NCHH30: Throwback Thursday

Have you heard that NCHH has reached a major milestone? That’s right, we celebrated 30 years of “Better housing, better health” on September 4, 2022! As we look back fondly at three decades of service, we wanted to share photos of current and former staff who’ve made us what we are today, plus friends, family, allies, and other odds and ends. Look for a new throwback photo every Thursday.

Gallery 2

This gallery collects our Throwback Thursday photos for weeks 14 through 26. You can revisit the previous gallery here.

Week 14: September 1, 2022

In case you haven’t already heard, NCHH is on the verge of a major milestone! Over the last few months, we’ve looked back at our past 30 years of service and impact, sharing photos of some of the current and past staff who’ve made us what we are today. With our actual anniversary being this Sunday, September 4, we thought we’d give you a look at our 25th anniversary reunion reception from about five years ago (September 7, 2017, to be precise), where we honored those people and their contributions at Historic Oakland here in Columbia. We invited every current or former staff or board member we could track down to the celebration, and we saw lots of familiar faces. The food was delicious, the memories were many, and the smiles couldn’t be counted.

Unfortunately, the pandemic and some pressing deadlines have made a party nearly impossible to schedule this week, but we have a few other surprises in store for you.

Here’s the first surprise: multiple photos for this week’s throwback! We’ve shared a few pictures from the NCHH25 reunion reception in the past but barely scratched the surface. This seems like a good week to post a few more, don’t you think? (Shameless plug for this evening’s photographer, the extremely talented and equally pleasant Lloyd Wolf! Check out Lloyd’s incredible portfolio at

Leading off is a symbolically important photo because the fellow on the left is Don Ryan, who helped to found our organization back in 1992. On the right is our own Dave Jacobs, the first person that Executive Director Nick Farr hired for the National Center for Lead-Safe Housing, as we were called then. (Dave was our first deputy director.) When this photo was taken, they were actually sharing stories about Nick, so, in a way, he’s in this picture too.

Don Ryan and David Jacobs

Don Ryan and Dr. David Jacobs at the NCHH25 reunion reception in Columbia, MD, September 7, 2017.

Up next is two-time NCHHer and confessed hugger Tom Neltner as he sees Michelle Nusum-Smith for the first time in seven years. It’s nice to be missed! Tom is now with Environmental Defense Fund, but we still work with him often since we’re both members of the Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative. And you may recall that Michelle is now known for her consulting work as The Word Woman LLC.

Tom Neltner greets Michelle Nusum-Smith at the NCHH25 reunion reception in Columbia, MD, September 7, 2017.

For the last several years, Dr. Pat McLaine has served as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. You’ll find her name on many NCHH-authored articles and reports from the decade she spent in our ranks. Here, she catches up with our Jill Breysse.

Dr. Pat McLaine and Jill Breysse

Dr. Pat McLaine (left) and Jill Breysse, NCHH project manager, at the NCHH25 reunion reception, September 7, 2017, in Columbia, MD.

And here’s Laura Moreno-Davis, who served from 2011 to 2012 as one half of NCHH’s marketing and fund development team (the other half being Phillip Dodge). A skilled communications and marketing professional, Laura’s brought style with a smile to many organizations over the years. She’s currently repping WorkSource Montgomery, which operates a pair of American Job Centers in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Laura Moreno-Davis

Laura Moreno-Davis at the NCHH25 reunion reception in Columbia, MD, September 7, 2017.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this supersized post in honor of our 30th anniversary, as well as the photos we’ve shared over the previous 13 weeks. Many more are on the way, of course. We leave you with this one of board member Michael Rizer (and the rest of us) enjoying Amanda Reddy’s photo presentation.

NCHH board member Michael Rizer (center) appreciating Amanda’s slideshow at the NCHH25 reunion reception, Columbia, MD. In the background: Christopher Bloom, Tom Neltner, Susan Aceti, Sherry Dixon, and Ruth Lindberg.

