National Coalition of Promise Zones partners with federal agencies in response to COVID-19 crisis
The National Coalition of Promise Zones (NCPZ) partnered with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Liaisons to host the inaugural National Coalition of Promise Zones 2020 Federal Convening, a series of 16 virtual presentations from federal agencies, change agents, and community leaders. The presenters shared information about federal and non-federal funding, resources, and opportunities for place-based collective community development. A wide range of topics were covered. (The list of the presentation titles, YouTube links to the recordings, presenters, and moderators follow below.)
The presentations were attended by a total of 1,396 attendees from across the country, Promise Zone leaders of community-based organizations (CBO), businesses, school districts, colleges/universities, elected officials, and other leaders. An average of over 87 attendees joined each presentation to learn about federal and non-federal programs and efforts that have positively impacted low-to-moderate income (LMI) communities in housing, health, education, job creation, economic development, sustainably built communities, and more. Many of the presentations focused on COVID-19 pandemic resiliency and recovery. HUD Community Liaisons moderated the presentation sessions to provide transition between presentation topics, presenter panelists, and facilitate Q&A opportunities between the attendees and presenters. Each presentation’s goal was to educate and empower Promise Zone leaders on available resources and their use for impacting communities.
The sessions were recorded to provide ongoing opportunities for individuals, organizations, and communities to benefit from the information shared. Respective Promise Zones may assist those individuals, organizations and communities by connecting them to federal agency representatives and other partners. Promise Zones support efforts to identify and pursue federal and non-federal funding opportunities that may change outcomes in LMI communities.
National Coalition of Promise Zones is a volunteer group of organizations from around the country who are focused on Place-Based Collective Community Development. More information about the National Coalition of Promise Zones and links to each member’s respective websites may be found at www.ncpz.org
You can view the video recordings of the presentations on the Sacramento Promise Zone (SPZ) Facebook page in the ‘videos’ section of the SPZ page or on the Sacramento Promise Zone YouTube Channel.
List of Presenters
in order of alphabetical last names
Small Business Program Administrator, Indiana SBDC
Morgan Allen is the Small Business Program Administrator for the Indiana SBDC. In this role, Morgan oversees programs and operations of 10 SBDC offices which provide technical assistance to Hoosier entrepreneurs and small businesses across the state. Morgan previously served as Administrative Coordinator for the City of Bloomington Office of the Mayor where she assisted with project management, communications, and policy development. She graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with a degree in International Studies and Political Science. Morgan was raised in Crawfordsville, IN and currently resides in Greenwood, IN with her husband and their dogs.
Promise Zone Coordinator, Sacramento Housing & Redevelopment Agency
Julius Austin is the Sacramento Promise Zone Coordinator and directs the daily operations of the Sacramento Promise Zone. Mr. Austin has almost two decades of experience in the education field and the non-profit sector. He has specialized in cross sector collaboration and placed based initiatives. Julius is passionate about work that allows him to empower underserved communities in the areas of education, health & fitness, economics, politics, and sustainability. He is responsible for coordinating Sacramento Promise Zone activities and processes that address issues of neighborhood housing development, public safety, job creation, training and placement, economic development, small business development financing, and neighborhood revitalization issues. He also works with Promise Zone AmeriCorps Vistas to support the efforts of Sacramento Promise Zone Partners and other community stakeholders that align with and advance the goals of the Promise Zone.
Julius has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics & Sciences from Rochester College and a Master of Business Administration from Drexel University. Mr. Austin has won several awards for leadership and community service, including the Drexel University Carl “Tobey” Oxholm III Leadership Award, the Sacramento Kings Dream All-Star Award, and was selected for the Sacramento Business Journal 40 Under 40 award. Julius is an alumnus of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program (Class VI) and he is a graduate of the City of Sacramento City Management Academy.
Indiana & Ohio Community Engagement Manager, AuntBertha.com
Alicia Baker is the Indiana & Ohio Community Engagement Manager for AuntBertha.com - a nationwide social care network that helps connect people to social services with dignity and ease. She was formerly the Director of Neighborhood Engagement for John Boner Neighborhood Centers on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis. During her tenure there, she collaborated with local agencies and neighbors, empowered residents, and advocated for the continued sustainable development of the Near Eastside. Alicia earned her B.A. in Global
Studies from Azusa Pacific University, and her M.A. in Intercultural Studies, International Development, and Urban Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. A native Californian adjusting to life in the Midwest, Alicia enjoys exploring Indy on foot, bike, and rollerblades. In her spare time, you can find her playing soccer, having a pint of beer with friends, or going on adventures with her life partner, Josh.
