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New York State Rural Housing Coalition Names Jeff Keller as Executive Director

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The New York State Rural Housing Coalition announced on January 23rd the appointment of Jeff Keller as Executive Director, beginning February 4th.

Mr. Keller joins the Coalition after eight years with the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association (NRLA), where he served as Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs and Director of Technology.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jeff and can’t wait to put his expertise to work in service to the hardworking families of rural New York State and our member agencies,” said Velga Kundzins, Chair of the New York State Rural Housing Coalition Board of Directors and Executive Director of the Western Catskills Community Revitalization Council, Inc. “Jeff’s focus on state and federal regulatory affairs affecting the housing industry helped him develop deep expertise on matters of importance to our agencies and the families and communities they support. Jeff’s policy knowledge and insights, and his relationships with key legislative and administrative staff, colleagues in the advocacy community and decision makers, are strengths that we expect will benefit the Coalition significantly.”

Colin McKnight, who served as acting executive director of the New York State Rural Housing Coalition, will return to his role as Deputy Director. He has served the Coalition for 23 years.

“We are extremely grateful to Colin for his leadership and dedication to the Coalition, its members and the cause of rural housing in New York State, and delighted with his work in guiding the organization as we searched for a full-time executive director,” Ms. Kundzins said.

“The New York State Rural Housing Coalition has a well-earned reputation for effectiveness and efficiency in its service to rural New Yorkers, and I look forward to continuing to build our statewide network so our member agencies are best equipped to meet the needs of their communities,” Mr. Keller said. “I have been fortunate during my time in the Capital Region to form strong relationships with advocacy partners who care very deeply about housing and related issues, and to collaborate on grassroot efforts to ensure the greatest good for the largest number of people, work that is meaningful and very much in line with the mission of the Rural Housing Coalition. I’m excited to get started.”

Mr. Keller began his career in the association and housing industry working for the California Association of REALTORS®. At the NRLA, he focused on state and federal legislative and regulatory issues, predominantly affecting the housing industry, across 11 states.

While at the NRLA, Mr. Keller earned Certified Association Executive designation in 2017. He serves on the Finance and Government Affairs committees of the Empire State Society of Association Executives.

Mr. Keller, a native of California, holds a B.A in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Southern California, and a M.S. in International Affairs from Georgia Institute of Technology.

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