LHA Hosts Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony

The LHA hosted its Annual Meeting last night. The agency’s Annual Meeting is a time for the LHA to report on the progress of last year’s goals, as we look forward to setting future goals for the coming year.  In 2018, the LHA set goals for redevelopment, which included the approval of an application to disposition scattered sites and explore new areas for future development. In addition, the LHA vowed to design more handicap accessible units, invest in staff training, and improve our financial ratios.  To date, the agency has received approval and has hired a relocation coordinator to assist residents with relocation for the disposition of scattered sites. The Authority has also established a solar net metering contract, which has realized savings for the Federal Public Housing Program and  State programs.  Financial scores under Chief Financial Officer, Adam Garvey’s leadership has earned a HUD financial score of 24/25. The agency also strived to increase resident and stakeholder engagement and can report that we have a strong social media presence. These goals will continue in 2019, along with Phase II of the Authority’s energy performance contract.

The agency shuffled the deck at this Annual Meeting electing a new Chairperson.  Commissioner Vanna Howard, will succeed two-time Chairman Robert McMahon, who served the Authority well during his tenure.  While we will miss the leadership of Chairperson McMahon, who was a strong advocate for residents and union labor, we look forward to working with Vanna Howard, who has been a dedicated LHA commissioner, and strong leader in the community. The agency also welcomed Philip L. Shea to his new role as Vice Chairperson who will replace Vice Chairperson Matt Marr. Thank you to Vice Chairman Marr for his leadership. The agency also saw the exit of long-time General Counsel, Attorney Philip Nyman, who dedicated years of service to the agency, working closely with the Authority to handle resident issues.

This Annual Meeting was bittersweet. While it was a time of celebration, we were sad that last night was the final Board meeting for Mary Ann Maciejewski, the LHA’s Assistant Executive Director, who will be retiring at the end of the month.

Mary Ann worked her way up the ranks of the agency during a 37-year career. She was the first Family Self-Sufficiency Director, and first woman director of the Section 8 Program, before becoming the Chief Operating Office of the agency. Mary Ann steered the agency always, and exhibited strength particularly during agency challenges. Noteworthy, Mary Ann created the first published HUD guidebook for using force account labor, which is used by other Housing Authorities today. Mary Ann was an instrument of change within the agency, helping to develop new processes, and the LHA is a much stronger agency due to her leadership.   Mary Ann will be remembered as a compassionate listener, and strong leader who developed genuine relationships with our community partners. On behalf of the Board of Commissioners and staff, we wish Mary Ann a happy retirement.  Mary Ann will be missed by staff, community partners, and residents alike.

As the cornerstone of the event, the LHA extended its appreciation and recognized the achievements of the agency’s community partners, staff, and honored residents in the Public Housing and Section 8 programs, who have thrived in our programs, or made significant contributions to improving the lives of our residents. Congratulations to all of our award winners, who believe in our mission and strive for excellence!

Annual Award Winners, 2019

Community Partners of the Year

Greater Lowell Community Foundation, Accepting the Award-Jay Linnehan
Northeast Legal Aid, Accepting the Award-Stephanie Belandis & David Brown
Greater Boston Food Bank, Accepting the Award–Michele Fisher

Residents of the Year

Brian Sparrow, Public Housing Resident of the Year
Natasha Leigh Rivera, FSS Participant for Public Housing Program
Victoria Perez, FSS Participant for Housing Choice Voucher Program

Employee of the Year

Barbara O’Connor

Citations were also presented to our residents and employee of the year by the Office of Congresswoman Lori Trahan.

Learn more about each of our deserving award recipients by downloading this year’s program book.

View Program Book