Speakers: Activating Markets for Social Change

Rick Aubry

AubryDr. Rick Aubry is the founder and CEO of New Foundry Ventures, an organization dedicated to creating national level social enterprises that leverage scale and market forces to reduce poverty and improve the well-being of people living in underserved communities across America. Dr. Aubry is a faculty member and lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he is also a fellow of Stanford’s Center for Social Innovation. Dr. Aubry is also developing the first US undergraduate major in Social Entrepreneurship at Tulane University.

Jay Banfield


Jay Banfield is the Managing Director of California and Chief Officer of Scale and Innovation for the nationally recognized nonprofit organization, Year Up. Year Up works with young adults living in urban settings to reach their full career potential, through paid trainings and corporate internships at one of over 380 corporate partners nationwide, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, eBay, Google, Yelp, and Mozilla. Prior to his current role, Jay founded Year Up Bay Area and served as Executive Director for eight years.

Alison Becker

Alison Becker is the Director of the LA Promise Zone at the City of Los Angeles, in Mayor Garcetti’s Office of Economic Development. As Director, Alison leads the development and delivery of policy, strategy, and programs designed for the Promise Zone, particularly in the areas of community and economic development, housing, transportation and public safety. A certified urban planner, Ms. Becker has previously served as the Economic Development & Planning Director for Council District 15 in the city of Los Angeles, as well as Acting City Planner for the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles.

Marlon Boarnet

BoarnetDr. Boarnet is a renowned authority on urban economics, urban growth patterns, transportation, and regional science. He is an expert in transportation and land use, and has served on the National Research Council committee that authored “Driving and the Built Environment.” He has published extensively in leading journals such as Regional Science and Urban Economics, Environment and Behavior, Urban Studies, Journal of Urban Economics, Journal of Planning Education and Research, National Tax Journal, and Journal of the American Planning Association. He is also co-author of Travel by Design: The Influence of Urban Form on Travel (Oxford University Press, 2001). Dr. Boarnet co-edits the Journal of Regional Science, is an associate editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association, and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Planning Literature, Journal of Transport and Land Use, Transport Policy, and previously on Papers in Regional Science.

Raphael Bostic

BosticDr. Raphael Bostic is the Judith and John Bedrosian Chair in Governance and the Public Enterprise and Chair of the Department of Governance, Management and the Policy Process at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Dr. Bostic served for 3 years in the Obama Administration as the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In that position, Dr. Bostic was a principal advisor to the Secretary on policy and research, with the goal of helping the Secretary, and other principal staff, make informed decisions on HUD policies and programs, as well as budget and legislative proposal. His work spans many fields including home ownership, housing finance, neighborhood change, and the role of institutions in shaping policy effectiveness. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford
University and his BA from Harvard University.

Ray Brewer

Ray Brewer

Ray Brewer is the Field Office Director for HUD’s Los Angeles Field Office, the largest HUD field office in the nation. Ray is the local face of HUD to state and local governments, and serves a pivotal role in ensuring the integration of all HUD program areas. As the Field Office Director, Mr. Brewer supervises a portfolio consisting of more than $41 billion in insured housing, grants, and funding opportunities. In his more than 37 years of service at HUD, Ray has held numerous managerial positions and has served as the Chair of the Greater Los Angeles Federal Executive Board.

Robert Cervero

CerveroRobert Cervero works in the area of sustainable transportation policy and planning, focusing on the nexus between urban transportation and land-use systems. He is Friesen Chair of Urban Studies as well as Director of the University of California Transportation Center (UCTC), a multi-campus research center devoted to advancing economic competitiveness, sustainability and livability in the transportation sector. His current research focuses on the intersection of infrastructure, place-making, and economic development, integration of BRT and hybrid services, bikeway network performance, and sustainable transportation policies for the Global South. Professor Cervero has and continues to serve as an advisor and consultant on numerous transportation and urban planning projects worldwide. He is the first-ever recipient of the Dale Prize for Excellence in Urban Planning Research and is a two-time recipient of the Article of the Year Award from the Journal of the American Planning Association. In 2013, he was ranked among the top 100 City Innovators Worldwide by UMB’s Futures Cities. He chairs the International Association of Urban Environments and the National Advisory Board of the Active Living Research Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and serves on the advisory board of the Future of Urban Development Initiative of the World Economic Forum, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Board of Scientific Councelors, and the American Planning Association’s Emerging Issues Task Force.

