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Curtis Archer

Curtis L. Archer

Curtis LeRoy Archer was born and raised in New York City, attending P.S. 47, P.S. 77 and the prestigious Stuyvesant High School. While at Stuyvesant, Mr. Archer played basketball, ran track and participated in student government. This led to Mr. Archer receiving a scholarship to Mercy College, where he played varsity basketball, was vice president of the Ethnic Foundation, made the Dean’s list for scholar athletes, and double majored in Sociology and Criminal Justice. After graduation from Mercy, Mr. Archer attended Columbia University in the City of New York as a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science.

Mr. Archer began his career in community development as a manager in the Neighborhood Development and Commercial Revitalization Program of the New York City Office of Business Development. Then Mr. Archer served as a senior project manager within the New York City Economic Development Corporation in charge of retail development in the South Bronx. After supervising the Queens office of New York City’s Business Assistance Program, Mr. Archer became the director of economic development and liaison to the African American community within the Queens Borough President’s office. He served as the Borough President’s point person on economic development issues in the borough and an advisor on the African American agenda for the county.

After serving as director of small business development for the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, Mr. Archer became the executive director of Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC). During the eight years Mr. Archer held that position, RDRC became a leader in promoting the revitalization of the peninsula's economic base and neighborhoods, assisting residents improve their quality of life.

Since January 2006, Mr. Archer has been president of the Harlem Community Development Corporation. He has successfully rejuvenated the agency’s role in promoting New York State’s economic policy north of 96th Street in Manhattan and enhanced the economic climate for both businesses and residents in the Greater Harlem community.

Over the years, Mr. Archer has been honored with multiple community service awards, been appointed to Manhattan Community Board 9, served on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s New York City Charter Revision Commission, served as a member of a local Housing Development Fund Corporation and political organization, and has been a panelist at numerous forums on economic development.

Melvin Norris

Melvin Norris
Executive Vice President & Director of Business Services

Melvin Norris serves as Executive Vice President of the Harlem Community Development Corporation (HCDC), and also as the Director of Business Services. Mr. Norris joined HCDC in 2014 and brings with him almost two decades of public and private sector experience.

As Executive Vice President of HCDC & Director of Business Services, Mr. Norris’ duties include the identification, development, implementation and management of ongoing or proposed development projects in the Upper Manhattan area. Additionally, Mr. Norris collaborates with Empire State Development’s Small Business Division, community development financial institutions, chambers of commerce and business improvement districts to provide seamless services to Upper Manhattan businesses.

Prior to joining HCDC, Mr. Norris was the Director of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Office of Environmental Justice. He headed the department’s statewide efforts to ensure fair and equitable treatment of minority and low-income communities across New York on a wide range of environmental issues.

Mr. Norris’ career in public service began as the Research Projects Coordinator for the NYC Mayor’s Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator, where he monitored policies and programs that affected the delivery of services within the juvenile justice system. From there he became the Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Representative Charles B. Rangel, charged with building coalitions of government and community leaders to develop a proactive policy agenda.

After his service in the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Norris became the Deputy Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs with Verizon Communications. He then served as a Senior Account Executive at Yoswein New York governmental affairs. Mr. Norris holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Policy Studies from Syracuse University.

Thomas G. Lunke

Thomas G. Lunke
Director of Community Development

Since joining HCDC in 1999, Mr. Lunke has partnered with public agencies and community organizations to design and implement various land use and economic development strategies within Upper Manhattan. Respected for his innovative ideas, Mr. Lunke has assisted the United Nations, Consulate General of Japan, City of Toulouse, France, U.S. Department of State, Municipal Arts Society and many others in advancing progressive community development objectives, winning several awards.

In addition to serving on various civic organizations, such as Manhattan Community Board 4, Save Gansevoort Market and the Chelsea-Village Partnership, Mr. Lunke has been a juror and lecturer for Ryerson University, University of Chester, Columbia University, Pratt Institute, The City College of New York and many other prestigious institutions.

Mr. Lunke began his career in Seattle where he helped develop urban design guidelines that were implemented in the city’s downtown Belltown neighborhood. He has also worked as a private planning consultant and held urban planning positions at several New York City agencies.

Mr. Lunke holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Planning from the University of Washington in Seattle and a Master of Science degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University in the City of New York.

