Board Members

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Dr. Samuel Little

President & CEO

Dr. Samuel B.  Little is Associate Dean and Director of Field Education at the School of Social Work, University of Maryland Baltimore, an Adjunct Professor at Howard University’s School of Social Work in Washington, DC, Executive Director of the Family Empowerment Institute of Maryland, and Founding President of the National Alliance of Resident Services in Affordable and Assisted Housing (NAR-SAAH).He is an accomplished professional with extensive experience in the management of public housing programs, having served as Associate Deputy Director at the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, Director of Resident Services at the District of Columbia Housing Authority, and Deputy Executive Director for Resident and Community Services at the Philadelphia Housing Authority.He also was Executive Vice President at Alliance Network based in Denver, CO. In this role, he expanded affordable housing programs globally and collaborated with a vast network of organizations that transformed blighted communities into neighborhoods of choice.Dr. Little speaks regularly at public housing and social work conferences on capacity building programs for families and conducts certification training for resident commissioners, resident advisory boards, resident councils, and employees of public and assisted housing agencies in various regions of the country.

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Jack Cooper

Board Member

Mr. Cooper is Executive Director of MASS Union of Public Housing Tenants and is recognized nationally as an expertise on public housing program, advocacy and resident empowerment.  He provides technical assistance to statewide resident associations. Additionally, he speaks at housing conferences and frequently gives testimony on tenant participation, lease enforcement issues, funding for resident programs, and other matters that impact the quality of life for families residing in subsidized housing. He previously served as a members of the Negotiated Rule making Committee ordered by Congress to reform the way public housing and its programs are funded and operated in the country.

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Cynthia Wiggins

Board Member

Cynthia A. Wiggins is President of the Guste Homes Resident Council and became President of the Citywide Tenant Association of New Orleans, before taking on the role as President/CEO of the Guste Homes Resident Management Corporation in 1998.  In 2000, the National Association of Resident Management Corporations appointed her as its President.  In conjunction with her peers they incorporated over three hundred (300) Resident Management Corporations throughout the United States.For the past thirty years  she has developed a wide range of experience working and volunteering in public and private housing as well as serving on various committees to address the  issues of affordable housing, social justice for the poor and public improvement policies.Ms. Wiggins was intimately involved in the development of the Tenant Participation Regulation with seven other public housing leaders from around the country who all formed a Resident Management Corporation.Wiggins has served as the Vice President of the Housing Authority of New Orleans Board of Commissioner, a $300 million  operation and has had the opportunity to serve on various boards within New Orleans.Wiggins is a certified Property Manager. She has also been trained in the Nuts and Bolts of Accounting, Southern University Quick Books Training for Small Business, and Tax Credit management training. She’s a Certified Child Care Instructor and has received training as Drug Prevention and Intervention Counselor.Ms. Wiggins currently work as a consultant and trainer to the B.W. Cooper Resident Management Corporation.   In February of 2004, Wiggins received an invitation to serve on an advisory board to the Secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). She has served as a consultant to Tulane University under a contract with the Housing Authority of New Orleans and work closely with the elected leadership in New Orleans inclusive of the Mayors of the City of New Orleans and her Congressional and Senatorial elected representatives.Today Ms. Wiggins is Secretary for the Women Standing Up organization that address Black on Black Crime in the City of New Orleans.

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Gloria Cousar

Board Member

Alongside a secular career as a community planner, urban housing official, entrepreneur, and executive director of three non-profit organizations, Ms. Gloria Cousar has been engaged in metaphysical studies and transformation spirituality as an ordained minister and spiritual healer since 1980. Before that time, she experienced a spiritual awakening process which gave her an awareness of multidimensional realities and a spiritual hierarchy assisting humanity and our planet to undergo personal and global transformation.While living abroad in Egypt, and as a student at Vassar College and Princeton University, she became motivated to serve as an instrument of Spirit in these changing times.  In accepting this responsibility, she has been blessed and guided in obtaining the necessary education, experience, opportunities, and helpful resources to be a Light-worker and leader in the field of housing community development.Currently, she is a founding principal and President of Jovian Systems Incorporated and serves on the Boards of the National Alliance for Resident Services in Affordable and Assisted Housing (NAR-SAAH) and the Community Chapel of Wholistic Healing (CCWH). She also is Vice President of the Neighborhood Associates Corporation, a national non-profit working in 13 transforming housing communities.For nearly seven years she served as Pastor of CCWH in Reston, VA, coordinating its ministerial program and continues to provide instruction based on metaphysical principals of spiritual healing and social transformation.A grandmother of eight and great grandmother of one, Ms. Cousar enjoys painting, traveling, and working with youth, among other past-times.

Keli Avery

Board Member

Keli Avery is a woman of faith, creative, trailblazer and a go-getter with a passion for empowering others. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Keli was educated through the Chicago Public School system at Simeon Career Academy and attended Illinois State University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication in 2004.  She has been a financial and active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for 17 years and more recently a Charter Member of Chicago Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter. She obtained a Master of Science in Advertising and Publishing from Pace University and jumpstarted a career with AT&T Advertising and Publishing.  In 2011, Keli transitioned into Resident Services, at The Chicago Housing Authority where she currently manages social service programs, by providing program planning solutions, contract compliance and quality improvement for nonprofit organizations that provide quality programs that move families toward self-sufficiency. Keli’s love for God, desire for helping others and gifts always inspired her to create opportunity that would build our community.

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Rickie Keith

Board Member

Ms. Rickie M. Keith was a 2003 graduate from Keller Graduate School of Management /DeVry with an MBA in Business Administration.  She has spent 30 years in Banking and several years as a substitute teacher in the Lake Ridge School District.  She was a 2019 recipient of the Martha Benton Distinguished Leadership Award She is a member of the RAB Board at Gary Housing Authority and Vice-President of the Resident Council for Carolyn Mosby Highrise. A 2015 recipient of the Charles Price Jones Humanitarian Award from Christ Temple Church of Christ Holiness under the leadership of Bishop Dale L. Cudjoe. She loves all types of crafts and baking, especially crocheting and making peanut butter cookies. She has a son, daughter-in-law, three granddaughters and three great-grands, eight siblings, and two grand-dogs.

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Gerald Turner

Board Member

Gerald Turner has extensive experience in the areas of community, economic and real estate development, having managed and developed over 2,000 units of housing totaling $650 million in value for various public, private and non-profit corporations. Notable accomplishments include the development of Potters Lane, the first Permanent Supportive Housing community constructed with shipping containers targeted for chronically homeless veterans and management of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program for the City of Los Angeles Housing Department, one of the single largest redevelopment and local job creation initiatives undertaken by the City representing $143 million in Federal funding via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Gerald Turner has focused extensively on real estate development initiatives to spur the creation and retention of jobs and reconnecting neighborhoods to educational, commercial, workplace and health services. Having directed community, economic and real estate development programs, Gerald Turner has gained invaluable experience serving in various positions with the City of Los Angeles, County of Orange, the Metropolitan Housing Alliance, the Downtown Little Rock Community Development Corporation and the City of North Little Rock.