Ernesto Cortes


Ernesto Cortés, Jr. is the Industrial Areas Foundation co-chair and executive director of the West/Southwest IAF. The IAF provides leadership training and civics education to poor and moderate-income people across the US and UK. Mr. Cortes has been instrumental in the building of over 30 grassroots organizations known for developing and training community leaders. A recipient of the prestigious MacArthur fellowship, Ernesto has also received awards and honorary degrees from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, the University of Houston, Southern Methodist University, Princeton University, and others.

Conway Collis

ConwayConway Collis, President and CEO worked with GRACE’s Board of Directors to help found the organization and develop its mission and strategy. Collis has been a public servant and advocate for social change for more than four decades. Following graduation from Occidental College and Stanford Law School, he was a committee counsel on the U.S. Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee and domestic policy advisor to U.S. Senator Alan Cranston, advising on federal domestic policy issues including poverty, healthcare and social and legal services. He later served as founding executive director of the principal fundraising arm of the U.S. Senate Democratic Campaign Committee. Prior to law school he worked in a state mental hospital, as a live in counselor for delinquent boys and in the Upward Bound program.

David Edwards

David-EdwardsDavid Edwards has a deep and diverse background in the public, private and nonprofit sectors working on innovative initiatives addressing some of the greatest challenges facing cities around the world. AS CEO, he is responsible for expanding the number of Purpose Built Communities across the country and ensuring that they deliver transformative outcomes for families and children. Prior to joining Purpose Built Communities, David was the Global Offerings Manager for IBM’s Smarter Cities program. In that role, he was responsible for developing innovative solutions to the critical issues facing municipal and regional governments around the world. For example, David led city management improvement initiatives for the cities of Charlotte and San Jose in the United States as well as Beijing and Johannesburg internationally. He also authored or co-authored several reports and articles, including “The Neighborhood Centric City” published by IBM in 2011, and the chapter titled “It Takes a Neighborhood: Purpose Built Communities and Neighborhood Transformation” in the bookInvesting in What Works for America’s Communities, published in 2012 by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, which he co-wrote with former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Denise Fairchild


Dr. Denise Fairchild is the President of Emerald Cities Collaborative, a national non-profit coalition of labor, business, and community based organizations working together to advance a sustainable environment while creating greater economic opportunities for all. Prior to joining the Emerald Cities Collaborative, Denise was the founder and chair of the Community and Economic Development at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College. While at the LATTC, Denise helped launch the Regional Economic Development Institute, an initiative to provide inner city residents with career and technical education for high growth and high demand jobs in the Los Angeles region. Dr. Fairchild received her doctorate in urban planning from UCLA.

Christopher Fox

chris-foxChris is Professor of Evaluation at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he is Director of the Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (www.mmuperu.co.uk). PERU is a well-established and internationally recognised centre of excellence in policy evaluation with programmes of work on social innovation, political participation/radicalisation and crime and criminal justice. Chris is currently directing a major European Commission award on ‘Social Investment: Strengthening Communities in Europe (InnoSi)’ that involves academics and NGOs from 10 European countries. He has written on ‘Payment by Results’ and ‘Social Impact Bonds’ and advises a number of not for profit and for profit organisations in this area. Chris sits on the Governing Body of Manchester Metropolitan University. He is also keen to encourage wider public understanding of social and economic policy and co-authored ‘How to Run the Country: Politics, Economics and the People of Britain’.

Salin Geevarghese

GeevargheseSalin Geevarghese has been appointed by Secretary Shaun Donovan as HUD’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of International and Philanthropic Innovation (IPI) within the Office of Policy Development and Research. In this role, Salin leads an innovation team that is charged with engaging philanthropic and other cross-sector partners – both internationally and domestically – to harness and apply best practices, programs and policies for the benefit of our communities and aligning our common efforts. Prior to this appointment, Secretary Donovan appointed Salin as Acting Director of the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities. In that role, he was responsible for advancing housing and communities that increase affordability, cost savings, efficiency, and quality of life, while also expanding regional economic growth and opportunity. He provided technical and policy support for energy, green building, and integrated housing, transportation and economic development programs at HUD and around the nation. Salin came to the Obama Administration as a Senior Advisor and as part of the founding leadership of HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities.

