The People

The People


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Duane Miller - President of Flaherty & Collins Development  - Duane Miller has extensive experience working with affordable housing and mixed income housing financing structures.  He brings more than 13 years experience working on community and economic development initiatives in underserved neighborhoods. His experience and skills provide him with both a thorough understanding of the public commitments in providing housing for all income ranges as well as private sector goals of maintaining the economic viability of such projects.  He has a broad range of experience in financial analysis and business planning, including management of a nonprofit community development corporation with $12 million in assets, a $7.5 million budget, and 13 separate subsidiary corporations totaling $33 million in assets.

Guillermo Rodriguez - Muncie Housing Authority, Executive Director  - Guillermo Rodriguez has extensive experience working in the Public Housing Field. He has 14 years working with the Muncie Housing Authority. He has acquired numerous certificates of training and certifications during this time. Prior to becoming the Executive Director, he served MHA as the Modernization Director, Contracting Officer, Procurement Officer and Labor Relations Officer for six years. He has completed capital funding projects and physical revitalization projects to the MHA properties. Mr. Rodriguez has seen the Muncie HOPE VI project evolve from the application phase until now. He was directly involved with Millennium Place Phase I which was a mixed-finance project for thirty units involving MHA Capital Funds and tax credits. He has attended American I. University and IVY Tech Community College and is a Marine Corps veteran.

Gordon Benner - President of Flaherty & Collins Construction - As President of Flaherty & Collins Construction, Gordon Benner's mission is to provide the best quality at the best price, not only from a construction standpoint, but also from a marketing standpoint, to make leasing easier.  He helps to design and build based on markets need, which few construction companies do.  He is regarded as one of the foremost experts in multi-family construction in the United States.  He has been involved in all phases of the construction business, including budgeting, bidding and negotiating contracts, selecting subcontractors and vendors, monitoring job costs, overseeing the actual construction site, and acting as liaison to the development team.  The construction projects he has worked on include: residential, multi-family dwellings, commercial buildings, historical renovations, schools, restaurants, and churches.

Van Johnson- Muncie Housing Authority, Director of Planning and Development  - Van Johnson has over 25 years continuous practice in the profession of architecture and community development. Mr. Johnson received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia. Mr. Johnson graduated with distinction receiving the AIA award for “Excellence in the Study of Architecture”. He has worked in the “private-sector” as an architect for most of his career as an associate in several firms and a principal in his own design firm. Mr. Johnson began his community development experience as Director of Architecture for a CDC in his hometown Buffalo, New York. He later moved to Baltimore, Maryland where he was hired by James Rouse (President and CEO of The Rouse Company and The Enterprise Foundation) to use his skills and expertise to help revitalize the worst neighborhood in Baltimore (Sandtown-Winchester). This valuable experience prepared Mr. Johnson for his next assignment – HOPE VI, Director of Physical Development for the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC). Mr. Johnson was responsible for overseeing the City’s $ 350 Million Dollar initiative to demolish and rebuild four severely distressed “High-Rise” Public Housing developments, located in downtown Baltimore. The HABC team was successful in receiving more than five (5) HOPE VI Grants; redeveloping over 75 acres of land; constructing 850 new rental town homes, 125 town homes for-sale,  200 apartments for seniors, 4 community centers, 3 daycare centers, a commercial retail complex, 2 new magnet schools and a new park. Mr. Johnson is also an ordained minister and is equally concerned with “building people” as he is with building communities.

Olon Dotson - Vice President, Armonics - Olon F. Dotson co-founder and Vice-President of ARMONICS, Inc., is compelled to recapture the role of the Architect by offering comprehensive services. Mr. Dotson attended Tuskegee Institute (University) in Alabama where he received a B.A. in Architectural Science, Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana where he acquired a Bachelor of Architecture and a B. S. Environmental Design. Subsequent to working with HNTB Architects in Phoenix, Arizona, he attended Columbia University in New York where he completed the Master of Science in Real Estate Development Program. Working as a Construction Manager at Powers Management allowed Mr. Dotson to broaden his perspective which led to the founding of ARMONICS, Inc. and the inception of Project Delivery Services. Project Delivery Services involves providing expanded construction administration and contract cost management accounting services under the umbrella of the architectural design team. This could also be considered an innovative and progressive form of "Turn-Key" development with a maximum amount of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and community participation. Mr. Dotson also serves as an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Ball State University.

