Russell hairston - adc executive director

rhairston@growavondale.org | 513-861-2232 ext. 100

Russell Hairston became the Executive Director of the Avondale Development Corporation in January 2017, where he is responsible for administration, fundraising and sustainability development. He has more than 25 years of experience developing and implementing high-impact, award-winning strategies to improve urban neighborhoods.

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Mr. Hairston is a former Housing Division Manager with the City of Cincinnati’s Department of Community and Economic Development. During his time with the City, Mr. Hairston led award-winning public-private Cincinnati neighborhood transformations in the Betts-Longworth/West End, Evanston, Over-the-Rhine, Walnut Hills and Avondale neighborhoods and formed a successful strategic partnership with Kingsley and Company within the Cincinnati neighborhoods of Clifton Heights, University Heights and Fairview Heights. Mr. Hairston also facilitated creation of two Citywide community development stimulus programs: a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) program for housing developers and a pilot CORE FOUR program to align public and private funding for housing development in eight strategically targeted neighborhoods.

Mr. Hairston is also President of RH Consulting LLC, which specializes in public-private partnerships (P3’s) that result in catalytic community development. He is an expert in community engagement and neighborhood transformation. Among his many awards and achievements, Mr. Hairston was co-recipient of the 2015 President’s Award from the Ohio Conference of Community Development and received the 2015 Executive Director’s Award from the Avondale Comprehensive Development Corporation (predecessor of ADC) for dedicated service in making Avondale a Choice Neighborhood.

Mr. Hairston holds a Master’s Degree in Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning (DAAP) and is passionate about improving the human potential, public policies and physical environments of communities. He lives in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Clifton with his wife, Julia.


MARIA COLLINS - Real Estate & Community Development Manager

mcollins@growavondale.org | 513-861-2232 ext. 108

Maria Collins has been real estate  and community development manager for the Avondale Development Corporation since 2017. She is responsible for improving housing for the residents of Avondale, working with various partners to implement ADC’s home improvement forgivable loan program and property enhancement matching grant program, among others. She has also secured grants for infill development projects and managed applications for property acquisition and planning for affordable and workforce housing. Ms. Collins previously worked in real estate and community development for ADC from 2012 to 2014.

Her nearly 25 year career has included serving as economic development coordinator for the City of Lebanon (Ohio); vice president of development and director and planning for the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation; senior development officer in the Department of Community Development and Planning with the City of Cincinnati; and economic development specialist for the Hamilton County Development Company.

Ms. Collins is a graduate of Thomas More University and earned her MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. She is a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional, a Certified Housing Development Finance Profession, Certified Business Analyst and completed a Development Bond Finance Course through the Council of Development Finance Agencies.

Ms. Collins’s professional affiliations include the Cincinnati USA Regional Partnership, Historic Downtown Lebanon Incorporated, Workforce One Investment Board of Southwest Ohio, International Economic Development Council and Council of Development Finance Agencies.

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PATRICK CARTIER - community engagement & communications Manager

pcartier@growavondale.org | 513-861-2232 ext. 103

Patrick Cartier joined the Avondale Development Corporation in 2012 as a community organizer and was named community engagement and communications manager in 2015. He connects Avondale residents to existing civic organizations in Avondale and coordinates all neighborhood communications. Among his many responsibilities, Mr. Cartier leads an engagement committee with a variety of local partners, produces digital communications, developed the Avondale Wi-Fi project and manages the ADC community engagement staff.

Prior to joined ADC, Mr. Cartier was a community organizer for LISC Americorps, where he led a survey project to secure a Federal grant for housing and community development, organized residents and community-based organizations and managed communications systems.

Mr. Cartier is a volunteer at the Friars Club of Cincinnati, and member of the Avondale Community Council and the Roselawn Community Council. He has also served as a youth leader for the US Bank Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati.

Mr. Cartier studied at Northern Kentucky University. He received additional training from LISC Americorps, the Neighborworks Training Institute at Foundations of Community Organizing, Interact for Health Communications Bootcamp, Social Solutions Efforts-to-Outcome Training and Asset-based Community Development through Xavier University’s Community Building Institute.


APRIL GALLELLI - Project manager, avondale quality of life

agallelli@growavondale.org | 513-861-2232 ext. 102

April Gallelli joined the Avondale Development Corporation in 2016 as a project manager/community organizer, where she works to strengthen and establish partnerships with stakeholders and community members. Her accomplishments include the reestablishment of street teams; implementing the “Good Guy Loitering” safety initiative; helping residents take legal action against absentee property owners; and serving as agency lead for an Interact with Health Thriving Communities grant. April also leads ADC’s Avondale Community Quality of Life Plan.

Prior to joining ADC, April was a workforce development specialist with the Northern Kentucky Area Development District’s Kentucky Career Center, an administrative outreach/care coordinator with Wright Patterson AFB Medical Center and a school enrichment specialist for the Dayton Urban League.

April’s community service has included work for Buckeye Health (adverse childhood experiences and statewide anti-bullying legislation), Interact for Health (opioid addiction), Rockdale Academy (local school decision making committee) and the Million Step Challenge.

April earned her undergraduate degree from Arizona State University and master degrees from the University of Cincinnati (criminal justice) and Walden University (forensic psychology).

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RAFIQ JIHAD - community organizer

rjihad@growavondale.org | 513-861-2232 ext. 104

Rafiq A. Jihad (F.K.A. Ronald A. Jones) is the CHOICE Community Organizer at the Avondale Development Corporation. He works closely The Community Builders, Property Management and Community Life to engage, support and connect CHOICE residents and their families to resources, services and opportunities that address ‘real time’ needs and concerns. His work with the Community Action Agency-PIP Program established an on-going connection for residents with energy concerns and challenges.

Mr. Jihad is a native Cincinnatian and graduate of Withrow High School. He is a graduate of Knoxville College and spent seven years professionally at the University of Cincinnati in the Career Development Center and College of Business.


Arundhati Ghugre - Planning analyst

aghugre@growavondale.org | 513-861-2232 ext. 100

Arundhati Ghugre joined the Avondale Development Corporation in 2019 as Planning Analyst.

Ms. Ghugre was previously a co-op intern with Local Initiatives Support Corporation in Cincinnati, where she documented existing conditions of vacant properties in the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County through survey and quality control by data review. She has also served as a teaching assistant at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) and as a junior architect at Zero Space in Pune, India.

Ms. Ghugre is a licensed architect through India’s Council of Architecture. She received her Master’s Degree in Community Planning from DAAP (May 2019) and her Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from S.P.S.M.B.H.’s College of Architecture (May 2016). Her professional areas of interests include place making, space planning, community engagement, urban planning and designing. In her free time, she enjoys photography, model making, travelling and adventure.

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