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Emerging Leaders &
Markets Conference 2023

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Government/Legislative Policy 2023


West Room 

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Karim Hutson- Moderator

Founder/Managing Partner

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Karim founded Genesis in 2004. Under his stewardship Genesis Companies has grown rapidly into a full-service real estate development firm focused on the development of affordable and mixed-income housing. Over the years, Genesis has developed a reputation for turning around underutilized or under-performing real estate assets into quality, energy-efficient projects that enhance urban centers while remaining accessible to the residents of these communities. Karim’s dedication to community development extends to his personal life as well. A resident of Harlem, he is actively involved in a multitude of community and charitable organizations. Karim is a Member of the Board of Advisors for the NYC Independent Budget Office, Trustee of the New York Theological Seminary, Trustee of the Randall’s Island Park Alliance Board and Trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission. Karim holds a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy from Amherst College, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School. Prior to founding Genesis, Hutson was a Vice President at Full Spectrum of NY, Investment Banker with Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs in New York City and a Private Equity Investor with General Atlantic in Greenwich, Connecticut. Karim is married to Luz Elenia Gandulla-Hutson and has two daughters.

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Kimberly Darga

Deputy Commissioner of Development

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Kim Darga is the Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Development at the City of New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the nation’s largest municipal housing agency. Kim provides strategic leadership and oversight of housing finance programs to create and preserve affordable rental and homeownership opportunities throughout New York City. Kim first joined HPD in 2007, and has held various positions at HPD, most recently as Associate Commissioner of the Division of Preservation Finance. Prior to joining HPD, Kim worked in various economic development and urban planning capacities in New York City, Dallas, and Beacon, NY. Kim received a Master of Public Policy from University of Michigan.


Cathleen McCadden Benjamin

Chief of Staff 


Cathleen McCadden is the chief of staff at New York State Homes and Community Renewal.  Cathleen M. Benjmin, Previously served as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Deputy Chief of Staff . Mrs. Benjamin's Programmatic Portfolio includes: Public Information Office, Intergovernmental Affairs, MWBE Unit, Office of Strategic Management, and the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery. She currently chairs the agency's DEI Committee  and supports the work of the Executive leadership at HCR

Eric Enderlin joined the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) as its President in October 2016 and was reappointed by Mayor Eric Adams in January 2022.  As President of HDC, Mr. Enderlin is tasked with leading the nation’s largest municipal Housing Finance Agency towards furthering the Administration’s goals to create and preserve affordable housing and rehabilitate the city's public housing stock. ​ Mr. Enderlin brings more than 20 years of experience in public policy and affordable housing to HDC.  He most recently served as Deputy Commissioner for Development and Special Advisor at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), overseeing divisions including New Construction Finance, Preservation Finance, Housing Incentives, Property Disposition and Finance, Special Needs Housing, Building and Land Development Services (BLDS), Storm Recovery, and Credit and Underwriting. At HPD, Mr. Enderlin was instrumental to the historic levels of affordable housing production achieved under the Housing New York plan. Among other initiatives, Mr. Enderlin and his team secured the preservation of major affordable housing portfolios like Stuyvesant Town and Riverton Houses, expanded programs to support mixed-income and mixed-use projects, and developed new financing for the housing of seniors and the formerly homeless. In addition, Mr. Enderlin ensured that the Office of Development closely coordinated with other critical functions of the agency, including Neighborhood Strategies, Planning, Code Enforcement, and Asset Management. Prior to joining HPD, Mr. Enderlin was Assistant Director for Asset Management and Private Market Operations at NYCHA; worked as a consultant with the Louis Berger Group in its Economics Department; and served as Principal Planner and land use mediator with the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing (NJ COAH).  Mr. Enderlin holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics and a Master of Science in urban planning and policy, both from Rutgers University.

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Eric Enderlin


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Melissa Román Burch

Chief Operating Officer

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Melissa joined NYCEDC in April 2022 after two decades as a leading property executive and developer of large-scale, mixed-use projects distinguished by investments in transportation infrastructure, environmental leadership, and innovative partnerships. Prior to NYCEDC, Melissa served as Executive General Manager for Lendlease, where she initiated and led all acquisition and development activities for the NY region. Melissa was previously Executive Vice President for Forest City Ratner, where she oversaw the development of Pacific Park Brooklyn, anchored by the Barclays Center Arena and composed of new market-rate and affordable housing, office space, transportation improvements, and parks.

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