LISC National
Who We Are


Kathy Schwab, Executive Director

Greater Cincinnati real estate development veteran Kathy Laker Schwab is the Executive Director of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national non-profit intermediary organization that helps resident-led, community-based development organizations transform distressed communities. Schwab has over 30 years of real estate experience in both the for-profit and non-profit development, where she came to LISC in 2009 from a Real Estate Development position at Al. Neyer, Inc. 

A life-long urban advocate, Schwab became established as a highly visible resource and advocate of downtown by building a wide base of support for Cincinnati’s first Business Improvement District (BID) where she served as Vice President of Residential Development for Downtown Cincinnati Inc. from 1998-2005.  It was in this position that she helped to put together the tools for urban revitalization such as neighborhood revitalization plans which included physical development and a financing mechanism through the Urban Living Loan Fund and pre-development fund to help achieve it.  

She has also directed the formation of two CDCs in Cincinnati, and has served as a development consultant to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardenthe University of Cincinnati3CDC and the Uptown Consortium

Schwab is a graduate of the University of CincinnatiEmail Kathy Schwab.

Kristen Baker, Deputy Director

Kristen Baker, Senior Program Officer, joined LISC of Greater Cincinnati in 2011. Kristen provides leadership on LISC’s comprehensive community development approach, which Cincinnati calls Place Matters. Kristen provides assistance with strategy development, connects neighborhoods to other partners and regional initiatives to help advance their goals, and administers funding. Kristen serves as the local expert for national LISC initiatives such as Financial Opportunity Centers, LISC’s Community Safety Initiative, and Creative Placemaking, bringing national resources to Cincinnati neighborhoods. Finally, Kristen works with other regional organizations to implement a collective impact approach in our neighborhoods to improve outcomes for income, education, and health. Her most important work at LISC is helping neighborhoods build communities by connecting their vision plan to funding sources, technical assistance other neighborhood revitalization efforts. Kristen has a BA in Sociology and Master of Public Administration from the University of Dayton. Email Kristen.

Lisa F. Carson, Program Assistant

Lisa joined LISC in 2007 coming out of a two-year retirement from Anthem, Inc. In her current role, she handles all aspects of our HUD Section 4 funding which includes grant making, reporting and compliance.  She played a role in the quality of life plan in our newest community, the West End serving as staff to the Business Task Force.  She supports office staff with tracking compliance issues.  Lisa enjoys gardening, graphic editing and the NFL. Email Lisa.

Amber David, Small Business Specialist

As the Small Business Specialist at LISC, Amber David manages loan programs to increase access to capital for businesses with limited credit and collateral throughout the Greater Cincinnati region. Amber develops relationships with community leaders, churches, commercial landlords, CDCs, business training programs and accelerators, as well as other institutions to accelerate the flow of capital to minority and low-income businesses and neighborhoods. Prior to joining LISC, Amber worked as an international student recruiter and communications specialist in higher education.  She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from The College of New Jersey and a Master of Community Planning degree from the University of Cincinnati where she focused on economic empowerment and real estate development. Email Amber

Alison Taylor, Place Matters Coordinator

Alison Taylor joined LISC in April 2017 after working for Greater Cincinnati local arts agency ArtsWave. For nearly three years she built ArtsWave’s capacity around cultural planning and community development initiatives, and managed Arts Atlas Cincinnati, an online interactive map of regional arts and cultural resources. Alison has worked with private urban design firms, neighborhood development organizations, and a local public market nonprofit.In her role as Place Matters Coordinator at LISC, she supports LISC Cincinnati’s comprehensive community development program. Alison brings experience in community development and creative placemaking, as well as grants management. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. Email Alison