Week 15: September 8, 2022

If you read last week’s post, you may recall that five years ago yesterday, we celebrated our 25th anniversary with a reunion reception in the beautiful Historic Oakland building just a minute or so from beautiful downtown Columbia, which NCHH has called home for three decades now. After a lovely evening of catching up between various past and current NCHH staff and board members, the team quickly packed up the photos, projector, and delicious leftovers, and headed home for a restful evening at home…with the exception of Amanda Reddy, Jo Miller, and Christopher Bloom. They had other plans…hence this week’s #throwback….

For the past several years, local radio station WTMD has hosted its monthly First Thursday concert series at Canton Waterfront Park in Baltimore. It so happened that the Mavericks were headlining one such show on September 7, 2017—the same night as the reunion reception—so Amanda Reddy, Christopher Bloom, and Jo Miller (who’d traveled all the way from her home in Minnesota to Maryland for the reunion event) each changed into something a little less formal and piled into a car to catch a free show in the park. The Mavericks lived up to their reputation as a top-notch live band, pleasing the crowd with a mix of their signature songs and covers of classics from such legends as Chuck Berry, Roy Orbison, and David Bowie. It was a great way to end a great day!

A few words about Jo Miller: Jo is one of the few people to have worked for both NCHH and its subsidiary: Her first stint was a senior project manager for Healthy Housing Solutions from 2009 to 2014. Jo then worked as a consultant to NCHH for one project, then another and another. The more we worked together, the more we appreciated her ideas, her advice, and her enthusiasm. It wasn’t long before she rejoined the family officially, this time with NCHH.

It’s rare to find someone with Jo’s particular skills in public health, social media, and grant preparation; and she was a key figure in many of our grantees’ success stories. Though Jo moved on from NCHH in 2021, she’s rarely more than a tweet away—in addition to her consulting gig (J. Miller and Associates of St. Cloud, Minnesota), she’s also the brains behind the popular GrantChat brand on Twitter and Facebook.

We wish Jo continued success in all she does and look forward to crossing paths with her again in the future.

Jo Miller (left), Christopher Bloom, Amanda Reddy, and a several hundred music fans enjoying the Mavericks at Canton Waterfront Park in Baltimore, September 7, 2017.

Week 16: September 15, 2022

Just over three years ago, NCHH joined expert partners AltarumChangeLab Solutions, CommonHealth ACTION, EarthjusticeEnvironmental Defense Fund, National League of Cities, and Prevention Institute for a day-long gathering with our National Lead Poisoning Prevention Network grantees: Central Maine Community Health/Healthy Androscoggin, Childhood Lead Action Project, the City of BuffaloCity of Paterson Division of HealthEnvironmental Health WatchHealthy Homes Coalition of West MichiganLegal Services of Central New York, Southern United Neighborhoods, and the Virginia Poverty Law Center.

Equipping Communities for Action Through the National Lead Poisoning Prevention Network

Just look at what these grantees accomplished in only 18 months!

With primary funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and additional support from The New York Community Trust, NCHH awarded grants to applicants from nine localities across the United States, varying in location, community size, and level of readiness toward accomplishing their lead poisoning prevention goals. Each grantee received 18 months of coaching and support, including access to national experts, engagement in a peer learning network, a customized analysis calculating the cost of childhood lead exposure and the economic benefits of interventions, and a $25,000 grant.

Working with new community partners (and some familiar faces) through our mini-grant projects has been incredibly rewarding—it’s one of the reasons we continue to offer them! (And yes, we’ll be announcing another group of grantees within the next few weeks.) We expected these grantees to be amazing, of course, but even we were impressed by how completely they crushed it. You can read the details in the fact sheet we’ve included in this post.

Now, about the “Equipping Communities for Action: 2019 Lead Poisoning Prevention Grantee Meeting” event we alluded to at the beginning of this post…. On this day, September 13, 2019, NCHH, our cadre of experts, and even representatives of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New York Community Trust joined our nine grantees at National League of Cities’ headquarters in Washington, DC, for a day of project updates, each group delivering their presentation onstage to everyone else, and rotating breakout sessions, in which grantee teams, expert partners, and NCHH staff all moved around the room to exchange ideas and strategies with other groups. To a passer-by, the rotations might’ve appeared completely random, but all the moves had been carefully orchestrated beforehand by our Amy Murphy, facilitator extraordinaire. It was a great opportunity for all the grantees to meet each other and the experts, and for us to get to know them better as well.

