J.S. Rashid, President and CEO of Coconut Grove Collaborative Incorporated, is cited by Coconut Grove Village West Homeowners and Tenants Association as, “a visionary taking an organization that was struggling to survive and re-energized it to the point of being productively engaged in the affairs of the community.” Under [his] guidance, the Collaborative is building affordable housing, contributing measurably to the economic development of Grand Avenue Mercantile area and helping to crystallize a vision for Coconut Grove’s Village West sector.”
He has singularly crafted this agency into a true partnership and collaborative force. Rashid set forth bold and creative initiatives that has resulted in the construction of affordable single family infill homes, 27 car-parking facilities, rehabilitation of a 85 year old Bahamian style “shotgun house” that serves as the Collaborative’s administrative offices and community design center.
Following a five-year advocacy in cooperation with other Grove community groups, Rashid served as official community ombudsman for the revitalization of Grand Avenue’s Streetscape. Rashid at the helm of the Collaborative also initiated:
An $ 8,500,000, Development; Gibson Community and Education Center, a mixed use affordable housing project in collaboration with Theodore R. Gibson Memorial Fund, Pinnacle Housing Group, Miami-Dade College & University of Miami Education School of Education. Located at 3629 Grand Avenue, Coconut Grove FL
A $3,000,000 scattered site, affordable infill single family housing project In collaboration with City of Miami District 2 Commissioner Sarnoff’s office and Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida
A Development plan for an entry-level entrepreneurial program that entails installing 10 retail kiosks along Grand Avenue, the principle retail corridor of Coconut Grove; that will create 20 new jobs.
The most important accomplishment by Rashid has been the development of a strong and diverse board of governance. The Board of Directors for the Collaborative is talented and deep representing of a broad constituency of Coconut Grove. Additionally, he has been able to overcome dissent and infighting that afflicted the community. The partnerships and alliances, with key groups that he formed, serve to sustain the Collaborative’s effort towards fulfilling its mandate.
In his administration, Rashid employs “best practice policies and has committed himself to a course of continuing education; successfully completing the Development Training Institute/Bank of America Leadership Academy, earning certificates from South Florida LISC Community Development Training Institute and is a participant in Knight Program In Community Building symposium.”
Rashid is truly a community development champion, through aggressive outreach, diplomacy, savoir-faire, continuing education innovation and creativity. He has arrayed disparate groups and incongruent concepts, has developed a shared vision and formed collaboration and partnerships to into a most competent force for community revitalization and sustainability in Coconut Grove’s Village West Neighborhood.