Dan A. Canan - Mayor of Muncie - As mayor of The City of Muncie, his mission is to improve the quality of life of its citizens by effectively and efficiently administering community resources and providing public safety to his community. He was elected Mayor in November 1995 and still currently holds that office. Before he became the Mayor of Muncie, he successfully owned, operated, and managed Canan’s Pharmacy for 15 years. Canan’s Pharmacy was located in the Industry Neighborhood, which is the same neighborhood as Millennium Place. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University Muncie, Indiana, as well as graduated from Muncie Central High School. A list of his Significant Accomplishments as Mayor are on the City of Muncie’s web site.

Russell D. Lewis - R.A. President, Armonics, Inc. - ARMONICS, Inc. was founded with a vision that the practice of Architecture goes far beyond the design process. Russell D. Lewis cofounder and President of ARMONICS, Inc., was formerly educated at the College of Architecture and Planning, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana receiving a Bachelor of Architecture and a B. S. Environmental Design. Upon graduation Mr. Lewis went to work in his hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana as a graduate architect with CSO Architects, a large local firm specializing in commercial, industrial, and institutional work. Upon reaching the level of Senior Project Architect/Project Manager, Mr. Lewis left the traditional practice of Architecture in May of 1993 taking a position as Project Manager for Powers Management, Inc. an Indiana-based construction management and general contracting company. This association remained until ARMONICS demanded his full attention in February 1996. The driving force behind the concept of ARMONICS, which led to its creation in 1994, was the unique range of services and experiences that could be brought to the market by an organization with intimate knowledge of the processes of design, construction, and development.

Jerry Thornburg - Muncie Director of Community Development - Jerry has extensive experience in finance, economic development and serving low-income communities.  He has led a distinguished career in public service and demonstrated a commitment to low-income communities.  He served three terms as the Auditor of Delaware County, as well as has worked ten years with a Community Housing Development Organization ("CHDO") developing low-income housing. He has been very instrumental in the progress of the MHA HOPE VI program.

Jacey Frazier - Muncie Housing Authority, HOPE VI Community & Supportive Services Coordinator - As the HOPE VI Community & Supportive Services Coordinator, Ms. Frazier is leading staff, business and community stakeholders in the development and implementation of strategies that assists residents in becoming self-sufficient. Her motto is, "Where there is help there is hope." Ms. Frazier is a graduate of Ball State University, where she earned both her Bachelor and Masters Degree. She has over 15 years of experience in community building, service and mobilization. Prior to accepting the position with the housing authority, she resided in Detroit, Michigan where she worked with various notfor-profit organizations, Detroit Public Schools, The Skillman Foundation, and the City of Detroit. Author, publisher and owner of educational program management and fund development company are also listed among her professional accomplishments. She is also a member of the Family Services, Inc., Board, which assists women and children who are victims of domestic violence. In 2001, The City of Detroit honored Ms. Frazier with the Spirit of Detroit Award, and she is a 1995 recipient of the City of Muncie's Mayor's Community Service Award.

Emma Price - Long Time Resident and Community Leader  - Emma L. Price was born to Elizabeth and Spencer Malone in Florence, Ala., where she graduated from Hall High School. In 1945 she moved to Muncie Indiana from Lima, Ohio.

Price worked at the Munsyana Homes and each year she has the most beautiful flower garden and, because of this she received the Broom Award from Muncie Clean City. She has also received the Community Award from the Black Expo, the Community Award from the Mayor of Muncie, R. P. Gram from the NAACP, the Community Award from Industry Neighborhood.

Price was the Tenant Council within the Munsyana Homes. “I was the only one that would speak about the problems that were occurring within the Munsyana Homes.” She is a member of the Federal Club and the High School Rough Lodge. When she has finished all of her meetings, she still finds time to volunteer and work with the Housing Authority.

“This is my home,” said Price. “I don’t have to live here. I have lived here for forty years by choice.”  In her neighborhood, Price is trying to make it a place where people can sit outside on their porch and walk around.
Price was raised to work for what you want out of life and to be educated. She also attends local town council meetings to speak on the behalf of the residents that don’t speak out.  “I like to help people,” Price said. “I also enjoy helping people that can’t help themselves. I like people.”

The one person that she admired while she was growing up was her elementary teacher. “She was a good teacher and I learned a lot from her.” Her advice to young people is to stay in school and please stay away from drugs. Price is the mother of one daughter, Sherwyn Kerbol.