Dr. Bo Beaulieu, PhD
Professor of Rural & Regional Development, Purdue University
Dr. Bo Beaulieu is Professor of Rural & Regional Development (in the Department of Agricultural Economics) and is the former director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development (April 2013 - May 2020) and Assistant Director of the Purdue Extension Community Development program (February 2013 – June 2019). Bo has played a major role in the launch of a number of innovative national research and Extension programs across the nation including the National e-Commerce Extension Project, the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program in partnership with USDA Rural Development, and the Food Assistance Research Program in collaboration with the USDA Economic Research Service. More recently, Dr. Beaulieu has spearheaded, in partnership with Purdue Extension and the University of Kentucky, the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) in the North Central and Southern regions of the U.S. with funding from USDA Rural Development. Since joining Purdue in 2013, he’s given leadership to Purdue’s EDA University Center, the development and implementation of the Hometown Collaboration Initiative, the launch of the Rural Indiana Stats website, and the Rural Opportunity Zones Initiative.
Vice President and Community Development Officer, Umpqua Bank
Pedar Bruce is Vice President and Community Development Officer at Umpqua Bank, which has a five-state footprint in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho and Nevada. He operates as the community and economic development link between Umpqua Bank and the communities it serves within California and Nevada, with a focus on stakeholder engagement and corporate social responsibility strategies and programs. Pedar has 16 years in the financial services industry and serves on the boards of The Center for Fathers and Families and Sacramento Employment & Economic Development Corporation in Sacramento, CA. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Managerial Economics from UC Davis. Pedar resides in Sacramento, CA and enjoys outdoor adventures, gardening and cooking with his wife, Nora, and two sons.
Sr. Program Analyst, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Program Manager, Economic Action Group
Assistant Program Director, Pacific Region, AmeriCorps NCCC
Amanda Cochran is an Assistant Program Director at AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region for Idaho, Nevada, and Southern California. Amanda has worked at AmeriCorps NCCC for five years in various capacities, including Associate Resource Manager managing over 60 team budgets across two regions. Prior to her work with AmeriCorps NCCC, Amanda served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with ServeWyoming in Laramie, Wyoming and an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader in San Diego, California with the International Rescue Committee. She has worked in Michigan, Wyoming and Jordan conducting community assessments and evaluations and graduated from Andrews University in Michigan with an M.S.A. in Community and International Development. She is originally from a small mountain town in Northern California, enjoys cooking and loves to travel – her favorite trip so far was spending two summers in Jordan drinking lots of tea with the locals.
Economic Development Integrator, Atlanta Regional Office, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
Milton Cochran Sr. is the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Atlanta Regional Office’s (ATRO) Economic Development Integrator (EDI). In this role, Mr. Cochran duties entail enhanced collaboration across federal agencies to transform the service delivery model for its various economic development resources. Prior to EDA, Mr. Cochran worked at the City of Albany's Community and Economic Development Department, where he spearheaded the City’s disaster response following Tropical Storm Alberta which devastated Southwest Georgia (especially the City of Albany’s core neighborhoods) in July 1994.
Mr. Cochran served in the United States Navy and ascended to the commissioned officer rank of Navy Lieutenant, servicing aboard the USS Nimitz in Newport News, Virginia. Mr. Cochran directed, managed and coordinated the rehabilitation of over 2,080 crew living spaces as well as several major Combat Systems upgrades and installations with total cost for these improvements excessing $400 Million. Mr. Cochran serves as a Stakeholder Advisory Board member for HERCULES Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC). The HERCULES Center is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health as an Environmental Health Sciences Core Center. Mr. Cochran has served on several local Community Organization Boards committed to improving the quality of life for families of various income levels.
Executive Director, Indiana Public Defender Council
Bernice A. N. Corley is the Executive Director. As Executive director she assists in the managing of the agency and carrying out the policies established by the Board of Directors. Prior to joining the Public Defender Council, Ms. Corley served four years as General Counsel at the Department of Education and also served as legal counsel for both the Indiana Senate and Indiana House of Representatives. Her career includes clerking for Hon. Carr Darden. Ms. Corley served as a Marion County Public Defender Agency as trial counsel as well as appellate counsel.
