WHF-PA Annual Meeting

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Register NOW!

Please join us for the

2019 Women in Housing and Finance PA Annual Meeting

and to kick off the

Homes within Reach conference!

Join us for an update on WHF-PA over the past year and help us plan for the year ahead.

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When: Monday, November 18th, 2019 

10am – Registration

10:30am – Annual Meeting

11am – Speaker, Rebecca Peace, Deputy Executive Director and Chief Counsel, PHFA

Where: Hilton Harrisburg

 

Become a member and save by clicking here

Members $0

Non-members $10

Register HERE!

Job Posting – NEW

NEW – MULLIN & LONERGAN ASSOCIATES, INC.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST            

Mullen & Lonergan Associates is a small housing and community development consulting firm that is searching for an energetic and highly organized professional with an engaging and dynamic personality to service our housing and community development clients across the U.S. The work primarily involves providing service to our firm’s CDBG grantees and HOME Participating Jurisdictions.

Description – Community Development Specialist


Women in Housing and Finance – PA

Administrative Consultant

Women in Housing and Finance of Pennsylvania (“WHF-PA”) is a membership organization, which strives to be a networking resource for women in the housing and financial services industry with a specific focus in community development throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. WHF-PA Steering Committee members all work full time in the affordable housing and community development industry. The organization seeks an administrative consultant to assist on a part-time basis with various administrative tasks for the organization.

Location: Work From Home

Hours: 4 Hour per week

Description – Administrative Consultant


HDC MidAtlantic

Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Relations

The Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Relations is responsible for advancing housing advocacy, resource development, and communications strategies in support of HDC MidAtlantic’s mission.  The Director will build out and oversee a Strategic Partnerships and Community Relations team, working across departments and with diverse stakeholders to form mutually beneficial partnerships in support of our mission, vision and values.  The goals of the team include:  diversify funding sources and partners, advance housing advocacy and policy, and promote effective communications, both internal and external.  Direct reports include a Communications Associate, and eventual supervision of a Resource Development Manager and Advocacy and Engagement Coordinator, hired as additional resources are secured.

Description – Director of Strategic Partnerships & Community Relations

Find out more about us here:  www.hdcweb.com.

Job Posting

Women in Housing and Finance – PA

Administrative Consultant

Women in Housing and Finance of Pennsylvania (“WHF-PA”) is a membership organization, which strives to be a networking resource for women in the housing and financial services industry with a specific focus in community development throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. WHF-PA Steering Committee members all work full time in the affordable housing and community development industry. The organization seeks an administrative consultant to assist on a part-time basis with various administrative tasks for the organization.

Location: Work From Home

Hours: 4 Hour per week

Description – Administrative Consultant


HDC MidAtlantic

Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Relations

The Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Relations is responsible for advancing housing advocacy, resource development, and communications strategies in support of HDC MidAtlantic’s mission.  The Director will build out and oversee a Strategic Partnerships and Community Relations team, working across departments and with diverse stakeholders to form mutually beneficial partnerships in support of our mission, vision and values.  The goals of the team include:  diversify funding sources and partners, advance housing advocacy and policy, and promote effective communications, both internal and external.  Direct reports include a Communications Associate, and eventual supervision of a Resource Development Manager and Advocacy and Engagement Coordinator, hired as additional resources are secured.

Description – Director of Strategic Partnerships & Community Relations

Find out more about us here:  www.hdcweb.com.

Harrisburg Meet & Greet Success!

Women in Housing & Finance Pennsylvania (WHF-PA) hosted a successful “Meet & Greet” in Harrisburg on Wednesday September 18, 2019.  Held on the rooftop of Café 1500, over a dozen people from different industry backgrounds attended. The goal of the event was to provide a casual forum for current and future WHF-PA members in Central PA to network and share knowledge.

Attendees enjoyed a serene setting with sunlit views of Harrisburg, a delicious hors d’oeuvre spread, a full rooftop bar, and a hit playlist from the DJ.  A variety of industry backgrounds were represented, from supportive services to finance to legal to construction, allowing everyone to expand their network.

A free membership was raffled, and we welcome new member Barbara Huggins of Self-Determination Housing Project of Pennsylvania to WHF-PA!

 Attendees said:

  • Everyone was welcoming and interested in talking.
  • Fabulous rooftop view and atmosphere.
  • Beautiful venue with lots of interesting people to talk to.
  • This is a great opportunity for networking. I hope there will be more in Central, PA soon.
  • Would like to see more events similar to this in the Harrisburg area.
  • Do it more often!

