Executive Staff & Board of Commissioners

Jelani Garrett, Executive Director 


Jelani has more than 20 years of experience in the field of affordable housing and community development. He has worked on projects totaling more than $275 million in investments and has experience in all aspects of the planning and implementation of affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization initiatives. He has demonstrated exceptional abilities in the areas of strategic planning, consensus building and project management. Jelani also has extensive property management and public housing program administration experience, serving as a Deputy Executive Director at two separate large New Jersey Public Housing Authorities. As a result of his experience Jelani brings a comprehensive knowledge of public housing administration and redevelopment. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Rutgers University, New Brunswick and a Master of Business Administration from Rutgers University, School of Business, Camden.

Board of Commissioners  

John C. Raines, Chairman


Commissioner John C. Raines, a native and life-long resident of Trenton, NJ, attended Rider University in Lawrence, NJ, and Bentley College in Waltham, MA, as an accounting major. Mr. Raines is currently the Deputy Director of Operations for the Mercer County One-Stop Career Center in Trenton, NJ. In this capacity, he is responsible for procurement, human resources, customer relations and contract management. His previous experiences have included working with IBM, a leading Fortune 500 computer corporation, in addition to having worked as a manager in the hospitality industry. John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen,” and Mr. Raines makes things happen by utilizing his knowledge, skills and abilities effectively, leveraging his relationships and doing the hard work that is required to be successful in any endeavor.

Mr. Raines has served as an active member of the Democratic Party for 34 years. In 2000, he was appointed to be the Committee Person in West 11. Mr. Raines is an Ordained Deacon at Union Baptist Church. He is the proud Uncle of nine nieces and nephews. He is a dedicated worker, faithful friend and a humble servant who proudly serves his community and family.Mr. Raines has been on the THA Board of Commissioners since 2014 and was elected to the position of Chairperson in 2015.

Darlene Weldon, Vice-Chairperson   
Commissioner Weldon is a native of Jersey City, NJ.  She is a graduate of Ferris High School of Jersey City and earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Data Processing from Hudson County Community College. 
Commissioner Weldon is a long-time resident of the Trenton Housing Authority.  She is an advocate for safe, decent and sanitary housing for all residents of the Housing Authority.  She holds a special affinity for the children of the public housing community and works untiringly to ensure a safe, nurturing environment for them. Commissioner Weldon has been very active in civic and community organizations.  She has volunteered with Lifeline under Reverend Alice Parker and with the former director Alma Hill, of the LIFT Program (Looking into the Future Together). The City Council of Trenton appointed Commissioner Weldon to the Board of Commissioners in 1999.  Since that time her colleagues have elected her Vice-Chairperson of the Board, three consecutive terms. She is married to Harry A. Gordon and they are the parents of two children. 
Gary Gentry, Commissioner
Chairperson Gary Gentry, a native of Trenton, graduated from Cathedral High School in 1969.  Following his graduation, he joined the family business, Gentry Fuel and a few years later joined the United States Navy. He was active in the Navy for three years and remained in the reserves for six more years. After leaving the Navy he returned to the family business for a short period of time.  Mr. Gentry then started his own business, G & B Heating and Repair and in 2000 he opened the Galley Restaurant here in Trenton. Mr Gentry is currently self-employed as a public adjuster.  Mr. Gentry has been a member of the THA Board of Commissioners since 2007 and held the position of Chairperson from 2010-2015.  
William Fitzgerald Jr, Commissioner       
Commissioner Fitzgerald is native born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey.  He graduated from Trenton public schools and attended Associate Business Careers were he graduated with certificates in Accounting and Computer operations. Following graduation, he managed the family business “Fitzgerald’s Deli “, as well as, owning a franchised Jani-King commercial cleaning.  He also owned a photography business and has worked as a senior marketing representative for Spectracide.
Mr. Fitzgerald is presently working as an energy consultant with several energy service companies, as well as, solar companies, bringing renewable energy to various businesses and municipalities.  He is a community activist that works with several Community Police Advisory Committees and Civic Associations.  He is sergeant of arms with the Trenton Council of Civic Associations and was voted in as Northward District #4 Committee-man. Mr. Fitzgerald is a member of Union Baptist Church and believes through GOD all things are possible.  He has one son Julian Fitzgerald.

