Home » Press Releases » The Center for Community Progress Appoints New Director of Communications (Press Release)

The Center for Community Progress Appoints New Director of Communications (Press Release)

December 3, 2019

Jovan Hackley, Director of Communications

Jovan Hackley, former University CMO and Real Estate Executive
joins senior leadership of national Community Development Non-Profit

News Release (PDF)

WASHINGTON, DC – December 3, 2019 – Today the Center for Community Progress, America’s leading resource on issues of vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated (VAD) properties, announced Jovan Hackley, former marketing leader for and the Virginia Realtors®, will serve as its new Director of Communications.

“At this pivotal point in history, we recognize that for years vacancy has been a silent killer. From sustainability to health, making the connection between how we leverage land and our future is critical to addressing growing community challenges including housing access, emissions, and racial equity,” said Dr. Akilah Watkins-Butler, President and CEO.

“We are excited to add Mr. Hackley’s proven expertise in changing the narrative around student loans, real estate, and other important social issues to create this next generation of progress.”

Hackley joins the senior team of Community Progress, who led the creation of America’s land banking industry and 180 institutions across the U.S. That work includes spearheading legislative progress in 15 states and creating one of America’s largest land-use educational events ­ — the Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference.

About Jovan Hackley

Jovan Hackley is an award-winning strategist, public speaker, and communications consultant for national brands and non-profits in the public, private, and real estate sectors. For more than 18 years, he’s helped high-growth organizations including the Zillow Group,, the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (, and universities connect storytelling with driving history-making business impact.

Hackley’s most-recent work includes leading communications, strategy, and operations for one of America’s leading HBCU’s, Grambling State University – who recently celebrated performances with Beyoncé, a 100 percent fiscal health score increase, and more than $30 million in new funding for campus projects from the state of Louisiana and major donors including Magic Johnson’s SodexoMagic.

Today, Hackley leads the communications, marketing, and strategic outreach for the Center for Community Progress, America’s leading authority on turning “vacant spaces into vibrant places.”

For media interviews and more information about the Center for Community Progress email [email protected] or call (877) 542-4842 ext. 153.


About the Center for Community Progress

Since 2010, the Center for Community Progress has helped more than 300 communities transform vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated (VAD) properties into assets for neighbors and neighborhoods. Through offices in Michigan and Washington, DC, the Center works to create a future where all people live in strong, healthy, just communities where widespread properties no longer exist. For more information, visit

Get the latest tools, resources, and educational opportunities to help you end systemic vacancy, delivered to your inbox.