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Sanders Named Executive Director of FCDC

HUNTINGTON – A nonprofit organization focused on fostering community and economic development opportunities in Huntington’s Fairfield neighborhood has hired its first executive director.

RaShad Sanders stepped into his new role as executive director of the Fairfield Community Development Corporation (FCDC) in November. He will serve as the organization’s point person for enhancing the physical, economic, health, safety and social aspects of life for Fairfield residents. 

Sanders is a Huntington resident and Marshall University graduate who has strong ties to the Fairfield community. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in management from Marshall in 2007. As a student, Sanders was active in Black United Students, worked as a counselor for outstanding black high school students and served as president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Under Sanders’ leadership, the fraternity conducted cleanups in Fairfield and helped with backpack giveaways at the A.D. Lewis Community Center. 

After graduation, Sanders worked with underprivileged youth at Prestera Center before returning to Marshall in 2011. He spent nearly a decade as a purchasing agent at Marshall, supporting the university’s business and research initiatives. He later became a contract specialist at Marshall before accepting a position with Special Metals in 2019. He currently serves as president of Marshall University’s Black Alumni Association and has been involved with Marshall President Jerome Gilbert’s Coalition for Anti-Racism. He is happily married to his wife, Mona. The couple has five children.

Sanders said he is looking forward to serving the residents of the neighborhood in which he was raised. Growing up, Sanders attended church regularly with his grandmother, Pastor Martha “Ma” Johnson, at Glorious Church of God in Christ in the 1600 block of 10th Avenue.

“I am extremely excited to give back to a community that has poured so much into me,” Sanders said. “Sometimes, the best way to give back to your community is giving its members a platform for their voices to be heard. That’s what I will strive to accomplish. By standing together, we are Fairfield strong.”

The formation of a community development corporation for Fairfield was part of the City of Huntington’s winning community revitalization plan that it submitted for the America’s Best Communities competition. The city won the nationwide contest in April 2017 and received $3 million as seed money to implement the revitalization plan.

In March 2019, a 15-member board of directors, all of whom live and work in the Fairfield community was selected and began working on key objectives to restore a historically thriving community through attracting and retaining a diverse range of residents; creating and maintaining affordable housing and commercial real estate; educating residents; promoting healthy lifestyles; and increasing economic wealth.

“RaShad Sanders brings to the table a unique skillset that will enable the FCDC to accomplish its key objectives,’ said MaRia Hill, chairwoman of the FCDC’s Board of Directors. “He has a vested interest in Fairfield’s success, because it is the community that raised him.” 

Funding for the Fairfield Community Development Corporation is provided by the America’s Best Communities fund of the Foundation for the Tri-State Community.

“The formation of the FCDC and the hiring of H. RaShad Sanders to carry out its mission is yet another example of the progress that is being made to achieve our community revitalization plan that won the America’s Best Communities competition in 2017,” Huntington Mayor Steve Williams said. “I look forward to working with Mr. Sanders and the FCDC board of directors to elevate Fairfield to unprecedented heights."

Community members can follow the FCDC on Twitter and Instagram at @FCDCHuntington.

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