projects across the country. In this episode, Leonard talks about his extensive role at HUD and his contribution to the preservation and revitalization of cities. Listen in to learn the importance of designing cities in a way that protects them from natural disasters like storms and hurricanes. You will also learn the importance of preserving new cities’ uniqueness across the country. Takeaways: Having genuine hope to continue transforming our cities uniquely for today and the future


Ep. 76 - Is Workforce Housing Viable?

David Engel shares his successes and challenges working in affordable housing for decades and the concern he still expresses for the industry. He has a unique perspective since he worked in research at HUD, not production. His thoughts on the impediments to affordable housing and what is needed for the future are important take-aways! Listen in to learn the importance of making workforce housing affordable to cater to workers who otherwise can’t afford homes. You will also learn how zoning has over the years constricted housing supply leading to unaffordable houses in many areas. Key Takeaways:


Ep. 75 - How to Be an Economic Development Leader: Jeff Finkle

As President and CEO of the International Economic Development Council, Jeff Finkle is a recognized leader and authority on economic development. In this episode, Jeff talks about his role as an assistant secretary at HUD in the mid-80s and his contribution to economic development. One of the many things you will learn in this interview is how to create a foundation which serves people in need. Jeffrey talks about his time at HUD, how economic development is going to become even more important in the future and gives some great advice to young people ready to start a career. Listen in to learn about the internal and external challenges that organizations face in their day-to-day operations. You will also learn the importance of having education, practice, and patience in your career of choice before seriously venturing into it.


Ep. 74 - How to Create Thought Leadership: Alison Gross

Ep. 74 – Alison Gross weaves a fascinating story of handling global events in Monte Carlo to coordinating the Maccabi games and a world sailing race in the U.S. She started a business during COVID and explains how the new normal will be different but will adapt. She then talks about adaptive reuse and how cities like New York will change. And she talks about the 5 reasons for optimism for 2021, thinking about which things will make the largest economic impact, starting with the COVID passport. Listen in to learn the importance of articulating your business message realistically and sustainably. You will also learn how to adapt your business to the changes brought by the pandemic to enjoy success going forth. Key Takeaways:


Ep. 73 - How to Impact Lives as an Attorney: Lisa Walker

Lisa L. Walker has discovered the way to both succeed as an attorney while satisfying her other passion, impacting lives. Housing Development Law Institute, referred to as HDLI fills a unique need – a one-stop shop for attorneys in affordable housing. Both housing authorities and private real estate owners rely on HDLI as the go-to place for the latest developments in the affordable housing world.


Ep. 72 - MBA's Affordable Housing Initiatives: Steve O'Connor

As senior vice president for affordable housing initiatives at the Mortgage Bankers Association, Steve O’Connor is rolling out affordable housing initiatives in several cities. Steve’s role in the association is to build partnerships to address affordable housing and create more homeownership opportunities for low income and minority consumers. Key Takeaways:


Ep. 71 - China and International Trade: Stanley Marcuss

Stanley Marcuss explains the negative effects of the adverse consequences of international trade. Listen to his story on Adlai Stevenson and why foreign corruption is still rampant in international marketplaces. Key Takeaways: In this episode you’ll discover: Stanley’s experience working with Governor Adlai Stevenson [2:58] The many legislation on trade issues promulgated during Adlai Stevenson’s time [5:07] Why foreign corruption is still rampant in international marketplaces [8:09] Understanding the Anti-Boycott law that seeks to protects Israel’s trade interests with the US [8:54] How Antidumping and Countervailing Duties create a level playing field on international trade [10:14] The meaning of US-China delegation to enable trade between the two countries [13:12] The challenges of adverse consequences of international trade [14:53] How the US engages in protectionism through trade tariffs imposing [17:11] The social-economic consequences between government-led and private-led redevelopment [19:56] How luck played in the success of Stanley in his diverse career [26:45] The many challenges facing the world today [29:20] Two things you should know before committing to a career in international trade [31:32]