Program Specialist, Administration for Children & Families, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Erica Fleischer is a Program Specialist at the Administration for Children and Families in the Office of Regional Operations in Chicago. She implements cross-cutting strategic initiatives and her current work is focused on Economic Mobility. She is a former Presidential Management Fellow.
Prior to ACF, Ms. Fleischer was a Mayoral Fellow in the Office of Richard M. Daley working on a variety of policy issues for the City of Chicago. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She lives in Chicago with her husband and two children.
Area Director, Chicago Regional Office, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
Dennis Foldenauer is the Area Director in the U.S. Economic Development Administration's Chicago Regional Office. Dennis leads a team that processes and manages both construction and non-construction economic development awards throughout the six-state EDA Chicago region. Previously, Dennis served as a Regional Export Finance Manager in the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of International Trade. He began his career at EDA as the agency's Economic Development Representative for Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Economic Development Integrator, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
Education Program Analyst, Promise Neighborhoods, U.S. Department of Education
S. James Guitard is an education program analyst at the US Department of Education with extensive history and experience in systemic education reform efforts ranging from place-based initiatives and school choice and improvement programs to family and community engagement strategies. Guitard has provided technical assistance to school districts, universities, and nonprofit organizations concerning their efforts to build a complete continuum of cradle-to-career solutions that includes both educational programs and family and community supports, with great schools at the center. Guitard has also overseen federal grants to eligible local educational agencies to establish and operate magnet schools operated under a court-ordered or federally approved voluntary desegregation plan to desegregate public schools by supporting the elimination, reduction, and prevention of minority group isolation. Currently, Guitard provides grant management and technical assistance to federally funded Full-Service Community Schools that provide comprehensive academic, social, and health services for students, students’ family members, and community members to improve educational outcomes for children.
Procurement Specialist, Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center
Jim Haddan joined the Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center as a Procurement Specialist in September 2015. Jim covers 14 counties in Southwest Indiana offering personalized counseling and competitive insights for navigating the government contracting process successfully. Prior to providing procurement counseling with PTAC, Jim was Procurement and Compliance Manager at the Evansville Housing Authority for 10 years. He has worked in purchasing in the telecom industry, marketing and sales for a not-for-profit and in municipal government as an executive director. Jim earned an MBA from the University of Southern Indiana and a B.S. in Public Affairs from Indiana University.
Director of Design and Creative Placemaking, National Endowment for the Arts
Jen Hughes was appointed director of Design and Creative Placemaking for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in April 2018, having served as acting director since June 2017. In this position, she oversees grant portfolios that support the design and creative placemaking fields, as well as leadership initiatives that include the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design.
Chapter Chair, SCORE Evansville
Nathan Jochum, SCORE Evansville Chapter Chair (October 2019) and SCORE member since 2011, also serves as Grants and Development Officer for Aurora, Inc. in Evansville IN, which works in homeless services, particularly housing the homeless and prevention. Nathan also works as an independent contractor for events planning and serves as Co-Director of ParksFest Music Festival, another volunteer position. His background strengths are marketing, public relations, advertising, fundraising, grant writing, donor relations and communications.
Assistant Program Director, Pacific Region, AmeriCorps NCCC
Katie Keane is an Assistant Program Director at AmeriCorps NCCC/Pacific Region for Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. With a lifelong passion for service, Katie has been a part of the AmeriCorps family since 2012, serving with NCCC and AmeriCorps State/National and as a staff member with NCCC since 2016. Since graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Communications, she has spent her career in the private, non-profit and now government sector building strategic alliances and facilitating efforts to advance social change. As the previous Member Development Associate for AmeriCorps NCCC, she helped to develop AmeriCorps members professionally through resume design and interview skills as well as develop partnerships with local organizations to benefit the corps growth
Community Affairs Specialist, Community Affairs Branch, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Spike Keil is a Community Affairs Specialist with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Community Affairs Branch. His responsibilities include promoting FDIC initiatives which are focused on economic inclusion, community development and small business as well as promoting compliance and understanding of the Community Reinvestment Act. He fosters collaborative efforts amongst financial institutions, community-based organizations, municipal entities, and underserved communities to realize tangible projects that align with community goals.
Mr. Keil joined the FDIC in May 2011, and he is based in San Francisco. Prior to joining the FDIC, Mr. Keil served in the Brown and Schwarzenegger administrations in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research as a Program Specialist. In this position, he managed and coordinated many aspects of the statewide Bank on California initiative including: statewide communications, marketing and outreach strategies, data analysis and developing impact-driven partnerships. He is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.
