Who are you as individual?
I am the President & CEO of the Cincinnati Development Fund, a 501c3 Community Development Financial Institution established in 1988 with a mission to provide innovative real estate financing for projects that strengthen low-income neighborhoods and improve lives. CDF works in low income and distressed Greater Cincinnati neighborhoods which have experienced population loss and/or blight. Our focus is on projects that:
• Preserve historic neighborhood assets,
• Create/preserve affordable housing,
• Move community-driven plans forward, and
• Meet needs identified by residents.
Over our history, we have deployed more than $407 million in loans and more than $300 million in New Markets Tax Credit investments to benefit approximately 500 projects in more than 3 dozen neighborhoods in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
Personally, I am the Madre Americana to my AFS exchange student from 20 years ago, Ane Aramendi, and Abuela Americana to her two beautiful children. I enjoy visiting them in San Sebastian, Spain every year at least once, and consider the Basque Region as my second home. Ane’s brother, two cousins and two childhood friends have each spent one or more summers in Cincinnati, so my international family continues to grow. When I can’t be there in person, we stay connected almost daily on Whatsapp and Zoom.
I have been in a committed relationship with Greg Badger for 18 years. Greg and I enjoy traveling, going to plays, concerts and dinners out when we aren’t in quarantine!
What excites you both about being an Impact 100 Member?
I joined Impact 100 because I had observed their work for a few years and was really pleased with the grant decisions that were made. I was inspired by the realization that I could amplify my relatively small contributions by collaborating with other women towards transformative impact.
Could you provide a brief description of your favorite Impact 100 moment, if you have one?
Well, fortunately and unfortunately my work with CDF and numerous non-profit boards requires long hours, leaving little for additional extracurricular activities. It was the confidence I had in the Impact volunteers who do have the ability to give both time and money that led to my decision to become a member. The knowledge that I could just write a check and know it would be a good investment was a big part of the attraction!
What tips do you have to connect with other women/community during COVID?
No tips, really.. I have not been bored one second since this pandemic began, nor have I been able to take on new hobbies, clean closets, or bake sourdough bread. Working from home has not slowed down the volume of my work in any way. My staff and I at CDF have weekly TEAM meetings, all my boards and committees have continued to meet virtually as well. For socializing, my network of Women in Community Development continues to have Zoom meetings each week, and I have done less frequent Zoom dinners and happy hours with other friends. My cousins and nieces from around the country Zoom most Sunday afternoons and my neighbors on Valley Lane in North Avondale schedule impromptu social distance happy hours just about any time we have a nice evening. In some ways I feel more connected to people I saw less regularly now than in the past, since it’s easier to find time that we’re all home!