Victoria Gordon

Victoria A. Gordon
Director of Weatherization

In her position as director of weatherization, Ms. Gordon is responsible for the day to day implementation of the Weatherization Assistance Program in the Harlem community. Prior to her current responsibilities at Harlem Community Development Corporation, Ms. Gordon was an administrative officer with the Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI) a Harlem-based not-for-profit corporation which she joined in 2007. Ms Gordon was a part of the executive management team at HCCI and managed one city and two state contracts. Prior to that, Ms Gordon was the deputy executive director of the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation, a Queens-based local development corporation which she joined in 1996 as a part-time employee. In her role as deputy executive director, Ms. Gordon was responsible for the day to day operations of the entire corporation and supervised a staff of 44 employees. She was also responsible for the implementation from pre-development to completion of the corporation’s real estate development projects which included residential housing, a medical and educational center, development of educational space for a local college, pre-development of a five-story office building and a local 100,000 square foot strip mall.

Ms. Gordon has earned a B.B.A. degree in Finance from Pace University, a J.D. from New York Law School, a Certificate of Completion from the Turner School of Construction Management in partnership with The City College of New York and a Certificate of Completion from the Construction Management Building Blocks Program from Skanska USA Building, Inc., in partnership with the New York State Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors, Inc. Ms. Gordon has also completed certificate program courses in Economic Development from the National Development Council.

Ms. Gordon is currently a member of the New York State Association of Minority Contractors, (NYSAMC). She is also a member of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) and the Trinidad & Tobago United Cultural Association. (TATUCA)

Rose M. Jeffrey
Corporate Secretary & Office Operations Manager

Ms. Jeffrey manages and coordinates all of the administrative activities for the Harlem CDC board of directors including the preparation of minutes, scheduling of meetings and other aspects of board’s meetings. As office operations manager, Ms. Jeffrey monitors the day-to-day operations of Harlem CDC’s administrative areas. She assists Harlem CDC’s president in all matters including budget, project management and office coordination. Ms. Jeffrey reviews and makes recommendations to the president with respect to all actions that require the president’s approval, including contracts, payment authorizations, office and staff development, etc. She also supervises non-senior staff as specified by the president.

R. Andrea Anderson
Manager, Program Administration/Certified HUD Counselor

Ms. Anderson organizes and promotes first-time home buyer and financial literacy workshops and seminars, expos and special events, and provides U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) certified one-on-one housing counseling for area residents. Ms. Anderson also maintains relationships with mortgage lenders, HUD representatives, New York city and state housing agencies, community-based organizations and other stakeholders involved with affordable housing and home buyer education in upper Manhattan. In addition, Ms. Anderson manages marketing activities and administers the lottery process for any residential development project for which HCDC serves as a consultant or community partner.

Maxine Ashley-Parris
Weatherization Coordinator

Ms. Ashley-Parris carries out the administrative functions of the Weatherization Assistance Program in compliance with operating procedures established by HCDC, Empire State Development, and NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal under the supervision of the director of weatherization. Ms. Ashley-Parris also monitors accounts receivable, corporation bank accounts, and prepares purchase orders and payment authorization requests.

Marcus Browne
Program Associate

Mr. Browne provides input and support to many projects at HCDC. His main focus is on creating new HCDC initiatives that support the professional development of area residents and strengthen the business climate of Upper Manhattan. He markets small business development and home buyer workshops and seminars through HCDC’s social media, assists in the research of local workforce providers as a part of HCDC’s workforce development initiative, and develops events that increase tourism within greater Harlem.

Mr. Browne is a Notary Public for New York State, a proud member of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity, and a graduate of Clarkson University (B.S. in Financial Information Analysis and Economics). Prior to joining HCDC, Mr. Browne worked in microfinance, small business development, job readiness training and workforce development.

Elaine Caesar
M/WBE Certification Analyst

Ms. Caesar is responsible for receiving and counseling Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) applicants on how to become New York state-certified M/WBE businesses. Once certified, these businesses are qualified to bid on New York state government contracts as an M/WBE. The goal of New York state is to have 30% of all government contracts be M/WBEs. Ms. Caesar also assists with small business seminars sponsored by HCDC and area partners.

