Attah Obande (Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce) Attah Obande as Vice President of Business & Talent Development. Attah serves as a member of the Chamber’s Leadership Team and will be responsible for the strategic direction of the Chamber’s business growth related services and initiatives. He will oversee the talent development, inclusion and business services teams and programs. Attah previously served as the Director of Dream Fulfillment at SpringGR, an entrepreneur development program working to expand the intellectual, social, and financial capital of entrepreneurs with limited access to resources. His role included oversight of the program, business development and business coaching. Attah holds a Bachelor of Arts from Calvin College and a Master of Business Administration from Cornerstone University.
James Malone (Community Capital Management) As chief financial and diversity officer, James is responsible for overseeing the firm’s finance operations and financial reporting as well as establishing policies and opportunities to foster an inclusive, equitable, and supportive work environment. He also spends his time on business development with religious organizations. James joined CCM from Franklin Templeton where he was a vice president for the investment platform division responsible for business development with research platforms across multiple distribution channels. In this role, he generated significant mutual fund platform wins and new sub-advisory mandates with major financial institutions. Prior to this, he was a senior product manager at Putnam Investments responsible for product management of various alternative investments including the THL Partners private equity funds. He began his career as a Certified Public Accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of South Florida. He holds FINRA licenses Series 7 & 63. James received his B.S. in Finance and Accounting from Northeastern University.
Kayti Chung-Williams (Launch NOLA) Kayti Chung-Williams is a social entrepreneur, curator, and coach. She is the Director of Launch NOLA, an entrepreneurial support organization that seeks to equip, empower, and connect entrepreneurs of color. She is also the Founder of Good & Full a social enterprise consultation service and is growing to cultivate more partnerships and strategically building enterprises to break cycles of inequity. Kayti loves to curate unique spaces along with food for deep, impactful conversations around racial equity, faith, and change. She serves on the Leadership Council for St. Roch Community Church in New Orleans.
Andre White (Mitchelville Real Estate Group) – Andre has spent the last seventeen years working on the development of and investment in affordable and market-rate housing in California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and South Carolina. In his current role with Mitchelville Real Estate Group (MREG), he primarily serves as an advisor to for-profit/non-profit organizations and private landowners across the country in the planning, development and acquisition of affordable and market-rate housing along with other real estate asset classes. Prior to starting MREG, André worked as a developer, project manager and consultant on single-family, multi-family, mixed-use, affordable/market-rate housing and master planning projects for for-profit, non-profit and municipal development entities. Prior to real estate, André worked in Investment Banking and Fixed-Income Trading. Mr. White holds a Master of Design Studies in Real Estate with a concentration in development, investment and housing from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from South Carolina State University.
Danielle Burns (Cnote) – Danielle Burns is vice president and head of business development at CNote, a women-led community investment platform. Danielle brings over 25 years of financial industry experience with the last 15 spent at the vanguard of Sustainable, Responsible, Impact (SRI) investing. Danielle is a passionate and experienced financial business development and marketing executive with 20 years of experience in corporate communications, brand management, strategic planning and technology. Her specialties include Impact Investing, ESG, SRI, Women and Millennials, Marketing Management, Business Development, Event Planning, Strategic Development, Licensing/Compensation, and Financial Advisor Training. Danielle has a Bachelor’s degree and MBA from University of Phoenix.
Luke Bobo (Arrabon) Luke is Chief Program Officer of Arrabon, which seeks to cultivate Christian communities to pursue healing and reconciliation in a racially divided world. Previously Luke served as Vice President of Networks and director of strategic partnerships for Made to Flourish, whose mission is to close the gap between Sunday and Monday by empowering a growing network of pastors to better engage, equip, and encourage each other as they integrate a more robust theology of faith, work, and economics into their churches. He is a former director of the Francis Schaeffer Institute at Covenant Theological Seminary and a seasoned educator, having taught at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels. Luke is a former electrical engineer having held process, product, and project engineering positions at Department of Energy and Department of Defense companies. Luke holds a PhD from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis, an M.Div from Covenant Theological Seminary, as well as a Masters degree in electrical engineering from University of Missouri-Columbia and Bachelors degree from University of Kansas.
