2009 Professional Achievement Award
Christopher Gulotta, Esq. ’76
When Chris Gulotta ’76 took the
helm of the Cumberland County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (CCHRA) in
1980, the organization had just seven staff positions, two of which were
vacant. Today, the CCHRA has 61 employees and a $15 million annual budget.
Gulotta fell in love with urban
redevelopment early in his Dickinson career, when he took a course, The City,
with Donald Flaherty, professor of political science. “I became immersed in
city planning and urban studies,” he recalls. “I became a newspaper clipper—cutting out everything about
Gulotta developed his own major,
urban studies, which drew from political science, economics and sociology. He
took extra courses to finish a semester early, yet still found time to be a
resident advisor for three years. After graduation, he began law school, took a
year off to complete a master’s in urban and regional planning at Pennsylvania
State University, and then returned to complete his J.D. at Dickinson School of
Law in 1980.
“I made a decision after I passed
the bar in 1980 that I wanted to go into public service,” he says. “When this
job [of executive director] opened up, I jumped at it.”
The mission of the CCHRA fit his
interests perfectly, and he set out to create what he calls a full-service
“We work with businesses
interested in getting financing, buying the building and starting a shop,” he
explains. “We work with developers interested in developing housing and
storefronts [and] with municipalities on infrastructure and streetscape
projects that complement business development as well as housing. That’s really
the key—it’s holistic.”
Gulotta also nurtured a
relationship between Dickinson and Carlisle. CCHRA worked with the college to
help finance the downtown hotel, provide technical assistance on home-buying
incentives in revitalized neighborhoods and develop a blueprint for future
His focus on collaborative efforts
has led to the creation of nonprofits that are key to housing and business
throughout the area, including the Carlisle Housing Opportunities Corp.,
Cumberland/Perry Housing Initiatives, Cumberland Senior Housing Associates and
Hope Station Neighborhood Council.
Gulotta also is board vice
president for the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania and serves on statewide
homeless and housing advisory boards. He has served on the boards of Carlisle
Area United Way, Murata Business Center and Harrisburg Area Community College.
Gulotta lives in Carlisle with
wife Candy, who teaches sixth grade in the Carlisle Area School District.
Daughter Jackie recently completed graduate studies at New York University, and
daughter MaryAnn is a sophomore at Rutgers University.