HUD Answers Your Questions on Community Funding!

During NRPA’s third, quarterly online learning event, hear from representatives of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as they cover the federal resources available for parks and recreation. Learn more about the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, an often-tapped program for park improvement in communities across the country. This event offers an opportunity to engage with federal administrative staff and pick their brains about how best to leverage federal funding for local communities.

Erik Pechuekonis (he/his)

Community Planning and Development Specialist

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Erik Pechuekonis is a Community Planning and Development Specialist who works with HUD’s Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program. He has been with HUD for 5-years and most of that time has been spent working on the Section 108 program. Prior to joining HUD, Erik served in Albania as a Peace Corps Volunteer where he worked with local municipalities on urban planning related issues. Before the Peace Corps, he worked as an urban planner at a local government in South Carolina. He has a master’s in City and Regional Planning from Clemson University and a Bachelors in Geography from University of Colorado Denver.

Kyle Simpson (he/him)

Director of Government Affairs

National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)

NRPAs Director of Government Affairs. Kyle has been with NRPA for nearly 4 years. Prior to that he spent over 10 years on Capitol Hill in a variety of roles.

Sean Dennihy-Bailey (he/his)

Community Development and Planning Specialist

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Sean Dennihy-Bailey works tirelessly to support Community driven development across the country. As a Community Development and Planning Specialist, he brings several years of local economic development program administration experience to his work. He has worked closely with local community organizations, as well as local government agencies in both designing and implementing programs across New York City. Sean resolves to make our communities places of opportunity for all as he is driven by principals of equity and accessibility. He is a dedicated public servant and veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom. 

Seema Thomas (she/her)

Deputy Director for the Financial Management Division

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Seema Thomas is the Deputy Director for the Financial Management Division (FMD). She has worked on community development challenges for the past two decades. Her career has focused on developing and expanding innovative and inclusive initiatives to support communities from the neighborhood to the metropolitan scale, both domestically and internationally. Before joining FMD, she was an adjunct professor of urban sustainability at the University of the District of Columbia. In the past, she has consulted and worked for numerous organizations, such as the World Bank, DHS’s Science & Technology Directorate, Freddie Mac, the Urban Institute, and Oliver Wyman & Co.  She holds a BSE in Engineering, a Master’s in Urban Planning, and a Master’s in Public Affairs. 


HUD Answers Your Questions on Community Funding!
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