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    Home » Community Development » Inspections » Neighborhood Services » Virginia Statewide Neighborhood Conference (VSNC) » Speakers

    Speakers

    Anwar Saleem is the Executive Director at H Street Main Street Inc. H Street Main Street (HSMS) was created in 2002 as a part of the DC Main Streets program. Anwar Saleem is the executive director of H Street Main Street, Inc., a position he has held since 2007. Mr. Saleem founded this non-profit organization in 2002 to guide the revitalization of an important, and long-neglected, neighborhood commercial corridor in Washington D.C. He served as chairman of the Board of Directors until taking the direct responsibility for the delivery of commercial revitalization and business retention services as executive director.

    Mr. Saleem’s interest in H Street NE began long before 2002. Under Mr. Saleem's leadership, H Street Main Street has become a commercial revitalization success story. The organization won a Great American Main Street Award in 2013. It was ranked by USA Today as #1 amongst the 10 most up and coming neighborhoods in the America. Forbes Magazine named H Street NE one of the “hippest corridors” in 2012. The H Street Festival, which Mr. Saleem organizes, received a Best of Washington Award in 2012 and 2013. Mr. Saleem continues to work as a volunteer in civic, advocacy, and youth development organizations that strengthen communities in Washington, D.C., his hometown. Recognition and Honors

    • Certified Main Street Manger, from the National Main Street Center (2010)
    • Livable Walkable Award, from Council member Tommy Wells (2013)
    • DC Humanities Council Award (2013)
    • Certificate of Appreciation from Mayor Vincent Gray (2013)
    • Excepted the Great American Main Street Award in 2013
    • Awarded Outstanding Summer Youth Employment Program Provider
    For more about Anwar Saleem and H Street, see this article.
     

     
    Basil Gooden currently serves as the State Director of USDA Rural Development for the Commonwealth of Virginia having been recently appointed to this position by President Obama in April 2014. Prior to this position, he served as the Principal Deputy Director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development having been appointed to this position in May 2002 by former Governor Mark Warner and re-appointed by Governor Tim Kaine. In this position, his primary administrative responsibilities included strategic management and planning, technology advancement, and minority procurement initiatives. Additionally, his work focused on community and economic development, home ownership initiatives and coordinating the annual Governor’s Housing Conference. The Department, which has an annual budget of more than $100 million and 140 employees, provides community development and housing program support to communities across the Commonwealth.
     
    Some of his previous professional experiences include working four years as a Legislative Assistant for a U.S. Congressman and receiving a Congressional Fellowship to work for a U.S. Senator. Prior to assuming his current position, Basil worked at Virginia Tech where he served as the Coordinator of Outreach and Community Relations. In that capacity, Basil worked to increase the number of minority faculty, staff and students at the university. In 1999, Basil worked as an Extension Specialist with the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service where he provided leadership in a statewide community development research initiative. Through this initiative, he worked with local extension units and agents to assess the community needs and issues in localities in Virginia.
     
    Basil is a native of Buckingham County, Virginia where he and his family still own and operate a cattle farm. As a youth, Basil was extremely involved in many Extension related activities that focused on crop production, livestock and 4-H activities. He continues to be very active in numerous civic and community based organizations.
    Basil received a B.A. in Political Science from Virginia Tech and holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) from Syracuse University. Additionally, he is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received a Master of Public Health (MPH) and a Ph.D. in Social Work in 1998.
     

                    

     

     

      

     

            

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