We were well-armed with cameras on this day and shot over 200 photos of the proceedings, but if we had to choose just one photo to illustrate the event for this week’s throwback, it would be this one, which shows funder representatives (RWJF’s Pam Russo and Giridhar Mallya, with consultant Rebecca Morley) listening to grantees Environmental Health Watch at the first table, NCHH’s Amanda Reddy listening to grantees City of Paterson at the second table, and one of our expert partners (Tom Neltner from Environmental Defense Fund) offering sage advice to the City of Buffalo at the third table. Listen, listen some more, then talk. On the stage is Amy Murphy, and you can even see this round’s group assignments on the screen.

It’s really tempting to show additional photos of our partners from this grantee meetingbecause NCHH loves working with partners—but we’re going to hold off…for now.

At the front table, clockwise from left: Tracie Washington (Environmental Health Watch, EHW), Pamela Russo and Giridhar Mallya (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), Rebecca Morley, Kim Foreman (EHW), Jan Kelemen (EHW), and Kevin McDaniel (EHW). At the second table: Jean Mugulusi (City of Paterson), Anthony Santiago (National League of Cities, NLC), Amanda Reddy (NCHH), Anne Li (NLC), Kaity Rodriguez (Paterson), and Alicia Espinal-Mesa.(Paterson) At the third table: Tom Neltner (Environmental Defense Fund) and Anna Falicov (City of Buffalo). Standing onstage is Amy Murphy (NCHH). Also pictured around the room are Jonathan Wilson and Laura Fudala (NCHH), Corey Rhyan (Altarum), Chanel Barnes-Osula and Nehanda Lindsey (CommonHealth ACTION), and Elva Yañez (Prevention Institute).

Week 17: September 22, 2022

For this week’s throwback, we’re both sharing a photo of Sherry Dixon and solving a mystery.

We first shared this photo about five years ago; but at the time, we really had no further details about the image. No one was entirely certain about where the photo was taken, though we did have a date on the file. Our first “Throwback Thursday” campaign in 2017 led to us thinking and working much more intentionally about archiving our resources and chronicling our organization’s history. Like most organizations, NCHH has generally focused on current projects and objectives, not what we accomplished two, five, or nine years ago. But people keep citing and inquiring about our past work, so we decided to make as much of it available as we could. If you’ve ever visited the Publications section of our website, you’ll see that our team has worked very hard over the last five years to upload as many NCHH fact sheets, case studies, reports, and articles as possible. There are gaps, of course, as many documents and photos are in the queue to be scanned, and many more are still locked away in our remote storage facility. With NCHH’s rich history, it’s going to take a while to post everything.

During the archiving process, we determined that this photo of our Sherry Dixon was taken June 2, 2004, at the Healthier Homes, Stronger Families: Public Policy Solutions to Advance Healthy Housing Symposium at the Wyndham City Center Hotel in Washington, DC. Healthier Homes, Stronger Families was a project we worked on with Enterprise Community Partners, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In addition to the symposium, the project yielded a publication, Healthy Housing, Healthy Families: Toward a National Agenda for Affordable Healthy Homes.

You may have guessed from the title that affordable healthy housing is a priority for us, and you’d be correct. With housing prices rising steadily across the new construction, resale, and rental markets, many consumers are forced to choose between paying their rent or mortgage and paying for utilities, food, or medicine. That’s why we added affordability to our list of healthy housing principles a few years ago (available as a new fact sheet here). But making sure that there’s enough affordable housing is not good enough; we must also ensure that the housing we provide is safe: free from pests, lead, and mold and having functional smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Said Amanda Reddy, NCHH’s executive director, “Asking residents to choose between housing that is affordable and housing that is safe is unacceptable. It’s a false choice. We can and must provide both.”

