This week’s ‘Five Minutes With’ series features Muzzy Rosenblatt, President and CEO, Bowery Residents’ Committee, whose project – Landing Road – is a 2019 Awards Finalist for Excellence in Affordable Housing Development.
Who has had the greatest influence on your career and what was the best advice he or she gave you?
While an undergraduate at Wesleyan University, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to study public policy with the late Robert C. Wood, who served as Under Secretary and then Secretary of HUD under President Johnson, who created HUD. Bob believed in the necessity and nobility of public service in a democratic society, and that through service in government and community-based organizations, we can ensure that all people’s voices are heard. He would often remind his students of JFK’s admonitions that “civility is not a sign of weakness” and that “sincerity is subject to proof.”
What qualities do you think are essential to be an effective leader?
Success in leadership depends upon being able to recognize I don’t have all the answers, being able to listen to the perspectives of others, and knowing when to compromise. It also requires surrounding yourself with the brightest people you can find, and then empowering them.
As a ULI NY Awards nominee, what makes you most proud of your project?
ULI NY’s recognition of BRC’s innovative, replicable and game-changing approach to financing housing for people with extremely low incomes demonstrates that nonprofits can and must think entrepreneurially; that effort alone is meaningless unless it makes positive impact.