Benjamin Vazquez (Evangelical Covenant Church) Ben served as Director of Social Enterprise for the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination. A major initiative of Love Mercy Do Justice and the Evangelical Covenant Church, CovEnterprises seeks to empower the church to pursue wholistic community and individual transformation by launching and supporting community-centered social enterprise and economic development initiatives in under-resourced communities and among historically disadvantaged populations.As an accomplished Senior Director of Community Development, Ben has over 15 years of valuable experience in formulating the strategy for powerful and empowering community initiatives and fundraising in the non-profit and for-profit sector. Ben served as founder and president of Urban Mission Chicago and Associate Pastor at New Life Covenant Southeast Church. Ben holds a Bachelor’s degree from Bryan & Stratton College and a Master’s degree from North Park University.
Simao DaSilva (Lead NYC) Simao serves as Director Of Analytics & Strategic Partnerships for LEAD.NYC. LEAD.NYC connects and equips Christian leaders to transform our neighborhoods and city.
Oye Waddell (Hustle PHX) Oye Waddell is the Founder and CEO of Hustle Phoenix, a non-profit organization that exists to equip and catalyze under-served entrepreneurs annually with the intellectual, social and financial capital they need to create sustainable business ventures for the common good. Prior to moving to Phoenix, Oye served as Executive Director of Eternal Sports Outreach in Los Angeles, which sought to empower young athletes to become business and civic leaders. Oye served as a pastor at New City Church and currently serves as pastor of Sojourn Village PHX–a community dedicated to seeking the flourishing of an urban community known as South Phoenix. With this same passion for families, Oye is also the CEO of the Hustle Real Estate Investment Fund which is designed to serve as a pathway to homeownership for low-income individuals, helping to stabilize low-income neighborhoods and bring stability to families. Oye attended the University of Washington on a full athletic football scholarship. He later earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California and a Master of Education from Arizona State University.
Stephen Caviness (Team NEO) Stephen serves as Director of Project Management. Project Management, Site Strategies and Talent of Team NEO, a business development organization focused on accelerating economic growth and job creation throughout Northeast Ohio. Stephen works closely with local economic development partners to attract and retain businesses in Northeast Ohio, resulting in job creation and an increase in capital investment. Most recently Stephen served as Program Officer, Workforce & Social Investments for the Cleveland Foundation where he helped develop strategies for its $150 million social impact investment initiative and oversaw an annual $5 million grantmaking budget supporting grantee partners across the workforce development, entrepreneurship, innovation landscape as well as investing in urban, semi-rural and rural geographies. He holds a Masters of Business Administration Degree in System Management from Baldwin Wallace University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Ecology from The Ohio State University.
Aisha Benson (TruFund Financial Services, Inc.) Aisha Benson is EVP/COO for TruFund Financial Services, a Black-led, non-profit CDFI with 20 years of experience providing affordable loan capital and business advisory services to historically disadvantaged small businesses and non-profits. Aisha is responsible for directing, managing, and integrating multi-disciplined team functions related to the delivery of lending services, tax credit deployment and TA programs across TruFund’s footprint. Prior to TruFund, Ms. Benson served in VP roles in the commercial lending departments of Carver Federal Savings, Banco Popular, and JP Morgan Chase. Aisha has 27 years’ experience deploying capital to Low Income Communities, including acquisition, construction and permanent finance projects. She has deployed $130 million in NMTCs and $175 million of capital to low-income communities, including $75 million in loans to small businesses and non- profits. Based on her vast experience, Ms. Benson serves on several key industry Boards, including Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the NMTC Coalition (Board President) and NY CDFI Coalition (founding member and Board VP). Aisha is a licensed Minister of the Gospel currently serving at Living in Jesus Ministry in Newburgh, NY. Ms. Benson holds a B.A. in Psychology, Cum Laude from Columbia University and a certificate through a Citi/OFN Sponsored Leadership Training Program for CDFI Executives at Wharton University.
