A native of Miami, Ralph is passionate about making Miami-Dade County affordable and livable for all. As Director of Urban Design and Neighborhood Revitalization for a large architecture, engineering, and city planning firm for several years, he led numerous public involvement, conflict resolution, and visioning workshops to ensure that urban character, local identity, historic preservation, and infrastructure needs were considered throughout the planning process. He is currently completing a Doctorate in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on Affordable Housing Policy and Neighborhood Revitalization Strategies, and completed a Master of Public Policy & Urban and Regional Planning from Princeton University.
Ralph has run a mid-sized real estate development firm, administering land purchases, financing, design, permitting, construction, and sales of over 200 single-family, multi-family, retail, office, and mixed-use units, primarily for first-time homebuyers. Additionally, he has extensive experience in the research, preparation and administration of private, local, state, and federal grants for infrastructure and capital improvement projects; in that role he has assisted South Florida municipalities in obtaining over $19 million in funding, so that their projects can – at least in part – pay for themselves. Ralph worked for the City of South Miami as the Assistant to the City Manager and was promoted to Director of the South Miami Community Redevelopment Agency, where he managed the daily operations of a nonprofit agency responsible for bringing economic, housing, and recreational development to a low-income redevelopment area.
Ralph, his wife, and their three children are actively involved in their church and with various philanthropic causes.
Director of Community Partnerships
Jessica Burden is SFCDC’s Director of Community Partnerships. In this role, Ms. Burden leads a team providing all aspects of SFCDC’s strategies for collaboration, including organizing group trainings and social events, capacity building services and community engagement opportunities. Ms. Burden is no stranger to the social justice movement, having spent three years as a facilitator of large-scale multicultural and diversity programs at one of the top 15 most popular universities in the nation and one year as a Community Learning Coordinator at Catalyst Miami. These experiences showed her how a handful of diligent workers can make a lasting positive change in a community.
Jessica firmly believes that safe and affordable housing and neighborhood should be a birthright for the citizens of our country. She looks forward to working to ensure the availability of attainable, safe housing and increased economic opportunity for the citizens in Miami-Dade.
Xikun “Bob” Sun
Xikun “Bob” Sun comes to SFCDC from Fujian, China. Mr. Sun is currently a second year graduate student at the University of Miami pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Xikun’s previous experience includes working as a Fujian interpreter, as well as a Clerk at Chiyu Bank in China. As an international student studying in America, Xikun felt the desire to connect to the vibrant South Florida culture and nonprofit community. This led him to SFCDC where he fulfills his mission of helping others. After earning his Masters Xikun plans on pursuing a career as a public servant in the United States and eventually in China as well.