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South Mississippi Housing and Development CEO steps down

smhd-logoGULFPORT, Mississippi – Demetria Simpson, CEO and president of South Mississippi Housing and Development Corp., has resigned from the affordable housing nonprofit, according to a Thursday news release. In February, she will become executive director at R³SM, a regional United Way agency committed to long-term community recovery.

Simpson, whose last day will be Wednesday, has been at the helm of SMHD since March 2011.

The organization’s board of directors has appointed Judith Moran as interim CEO and president. Moran, who joined SMHD in April 2013, is currently development director.

“Demetria brought both a vast knowledge of affordable housing and a passion to create change for our area to South Mississippi Housing and Development Corp., which helped grow our relatively new nonprofit to the next level,” said Gerolene Rayborn, SMHD board chair. “We are grateful to Demetria for her leadership, her dedication to bringing awareness to SMHD throughout our region and her efforts to establish sustainable business partnerships that furthered the vision of our mission.

“We are confident that Judith, with more than 30 years’ experience in planning, management and housing, will help guide SMHD on a continued path of success throughout our search for a CEO and president,” Rayborn added.

During her tenure, Simpson increased the organizations’ portfolio of affordable housing and mixed-income developments from 8 to 11. She also has been instrumental in the creation of two additional communities that are currently under development.

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