At its regularly scheduled meeting on January 20, 2022, the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) presented its annual Egan Excellence Awards to selected housing professionals with the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The awards – named in honor of former FCRHA Chairman and a pivotal player in the Northern Virginia housing industry, Conrad Egan – recognizes exceptional contributions of staff in the categories of Service, Achievement, and Leadership.
“The professionals in Fairfax County’s Department of Housing and Community Development are the engine that moves the work of the FCRHA forward. Their dedication, talent, and tenacity fuel our success and has made our organization a recognized leader in advancing affordable housing across the region and the nation.”
- Melissa C. McKenna, Chairman Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority
Through the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Fairfax County’s housing staff has remained focused, flexible, and resilient in continuing the acceleration of affordable housing on all fronts – including strategic and innovative investments in housing development and preservation, rental subsidy administration, affordable homeownership, affordable housing policy advancements, and much more.
In recognition of exceptional achievement, this year’s Conrad Egan Excellence Awards were presented as follows:
Excellence in Service: Shirley Scott
Shirley recently retired from HCD and we are very happy to be able to honor her this evening for not only her extraordinary service during 2021, but for a distinguished HCD career spanning 23 years. Through her role in the Information Systems and Services Unit, Shirley has always demonstrated her proficiency to support all HCD users in a myriad of situations. Her specialties were IT security, telecommunications, account provisioning, network monitoring, and troubleshooting computer issues. Shirley’s positive results-driven attitude and her extensive knowledge of the agency have always been a big part in her ability to respond quickly and with great efficiency to resolve problems and ensure everything is operating in tip-top shape. This past year, Shirley played a critical role in migrating all HCD staff from the traditional desk-top hardline phones to Microsoft Teams’ Call feature. This was a big change that was made much easier with Shirley’s amazing know-how and “can do” approach.
Excellence in Service: Yin Jia
As you may recall, last year we saw a major shift from self-management of our properties to third party management. Yin played an extraordinary role in coordinating the successful transition of our property funds. This effort included months of planning before, during, and after the transition of management to ensure the transfer of all balance sheet, income statement items, budgeting changes, and the formulation of new policies and procedures. The shift also necessitated the need to create financial statement templates for third party managers to transform their trial balances to our own GL structure. The templates formulate – by property – a balance sheet and income statement that would cross-check and identify discrepancies. All of Yin’s work to consolidate these financials played an important role in facilitating a seamless transition. Yin’s talent, knowledge, and collaboration are simply extraordinary and have been a major contributing factor to our success.
Excellence in Service: Judith Cabelli
The preservation of Fairfax County’s aging stock of affordable housing is a critical priority for the FCRHA and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. In 2020, Chairman Jeff McKay organized the Affordable Housing Preservation Task Force to make recommendations for resources, policies, and other initiatives Fairfax County might employ to achieve these ends. Behind the prolific and extraordinary work of this body was Judith Cabelli. She worked tirelessly with the task force co-chairmen to arrange meetings that met all of the changing virtual public meeting requirements due to COVID-19; outline the task force’s workplan; and develop an actionable set of recommendations which the Board of Supervisors adopted in 2021. Her outstanding organization, strategic planning, and assistance in the execution of this task force earned her the respect of colleagues, stakeholders, partners, and leadership throughout the Fairfax County housing community. Today, Judith serves as our primary staff liaison for the Board of Supervisors’ newly formed Affordable Housing Advisory Committee. In just over two years with HCD, Judith’s work has been simply outstanding and indicative of many more extraordinary accomplishments on the horizon.
Excellence in Achievement: Debashish Chakravarty
Debashish is being recognized this evening for his outstanding work on the complex financing and requisitioning process for the rehabilitation of the Murraygate Village Apartments. When the project was met with unforeseen challenges and cost over-runs, Debashish displayed true leadership by collaborating with teams and vendors and provided invaluable expertise during the supplemental financing bond issuance to provide the resources for overcoming those challenges. Through his commitment to excellence and dedication to service, the Murraygate project successfully met all the financing and investor requirements. In addition to his work on Murraygate, Debashish has also been instrumental in closing several transactions – including The Ovation at Arrowbrook, the Arden, Oakwood Senior Apartments, The New Lake Anne House, and the Residences at North Hill – all of which are currently under construction.
Excellence in Achievement: Linda Hoffman
Linda Hoffman reflects the very definition of teamwork in her unwavering behind-the-scenes support for many of our FCRHA initiatives and activities. Her outstanding work has included and extensive list of recent achievements – here’s a brief sampling:
She has been a significant contributor to the establishment and maintenance of the Affordable Housing Dashboard that tracks our progress towards meeting our preservation and development targets.
She has developed the GIS identification layer that identified housing units within ½ mile of each future Embark Station site along the Route 1 Corridor to support the federal grant application to fund the Embark Richmond Highway Transit Project.
She has been a key collaborator to advance the principles of One Fairfax within our voucher program areas and is a participant on the Countywide One Fairfax Data Group.
The list goes on and on. Linda’s extraordinary commitment to excellence and teamwork, and her dedication to the achievement of our agency mission make her an invaluable member of the HCD Team.
Excellence in Leadership: Teresa Lepe
Since her arrival to HCD in August of 2019, Teresa has provided extraordinary leadership as Deputy Director of Real Estate Finance, Design and Development. She has led a talented group of professionals through one of the most unprecedented periods in terms of challenge and innovation. She oversaw the implementation and creation of our new Affordable Housing Division. She provided outstanding leadership in pushing through a myriad of complex and difficult development projects in communities all across the county – including such projects as The Residences at North Hill, One University, The Arden, The Ovation at Arrowbrook, The New Lake Anne House, and Oakwood Senior Apartments. COVID-19 has been the single-most disruptive force in our lifetime. Through it all, Teresa has led her team in adapting to meet the evolving conditions without missing a beat in terms of advancing the FCRHA’s mission of preserving and producing more affordable housing. The consummate leader, Teresa knows how to inspire the best from her team under pressure. Teresa Lepe has served this body with distinction and, her leadership is a big reason why the work of affordable housing has continued to advance at a prolific pace even amidst the public health challenges we have had to endure and adapt to these past two years.
Congratulations to the 2021 Conrad Egan Excellence Award honorees for your recognition and thank you to all the employees of our Fairfax County housing professionals for your outstanding work in helping us achieve our mission on behalf of the residents we serve!