NRHA Names New Chief Executive Officer

For More Information: 

Jenn White Moore

For Immediate Release
Release Date: 
Tue, 03/17/2015

 John C. Kownack, the Chief Community Development Officer for the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NRHA), will begin serving as the Authority’s Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director April 1, 2015.

The NRHA Board of Commissioners voted on Thursday, March 12 to offer Kownack the CEO position.  He accepted the following day.

As Chief Community Development Officer, Kownack directs neighborhood revitalization, property rehabilitation assistance, housing development, home ownership assistance, and other related programs.   He also serves as the Managing Director/CEO of Hampton Roads Ventures (HRV), LLC, a community development investment firm.

Kownack began work with NRHA in April 2001 as its Program Services Director.  He subsequently held interim positions as Rehabilitation Services Director and Assistant Executive Director for Housing Operations.   In 2008, he administered project financing programs and was later named the Authority’s Chief Housing Reinvention Officer.  He became the chief officer for all community development operations in 2012.

Prior to joining NRHA, Kownack held positions with the City of Norfolk’s Finance and Human Services departments, and with First Home Care Corp.

In addition to his work with NRHA and HRV, Kownack chairs the Norfolk Municipal Employees Federal Credit Union, Board of Directors.

NRHA began recruiting for a new CEO following the retirement announcement of Shurl R. Montgomery, who leaves NRHA this month after 10 years as the CEO.  A private executive recruitment firm, Gans, Gans and Associates, conducted a nation-wide, five-month candidate search on behalf of the Board. 

“Mr. Kownack was an outstanding candidate from a formidable list. He brings his deep knowledge of the organization and understands the authority’s vision, mission and overall direction required to achieve and execute our goals”, says Barbara Hamm Lee, Chair of NRHA’s Board of Commissioners.

“On behalf of the board and our colleagues at NRHA, I would like to thank Shurl for the 10 years he has devoted to making NRHA the outstanding organization that it is today”, says Hamm Lee.

About NRHA: 

Founded in 1940, NRHA is a national leader in community revitalization and fostering sustainable mixed-income communities. As the largest redevelopment and housing authority in Virginia, NRHA plays a key role in making Norfolk the city of choice to build, work, live and play.

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