Jeannette Cole Williams
Client Intake & Education Specialist

Ms. Cole Williams works with building owners and residential tenants to obtain the required income and employment documentation that is needed to determine if a building is eligible to receive government funding for energy retrofitting. She participates in outreach initiatives that promote this program to owners and tenants of buildings in El Barrio/East Harlem, Central Harlem and West Harlem to encourage them to participate. In addition, Ms. Cole Williams collects energy consumption data from utility companies for post-production studies.

Nathaniel Graham

Mr. Graham delivers and installs health and safety equipment (carbon monoxide detectors and battery-operated smoke alarms), baseload materials (i.e., low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators), compact fluorescent bulbs, undertakes post-inspections of all installed equipment, and secures all required tenant sign-offs. He compiles data on the pricing of commonly used materials (“Fair Market Price List”) and maintains an inventory log. In addition, Mr. Graham assists the Senior Field Inspector in auditing small homes (1-4 units) that are eligible to receive weatherization services.

Francisco Guzman
Program Director, Small Business Services

Mr. Guzman reviews incoming applications for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) certification and develops recommendations base on the businesses’ ownership, managerial and operational control pursuant to Article 15-A, Section 314 of the statewide certification program. He assembles case documents, prepares desk audit reports, contacts and counsels applicants on business strategies related to the program, informs business owners on how to access state, municipal and other governmental agencies for bidding and contracting, and acts as a liaison between the applicant and business opportunities available to M/WBEs. In addition, Mr. Guzman organizes small business development workshops under HCDC’s THINK Initiative, prepares and conducts tours of Harlem for outside investors and designs HCDC’s newsletters.

Lester A. Hernandez
Senior Field Inspector

Mr. Hernandez is responsible for conducting building inspections prior to the commencement of weatherization activities to determine what measures need to be undertaken to eliminate energy-related problems such as drafts, moisture condensation and poor lighting. He is also responsible for monitoring the day-to-day construction activities of subcontractors. Mr. Hernandez supervises and/or performs the installation of health and safety materials such as smoke alarms, CO monitors, low flow showerheads, energy efficient light bulbs and refrigerators. In addition, Mr. Hernandez assists the crew in preliminary energy audit data collection for multifamily buildings and small homes.

Devlon James

Mr. James delivers and installs health and safety equipment (carbon monoxide detectors and battery-operated smoke alarms), baseload materials (i.e., low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators), compact fluorescent bulbs, undertakes post-inspections of all installed equipment, and secures all required tenant sign-offs. He compiles data on the pricing of commonly used materials (“Fair Market Price List”) and maintains an inventory log. In addition, Mr. James assists the Senior Field Inspector in auditing small homes (1-4 units) that are eligible to receive weatherization services.

Barbara Payos
Accountant, Office Coordinator & Receptionist

Ms. Payos performs extensive duties as receptionist for HCDC, from receiving visitors to logging in participants who attend our various small business, home buyer and financial literacy workshops and seminars. She serves as HCDC’s accountant, working closely with Empire State Development to ensure proper processing and payment of invoices, maintains vendor payment files and handles inquiries. As the office coordinator, Ms. Payos makes sure HCDC’s office supplies are available, handles the mail, and works with the building manager to fulfill maintenance work orders.

Conwell Reid
Construction Manager

Mr. Reid conducts initial building surveys and inspections, and makes recommendations regarding the feasibility of the project to be enrolled in the weatherization program. He conducts multi-family energy audits and provides detailed heating system evaluations, reviews and verifies the professional qualifications of construction contractors, assists the weatherization director in preparation of bid documents for boiler upgrade and replacements, conducts pre-bid conferences, modifies scope of work as required and prepares amendments to bid specifications. Mr. Reid also provides technical information to the weatherization director for use in landlord negotiations, supervises field crews and sub-contractors to ensure high quality and timely completion of construction work, and conducts interim inspections and recommends approval of progress payment requests. In addition, Mr. Reid submits progress reports on construction and performs pre- and post-inspections at job sites.

Alexandra Reyes
Client Intake & Education Specialist

Ms. Reyes is responsible for promoting and educating building owners and residents on the Weatherization Assistance Program. She also conducts outreach to obtain the required address, income and employment documentation that will determine whether a building is eligible to participate in this federally funded energy retrofitting program. HCDC’s service area for this program includes the communities of El Barrio/East Harlem, Central Harlem and West Harlem. In addition, Ms. Reyes collects energy consumption data from utility companies for post-production studies.