Team at HANDS

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Luther Flurry, Executive Director

Luther is known for his leadership in cross-sector partnerships, strategic planning, and financial management, Luther is the former Executive Director of the Montclair Center Business Improvement District. Working with municipal government, local stakeholders, and private developers, he led $2 million in local investment that attracted over $300 million in private investment in Montclair. By elevating downtown vibrancy, visibility, and local economic development initiative, that organization improved the built environment and the business environment. Prior positions at the F.B. Heron Foundation and Citizens Committee for New York City immersed Luther in finance, resource development and management and administration. You can reach Luther by email: luther@handsinc.org.

Pat O’Neill, Deputy Director

Pat oversees the HANDS real estate department including projects in planning and development and the portfolio of rental properties including, the HANDS’ flagship project, Hat City Lofts. His experience, education, and training in real estate development, finance, construction and organizational development are essential to the organization. Pat’s ability to manage real estate transactions and his experience with non-profit management, for-profit real estate development, and an entrepreneurial bent is greatly valued. His career has spanned both the private and public sectors, for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises, privately held firms, and public companies. Pat founded and co-founded companies, raised over $100M in capital and led companies and teams through both good times and challenging times. Email: pat.oneill@handsinc.org

Robin Gordon, Director of Administration

Joining the HANDS’ staff in mid-2005, Robin continues to marvel at the impact and accomplishments of HANDS and its stature in the community development field. As the Administrative Manager, she is a generalist with responsibility for grant writing and management, personnel and oversight of office administration and public relations. Passionate about housing issues and their critical influence on the health of a family and a community, Robin has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity since 1994. She also volunteers at a community soup kitchen and homeless program. Interests include exploring new urban places and natural areas, experiencing historic architecture and hiking. Email: robin@handsinc.org

Rachel Bland, Community Organizer

A native of Orange, Rachel Bland, MPH is the Community Organizer at HANDS. She first worked at HANDS, Inc as a NeighborWorks AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service to America) in 2009 where she worked on neighborhood revitalization and community development. She then completed her Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She has a BS from Spelman College, a historically black college.

Rachel returned to Orange as a Community School Coordinator at Oakwood Avenue Community School in Orange in 2013. Most recently, she has been the Director of the Healthy Orange Coalition: Building a Culture of Health in Orange, NJ. Understanding that education is a pathway to health, the coalition has been working with partners and stakeholders on how they can remove obstacles and promote opportunities to learning. As HANDS’ Community Organizer, Rachel will continue her work with the Healthy Orange Coalition.

Rachel is very excited to be working at HANDS again, focusing on empowering residents of the Heart of Orange community and promoting opportunities to learn that will lead to longer and better quality lives. Email: rachel@handsinc.org