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New CHR executive director gets right to work

April 13, 2012
By JIM LINETTE ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Kelly Collini is on an orientation fast track this week as the new executive director of Sanibel's Community Housing & Resources. One of her first duties was meeting with the board of directors at their regular monthly meeting on Monday.

Collini moves to Sanibel from Wyoming where she had served for six years as executive director of the Albany County SAFE Project in Laramie, a women's shelter program for domestic violence and sexual assault victims.

"I've worked in non-profit fundraising in Wyoming for 33 years," said Collini, who grew up in Michigan before starting her career in Wyoming. "My husband (Jim) graduated from Florida, so he's a Gator. We've talked about moving to Florida and wanted to be on the Gulf Coast. I was looking for a job down here and we were visiting on vacation when I saw this position."

Article Photos

Kelly Collini settles into her office as the new executive director of the Community Housing & Resources.

Collini replaces Nancy Fash-McHenry, whose contract was terminated in December after a tumultuous six months of service.

"I hope to bring some stability and positive will to the position," said Collini. "This board has some committed individuals who have been through some tough times and they work really hard. I aim to strengthen the organization financially by finding new sources of funding and provide leadership."

"We feel that Kelly is a great fit for both CHR and our community," said CHR board president Richard Johnson. "We have already identified key areas of focus and look forward to getting her started on longer term projects soon."

Collini gets her first chance to meet CHR tenants and any members of the public who wish to attend the organization's annual meeting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. CHR is located at 2401 Library Way.

"The meeting is open to the public and we invite everyone to join us on Saturday morning for the meeting and afterwards for a potluck luncheon," said Collini.

After introducing Collini, Johnson opened Monday's board meeting by announcing the closing on another Limited Equity Ownership (LEO) property since the April board meeting. The most recent LEO helps a local family with two children remain in the community through the below market rental housing program's equity-building program.

It also was announced that four new tenant applications are ready for approval, helping to fill vacant rental units.

More than 30 rental units needing minor to major maintenance had work completed in the past 30 days, including 23 units that were identified and work completed within the 30-day period. A backlog of maintenance projects has been reduced to nine, according to board member Dorothy Donaldson.

Three residents, including former board member Mike Cuscaden, were nominated for board positions. The others nominated are Melissa Rice and John B. Talmage. Cuscaden was a CHR board member during Fash-McHenry's tenure before he resigned in November 2011.

The board then went into executive session to discuss the nominees. Johnson reported afterward that Rice, a Sanibel resident, was elected to join the board at this time.



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