Adam Phillips (11 Tribes Ventures) Adam is a Venture Partner with 11Tribes Ventures, an early-stage venture fund with a mission to catalyze the potential of purpose-driven entrepreneurs to promote human flourishing and at Republic.co the equity crowdfunding platform. Adam also serves as Investor-in-Residence for Techstars in the Washington DC-Baltimore area and is the founder of AthletesInnovate. Previously Adam served as Chief of Staff at Entrenuity. He has a B.A. in Psychology from Wheaton College, an M.A. in American History from George Mason University and a Juris Doctorate from George Mason University School of Law.
Yolanda Meraz (Stanislaus Equity Partners CDC) Yolanda Meraz is the Chief Strategy Officer at Stanislaus Equity Partners CDC working to advance collaborative, systemic change to achieve a more resilient and inclusive economy in Stanislaus County. Yolanda is also a member of Inspire Women’s Network of the City Ministry Network whose mission is, motivated by God’s love, to listen to and advocate for the most vulnerable communities, connecting community and sector leaders to work collaboratively for maximum effect, so that all families can thrive.Yolanda has experience in crafting impactful charitable plans for donors and oversees all marketing and digital communications for the Foundation. Yolanda worked as the marketing manager for one of the largest Community Development Financial Institutions in the country. She is a graduate of Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico.
Eric Quan (Telos Ventures) Eric co-founded Telos after being called by God to find a way to integrate his business and pastoral experiences. After starting his career at Accenture, Eric increasingly pursued entrepreneurial opportunities including Advertising.com, Quintessential Realty, and The Quan Group. Eric’s most recent role prior to founding Telos was as the Campus Director of Menlo Church San Mateo where he lead the staff team and congregation with a combination of pastoral and executive responsibilities. Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Sociology from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at University of California at Berkeley.
Vatreisha Nyemba (Building Hope in the City) Vatreisha Nyemba serves as Leader and Community Development Director for Building Hope in the City. Vatreisha oversees the organization’s community development and urban ministry leadership efforts for the Cleveland organization whose mission is to advance the good of the city, magnify the mission of Jesus and unleash the capability of underestimated people. Vatreisha has her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Business Management from Kentucky State University, her Master’s in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management Cleveland State University, and holds a Doctorate in Transformational Leadership from Bakke Graduate University.
Vatreisha is passionate about advancing the capacity and effectiveness of nonprofits and faith based organizations. She especially feels called to equip urban ministry leaders and congregations to be transformational leaders to impact individuals, families, and communities. Currently, Vateisha lives in the Cleveland area with her two daughters.
Ethan Daly (Partners Worldwide) Ethan Daly is Director for the US Region of Partners Worldwide. Partners Worldwide partner with locally-led organizations to support business growth and job creation so that people may be equipped to lift themselves and their families and communities out of poverty for good. Their goal is to create a world without poverty where all can flourish as God intended. Previously Ethan served as co-founder of Sunshine Enterprises in Chicago and Managing Director of Communications and Development for Sunshine Gospel Ministries. Ethan has a Bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a Business Administration and Management degree from North Park University.
Bryan Franklin (LISC) Bryan Franklin is Program Officer for LISC DC and leads development activities, and supports in a range of community development responsibilities for LISC DC. Previously Bryan served as Director of U.S. Programs for PeacePlayers, which use the power of sport to unite, educate and inspire young people to create a more peaceful world. From 2011 – 2013, Bryan served an Americorps Vista member at Rising Tide Capital in New Jersey. Bryan graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology.. He is also currently pursuing his Masters of Divinity Degree and over the long term hopes to work with faith communities around better engaging in the communities of which they are a part.
