BRAC Names 2022 Board Chair, Helena Cunningham

National Housing Consulting Services founder and CEO to preside over regional economic development board

Baton Rouge, La. (January 5, 2022) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today announced that Helena Cunningham will serve as chair of the board for the organization in 2022. Cunningham is the Founder and CEO of National Housing Consulting Services (NHCS), a full-service housing development and consulting firm.

“Helena has been a thoughtful and inspiring leader on our board, and we are thrilled to have her elevated to the position of chair,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC. “BRAC will be launching a new, five-year regional strategic plan this year, and Helena embodies the entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to inclusivity, and bold leadership that strategy puts forward for the Capital Region.” 

Under her leadership, NHCS reached impressive milestones that have helped shape the Capital Region’s real estate landscape, including bringing the first affordable housing development to downtown Baton Rouge in 50 years with the 438 Main Street project. Cunningham has directed the rehabilitation and new development of over 3,000 units of multifamily affordable housing in the Gulf Coast region and expanded NHCS relocation services nationwide. Prior to founding NHCS, Cunningham served as President of the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency.

“I am looking forward to working with an exceptionally organized group of business owners and professionals who all seek to help the Greater Baton Rouge Area prosper through strategic economic development,” said Cunningham.

Cunningham succeeds Ralph Bender, CFO of Manship Media, who served as BRAC board chair in 2021.  

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber 

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,500 small businesses, mid-sized firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at    


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