Ep. 70 - Earl Rose: Multi-Talented Emmy and ASCAP Award Winner

Top Takeaways: Earl Rose, a multi-talented Emmy and ASCAP award winner, has led a really interesting life and is a famous guy, sometimes “behind the scenes” and sometimes right up front! From the Johnny Carson Show to the Dick Cavett Show to writing songs for Johnny Mathis and Olivia Newton-John to playing at the Carlyle Hotel on New York’s Upper East Side, he’s done it all – but he isn’t resting on his laurels! Hear about his young years with his father, a vaudeville comedy dancer who later appeared in Irving Berlin revues at the Music Box Theater on Broadway, and his mother who traveled the world with a circus trapeze act. Hear his story about Paul McCartney. Fascinating!


Ep. 69 - Michael Moskow: A Manager to Remember

Michael Moskow is a manager personified. Mike’s professional accomplishments include service in both the public and private sectors, as well as higher education. During the course of his career, he has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate for five positions in the federal government. Like Carla Hills, he has worked for HUD and been a U.S. Trade Ambassador. He covers a wide range of topics from a reconnaissance mission touring dangerous public housing projects in the 1970’s to comparing differences in management from the public to private sector to receiving Japan’s honorable award, "The Order of the Rising Sun; Gold and Silver Star." He even educates us on the role of the Federal Reserve Bank.


Ep. 68 - Shekar Narasimhan: A Mover and Shaker in Community Development

How do you turn around a dying town? What happens to small to medium-sized cities when their largest employer pulls out? Shekar Narasimhan has been putting his plan in place in communities that have been left behind . . . and it's working! Shekar also tells us how to address generational poverty, racial bias and gender inequities - and defines it. He is an advocate for housing as a right and tells us why.


Ep. 67 - William Lilley: American Western History Buff ++

“Bill Lilley taught at Yale, worked for the federal government, worked at CBS in New York, and started a software company, which he sold,” said John Fox Sullivan, longtime friend and former Yale student.“ Meet William “Bill” Lilley III, an American Western History Buff, who taught at Yale where he received his Ph.D. for most of the 1960s with American history and American studies as his fields. He worked in the federal government in all of the 1970s where he was deputy assistant secretary at HUD. He then worked as the acting director of the U.S. Council on Wage & Price Stability and later as Staff Director of the Budget Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. Bill also worked in the private sector for CBS Inc., the media company in New York, where he was Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs for seven years. He then left CBS to found his own company called iMapData which built an extensive library of databases that could be visualized on a web-based platform.


Ep. 66 - Al Dellibovi: HUD Reform in the 1980's

Meet Alfred Dellibovi, President and CEO of the Federal Home Bank of New York and a nationally recognized authority on banking, the lending industry, housing, and public finance. He was United States Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1989 until 1992 under Jack Kemp, having been appointed by President George H. W. Bush. In his podcast he tells us why the HUD Reform in the 1980's was necessary and what was done to “clean it up.” He gives us insight into his role at HUD, as Deputy to HUD Secretary Jack Kemp, establishing priorities to create change.


Ep. 65 - Lynne Sagalyn: Demystifying the Politics and Planning of Cities

Lynne Sagalyn, an expert in real estate development and finance, gives us the theory and thinking behind how and why cities exist as they do today. She has been an educator and scholar for over 40 years. She built an innovative and rigorous program of graduate studies in commercial real estate finance and investment strategy at Columbia business school. She explains how cities are built and redeveloped and endeavors to demystify the politics and planning process surrounding large scale development projects and their impacts on the physical fabric of cities. Read more at


Ep. 64 - Antonio Santaella: International Flamenco Maestro

Antonio Santaella, a very famous flamenco dancer referred to as the international flamenco maestro whose culture influence qualifies him to be a Fellow of the American Academy of Housing and Communities. He started his long journey to Puerto Rico from Granada, Spain his birthplace and coming of age. He was discovered at a show in Paris by the famous Laura Toledo, who later invited him to join her company for a nationwide tour of the United States, which lasted for two years. Remember the BIC pen ad? That was Antonio! Some of this podcast is in Spanish with an interpretation by Kimberly, one of Antonio’s students.


