LISC National
About Us

Our Staff

Michael K. Clarke, Executive Director

Michael Clarke joined the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in 1998 as Executive Director in the Buffalo office. Under his leadership, Buffalo LISC has invested more than $99 million in our City, with over $198 million leveraged, resulting in 1,690 new homes and over 330,000 square feet of redeveloped commercial space.

Prior to joining LISC, Michael was a Mortgage Officer for the Community Preservation Corporation, a not-for-profit real estate lender, which specializes in financing housing affordable for low and moderate-income households. He also was Executive Director at the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, Capital Programs Manager at the NY Division of Housing and Community Renewal and Executive Director at Kensington-Bailey Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Email Michael

Monique Sullivan James, Assistant Program Officer

Monique Sullivan James has been a LISC employee since its opening of the Buffalo office in 1998. She has a diverse background of financial and administrative experience in the private sector and more than twenty years’ experience working with the nonprofit sector and government compliance.

Monique provides technical assistance and support to our grantees ensuring timely completion of project and program deadlines, and reporting requirements. She is instrumental to the efficient management of the Buffalo office, overseeing all office management and supporting the Executive Director and staff with various day to day assignments and long term projects.

Prior to joining LISC, Monique was employed with the City of Buffalo’s Treasury Department. She began her community service at Kensington-Bailey Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. as an AmeriCorps VISTA member providing homebuyer education and credit repair services to first time homebuyers. She also served as AmeriCorps VISTA Supervisor and Community Loan Officer for Kensington-Bailey Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Email Monique.

Johanna Walczyk, Program Officer

Johanna Walczyk joined Buffalo LISC as a Program Officer in late 2014. She is responsible for assisting local partners with technical assistance and strategic support on both Buffalo-wide and neighborhood specific issues ranging from commercial corridor revitalization tactics to construction lending for community facilities to resident engagement as part of a neighborhood development approaches. She contributes to Buffalo LISC’s overall program implementation and advocacy strategy and coordinates Buffalo LISC’s annual events.

Prior to joining LISC, Johanna worked at the Supportive Housing Network of New York (the Network) in New York City. There she provided policy analysis, technical assistance, and advocacy related to homeless and affordable housing development and multi-family energy efficiency improvements on behalf of the Network’s 220 nonprofit members.

Johanna holds a Master’s of Science in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from the New School University where she served as a Teaching Assistant on client-based policy analysis projects. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies with concentrations in Studio Arts and in History from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a proud alumnus of the Buffalo Public Schools system. Email Johanna.

Sarah Maurer, Program Assistant

Sarah Maurer joined LISC Buffalo as a Program Assistant in May 2016. She is responsible for all communications related tasks, including social media, website development, email marketing and assisting with events and fundraising.

Sarah brings a range of writing experiences and community involvement from her roles as a copywriter for The Buffalo News, writer for online magazine Buffalo Rising, and communications specialist for the Partnership for the Public Good. Before joining the team at LISC, Sarah worked for the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY as property manager in their housing department, assisting low-income individuals and families with securing affordable housing in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood. Sarah also served in the Americorps Opportunity Corps program, providing financial literacy outreach to adults and youth in the City of Buffalo.

Sarah received her B.A. in Communications Studies from Canisius College in Buffalo. In her spare time, she volunteers as a project coordinator for Artfarms Buffalo, an initiative working to transform vacant lots on Buffalo’s East Side into hubs of positive activity bolstered by art, locally grown food, and community programming. Email Sarah.

Royce Woods, Loan Officer

Royce Woods joined Buffalo LISC as a Loan Officer in January 2018. Royce comes to LISC with a diverse background in real estate finance, having spent nearly a decade working in the private, non-profit, and public sectors. Royce's expertise will be essential to shaping our emerging economic development agenda. 

Prior to joining the team at LISC, Royce worked for the City of Buffalo as a Commercial Real Estate Financial Analyst, where he was responsible for completing the financial analysis and feasibility assessment of the City’s major real estate development projects. He also monitored the City’s lending and economic development programs and served as a liaison to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency.

Royce’s previous experience in lending includes working as the Senior Loan Officer for Bridgeway Capital, Inc. in Pittsburgh, Vice President of Commercial Lending for First Citizens Bank & Trust, Inc. in Atlanta, and Assistant Vice President for Commercial Banking for PNC Financial Services, Inc. in Atlanta.

Royce obtained his undergraduate degree in Finance from Hampton University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. He is certified in Relationship Management and Corporate Credit Training, and participated in Leadership Pittsburgh’s Leadership Development Initiative. Email Royce.