Welcome the 2021 NAHRO Fellows!
NAHRO’s Fellows Program recognizes individuals for achievements and actions within their own community improving housing conditions, viability, and sustainability. Each one of this year’s NAHRO Fellows demonstrates a dedicated commitment to reaching these goals. For more than a decade the NAHRO Fellows Program, established by NAHRO’s Board of Governors, has provided an opportunity for participants to serve as mentors, participate in specific programs and activities, act as jurors and uphold the code of professional conduct and the ethical standards specific to NAHRO and the Fellowship. NAHRO is proud to introduce the Class of 2021 Fellows:
Sean Gilbert, Executive Director of Morristown Housing Authority, Tenn.
Gilbert began his housing career as a community revitalization coordinator almost three decades ago helping distressed communities revitalize their neighborhoods and create the first “mini” City Hall to encourage civic participation. He’s since held several leadership positions in various housing agencies and continued his commitment to providing safe, decent, affordable housing for residents. Additionally, he has held many leadership roles within NAHRO at the national, regional and chapter levels. He is also a key advocacy representative for the Tennessee Chapter, and he serves on the Tennessee Housing Authority Risk Management Trust board.
Stephen W. Merritt, Executive Director of Norwood Housing Authority, Mass.
Merritt first became involved in the public and affordable housing community when he was elected to the board of the Needham Housing Authority. With nearly 40 years in the industry, Merritt, a former NAHRO President (2015-2017) and now executive director of a housing agency in Massachusetts, has since formed several partnerships to improve the agency such as procuring commitments from developers to include affordable units in their planned developments and advocating for and leveraging funding to modernize housing units. His proven management skills professionally have also translated to his many leadership roles within NAHRO.
Sunny Shaw, Executive Director of the Twin Falls Housing Authority, Idaho
NAHRO’s most recent president (2019-2021), Shaw started her career in housing from the ground up. She began as a receptionist and now is an executive director of that same agency. During her tenure as a housing leader, she has worked to increase voucher portfolios and continues to be a strong advocate for the housing choice voucher program. She has earned multiple NAHRO certifications and served in a variety of leadership positions, including most recently her presidency.