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, Deputy Director, 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.

Taren Kinebrew, Program Officer

Taren, Program Officer, joined LISC of Greater Cincinnati in 2020. Taren provides support to the Cincinnati Access Fund, our small business lending program focused on women and entrepreneurs of color. As an entrepreneur herself, Taren brings a wealth of expertise to our team. 

Taren is the Founder & CEO of Sweet Petit Desserts, a successful bakery in Cincinnati, OH. She is an U.S. Army Veteran and a visionary leader who opened her specialty bakery in 2008 by combining her 10+ years of corporate business experience with her love for baking. She is a 3rd generation baker who believes in pouring into the youth, through her Junior Baking Series, to provide them a platform to become future entrepreneurs. As an inspirational speaker, Taren also inspires women entrepreneurs to push past their FEAR to live their best life. Email Taren


Cali Khakoo, Program Officer

 Cali Khakoo, Program Officer, joined LISC of Greater Cincinnati in 2020, returning to the city from Upstate New York, where she worked in community development at the City of Syracuse. Cali works to support housing development and related initiatives at LISC. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Cincinnati and a Master’s degree in Urban Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design and previously served as an AmeriCorps member in school-based health in Cincinnati. Email Cali.