Ep. 63 - Robert Rozen: The Birth of the Tax Credit Program

Robert Rozen, referred to as Bobby, worked for many years in the U.S. Senate and was involved in the establishment of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program which is the primary means of financing affordable housing today. In the 30 years since enactment, nearly 3 million housing units have been built with LIHTC equity, 3.1 million jobs have been created and an industry has grown around it. But to understand how the LIHTC passed, it’s important to go back to the political climate of the time. When it was passed, the attention was on the simplification of the tax code and the elimination of many tax shelters. Bobby takes us through those times and the challenges in establishing the tax credit program.


Ep. 62 - Amy Glassman: Is Fair Housing Fair?

Is fair housing fair? What is disparate impact and how can housing authorities and landlords determine the application of it? What is reasonable accommodation? How is HUD conducting market testing to determine racial discrimination? Amy M. Glassman is a partner with Ballard Spahr, a law firm with more than 650 attorneys and 15 offices. Amy has had extensive experience with HUD regulatory and statutory compliance issues including disparate impact. She assists clients on matters such as federal procurement requirements, relationships with public housing affiliates and instrumentalities, uses of program income, the Uniform Relocation Act (URA), and the Section 8 programs.


Ep. 61 - William Kelly: Co-creation Model to Bring Social Change

Referred to as Bill Kelly, he is the developer of a co-creation model to bring social change to affordable housing. He was a special assistant and executive assistant to the secretary of HUD Carla Hills from 1975 to 1977. He was only 30 years old at the time but he and Carla clicked in style and substance. When he left HUD, he joined the law firm of Latham and Watkins where he worked for 25 years as a partner. He had experience with the United States supreme court as a law clerk in his early days. He co-created the National Affordable Housing Trust in 1996, and in 2003 he was a co-founder and president of the Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAFE) which now has 13 nonprofit members who own 150,000 affordable housing. He now serves on the low-income investments fund board. SUBSCRIBE, SHARE and LIKE US! Website: Podcast Page: TrailBlazers Impact: Podcast Page: Community TrailBlazers: Podcast Page: Coping in Crisis: You Tube TrailBlazers Impact Podcast: You Tube Community TrailBlazers Academy Series: You Tube Coping In Crisis:


Ep. 60 - Sarah Rosen Wartell: Elevate the Debate

Sarah Rosen Wartell: Elevate the Debate Ep. 60 - Sarah Rosen Wartell has articulated a strategy for Urban: elevate the debate. She is the public policy executive and housing markets expert who serves as president of the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan social and economic research and policy organization whose more than 550 researchers, experts, and other staff believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. In 2012, Sarah Rosen Wartell became the third president of the Urban Institute since it was founded in 1968. She feels Urban can elevate the debate by: SUBSCRIBE, SHARE and LIKE US! Website: Podcast Page: TrailBlazers Impact: Podcast Page: Community TrailBlazers: Podcast Page: Coping in Crisis: You Tube TrailBlazers Impact Podcast: You Tube Community TrailBlazers Academy Series: You Tube Coping In Crisis:


Ep. 59 - Muriel Tillinghast: Desegregation Activism on the Front Lines

Meet Muriel Tillinghast, a human rights activist from the 1960’s to today! She takes us on a long but fascinating journey from the initial civil rights activities in the 1960’s through an extensive career in revenue generation and oversight to mediation and negotiation to educational teaching and administration. She describes her experiences in NAG and SNCC in both desegregation and tenant rights. She tells us about her advocacy work in AIDs, immigration, medical experimentation, murder/false accusation, alternative sentencing, prison reform, and housing issues. She was even a Green Party candidate for Vice-President in 1996! This woman has LIVED it!