Kim Y. Taylor, Commissioner 
Kim Taylor, a native of Trenton, attended and graduated Trenton Public schools. She obtained an Associate in Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) from Mercer County Community College and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Business Administration/Global Leadership with a Minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from New Jersey City University. Ms. Taylor is also pursuing a graduate degree from Boston University. Commissioner Taylor was appointed by Governor Chris Christie on August 8, 2011 to the Trenton Housing Authority Board.
Ms. Taylor has more than 20 years of experience in public finance and fiscal management. She presently works for the County of Hunterdon in the Department of Finance. Ms. Taylor is and has been involved in the community through many different community volunteer efforts. “I believe that if one is in a position to make a positive difference in the lives of others then you must do so by paying it forward. We might not admit it, but we all got to where we are by someone helping us”.
Ms. Taylor is an elected Trustee of the Liberty Green Homeowner Association, an appointed member of the Lawrence Township Planning Board, Rent Stabilization Board, and member of Eggerts Crossing Civic League, appointed liaison with Mercer Vicinage Advisory Committee on Minority Concerns and Local 1036 Civil Rights and Equity Committee. Ms. Taylor is a former volunteer with Juvenile Conference Committee and Child Placement Review Board of the Superior Court of New Jersey; Chair, of the Lawrence Township Affordable Housing Board, appointed liaison with the Lawrence Alcohol and Drug Alliance, Growth and Redevelopment Committee and is co-founder of TAYBUR Strategic Management. Ms. Taylor is in her third term as an elected Committeewoman District 16 (R-Lawrence Township) and a former Municipal Chairwoman (R-Lawrence Township). She is a member of The National Federation of Republican Woman, League of Women Voters and New Jersey State League of Municipalities. Ms. Taylor is active in the community at the State, County and Municipal levels working in partnerships across party lines on a regular basis and on a broad range of shared political, social and civic concerns.  Ms. Taylor and her family reside in Lawrence Township, NJ and are active members of the Church of Saint Ann, Lawrenceville, NJ and the Diocese of Trenton.
Jessie Caine Tossie, Commissioner   
Mrs. Tossie attended Tuskegee University earning a degree in Elementary Education and Social Studies.  Later she enrolled at Florida State University where she was awarded a Master’s Degree in School Administration.  Mrs. Tossie holds memberships in several state and national education organizations.  She was a teacher at several elementary schools in the Trenton districts before becoming Assistant Principal at Trenton Central High School.  She retired in 2001 completing many years as an educator. Mrs. Tossie believes that all children are entitled to the best education the community can afford.  Jessie and friends cofounded a special school to provide students with the opportunity to pursue their dreams.  Two of her favorite organizations are the NAACP and the West Ward Neighborhood Group where she serves as President.  Jessie is the mother of two children and five grandchildren.   

Shenette Y. Gray, Commissioner

Mrs. Gray, a resident of Trenton and passionate advocate for urban youth, comes to Isles with more than 10 years of administrative and leadership experience in education. Most recently, Mrs. Gray served as Principal of the Daylight Twilight High School in Trenton, where she successfully created community partnerships and implemented innovative programs that increased student engagement and learning as well as attendance and graduation rates.  Prior to that role, Mrs. Gray worked as Principal of Newark Bridges High School in Newark, NJ, School Leader of Capital Preparatory Charter High School in Trenton, and Principal of Emily Fisher Charter School in Trenton.  She started her career with Teach for America in Washington, DC and went on to earn her NJ School Principal Certification.  After receiving a degree in Accounting from Hampton University and her MBA from the University of Maryland, she completed the Harvard University Urban School Leadership Institute program. Mrs. Gray is and has been an active member of the Trenton community.  She is currently a Board member of the I Am Trenton Community Foundation, a Commissioner for the Trenton Housing Authority, and a member of Shiloh Baptist Church.