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Executive Director

Resident-Led • Community-Minded • Impact-Driven


The New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) is a comprehensive community development corporation committed to sustainable development in housing opportunities, economic development, vacant land strategies, community engagement, and real estate development. Since 1985, NKCDC has dedicated itself to revitalizing the Kensington/Fishtown/Port Richmond communities in the City of Philadelphia through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood preservation and community stabilization. While strategies have shifted over the past 30 years, NKCDC has developed into a community development corporation with a multi-faceted approach to neighborhood revitalization.

NKCDC has a strong reputation, both locally and nationally, with longstanding credibility of serving as trusted and valuable partner and collaborator. NKCDC is a leader amongst a diverse network of local community development organizations. The organization is currently the only community development organization that is an approved NeighborWorks partner in the City of Philadelphia. This designation is an achievement of distinction and requires a rigorous and thorough assessment of criteria that includes the impact of program services, resource and financial management, organizational management and board governance, staffing and personnel management, and operating and compliance systems.

In close partnership with the 18-member Board of Directors and a 30-person staff, the Executive Director will provide strategic vision and leadership to steward the organization in a time of exciting growth and an expanding service area. S/he will cultivate and maintain relationships with key policymakers, the business community, the media, neighborhood and civic associations, strategic partners, and community members to advance the goals of NKCDC to achieve the highest impact. S/he will also identify and foster opportunities to diversify the funding and revenue base through new partnerships and services, will manage and nurture an exceptional staff team, and continuously seek opportunities to strengthen collaboration in the community. Finally, the new Executive Director will work to ensure that NKCDC continues to serve as a leader in the community and economic development field, providing quality services to community residents and creatively working with others to provide innovative and bold approaches to improving the community.

The ideal candidate will be a seasoned executive leader with a strong track record of successfully leading and developing teams, working with an engaged Board, diversifying revenue streams and success in fundraising, as well as cultivating relationships with a wide spectrum of stakeholders, donors, and partners. S/he will possess a natural ability to harness the collective voice of a diverse community and cultivate and maintain relationships across a broad geographic area of distinct yet connected neighborhoods. The new Executive Director will have a strong external presence and the ability to successfully engage with the media and policymakers to advance NKCDC's goals. S/he will bring a strong understanding of community and economic development and will be highly attuned to real estate development, housing counseling, vacant land management, and community organizing. A bachelor's degree, content expertise in business or nonprofit management, and specific knowledge of the City of Philadelphia or major city are strongly desired.


NKCDC's mission is to strengthen the physical, social, and economic fabric of the community by being a catalyst for sustainable development and community building.
With strong partnerships and high impact collaborations, the combined efforts of NKCDC and others have had great impact on neighborhood revitalization. NKCDC aims to empower residents through an active, informed, and self-sufficient citizenry. Each year, NKCDC serves more than 30,000 low-and-moderate income families, and 60,000 residents through a holistic approach to community development. NKCDC works with residents and business to improve the community.

NKCDC has five core programs: economic development, housing counseling, real estate development, vacant land management, and community engagement. Through its long-time focus on the neighborhood of Fishtown, NKCDC has become known for innovative approaches to integrating art into revitalization strategies, and a leader in transforming vacant land into green community spaces. The goal of the organization is to put itself out of business by empowering the residents of the community. NKCDC aims to achieve this goal through its ability to build capacity among residents, lead and facilitate resident-led initiatives, promote comprehensive real estate and community development, and provide a multi-faceted approach to neighborhood development.

Economic Development
NKCDC furthers local business development in order to create jobs and build community wealth. The organization assists start-up and existing businesses, maintains an inventory of available property, helps local entrepreneurs identify and obtain services and funds to help their businesses grow, and works with the arts as a vehicle for economic stimulation. NKCDC provides corridor management services to Frankford Ave, E Girard Ave, Allegheny Ave, Richmond St, Front St, and Kensington Ave.

Housing Counseling
NKCDC works to expand homeownership opportunities for families. Since 1985, NKCDC has helped more than 4,000 low-and-moderate income families purchase their first homes. It offers homebuyer workshops and works closely with city and state officials to offer weatherization education and other forms of energy assistance. Financial literacy and foreclosure prevention assistance is also available.

Real Estate Development
NKCDC brings abandoned buildings to life by providing affordable housing to first-time homebuyers, converting old factories to new uses, and collaborating with city, state, and federal agencies on brown field redevelopment. NKCDC renovates single-family homes for first-time homebuyers, and in 2004 created the vibrant Coral Street Arts House.

Vacant Land Management
NKCDC creates clean and green open spaces, organizes volunteer greening projects and tree plantings, and stabilizes and maintains vacant lots. Since 1997 NKCDC's Garden Center-—a plant-filled urban oasis located at Frankford & Berks-—has offered informative workshops to the community at large.

Community Engagement
NKCDC works to empower residents by organizing and mobilizing at the block level, facilitating resident leadership opportunities, elevating community concerns, disseminating information, and building from neighborhood strengths. Working closely with the community, NKCDC assists residents and businesses in creating neighborhood plans that help guide future development. These plans ultimately serve as vehicles for collaboration between the community, the city, and developers as well as leverage funding for these projects.