WHF-PA is thankful for the event sponsors – RBC Capital Markets, CohnReznick, McKonly & Asbury and Presbyterian Senior Living – who collectively donated $1,000.  With continued support from organizations like these, WHF-PA can keep organizing networking events, creating educational opportunities and connecting women in housing, finance, and development.

Save the date for the WHF-PA Annual Meeting on November 18th at 10am before the Homes within Reach Conference!  See you there!

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Member Spotlight – Karla Wursthorn

WHF-PA – Member Spotlight Interview

Karla Wursthorn

Senior Estimator, TN Ward

In honor of American Business Women’s Day, which was on September 22, WHF-PA is once again highlighting the work and accomplishments of one of its members. Karla Wursthorn, Senior Estimator at TN Ward Company. The company, which recently celebrated its 100th year in business, constructs diverse projects of all sizes, including multi-family residential of all types, healthcare, gaming, hospitality, educational, sports & recreation, retail, office, and industrial projects.

Karla graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1992 with a five-year degree in Architecture and a minor in Art History, and she strongly believes that Notre Dame’s emphasis on mission and service to the community had led her in a career direction which includes affordable housing. In her early career, Karla worked at an architectural office in Huntsville, Alabama while she completed her three-year architectural internship (a prerequisite for becoming a licensed architect).  When she and her husband relocated to Quad Cities, Iowa, she joined a design/build company and, while there, was recruited by the company owner to be an estimator (with the idea that she would become a better architect by understanding how much buildings cost).  After working in this capacity for a few months, Karla realized it was a lot of fun! She had the unique opportunity to design, estimate and project manage many of her own projects. The experience taught her a lot about the design and construction process. After 4 years, Karla and her family moved to the Philadelphia area and she found her place at TN Ward Company performing the complimentary duties of estimating and marketing. Karla has now been with TN Ward for over 21 years, but she still remembers her first project which was converting a dilapidated 19thCentury factory building in Grays Ferry into a Salvation Army Corps Community Center.

WHF-PA recently met with Karla to learn more about her career path and the advice she’d share with others as a woman leader in the affordable housing development industry.

Tell us a bit about yourself.  

As a child I moved frequently, but my extended family lives in Vermont, so this is where I am “from” if asked.  As a result of many summers and winters spent in Vermont, I enjoy the outdoors and love to ski (Jay Peak is my favorite).  When I was in college, I studied for a year in Rome and was blessed to have had the opportunity to travel to many cities in Europe.  I live in a Philadelphia suburb and am married to an engineer and have two children in college (ages 18 and 19) and an Australian Shephard who likes to chase fox.  I like to cook (sometimes) and read books and try to balance those activities by visiting the fitness center a few times a week.

Construction and general contracting have historically been male-dominated industries. How did you break into these industries, and what were some of your challenges along the way?   

Certainly, the face of construction has changed a lot over the past 20 years.  At conferences where I used to see two or three women, I now see 30 women! Breaking into construction seemed like a natural progression of my training to be an architect, so I don’t recall it being difficult making the switch to construction.  However, I have still not quite mastered how to dress for the jobsite, so I prefer to work in the office!  The most challenging aspect of my career was balancing work and family. For a short period of time I tried working three days a week, but that did not work with my deadlines, so I settled on four days a week for a period of about 12 years.  For future women (and men) I hope for a day soon when working from a home office is more readily accepted.  Not only would this help promote the well-being of families, but also reduce traffic congestion.

What’s an accomplishment that you are proudest of?

Personally, I am very proud of my children who are both studying at Drexel University now; they are great kids!  Professionally, I am most proud of the mission driven projects I have worked on over the years because they provide me with an opportunity to make an impact on the larger community while working with teams of like-minded people.

How did mentors influence your life? 

If it were not for several great mentors throughout my career, I probably would not be working in construction today.  My mentors taught me many things about design, estimating and construction – usually with a good sense of humor!

What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

I think it is a great time in our industry to be a woman.  The best advice I can offer is to take some risks and get outside of your comfort zone – this will get noticed.  It is easy to become complacent; growth only comes from stepping outside predictable boundaries.

What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career? 

Simply stated, I endeavor to treat people in the same way I would like to be treated.

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