The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) is governed by a board of commissioners appointed by the Richmond City Council.
Commissioner Robert J. Adams is Chairman of the Board of Commissioners and is the President for Housing and Development Advisors (HD Advisors) in which he leads the company as it provides a range of consulting services to non-profit, for profit and public sector clients. Prior to joining HD Advisors, Adams held leadership roles at organizations such as Community Housing Partners Corporation, National Low Income Housing Coalition, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and Virginia Housing Development Authority. He is actively involved in the Partnership for Housing Affordability and has served as a member of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund Advisory Board. He also is the founder of the Robinson Street Association. Adams is a graduate of Yale University and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Commissioner Veronica Blount is Vice Chair of the Board of Commissioners. Blount has served her community as a resident of Richmond for 13 years as the Creator and Director of several support groups, a PTA President, a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children, a Community Advocate and Resource Center Specialist doing Healthcare administration for the Richmond City Health District, served her country as an AmeriCorps member at Embrace Richmond, interned at Central Virginia Legal Aid Society before earning a degree in Paralegal Studies at Bryant & Stratton College, served as a member of CVLAS Client Council, the 7th District Health & Wellness Initiative, participated in and supported many programs of the Peter Paul Development Center, and now appointed by the Richmond City Council to serve on the Board of Commissioners for the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Blount holds many certificates in allied health, case management, mental health, and human services. Blount is a PTA Executive Board member, a Richmond Community High School Board member, working full time and always continuing her education, all while building a nonprofit to serve an underserved community. Veronica is most proud of her role as Momager to her incredible daughter.
Commissioner Marilyn B. Olds activities include being a graduate of the Richmond Bureau of Police Citizens Academy, member of the Virginia Poverty Law Group and Woodville Elementary School Steering Committee, President of RRHA Resident Patrols, Deacon for Faith Community Baptist Church, President of the Creighton Court Tenant Council, and a volunteer for numerous children’s programs such as the Creighton Court Steppers.
Commissioner Elliott Harrigan is the president of Harrigan & Company Inc., a real estate investment, development and management company. His responsibilities include general corporate management including finance, legal and strategy. Harrigan is a member of the Better Housing Coalition Commercial Advisory Committee. Previously, he served on the Historic Richmond Foundation Board of Trustees and Real Estate Committee.
Commissioner Samuel S. Young Jr., is president of Astyra Corporation, an award-winning, Richmond-based IT consulting firm with more than 150 employees. Young co- launched the corporation over 14 years ago and has since worked to help create successful business opportunities for local small and minority businesses. Young’s leadership roles in various community organizations demonstrate his passion for educational, economic and social advancement for the City of Richmond and surrounding communities. Young serves as Board Members of the Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council; the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce; and Treasurer of the Chesterfield Public Education Foundation, among other organizational leadership roles. Young also serves on the Career and Technical Education Advisory Council for Richmond Public Schools and is a member of Leadership Metro Richmond. Young attended Old Dominion University, and completed management programs from Dartmouth College, and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Commissioner Jonathan E. Coleman is co-founder of the New Y-CAPP Inc. In 1999, the organization was formed by Coleman and Donna Z. Pierce-Baylor to serve the needs of children and adolescents. The agency began providing services in the City of Richmond and successfully expanded to the Hopewell, Tidewater and Charlottesville regions. Coleman is also Vice President of the Association of Community Based Service Providers (ACBSP), an organization that provides its members with access to the latest developments and proposed regulations in the field of Mental Health Service. Coleman also serves as a Board Member of the Downtown YMCA and Metropolitan Richmond Sports Backers. Coleman is an alumnus of Virginia Union University.
Commissioner Robley Shelton Jones began his service on the board in 2013. Jones retired in September of 2016 ending a career which included the following positions: Director of Government Relations and Research for the Virginia Education Association, State Director for Senator Charles S. Robb, president of the Virginia Education Association, and teacher of secondary English in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Jones, and his wife, Jacqueline, reside in the Forest Hill Section of Richmond.
Commissioner Heidi W. Abbott is an attorney at Hunton & Williams LLP in which she represents business and industry before the Virginia General Assembly on a variety of legislative matters. Abbott’s practice focuses on civic engagement, government relations and external affairs. Abbott states that her passion lies in working with underserved children throughout Richmond. As an advocate for education-from-birth, she has focused on early childhood issues through her involvement in multiple organizations throughout the City of Richmond including Smart Beginnings Leadership Council, Higher Achievement, Juvenile Justice and Richmond Public School’s Middle School Renaissance program and the city of Richmond’s Maggie L. Walker Citizen’s Advisory Committee. Abbott received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Anthropology from Hamilton College and went on to earn a master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Virginia. In 1991, she earned her Juris Doctor from The College of William and Mary.
Commissioner Neil S. Kessler is a partner in the Richmond office of Troutman Sanders LLP. Kessler has represented clients in various types of commercial real estate transactions for more than 40 years, with an emphasis in financing, leasing, sales, purchases, development, and construction. Kessler is a former co-chair of the Committee on Design and Construction Contracts and the Property, Casualty and Other Non-Title Insurance Committee of the Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law of the American Bar Association. Kessler is the author of the Virginia law section of the ABA publication entitled A State-By-State Guide to Construction and Design Law and a chapter on insurance for a publication of the International Council of Shopping Centers. Kessler is also the co-editor of the Virginia Law Foundation Handbook entitled Real Estate Transactions in Virginia. Kessler is a past Chair of the Real Estate Section of the Virginia State Bar and is currently a member of its Board of Governors. He is a former member of the Board of Governors and is a current member of the Insurance and Leasing Committees of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. He is also a member of the Program Committee of the International Council of Shopping Centers Law Conference. Kessler has been elected as a member of the Virginia Commonwealth University Real Estate Circle of Excellence and as a Fellow of the Virginia Bar Foundation and the American Bar Foundation. Kessler has been recognized as a Leader of the Law by Virginia Lawyers Weekly, as one of the Best Lawyers in America and in the International Who’s Who in Real Estate Law. Kessler received his undergraduate degree with honors from Washington & Lee University and his law degree with honors from The George Washington University. He is a frequent continuing legal education lecturer.