Speaking of providing, Sherry has brought her statistical excellence to virtually every one of our research and evaluation projects. One of NCHH’s longest tenured staff (she joined the organization November 14, 1994), Sherry was also instrumental in helping us track down former staff as we prepared for NCHH’s 25th anniversary in 2017. She recalled where many former team members went after they moved on from NCHH, which helped us find them online. In addition to being a great friend and resource, anyone who’s met Sherry probably knows that she loves animals, travel, and the great outdoors even more than statistics, and she’s pretty keen on statistics. If you ever want to know where the best kayaking is or where the most scenic hiking trails are—in this country or abroad—there’s a good chance that Sherry can tell you.

Biostatistician Sherry Dixon at the Healthier Homes, Stronger Families symposium. June 2, 2004.

Week 18: September 29, 2022

Photos don’t come much more candid than today’s throwback, which was taken at the NCHH staff picnic at the Howard County Conservancy‘s Mt. Pleasant farm on October 9, 2008.

Mt. Pleasant is a 325-year-old farm that was received by the Conservancy in 1993. Its 232 acres of rolling countryside are home to more than 140 species of wildlife—as well visits from wedding parties, photographers, and the hundreds of area schoolkids who visit the Gudelsky Environmental Education Center, located onsite. Here, the Conservancy educates visitors about environmental stewardship and ecosystems, with special attention paid to the local plants and animals of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The house in the background is the conservancy’s caretaker residence. NCHH’s biostatistician, Sherry Dixon, actually served as caretaker and lived in the house at the time. Sherry loved the property and was saddened when it was time to move out. We should note that the place wasn’t perfect; among the 140 species of wildlife were black rat snakes—completely harmless, but not welcome inside the house, where they were often spotted, and definitely not welcome in the shower!

We don’t recall any snake sightings on this particular afternoon, however; just the NCHH and Solutions team enjoying a perfect fall afternoon with wine, cheese, and other tasty bits in beautiful Woodstock, Maryland—just 15 minutes from our headquarters in Columbia.

There are many familiar faces in the picture, but we’ll make introductions for those who don’t know them. On the far left in blue is Jill Breysse. Phillip Dodge is hunched over the table, and Jack Anderson (red shirt) is standing opposite Jill. Then-Executive Director Rebecca Morley (horizontal stripes) is seated at the picnic table beside Christopher Bloom (the floating hand!). Across the table from Rebecca is Susan Aceti. That leaves Tom Neltner (green shirt) and Jonathan Wilson (vertical stripes). The team was almost certainly talking about work.

So, where are they now? If you’ve been following this series, you may recall that Tom Neltner, who was about halfway through his first stint with NCHH when this picture was taken, is now with the Environmental Defense Fund. Tom is a wonderful guy, and we’re fortunate to still work with him often—as an expert partner on technical assistance projects as well as through our membership with the Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative, which he helped to found. You may also recall that Rebecca Morley is consulting full time after a few years heading the Pew Charitable Trust’s Health Impact Project and that Phillip Dodge moved on from NCHH in 2015 and now runs the Downtown Columbia Partnership. Phillip’s headquarters are actually across a large parking lot from our headquarters, so we get together for lunch or concerts when we can; but Rebecca’s office is in London, so it may be a while before we see her in person. (Let’s hear it for Zoom!) Jack Anderson left his position as president of Healthy Housing Solutions just a few weeks after this photo was taken but returned about two years later and continued on in that role until 2019. Jack is a huge fan of classic cars, so it’s not so surprising that he’s turned his attention to growing his automobile appraisal business. Between NCHH and Healthy Housing Solutions, Susan Aceti was a member of our family for nearly 14 years. While managing the Healthy Homes Training Center, Susan became very interested in ways to make training more engaging. These days, she splits her time between work for the University of Maryland Global Campus and a second career training and boarding dogs, especially dogs with behavior issues. We’ve seen Susan in action with the digs, and she’s really good!