The new Executive Director will join NKCDC during an exciting period of expansion and growth. The outgoing Executive Director has lead the organization over the last 20 years growing the staff and building the board to a place of solid capacity, sound fiscal position, and sustained success throughout the core programs. Building off of tremendous success in the target neighborhood of Fishtown, NKCDC's new focus area will be a neighborhood with new challenges for the organization. In close partnership with the Board of Directors and staff, the Executive Director can expect to engage in the following opportunities during the first 6-12 months:

Future Orinoka Civic House

Lead and manage the organization through a physical relocation and completion of the development of new offices. Guided by the strategic plan, NKCDC is embarking on its largest development project yet in revitalizing the Orinoka Civic House. With construction already underway, NKCDC is set to move its entire staff and offices to this new space, which will also house 51 affordable residential units, community meeting space, and a small business. The new offices are scheduled to be ready for occupancy in early
Fall 2017.

Foster a cohesive and positive organizational culture. NKCDC staff and board recently engaged in TCC Groups Core Capacity Assessment Tool that is intended to help the organization determine its strengths and opportunities for improvement. The final staff report and discussion indicates that the highly skilled and talented staff of the organization has a strong desire for a more empowering and unifying organizational culture. The new Executive Director will be critical is setting the tone for re-energizing staff and building this new culture together.

Grow and maintain existing and build new funding relationships. Along with self-generated revenue, NKCDC depends annually on funds from a mix of public and private sources. NKCDC's new leader will provide leadership and broker existing funding relationships to leverage new sources of funding for the organization. Particular areas of growth are individual giving and regional and national foundation grants.

Provide leadership and guide the organization through assessing management and programmatic shifts given the new neighborhood focus area. The neighborhood North of Lehigh suffers from disinvestment and entrenched poverty. Residents are 25% African-American and 46% Latino. With severe poverty, a youthful population, high crime rates and a significant homeless population, the new Executive Director will lead the organization through expanding and possibly building new capacities within the staff and board to effectively serve the community.

Enhance the organization's work as it aims to build capacity and inculcate a trauma-informed approach related to community development. Through a partnership with LISC and Impact Services, NKCDC is a part of the Sustainable Communities Initiative, a national model of reinvestment active in over 100 cities across the U.S. The new Executive Director will provide the vision and lead the organization in building social cohesion and fostering resiliency through block-based community engagement led by residents.

Cultivate and communicate a stronger value and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, internally and externally. NKCDC is working towards articulating the values of the organization more authentically. Currently the staff and board are predominantly White while hte new neighborhood is predominantly African-Americans and Latinos. The next leader of NKCDC will work to lead the organization in building its cultural competency and ensuring that its values influence how the organization approaches its work.

Manage and help build the capacity of talented staff and engaged board. Through recent assessments, the strategic plan and strategic partnership conversations, the organization wants to ensure that the NKCDC is a learning organization. The new Executive Director will work to define ways to build the capacity of staff and board.

NKCDC is currently in year three of a five-year strategic plan (2014-2018). With a clear understanding and management of NKCDC's five core programs and its defined role as lead planner, convener, and community voice for the communities it serves, NKCDC's current strategic plan focuses on how the organization can build its organizational capacity and achieve its goals in a more inclusive and strategic manner. The five interrelated goals in the strategic plan are to:

1. Strengthen the organizational infrastructure;
2. Assure financial sustainability;
3. Strengthen the southern portion of NKCDC's area;
4. Develop the Orinoka Civic House; and
5. Mobilize and improve the northern portion of NKCDC's area.

The staff and board of NKCDC continue to follow the strategic plan diligently and are making progress towards all of these goals.


While no one person will embody all of the qualities listed below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • Seasoned leader with extensive management experience leading an organization;
  • Track record of successfully leading and developing teams and nurturing a highly committed and talented staff within a positive organizational culture;
  • Proven success in working collaboratively with neighborhood organizations, government, businesses, developers, and other nonprofit partners;
  • Strong external presence and the ability to successfully engage media, partners, and elected officials to advance the work of NKCDC;
  • Confident communicator with maturity and savvy at engaging with diverse audiences, from community residents and strategic partners to government and elected officials;
  • Capacity to write and speak clearly and confidently to a wide range of audiences;
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion, and meaningful experiences working with neighborhoods that are predominantly communities of color and younger populations;
  • Passionate about neighborhood revitalization and community development;
  • Trustworthy and diligent leadership with a solid understanding of financial management and sustainability;
  • Strong fundraising skills with the ability to develop and maintain relationships with funders; leadership in foundation funding and individual giving are highly desirable;
  • Effectively working with and managing a high-functioning board;
  • Personal commitment to issues of equity, diversity and social justice;
  • Strong understanding of economic and community development;
  • Desire to learn or already possessing familiarity with the political landscape of the City of Philadelphia; and
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university; a graduate degree in a relevant field is preferred.


Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications, including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), salary history, and where you learned of the position should be submitted to nkcdc@frontlinesol.com.

NKCDC provides Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, race, national or ethnic origin, gender identity or expression, religion, language, political beliefs, sexual orientation, physical ability.

This search is being conducted by Melissa Hewitt, Mariah Green, and Melissa DeShields.
Updated October 28, 2016

NKCDC ED Profile
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New Kensington Community Development Corporation
2515 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125
P: (215) 427-0350  |  F: (215) 427-1302  |  info@nkcdc.org
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