C-W Interview

Eric Weaver

Executive Director of Lenders for Community Development (soon to be Opportunity Fund), a community development financial institution based in San Jose, California. Since its formation in 1993, Lenders for Community Development has disbursed over $5.6 million to more than 2,300 savers through its individual development account (IDA) program, the nation's largest. The group has also made over 600 loans worth over $8 million to support local microenterprise and has directed over $115 million in community investment into affordable housing and community facilities. Read more about Eric Weaver...

John Logue

John Logue is Founder and Executive Director of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, based at Kent State University. Over its first 20 years has helped more than 81 companies became partly or wholly employee owned, creating 14,685 new employee owners. Follow-up research on data through 2003 for 49 of these firms found that they had created $349 million in equity for their employee owners. interview-logue.doc Read more about John Logue...

Rodney North

Rodney North has been a worker-owner of Equal Exchange for over a dozen years, where he serves as "the Answer Man" responsible for public relations and Vice Chair of its Board of Directors. The Massachusetts-based cooperative has 80 worker-owners and $34 million in annual sales, making it among the nation's leading worker co-ops. In this C-W.org Interview, North discusses the group's unusual funding model, its relations with consumer and agricultural co-ops, and current challenges faced by worker co-ops in the United States. Read more about Rodney North...

Ramón León

Ramón León is the founding Executive Director of Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), a nonprofit organization serving the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The group was founded by Latino community development leaders and is dedicated to creating economic opportunity for Latinos. Prior to joining LEDC, Mr. León was the founding President of Mercado Central, which today is a thriving marketplace with 47 businesses, with the market itself owned by the vendors as a cooperative. In this C-W.org Interview, León discusses the group's business development model as well as broader issues facing asset builders in the nation's growing Latino community. Read more about Ramón León...

Mark Pinksy

Mark Pinsky is CEO of Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) a position he has held since 1995. OFN is the nation's leading trade association of community development financial institutions. Through 2007, OFN members had originated more than $19.8 billion in financing in underserved urban, rural, and Native communities. In this C-W.org Interview, Pinsky discusses the state of community development finance, the movement's vision and policy initiatives, and current challenges faced by CDFIs in this period of economic crisis. Read more about Mark Pinksy...

Dan Kildee

Dan Kildee has been Treasurer of Genesee County of Michigan since 1997. He is the Founder and CEO of the Genesee Land Bank - Michigan's first land bank - and is President of the Genesee Institute, a research and training institute focusing on smart growth, urban land reform, and land banking. In this C-W.org Interview, Kildees discusses the state of the economy in his hometown of Flint, the state of land banking in the United States, land banking policy objectives, and current challenges faced by reclamation activists operating in the context of the nation's record wave of foreclosures. Read more about Dan Kildee...

Steven McCullough

The twelfth interview in our continuing series of conversations with community wealth-building leaders, this edition we feature Steven McCullough, CEO of Bethel New Life, one of the nation's leading community development corporations, based in the West Garfield neighborhood of Chicago. In this interview, McCullough talks about community development corporations, transit-oriented development, green building, and the challenges facing community wealth builders in the current economic recession. Read more about Steven McCullough...

Hilary Abell

Hilary Abell has served at Executive Director of Women's Action to Gain Economic Security (WAGES), an incubator of green housecleaning worker co-ops in the San Francisco Bay Area, since 2003. At present, the WAGES network includes five worker co-ops that provide living wages and business ownership for their largely Latina workforce of 85 worker-owners. WAGES is also working to expand the model beyond the Bay Area. In this C-W.org Interview, Abell discusses the challenges of putting the principles of worker ownership into practice and efforts underway to expand the WAGES model beyond its northern California base. Read more about Hilary Abell...

Brenda Palms Barber

Brenda Palms Barber is Founding Executive Director (since 1999) and CEO of the North Lawndale Employment Network (NLEN), a workforce development nonprofit agency that focuses on helping former offenders reintegrate to the workplace. In 2004, NLEN launched a social enterprise called Sweet Beginnings, an urban honey farming and natural skin care manufacturing business that trains and employs former offenders and others with significant barriers to employment. The recidivism rate for former Sweet Beginnings employees is four percent, compared to the national average of 65 percent. In this C-W.org Interview. Barber discusses the community impact of North Lawndale's large former offender population, the development of the social enterprise, the promise of green jobs, and the challenge of spreading the model to other cities.

Melissa Hoover

Melissa Hoover, Founding Executive Director of the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives, discusses the state of the worker cooperative movement in this wide-ranging C-W.org Interview. Among the topics covered: the challenges of building a member-financed trade association, the growing diversity within the movement, the search for ways to fill capital gaps, and the challenges of developing democratic workplaces in an economy dominated by non-democratic ownership forms.

John Taylor

This edition, John Taylor, founding president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), talks about the history of the Community Reinvestment Act, prospects for its expansion, and a wide range of issues concerning wealth building and preservation efforts in the nation's low-income communities.

Lisa Hagerman

Lisa Hagerman of More for Mission talks about the growing movement within philanthropy to engage in mission-related investing, which involves tapping into the corpus of endowments and making sure that foundation investments align with the mission of their grant-funded work.

John Emmeus Davis

John Emmeus Davis, Founding Principal of Burlington Associates and dean of the Academy of the National Community Land Trust Network discusses the history and present state of the community land trust movement in this wide-ranging C-W.org Interview. Among the topics covered: the origins of the movement in civil rights activism, the sector’s rapid growth, innovation within the community land trust, and the challenges of remaining true to the movement’s community roots as governments take on a larger role in promoting community land trusts across the country and beyond.

Bernie Mazyck

Bernie Mazyck, Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations and Chair of the Board of the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA), discusses the history and present state of the community development movement in this wide-ranging Community-Wealth.org Interview. Among the topics covered: the challenges of CDC organizing in the South, changes in the focus of the CDC movement toward more comprehensive community development, and how movement leaders are responding to the impending threat of federal cutbacks.

Carla Javits

In this edition, Carla Javits, President of the San Francisco-based social enterprise accelerator REDF, discusses the impact of REDF’s national Social Innovation Fund award, the organization’s efforts to expand its scale and begin to operate throughout California, and the history and present state of the social enterprise movement in this wide-ranging Community-Wealth.org interview.

Paul Hazen

In this edition, Paul Hazen, Executive Director of the U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council, discusses his passion for co-ops, his time and achievements during his tenure at NCBA, and the possibilities for the cooperative movement in 2012, the International Year of the Cooperative, and beyond.