The others—Jill Breysse, Jonathan Wilson, and Christopher Bloom—are still with the organization. Jonathan is approaching 30 years with NCHH, Jill is nearing 25, and Chris is a few months shy of 15…hand and all.

Clockwise from upper left: Jill Breysse, Phillip Dodge, Tom Neltner, Jack Anderson, Jonathan Wilson, Susan Aceti, Christopher Bloom (hand), and Rebecca Morley.

Week 19: October 6, 2022

This week’s throwback is an addendum to last week’s post recalling the NCHH staff picnic, as we had a special guest in attendance at Mt. Pleasant farm in Woodstock, Maryland: NCHH’s founding executive director, Nick Farr! We invited Nick to rejoin the team he helped to build for our informal get-together on October 9, 2008, and we were so pleased that he was able to stop by that afternoon. Nick had retired from our organization six years earlier (2002), but like a father to his grown children, Nick was happy to chat with us. In this photo, Nick is talking shop with Deputy Director Jonathan Wilson.

We talked about Nick and his role in the creation of our organization in weeks 1 and 14, so please read those posts for more about the great Nick Farr.

Nick Farr and Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan Wilson, right, catches up with Nick Farr at the NCHH company picnic, Columbia, MD, 2008.

Week 20: October 13, 2022

For this week’s throwback, we revisit one of our favorite dates in NCHH history. On October 16, 2013, an committed team made up of NCHH and Healthy Housing Solutions staff (plus a board member or two) made a special trip to northern Virginia, for a Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church (RT-AFF) event at the home of Ms. Erma Taylor of Falls Church. Don Ryan, then an NCHH board member, also worked for RT-AFF and coordinated NCHH’s involvement. 

It’s important to understand a few things about our staff. The first is that we are generally tied to our desks, so it was great to get out of the office and do something completely different for a change. The second thing to understand is that while we know what conditions support healthier home environments, that doesn’t mean that we all possess the education and expertise required to physically transform a home from hazardous to healthy; so, this project presented both a challenge and an opportunity for some of our team members to learn some home improvement skills. Finally, while we work every day to improve the lives of people we’ll never meet, our day in Falls Church afforded us the opportunity to see change in real time and to help a person who’s standing right in front of us and make her day. It’s extremely gratifying work, and it’s easy to see why organizations like Rebuilding Together love what they do.

On this day, we split the team into several work groups: groups to tackle issues on the main floor and basement, a group to replace the flooring upstairs, a group assigned to yard work (yes, yard work is important in creating a healthy home), and last but not least, a stain crew. Ms. Taylor’s home already had one major healthy homes improvement in the form of a long wooden ramp, but her ramp needed to be sanded and re-stained in order to keep the planks and rails from deteriorating. This photo features (from left to right) Jill Breysse, Laura Titus, and Amanda Reddy sanding away the flaking stain from Ms. Taylor’s rails. Jill and Amanda are still with NCHH, but Laura left Solutions in 2019.

As for Erma Taylor, this was not the last time we’d see her. We brought her to Congress with us in 2015 to talk about the importance of continued funding for healthy homes. We’re pretty certain that she never imagined when we descended on her property that she’d someday serve as a consumer advocate for healthy housing, talking to congressional aides and rubbing elbows with the former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders!

You can read Ms. Taylor’s story here

It was a hard day’s work to be sure, but we enjoyed helping to make Ms. Taylor’s home healthier and safer than before. If the opportunity presents itself, we’d love to spend another day helping a new friend around the house.

Jill Breysse, Laura Titus, and Amanda Reddy

Jill Breysse, Laura Titus, and Amanda Reddy at the Rebuilding Together event in Falls Church, VA, 2013.

Week 21: October 20, 2022

For this week’s throwback, we revisit Jack Anderson’s going-away party (October 24, 2008). Jack came to NCHH in 1992 after having spent over 15 years in the property and casualty insurance industry specializing in environmental liability insurance. His understanding of insurance claims involving chemical exposures, lead-based paint, and EPA Superfund cleanup added something special to our toolbox. Among Jack’s notable work are a 1993 paper titled A Study to Determine the Availability of Lead Liability Insurance for the Private Owners of Low to Moderate Income Rental Housing (not yet available online) and contributions to the seminal Healthy Homes Program Guidance Manual from 2012.

