Messages from Don Falk & the Board of Directors
Dear Friends of TNDC,
As TNDC continues to grow and evolve, I have made the difficult decision to step away from my role as CEO and make way for new leadership. After 15 years in this position and 27 years in service to the TNDC community—tenants, community members, staff, board, donors, and supporters—I leave with immense gratitude for the time I’ve spent with you.
With this decision the Board of Directors, led by President Lisa Blakely, will launch its search for a new CEO in March, and I’ll continue serving TNDC until the new CEO begins. You can read the Board's message below mine.
In my time with TNDC I have seen so much progress. I’ve watched us grow from a humble grassroots organization with a staff of 75 to one of the country’s leaders in supportive housing with a staff of over 450. From owning 500 homes to over 4,000. From housing roughly 600 people to nearly 6,000. I’ve watched us expand our holistic approach beyond housing to serve tenants and the community through an after-school program, a healthy aging program, food security work, and community organizing. But what impresses me the most isn’t the numbers—it’s TNDC’s unique ability to operate at scale and remain authentic to our community roots, doing the hard work in service of our shared vision of economic and racial equity.
I’m proud of our community and our accomplishments. I’m also proud of how we’ve faced, overcome, and are continuing to work through our struggles. The work of operating a large nonprofit, owning property, building affordable homes and providing equitable access to resources in a system designed to do the opposite—to privilege the wealthy and White at the expense of people with low incomes and Black and Brown people—is challenging, messy, and profound work. Holding that tension is not easy. It will continue to be challenging and exciting for TNDC’s next CEO, and with our enduring values and new leadership, I’m confident TNDC’s future is bright.
Until then, I look forward to the next era of TNDC leadership and working collectively to make an even bigger, bolder impact in San Francisco.
Don Falk (he/him),
Dear Friends of TNDC,
On behalf of the TNDC Board of Directors, I want to express deep gratitude for Don's service over the past 27 years. His commitment and leadership have elevated both the opportunities for TNDC tenants and community members, and brought our organization national recognition without losing our roots or focus on the neighborhood. We applaud Don's service and congratulate him on the difficult and generous decision to encourage new leadership.
As we embrace Don's bittersweet news, we also recognize the critical and pivotal moment we are in here in the San Francisco Bay Area and across our country. The housing crisis, pandemic, and uprisings for racial equity are all indications of the challenges—and opportunities—that lie ahead. After 40 years of working with communities to make sure everyone has the opportunity to thrive, there is no organization better equipped than TNDC to meet the moment. Don’s departure signals an opportunity for new leadership to advance the organization’s commitment to make meaningfully change in Homes, Health, and Voice for our tenants, neighbors, and communities.
We are enthusiastic about the future of TNDC in a new era and committed to elevating the right leadership both inside and outside of our organization to continue to move us forward. While we have no doubt that we will face challenges, we rest assured in the values, vision, and people of this organization and the people we serve to guide us into the future.
We hope you will join us in the coming months as we celebrate Don and his contributions.
Please stay tuned for further updates as these plans come together.
Lisa Blakely (she/her),