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Mary E. Kuna has been named Executive Director of the Cumberland County Housing and Redevelopment Authorities. It was announced today by Louis R. Martin, chairman of the Redevelopment Authority Board of Directors.
Kuna returns to Cumberland County having served since June 2018 as the Deputy Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Pittston and Planning Director for the City of Pittston, Pennsylvania. There, she administered a number of federal funding programs utilized by the Authorities—CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) and HOME funds—as well as real estate development and blight-remediation initiatives. In addition, Kuna managed Pittston’s redevelopment and Main Street programs co-founding the Greater Pittston Economic Development Corporation and Downtown Pittston Partnership with Joe Chacke, Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Pittston.
Prior to her position in Pittston, she served as the Economic and Real Estate Development Manager for CAEDC (Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation) developing business-attraction strategies—in particular, identifying industrial prospects and developing incentives for businesses to locate in Cumberland County. Certified as an economic developer, Kuna prepared portions of CAEDC’s strategic planning and related metrics still used in Pennsylvania’s fastest-growing and most-invested-in county.
“When considering the demands for housing and community development now and in the future and the county’s robust economic climate, we truly had someone like Mary Kuna in mind—someone with the depth of knowledge in all three areas. She has a record that demonstrates she will be able to work with and inspire her staff and partners for exceptional results—and at a most critical time,” Martin added.
Kuna will oversee an annual budget of over $18-million and a staff of 65 employees who provide services across the county related to rental housing, affordable housing and homeownership programs, economic and community development. The high performer-status Housing Authority owns/manages 208 federally-funded public housing units as well as the housing choice voucher program for over 1,300 households. The Redevelopment Authority administers the federal CDBG
add one – Kuna Named Authorities Executive Director
and HOME programs which benefit municipalities and non-profit organizations and their projects—everything from public works and police patrols to community parks. In addition, Redevelopment’s Community Development Division partners to secure funding for noteworthy local projects such as over $4.4-million for the Carlisle Urban Redevelopment Area-Wide Plan, Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funding for renovation and construction projects like the Shippensburg Public Library ($2-million) and initiatives like remediating blight and providing first-time homebuyer opportunities across the county.
Kuna received her Bachelor of Science degree in political science from the University of Scranton, and a Master of Arts in urban affairs and public policy at the University of Delaware. In addition, she holds a certificate in urban planning from Harvard University, and certifications from the International Economic Development Council and the International Town and Gown Association.
“This is both an exciting and very challenging time in the Authorities’ history. We are pleased that Mary Kuna has accepted the challenge and is approaching the position with such energy and enthusiasm—a fresh and unique perspective,” Chairman Martin stated.
Kuna noted, “Throughout their history, the Cumberland County Housing and Redevelopment Authorities have been recognized as a leader in the development of quality affordable housing, sustainable redevelopment projects and commitment to revitalization efforts across Cumberland County. I feel honored to be able to lead the talented Authorities staff in expanding our redevelopment mission, continuing a legacy of developing successful housing opportunities and strengthening partnerships within the region."
Kuna’s selection as executive director follows the coming retirement of Timothy Whelan in November; Whelan joined the Authorities in July 2016 and will remain on staff to assist Kuna in the transition for a period of several weeks.