Jack worked for NCHH until 2003, when he was tapped to serve as president and CEO of our for-profit subsidiary, Healthy Housing Solutions. After five years with Solutions, he decided it was time to move on, so we wished him a bon voyage and gave him this farewell gift. But Jack got homesick and rejoined Solutions in 2010. This time he stayed until 2018.

As we mentioned in a previous post, Jack is a huge fan of classic cars (hence the framed art), specifically American makes and models. Since leaving the NCHH nest, Jack has focused his attention to his automobile appraisal business. We wish Jack continued success turning his hobby into the third act of a long and distinguished career!

Jack Anderson

Jack Anderson‘s going-away party, Columbia, MD, October 24, 2008.

Week 22: October 27, 2022

This week features what will likely be our shortest throwback: nine days! We know it didn’t occur in our first 30 years, but we’re hopeful you’ll give us a pass this one time when you hear our rationale.

First, it’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. For the uninformed, National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is an awareness event held jointly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Lead Paint Program, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. So, it makes sense that this throwback should be about lead poisoning prevention.

Second, our subject is Dr. David Jacobs, NCHH’s chief scientist, who has done more for lead poisoning prevention and healthy homes than many—writing and cowriting scores of articles and book chapters on the topic, actually running HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (as it was known at the time) from 1995 to 2004, serving as an associate professor (adjunct) for the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health and as a faculty associate for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health…and also sharing his expertise with the World Health Organization as the director of Collaborating Center for Research and Training on Housing Related Disease and Injury
(full disclosure: NCHH is the Collaborating Center). It’s safe to say that our Dr. Jacobs likes to stay busy.

Fifty Years of Peeling Away the Lead Paint Problem

Fifty Years of Peeling Away the Lead Paint Problem was published earlier this month by Elsevier’s Academic Press imprint.

Finally, the reason for Dave’s appearance at the event nine days ago is the culmination of a project he completed at the height of the pandemic, which did occur near the end of our first 30 years. The project is a book he’s written called Fifty Years of Peeling Away the Lead Paint Problem: Saving Our Children’s Future with Healthy Housing. Here’s how Dave recently described the book:

The book marks the first time our story has been told. What we did on both lead and healthy homes over the past 50 years and what remains to be done is described. It shows how all of us—parents; scientists; public health, housing and environmental professionals; advocates; environmental justice champions; lawyers; policy analysts and thousands of others from many walks of life—developed enlightened policies and fought to implement them. It also describes what I think marks a new consensus on the connection between housing, health, and the environment.

We’re not going to try to sell Dave’s book to you. That’s not our job, you see; and if we’re being honest, it’s so new that no one on staff has had a chance to read it yet. (Can you believe we didn’t even get galley copies?) We’re just telling you that he wrote a book on the fight to end lead poisoning in the United Stateswhat has worked, what hasn’t, and who’s helped make a difference. (You may know some of the people mentioned; some of you may even be those people.) Either you’ll be interested in ordering a copy for yourself or you won’t.

So, that’s the set-up. If there was ever a week to mention a new book on the history of lead poisoning prevention, this was the week to do it. Now, about the photo: The picture was taken October 18 at Dave’s exhibitor table at the Marriott Baltimore Inner Harbor at Camden Yards during the National Lead and Healthy Housing Conference. He arrived with 50 copies of Fifty Years and only had four remaining at the end of the session, so it was an easy trip back to his hotel room that night. In the photo, he’s sharing a laugh with our good friend and board chair, Elyse Pivnick as he inscribes  her copy. Elyse has served as Director of Environmental Health for the Center for Energy and Environmental Training for Isles, Inc. since 2010, the same year she joined our board of directors.