Chuck Redmond (Trident) Chuck Redmond is director of strategy for TRIDENT, a private equity firm which uses data and technology to invest in small businesses and provide equitable access to the American Dream. Prior to joining TRIDENT, Chuck was the Vice President of Finance and Operations at Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP), a venture capital-style philanthropic organization based in Washington, D.C. investing in high-performing nonprofit organizations focused on children and youth. Chuck began his career working as a consultant at McKinsey & Company where he supported clients on a range of topics from corporate finance to organizational health. While at McKinsey, Chuck co-founded the D.C. Social Impact Group which provides pro bono consulting services to nonprofits and social enterprises in the Greater Washington, D.C. area. He continues to serve as an advisor to nonprofits and social enterprises on an ad hoc basis. He is a trustee of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. Chuck holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Science in International Business and Finance from the University of South Carolina.
Jeffrey Wright (Urban Ministries, Inc.) Jeff Wright is the CEO of UMI, the largest independent African-American Christian media and publishing company producing magazines, books, curriculum, video, audio and digital media content for churches nationally. UMI products have been used by more than 40,000 churches and a dozen religious denominations in its 50-plus year history. Prior, Jeff was in the consumer products and healthcare industries working for two Fortune 50 companies, Bristol Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson (where he was a winner of the Johnson & Johnson Leadership Award). He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Fisk University, a JD degree from Georgetown University Law School and an MBA in Finance and International Business from Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
Frank Robinson (Econsult Solutions) Frank Robinson is a Director with Econsult Solutions. Mr. Robinson has been a leader in the economic development and sustainable development industries for over 18 years, working with corporate, government and nonprofit clients, banks and credit unions, as well as community development financial institutions (CDFI) and small businesses. Mr. Robinson has extensive experience articulating primary objectives for strategic plans, pursuing federal grant opportunities, construction management, business expansion and sustainability planning, and launching new programs. Prior to joining ESI, Mr. Robinson worked at Kairos Development Group as a managing partner. His responsibilities focused on executing diverse projects that benefit disadvantaged populations and assisting government & private entities in pursuing social good. Before that, he was the Director of Entrepreneurship and Resource Development at People for People. Mr. Robinson is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University with a degree in Political Science. He also has an MBA with a focus on Economic Development from Eastern University and a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary. He holds several certifications including one in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Management & Development and another on Faith-Based Initiatives.
Shana Berkeley (Corner to Corner) Shana is Executive Director of Corner to Corner. Corner to Corner is committed to seeing Nashville neighbors flourish through educational and economic equity, grounded in the love of Christ. Shana leads a variety of creative and proven programs that foster the flourishing of the Nashville community including The Academy, a 10-week program that helps neighbors turn their business dreams into money-making realities. Shana was born and raised in Atlanta, GA, and went on to attend Vanderbilt University and receive her Juris Doctorate from Belmont University College of Law.
Edmond M. Williams (Dominion Air, Inc.) Edmond Williams is Co-Owner of Dominion Air, Inc. and Co-Founder/COO of 180 Construction & Community Development Alliance, LLC. He has over 35 years of progressive experience as a leader in banking, real estate, accounting, tax law, finance, community development and business management roles in non-profit, private industry and governmental sectors. His prior employment positions include Managing Director of Finance for The Potter’s House International Ministries, Vice President of Operations for a historic 120 year old organization serving homeless Veterans, Chief Financial Officer for a community mental health center and Commercial Mortgage Loan Specialist for a faith-based federal charted credit union. Edmond earned his Master of Public Administration from Barry University in Miami FL and Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance and Banking from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, FL.
BJ Stewart (Urban Impact Seattle) – B.J. is currently Chief Operations Officer for Urban Impact. Urban Impact’s overall vision for its support of small businesses in Seattle’s under-resourced communities is transforming entrepreneurs so they can transform the communities where they work and live. Prior to joining Urban Impact, B.J. was a restaurant franchisee and owned a staffing agency. B.J. spent more than 10 years in consulting/public accounting with PriceWaterhouseCoopers. B.J. has an MBA from the University of Colorado Boulder and Bachelor of Business Administration from Michigan State University.