Upper Marlboro, MD – Today, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, announced the realignment of the Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Housing Authority, Redevelopment Authority, and Revenue Authority from the current responsibility of Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) for Economic Development and Public Infrastructure, Carla Reid, to DCAO for Budget, Finance, and Administration, Thomas Himler. Additionally, Baker announced the hiring of Howard Ways, III, as Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority as well as new appointments to the Redevelopment Authority Board.
“Carla Reid and her team have done a tremendous job overseeing our housing related operations; however, I have decided, due to the high volume of finance and budget related coordination and oversight that is needed with our Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Housing Authority (HA), Redevelopment Authority, and Revenue Authority, that this cluster of agencies better aligns with the responsibilities of Mr. Himler,” said Baker. “I am also pleased to announce that Howard Ways, III, will serve as the new Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority. He will have a singular focus on the important work of the Redevelopment Authority and will continue the reforms that have already been implemented by DHCD Director Eric Brown.”
A majority of the issues for DHCD, HA, Redevelopment Authority, and Revenue Authority involve various aspects of financing ranging from Community Development Block Grants, HOME funds, as well as the financing and budgeting of housing projects. This shift of departmental oversight will enhance the Administration’s efforts in economic development by focusing on key aspects led by both DCAO Reid and DCAO Himler.
Under the direction of DCAO Reid, Department of Housing and Community Development Director Eric Brown made tremendous progress in reforming and improving the beleaguered department he inherited. Brown has created and established key partnerships and collaborations with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. He worked on and completed an extensive external audit of the Department and continues to implement reforms suggested by that audit. Throughout, Brown continued to serve simultaneously as the County’s Executive Director of the Housing Authority.
By hiring Howard Ways, III, to lead the Redevelopment Authority, the County Executive is providing more time and opportunity for DHCD Director Brown to focus on continuing his successful reforms within the department. The addition of Ways, an experienced regional leader in urban planning and sustainability, will allow the Administration to better focus on economic development goals of revitalizing our older communities and developing our transit oriented development (TOD) locations.
Bio of Howard Ways, III
Howard Ways, III, was previously the Director of Planning and Sustainability for the University of the District of Columbia where he managed the university’s sustainability initiative by enhancing academic offerings, greening the physical campus and promoting sustainable procedures to reduce energy consumption, reduce waste, improve recycling and advance the use of renewable energy.
Previously, Ways worked for the Office of Planning for the District of Columbia, the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, and was Special Assistant to the District’s Deputy Mayor, for Planning and Economic Development. Additionally, Ways has served as Director of Planning and Housing Development for the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition (HEBCAC), as Community Planner for The Enterprise Foundation and as a Development Assistant for The Cordish Company.
Ways is an Adjunct Professor at the University of the District of Columbia and Catholic University of America as well as a Lecturer at Howard University. He earned a Masters of City and Regional Planning from Morgan State University and his Bachelor’s in Architecture at Temple University. Ways is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and the American Planning Association (APA).
Bios of New Redevelopment Authority Board Members:
Christopher Aragona is Managing Partner at the Law Offices of Aragona & Aragona, where he practices general civil litigation, tort law, and criminal defense. His expertise includes representing individuals and businesses in all aspects of civil litigation and criminal defense in state courts at trial and appellate levels, and in alternate dispute resolution settings. He has litigated numerous criminal cases, felonies and misdemeanors, as well as a broad array of breach of contract cases involving, among other subjects, asset purchase agreements, non-competition agreements, and landlord-tenant actions. Aragona has also engaged in litigation involving fiduciary duty breaches, medical malpractice and products liability.
Admitted to the practice of law in Maryland in 1989, Aragona received his BA from the College of William & Mary and his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Monty Cooper is a lawyer in the Washington, D.C. office of Sedgwick LLP, an international litigation and business law firm that provides counseling, risk management, litigation management, trial, appellate and transactional legal services to corporate clients. He practices in the areas of complex civil litigation, environmental litigation, and products liability defense. His civil litigation practice has included such diverse matters as a London-based arbitration of a contract dispute between international brokerage firms to the pro bono representation of children as a guardian ad litem in D.C. Superior Court. He has experience in all phases of litigation and pre-trial preparation. Cooper is a member of the DC Bar and National Bar Associations.
Cooper is a graduate of William and Mary School of Law, where he was an editor on the William and Mary Law Review and a Benjamin Rush Scholar. After law school, he served as a judicial clerk to the Hon. Patrick Michael Duffy of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina.
Glenda F. Hodges
Glenda F. Hodges is the Associate Hospital Director at Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC and Assistant Professor, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Howard University College of Medicine. She is the Founder and CEO of Still I Rise, Inc., a community based empowerment organization for survivors of domestic violence. She lectures extensively in this area and she has done numerous workshops on domestic violence for local and state organizations. An Ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) Second Episcopal District, Washington Annual Conference, Dr. Hodges serves as a member of the Board of Examiners, teaching Christian Theology and the Legal System to second year students.
Hodges has attended several colleges and universities, including Virginia State University, Howard University, Bowling Green State University, Harvard University, The District of Columbia School of Law and The University of Texas at Austin (School of Law). She holds the following degrees: B.A., M.A., PhD., J.D., and M.Div.
David Harrington previously served as Mayor of Bladensburg, on the Prince George’s County Council, and as Maryland State Senator representing the 47th Legislative District. During this time, Harrington also was President of the Maryland Municipal League, National Chair of Economic Development with the National Association of Counties and Chaired the Maryland Senate Task Force on Physical Education. A longtime advocate for healthy communities, he was also instrumental in introducing the Wellness Opportunity Zone in Prince George’s County.
Harrington is a graduate from Howard University and completed his graduate work at Miami University of Ohio. He has also served as faculty at Harvard University’s Summer Institute on Reading, Writing, and Civic Education and was Associate Director and Faculty at the University of Maryland James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership.
Nabee Yi is the President of MPWG Inc. with responsibilities for business planning, marketing, guest relations, cost containment/control, creation and implementation of policy procedures, quality assurance, and continuous performance assessment and improvement. Prior to acquiring a major hotel chain, Yi was owner/operator of the Cedar Hill Inn in Suitland, MD. Yi received a hotel management certificate from Cornell University.
She also serves as director of government affairs for the Korean-American Association of the Washington, DC region. A board counselor to House of Hope, she oversees and supports the foundation’s goals and corporate outreach as well as other outreach duties. Additionally, Yi, established the B+ Coalition, a small grassroots organization in Prince George’s County.