We hope Elyse finds the book both interesting and insightful, and we’re looking forward to receiving the copies we ordered, which—we hope—will be signed by the author….

NCHH’s David Jacobs signs a copy of his new book for Elyse Pivnick at the National Lead and Healthy Housing Conference, Marriott Baltimore Inner Harbor at Camden Yards, on October 18, 2022.

Week 23: November 3, 2022

Today’s throwback is a behind-the-scenes shot from November 5, 2019, at the APHA Annual Meeting and Expo in Philadelphia. Christopher Bloom, NCHH’s communications and marketing manager, had just spent about 12 hours on his feet dealing resources from NCHH’s booth in the exhibition hall. His wife (“Mom”), who also attended the conference, had just arrived at the rendezvous location with fresh milk for her six-month-old, who spent the day in the capable care of his grandma. Because Mom had also spent 12 hours on her feet—but in heels—she really needed to sit down for a bit…but not before recording this moment from baby’s first conference.

We’re sure this kind of scene isn’t uncommon among new parents at conferences. We’d like to express appreciation for the folks at APHA for creating spaces for new moms to pump privately, comfortably, and hygienically—instead of cramped into a restroom stall that’s been used 300 times that day. It definitely made Mom’s job a little easier. Thanks, APHA!

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, NCHH hasn’t exhibited at the APHA conference since this very night—a real shame because we were all looking forward to visiting San Francisco in 2020 and Denver in 2022! Barring unforeseen disaster, we expect to return for the 2023 event in Atlanta.

Christopher Bloom, NCHH communications and Marketing manager, and his little boy on a side street in Philadelphia, not far from the APHA conference site, November 5, 2019.

Week 24: November 10, 2022

Today’s throwback is a great group photo from a site visit in Providence, Rhode Island, back on November 10, 2006, almost 16 years ago to the day!

Rebecca Morley, NCHH’s executive director from 2002 to 2014, made the trip, and seven of our board directors joined her—Sandra Brock Jibrell, Don Ryan, Dr. Peter Simon, Marcheta Gillam, Charlie Wilkins, Anne Romasco, and board President Dr. Tom Vernon. That is an astonishingly good turnout, but NCHH we’ve been blessed with many great board directors over the years.

Among the directors, Sandy Jibrell, MA, was formerly a manager at the Annie E. Casey Foundation and a senior program officer at the Academy for Educational Development in Washington, DC. She served on NCHH’s Board of Directors from 2006 to 2018.

Peter Simon, MD, MPH, an NCHH board member from 1996 to 2013, is a former pediatrician, epidemiologist, and onetime medical director for the Rhode Island Childhood Lead Poisoning Control Program. He is now retired.

Charlie Wilkins, who served on NCHH board from 1996 to 2015, served as a financial advisor to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Mark-to-Market program and has worked as a managing member with the Compass Group, LLC, since 1997.

Marcheta Gillam, Esq., continues to work as a housing attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati. She served on our board from 2006 to 2018.

If you’ve been following this series, you already know all about Don Ryan, who served NCHH’s board from its founding in 1992 until 2015. You may also remember Tom Vernon, MD, from this series (Week 13). Dr. Vernon’s CV is very impressive and too long to list here, but the final stop in his professional career was with Merck, where he served as the Vaccine Division’s Vice President for Policy, Public Health, and Medical Affairs. He served on NCHH’s board from 1993 to 2015.

Finally, Anne Romasco: An NCHH board director from 1998 to 2009, Anne spent her early years in Canton (now Guangzhou), China. She worked as a managing director at the James C. Penney Foundation until her retirement, where she used impact evaluations to guide the foundation’s funding decisions—one of the first to do so. Sadly, Ms. Romasco passed away in 2017 at the age of 84, following a stroke. Be sure to read all about the late Anne Romasco’s life here—it’s very interesting!

