Sandy Salzman, urban pioneer

Sandy became administrative assistant at New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) in 1995 and was promoted to director in 1998.

As director of the Fishtown Civic Association from 1980 to 1988, Sandy had presided over the country's first smoke detector give-away program.

Under her leadership, NKCDC set a national best practice for neighborhood revitalization through vacant land management. Over two decades, through community participation and a partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the NKCDC reclaimed more than 90% of the 1,100 vacant parcels in Fishtown and East Kensington. 

Today, those neighborhoods are among the fastest-growing in Philadelphia. "The community would never have been able to have economic development had we not first done land use management, because it stabilized the neighborhood," Sandy says.

During her 22 years at NKCDC, Sandy accepted the Best Practices award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Organization of Excellence award from NeighborWorks America.

In October 2016 she retired, changed her cell phone number and attended a big party at Philadelphia Brewing Company. Thank you, Sandy, for your decades of hard work!