Sr. Program Officer, LISC Sustainable Communities Initiative Indianapolis
Aaron Laramore is a Senior Program Officer with LISC Indianapolis. Aaron has been with LISC for nearly two decades, first serving in the LISC Detroit office as a program officer. He supports efforts to deploy special funding and credit enhancements for underwriting, originating, and monitoring LISC Indy’s loan portfolio, which includes both commercial and residential real estate. Aaron also leads the home-owner repair program and provides technical assistance to build capacity for community partners
Economic Development Specialist, Indiana District Office, U.S. Small Business Administration
Lindsay Maliqi (mah-LEE-chee) is a Central Indiana native who has worked in a variety of economic development capacities at home and abroad. At the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Indiana District Office, her role is to connect Hoosier small businesses and entrepreneurs to resources that help them start, grow, expand, and recover. She loves helping folks get on the right track to accessing capital or winning government contracts. Lindsay lives in Indianapolis with her husband, a small business owner whom she met while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kosovo, and together they enjoy visiting parks and eating way too much ice cream.
Team Lead, Promise Neighborhoods, U.S. Department of Education
Elson B. Nash has worked in the education and non-profit fields for over 25 years. He started his career with the Carter Center’s first domestic initiative called the Atlanta Project (TAP). After TAP Elson worked in various capacities in higher education at the local, state and national levels. Elson’s career as a funder began at Ashoka-Innovators for the Public where he searched and selected social entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Canada. From Ashoka Elson went to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) where he started as a program coordinator for Learn and Serve America. His tenure at CNCS ended after 10 years where he ultimately served as the Deputy Director of the White House Council for Community Solutions.
In July of 2012, Elson began as Team Lead for the Promise Neighborhoods and Full Service Community Schools programs at the U.S. Department of Education. These programs are the primary place-based initiatives of the U.S. Department of Education focusing on the full spectrum of programming from the cradle to career.
Neighborhood Development Director, Indiana Neighborhood Resource Center
Maury Plambeck is a native of Nebraska, with degrees in Architecture and Planning from the University of Nebraska. He worked as a planner in Cheyenne, WY for six years, and then accepted a job with the City of Indianapolis, DMD where he worked for 27 years, in a variety of positions, including Senior Planner, Administrator, and Director. Maury is a volunteer runner with Back on My Feet on an average of 3 days a week. He is a former Board member of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis, and still a volunteer on house builds. Maury resides in Herron Morton Place, in a 125-year old Victorian house where he has lived for 29 years. He has done significant restoration/renovation, much of it himself.
Sr. Community Development Advisor, Community Reinvestment Act, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Neelu Panth has been working in the community development field for many years, first as an educator followed by on-the-ground work in human capital development, community capacity building and organizational development. Previously, she worked as the development director and entrepreneurship lead at Better Family Life, where she was instrumental in steering the organization toward becoming a thought leader in disrupting the cycle of intergenerational poverty and advancing social and economic equity. Panth was instrumental in the design and implementation of the Better Family Life Small Business Development program, along with a microloan fund that helped start several community-based businesses. She helped raise over $2 million through direct grant writing and strategic partnership building that resulted in facility build-out and program enhancement. Panth holds a master’s degree in social work with a research specialization from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis and a bachelor’s degree from Delhi University in New Delhi, India.
Transportation Planner, Evansville Metropolitan Planning Organization
Matt Schriefer, AICP is a Transportation Planner for the Evansville MPO. He is responsible for directing the distribution of over $3 million in transit funding annually to METS, HART, and multiple non-profit organizations that provide transportation in the Evansville-Henderson region. Matt also helps coordinate the efforts of the public, private and non-profit providers to advance regional transportation options. Matt holds a Bachelor of Urban Planning and Development from Ball State University. Before coming to the MPO, he worked at Lochmueller Group for 12 years completing and updating Comprehensive Plans, Downtown Revitalization Plans, and Zoning Ordinances for communities across southern Indiana. When he’s not at work, Matt spends his time trying to keep up with his 2 year old daughter.
