It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of John J. Burke, Jr., former Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of the National Center for Housing Management (NCHM). John served as Chairman and CEO of NCHM from 1981 to 2017. John was more than NCHM’s leader, he was its champion. In 1981, upon learning that NCHM was in serious financial difficulty and on the verge of closing its doors, John came to the rescue. He personally infused hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money and, more importantly, contributed countless hours of his time and talents to lead a remarkable turnaround of the organization.
John had a unique perspective on the possibility and power of NCHM. While others were ready to give up on NCHM, John persevered. Having attended its breakthrough training programs in the 1970s, he knew first-hand the potential of the organization. In fact, John credited NCHM with introducing him to affordable housing as a sustainable career, one that led him to become one of the first and most successful developers of affordable housing in the Midwest. Over the course of the next four decades, John’s business interests grew and diversified, but his commitment to NCHM and affordable housing never wavered.
Today, NCHM is stronger than ever, helping to launch and advance the careers of thousands of housing professionals each year. This bright future, for both NCHM and for the many lives it impacts, is owed to its benefactor and friend, John J. Burke, Jr.