On Thursday, March 23, two new members were elected by Hester Street’s Board of Directors to serve on our Board. Jerrod Delaine, Chief Executive Officer of Legacy Real Estate Development, and Stephanie Sosa-Kalter, Deputy Director for Residential Retrofits for Energy Equity at the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), will contribute their expertise and commitment to equitable and sustainable community development to HST’s mission.  

“I am delighted that Jerrod Delaine and Stephanie Sosa-Kalter have agreed to tap their deep experience and broad network of relationships to help us build on our successful track record and chart our course forward,” said Hester Street’s Executive Director Eva Neubauer Alligood.

“I believe in Hester Street’s mission, and I’m committed to the communities the organization seeks to serve. I’m particularly excited about HST’s work related to equitable economic development,” said Jerrod Delaine.

“I am passionate about Hester Street’s mission to ensure that New York City communities have access to safe and affordable housing, clean energy and water, health and safety, education and economic opportunities. I appreciate that community engagement and community-led projects are prioritized in the work that Hester Street does,” said Stephanie Sosa-Kalter.

As CEO of Legacy Real Estate Development, a minority-owned development, investment and consulting firm, Jerrod specializes in the acquisition and development of affordable and workforce housing in urban communities across the country. He preserves, creates and sustains homes that provide shelter, security, equity, and opportunity for those that have been historically overlooked and undervalued. Prior to joining Legacy, Jerrod was Director of Development at Carthage Real Estate Advisors, a Harlem based real estate development company. Jerrod spent the first five years of his career at Forum Architecture and Interior Design, where he served as project manager for affordable housing projects in the southeast region of the United States. Jerrod holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Bachelor of Arts Degree in Architecture from Florida A & M University School of Architecture and Environmental Technology as well as a Master of Science degree from New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate. As part of his lifelong commitment to education, he serves as an adjunct professor at both his alma mater, NYU, and Pratt Institute, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses on development, public-private partnerships, urban economics, and portfolio management. 

In her role with ACEEE, Stephanie scales up low- and moderate-income building upgrades for single family and multifamily affordable housing through deep technical assistance to state, local, and tribal governments as well as community-based organizations. Prior to joining ACEEE, Stephanie worked as the federal policy analyst for New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Earlier in her career she worked as the director for mission-driven development at the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD) where she advocated for mission-driven development, sustainability standards in affordable housing, and coordinated capacity building opportunities for ANHD members. Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work from Siena College and a Master of Urban Planning degree from New York University.

We sat down with Stephanie and Jerrod to learn more about what motivated each of them to join HST’s board and the projects they’re most excited about. Read their responses to our questions below, and join us in welcoming Jerrod and Stephanie to HST’s team.

HST: Jerrod, we understand that you’re the co-host of a popular podcast. What is your podcast focused on? What was your favorite episode or guest? 

Jerrod Delaine: The podcast I co-host with Andre Bueno is called The Intelligent Developers. It’s a play on words of the classic finance book The Intelligent Investor, which was written by Benjamin Graham who was Warren Buffet’s mentor and professor. We focus on real estate development from the perspective of diverse professionals, both new executives and seasoned veterans. I can’t really say I have a favorite episode but I will say the episode featuring Buwa Binitie tends to come up when I’m out at conferences. We’re currently recording season 3, and we have really raised the bar. Our guests are unbelievably talented, all humble enough to give us a few minutes of their time to share their story and words of wisdom. 

HST: Stephanie, your career has largely been focused on social and environmental justice advocacy. What led you to do this work?

Stephanie Sosa-Kalter: I grew up in NYC public housing in the Melrose section of the South Bronx and had always been aware of the inequities that existed in my neighborhood and others like mine. I became passionate about environmental justice and affordable housing because at a very young age I became aware that they are basic needs for everyone on earth and must be a fundamental human right.

HST: To both of you, what is one HST project (past or current) that you’re particularly excited about? 

Jerrod Delaine: I’m particularly excited about Hester street projects related to equitable economic development, such as Together We Thrive: Black Business Network

Stephanie Sosa-Kalter: I’m excited about the South Bronx Community Brownfield Planning Study that Hester Street did with We Stay/Nos Quedamos (who I interned for when I was in graduate school). This project is a good example of how Hester Street does community engagement and community-led projects.

HST: To both of you, can you share a favorite New York City public space, park, or building that’s important to you?

Jerrod Delaine: My favorite park to this day is Madison Square Park. My first internship in NYC had me going around that park seeing all the buildings my employer owned and meeting with tenants and the neighbors. I remember my first day on the job that hot summer when I ate lunch at the then-local shop called Shake Shack. The area includes the Ace Hotel and many other well-designed boutique hotels and lounges. It has lots of small architecture firms and is walking distance to Madison Square Garden. It’s just an eclectic area in the middle of Manhattan. Harlem’s Morningside Park is an honorable mention with stellar views on the Columbia side, Sundae Sermon and the original Dear Summer birthday party in the park. 

Stephanie Sosa-Kalter: My favorite public space in New York City is Rockaway Beach. It’s a place where all New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy nature and seek refuge from the hustle and bustle of New York City.