McGregor W. Scott
United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California
For McGregor Scott, California is home. He was raised in Eureka and received his B.A. from Santa Clara University in 1985 and his J.D. from Hastings College of the Law in 1989. From 1989 to 1997, he served as a deputy district attorney in Contra Costa County before serving as the elected District Attorney of Shasta County from 1997 to 2003. While in Shasta County, Mr. Scott headed the prosecution of two brothers whose hate-filled ideology led them to kill a homosexual couple near Redding. Mr. Scott served his first term as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California from 2003 to 2009. During Mr. Scott’s first term, the office led the nation in civil actions to recover damages against companies that cause wild fires in National Forests. In 2009, Mr. Scott joined the law firm of Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe LLP as a partner, focusing on white collar criminal defense and corporate investigations. In addition, Mr. Scott retired in 2008 from the U.S. Army Reserve as a lieutenant colonel after 23 years of service. In December 2017, he returned to serve a second term as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, which today has 97 congressionally authorized attorney positions and offices in Sacramento, Fresno, and Bakersfield. Mr. Scott has focused on the environmental devastation caused by cartel marijuana growing in our National Forests, keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals, human trafficking, and working with community leaders to establish a federal halfway house in Sacramento.
Partner Director, National Center for Mobility Management
Judy Shanley, Ph.D. is the Assistant Vice President, Education and Youth Transition at the national office of Easterseals in Chicago, IL and serves as Easterseals Director of the FTA- funded National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM). She manages Federal projects, conducts research, and provides technical assistance regarding transportation coordination and mobility management. Shanley convenes diverse audiences and provides professional development to align mobility solutions with the needs of all riders. Shanley also oversees Easterseals national education and youth transition programs and brings together school, VR, workforce, and public transportation providers to support postschool outcomes for youth.
Prior to Easterseals, Shanley worked at the U.S. Department of Education, where she wrote federal grants and monitored programs to ensure compliance with Federal regulations. Prior to Federal service, Shanley was a Principal Research Analyst at the Americans Institutes for Research for 9 years. She earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Florida and an M.B.A. and a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling, both from Syracuse University.
Public Affairs Director, Midwest Region, USDA Food & Nutrition Service
Alan Shannon serves as USDA’s Food & Nutrition Service Public Affairs Director for the Midwest Region. In that role, he raises awareness of and makes connections to FNS’ 15 nutrition assistance programs—from school meals to SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp Program), as well as other USDA programs and grants. FNS does no direct program administration, so the agency relies on its many partners—Departments of Education, food banks and Departments of Human Services—to administer its programs. Since 2009, he’s facilitated GoodGreens, a network of over 1500 individuals and organizations throughout the Midwest that seek to build and support local food systems. He also created and facilitates a network of nearly 600 health care-related organizations that view hunger as a health issue and explore ways to leverage USDA’s programs to address social determinants of health. In these roles, he facilitates the exchange of news and opportunities which cover every aspect of local food systems and serves as a connector and convener.
Land Revitalization Coordinator, Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization, Environmental Protection Agency
Aimee Storm is the Land Revitalization Coordinator and acting Policy, Research and Outreach Team leader for EPA’s Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization (OBLR). Her work supports community-led redevelopment of contaminated properties and associated neighborhood revitalization strategies. Aimee holds Masters Degrees in City & Regional Planning and Business Administration.
Federal Transit Administration, Region 5
Susan M. Weber is a Community Planner with the US Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Region V office. She has over 25 years of both public and private sector environmental and transportation planning experience, successfully assisting variety of agencies around the country in analyzing and recommending feasible and cost-effective improvements. This multi-modal experience includes assessing capital and operating costs, environmental justice issues, socio-economic and impacts to the human and natural environment. In her current position, Susan provides technical assistance to FTA grantees. This entails working with the Office of Planning and Program Development doing planning, environmental and grant development work in Region V. In this capacity, Susan assists, coordinates and negotiates with representatives of state and local governments, transit operators and local planning agencies on complex transportation planning and programming issues in Michigan. She has also worked in the other 5 states in Region V which include Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana and Illinois. Susan earned her Master’s in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and undergraduate degree from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs - SPEA.
Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Faith Weekly works with banks, nonprofit organizations and government agencies to develop programs that promote affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization across the Eighth District. She also facilitates partnerships to increase access to credit in underserved communities, and provides technical assistance to community organizations to build organizational capacity, develop project financing strategies and obtain funding sources.
Previously, Weekly worked as a CRA mortgage loan officer at Fifth Third Bank in Evansville, Ind. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
Re-Entry & Prevention Outreach Coordinator, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California
Jennifer White is the Re-Entry & Prevention Outreach Coordinator for the Eastern District of California, U.S. Attorney’s Office. She has been located in Fresno for four years. Prior to this position she spent 13 years working inside a Federal Bureau of Prisons penitentiary. Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a master’s degree in School Counseling. She maintains a credential as a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Branch Chief, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development