This was also the weekend some of us got to know Ruth Lindberg, who’s standing second from the right in the first row. At the time, Ruth was working as an outreach and education coordinator for the Rhode Island Department of Health’s, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. Rebecca was very impressed by Ruth, and it wasn’t very long before Ruth was interning for NCHH. We all got to know Ruth that summer, and we just loved her. Ruth officially returned to NCHH as a program manager in September 2013. Unfortunately for us, Ruth’s excellence was soon noticed by the folks at The Pew Charitable Trusts, but that’s how it goes sometimes! Ruth is still one of our all-time favorite people; the folks at Pew are fortunate to have her. Be sure to check out our first post about Ruth here to learn more about what she’s been up to.

Unfortunately, the rest of the names are lost to the sands of time. (Feel free to help us identify those we’ve forgotten.) 

Rebecca Morley, Ruth Lindberg, and board

Front row, from left to right: Sandra Brock Jibrell, NCHH board; Rebecca Morley, then NCHH’s executive director; Marcheta Gillam, Esq., NCHH board; Anne Romasco, NCHH board; Ruth Lindberg; (unknown). Back row, from left to right: Don Ryan, NCHH board; (unknown); Dr. Peter Simon, NCHH board; Charlie Wilkins NCHH board; (unknown); Dr. Tom Vernon, NCHH board chair.

Week 25: November 17, 2022

Today’s throwback is a shot of our Carol Kawecki chatting with one of the local kids at the “Viking Terrace International Winter Celebration,” a community luncheon event held for the community in Worthington, Minnesota, on November 11, 2006. As you can see, making new friends is often the best part of the job!

It snowed the night before the event, so the team laid tarps on the grass before erecting the tent so that attendees wouldn’t have to walk on the fresh snow while milling around inside. (Sometimes, it’s the little things that make all the difference.) We’re pleased to report that the event was a great success: lots of smiles, children dancing, and delicious food.

Our project included substantial rehabilitation of 60 apartment units in the rural community at Viking Terrace in Worthington to meet the Enterprise Green Communities criteria. We discussed the project in our 2009 case study, The Advent of a Green Community, which has remained a popular publication for years. You can read more about our work at Viking Terrace project here. For more happy faces, check out this presentation of photos from the kickoff event.

As for Carol, the longtime project manager left her personal touch on many NCHH projects over the years before joining our for-profit subsidiary, Healthy Housing Solutions, first as a senior program manager, then as its vice president. Carol’s now working on what she says is her final, final project before her well-deserved retirement, “Evaluation of the HUD Older Adults Home Modification Grant Program.” Will it really be her last hurrah? Only time will tell. If so, we’ll all be very sorry to see her go; but if anyone’s earned the rest, it’s Carol.

Carol Kawecki

NCHH’s Carol Kawecki making a new friend in Worthington, MN, November 11, 2006.

Week 26: November 24, 2022

We’re not entirely certain of the actual date of today’s photo, but we’re pretty sure it’s from 2018, around this time of year, give or take a week or two. Regardless of when it originated, it’s seasonally appropriate because it shows Laura Titus (Healthy Housing Solutions, our subsidiary), Jonathan Wilson, Michelle Harvey, Chris Bloom, and Amanda Reddy digging into the morsels of deliciousness the we’d just received from the NCHH Board of Directors.

NCHH has been blessed with a dedicated board. Some were only able to stay for a few years, others served for more than a decade; but all came with a singular mission in mind—to make home environments healthier for all Americans regardless of their age, beliefs, or location by sharing their expertise and passion. For that, we’re truly thankful. In fact, we published this video to say so just a few weeks later:

On Thanksgiving Day, it seems only appropriate that we remember to acknowledge our past and current board, as we’re doing in this week’s photo. We also want to thank the NCHH Science Advisory Committee for their help; our funders, sponsors, and the many, many, partners and consultants with whom we’ve had the pleasure of working; and everyone who’s served this organization over the past 30 years and counting. Our work isn’t finished, but we have made great strides together.

We’re thankful for all of you…but we didn’t save you any of this tasty candy….

From left to right: Laura Titus, Jonathan Wilson, Michelle Harvey, Christopher Bloom, and Amanda Reddy.

On to photos 27 through 39