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On January 31st, LISC NYC was delighted to host 400 guests at the Big Apple 2020 Innovation Awards in celebration of honorees Morgan Stanley and Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association. See photos here.
Joan Tally, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley’s Community Development Finance Group and Chair of LISC NYC’s Local Advisory Committee (LAC), kicked off the night by thanking the Host Committee for their fundraising assistance and LAC members for their support of LISC NYC’s mission.
LISC NYC Interim Executive Director Eva Neubauer Alligood highlighted how this year’s honorees illustrate the theme of resilient partnerships: “Community development partnerships have enabled grassroots organizations like Banana Kelly to deploy capital provided by corporate entities like Morgan Stanley in places that have historically been starved for resources, investments and opportunities.” Read Eva's blog post reflecting on the future of community development here.
LISC President and CEO Maurice Jones presented the Corporate Partner Award to Morgan Stanley and recognized them for their commitment to community: “Not only has Morgan Stanley been a partner that invests money, but it has been a thought partner for us, a champion of the work we do, and shares the values that we put to work every day helping low and moderate income communities achieve economic mobility.” Jones thanked Morgan Stanley for their partnership and their substantial financial investment in LISC's work, including underwriting LISC’s $100 million Sustainability Bond, deploying over $1.3 billion in tax credit investment with LISC’s affiliate the National Equity Fund, and providing $5 million in grants.
President of Morgan Stanley Private Bank and Morgan Stanley Bank Eric Heaton accepted the award on behalf of Morgan Stanley and described their dedication to providing financial solutions that strengthen communities: "At Morgan Stanley we seek to provide long term sustainable funding solutions that strengthen communities, protect the environment and help low income communities thrive.” He also noted the importance of working with partners like LISC who are rooted in communities.
NYC Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Phil Thompson presented the Community Partner Award to Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association, paying tribute to the organization’s work over the past four decades. He highlighted the legacy of disinvestment in the South Bronx and paid tribute to the organization’s extraordinary track record of fighting for the economic empowerment of community residents: ”Banana Kelly not only serves residents in their buildings, they have inspired communities all over the city, and the nation, to be fighters, innovators, builders and most of all, masters of their own destiny.”
Special Advisor/ President Emeritus Harry DeRienzo and President & CEO Hope Burgess accepted the award on behalf of Banana Kelly. Harry DeRienzo spoke about the remarkable path that Hope Burgess took from intern to current President & CEO, crediting her leadership, skills and dedication: “Of everybody that walks through our doors, there’s not one person that Hope cannot identify with in some way. This helps make the community a better place and realizes our dream that Banana Kelly be governed by, responsive to and accountable to the people we serve.” Hope Burgess shared her vision for Banana Kelly’s work going forward and her commitment to putting the needs of the people in her community first: “Our strength is in resident and community input and showing that we always keep the needs of the community first and foremost.”
Eva closed the program by congratulating the honorees, acknowledging the contributions of the LISC NYC team, thanking all the Big Apple 2020 sponsors and attendees, and encouraging everyone to enjoy the music by Bobby Sanabria & Quarteto Aché.