- Leadership Q&A
- Year in Review
- Year in Numbers
- Our Partners
Though LISC celebrated 40 years of catalytic community development in 2019, we spent just as much time looking forward as we did looking back. At the outset of the year, we launched an ambitious expansion plan to deliver capital, technical assistance and policy support to an ever-growing range of communities, especially in the South where more communities are experiencing the growth of concentrated poverty than anywhere else in the country. Because of that, we have opened new full-service program offices in Charlotte, Atlanta, Upstate South Carolina and Hampton Roads, Va.
We likewise extended the reach of our Rural LISC work, with four new partners working across Wyoming, Delaware and Illinois. Rural investments have long been a critical part of our efforts, culminating in the new LISC Rural Promise, an initiative to make sure 20 percent of our impact is focused on farming communities, coal country and other small towns by 2023—places that 20 percent of U.S. residents call home, but that are often overlooked for investment.
LISC welcomed a remarkable lineup of new staff members in 2019 to drive our work around the country. Annie Donovan, who formerly led the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund, joined LISC as chief operating officer, helping advance key strategies, partnerships and initiatives. Matt Reilein brought his extensive experience to the helm of our housing investment affiliate, National Equity Fund, Inc., replacing longtime CEO Joe Hagan and continuing NEF’s string of record annual results.
At the local level, new executive directors brought their own brand of energy and insight to LISC’s overarching efforts. Former county executive Peter McLaughlin stepped up as the new ED at LISC Twin Cities; former Congressional aide Geoff Jolley took over as the new ED at LISC Kansas City; and Ramon Jacobson, longtime LISC program leader in Washington, D.C., was named ED at DC LISC, succeeding community development icon Oramenta Newsome, who passed away in 2018. Our new program offices likewise attracted some of the most talented local leaders in community development, including Ralphine Caldwell (LISC Charlotte), Dale Royal (LISC Atlanta), Julie Franklin (LISC Upstate SC) and Christine Morris (LISC Hampton Roads).
LISC’s record 2019 activity and ongoing expansion flow from our four decades of work to fuel affordable housing, economic development, health, safety, education and jobs in thousands of communities across the country. Last April, we celebrated our 40-year milestone at an anniversary gala with more than 700 friends and colleagues, where we honored LISC’s ground-breaking partners and recognized 20 years of service from LISC Chairman Robert Rubin.
“Whether in cities or rural communities, LISC is there—always helping more people share in America’s progress and making them believe that tomorrow can be better than yesterday,” said former president Bill Clinton, in a tribute video at the event.
Special guests and speakers included New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, former Vice President Walter Mondale, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Barbara Palms-Barber, executive director of the North Lawndale Employment Network—all contributing to the important conversation about the value of community investing and the ongoing impact of LISC.
“Ultimately, our passion is to partner with individuals to help them transform their lives and the communities where they live, work and raise families,” said LISC President and CEO Maurice A. Jones. “That’s what we do every day.”