Greta Hansen

Greta-HansenGreta Hansen oversees the Impact Litigation & Social Justice Section of the County Counsel’s Office. Her practice focuses on affirmative litigation on the County’s behalf, drafting local ordinances, and developing novel policies and programs to advance the County’s goal of securing social and economic justice for all of its residents. In 2009, she successfully sued the State to preserve tens of millions of dollars in funding for mental health services for emotionally disturbed children within Santa Clara County. Greta was Counsel of Record and the primary author of the amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court by major municipalities within the U.S. (New York, D.C., San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, etc.) challenging Arizona’s anti-immigrant laws. Greta has also been the lead attorney for the County in its public nuisance lawsuit against lead paint manufacturers and its false advertising lawsuits against various drug manufacturers, and she played a pivotal role in negotiating a $5.6 million dollar settlement on behalf of the County Health & Hospital System to resolve a dispute with its pharmaceutical wholesaler. In addition to leading the Impact Section, Greta has served as counsel to the County Mental Health Department, the Juvenile Justice Commission, and the County Office of Education.

Jennifer Ito

Jennifer-Ito Jennifer Ito is a Project Manager at USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE). She is co-author of several PERE publications including Transforming Lives, Transforming Movement Building: Lessons from the National Domestic Workers Alliance Strategy-Organizing-Leadership (SOL) Initiative (2014) and There’s Something Happening Here…A Look at The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities Initiative (2014).

Before joining PERE, Ito worked for nine years in varied capacities at Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), a grassroots organizing and movement building organization based in South Los Angeles. As Research Director, her areas of focus included clean energy economic and workforce development policy and campaign development, tax and fiscal policy reform, and workforce development policy. Ito also provided trainings and capacity-building support, such as GIS, campaign development, and power analysis, to other community-based organizations.

Anthony Iton

ItonAnthony B. Iton is Senior Vice President of Healthy Communities at The California Endowment, the state’s largest, private health foundation. His primary focus is on the foundation’s 10-year Building Healthy Communities: California Living 2.0 initiative; the goal of which is to create communities where children are healthy, safe and ready to learn. Prior to his appointment at The Endowment, Iton served as both the director and County Health Officer for the Alameda County Public Health Department. In that role, he oversaw the creation of an innovative public health practice designed to eliminate health disparities by tackling the root causes of poor health that limit quality of life and lifespan in many of California’s low-income communities. For three years, Iton also served as director of Health and Human Services and School Medical Advisor for the City of Stamford, Connecticut. Concurrent to that, he also served as a physician in internal medicine for Stamford Hospital’s HIV Clinic. In addition, Iton served for five years as a primary care physician for the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Iton’s varied career also includes past service as a staff attorney and Health Policy analyst for the West Coast regional office of Consumer’s Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine.

Carla Javits

Carla-JavitsREDF’s President and CEO, Carla Javits, provides the leadership and vision that drives its mission to provide equity-like investments and business assistance to social enterprises, mission-driven businesses focused on hiring and assisting people facing barriers to work. Inspired by the leadership of REDF’s founder, George R. Roberts, Carla focuses on achieving measurable results by leveraging the business community’s knowledge, networks, and resources, and the mission of the nonprofit to create jobs and tackle the challenges of homelessness, incarceration, mental health, and addiction. In overseeing strategy, relationship building, and fundraising, Carla works directly with the leadership team as well as the Board of Directors and Advisory Council that are instrumental to REDF’s success. In leading an expansion from the Bay Area to new horizons in Southern California, Carla has laid the foundation for REDF to impact the lives of many more people nationwide. Under Carla’s leadership, REDF was awarded a federal Social Innovation Fund grant by the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the Los Angeles Business Times Nonprofit Social Enterprise of the Year award in 2013. San Francisco Magazine recognized Carla in their list of innovative Bay Area Philanthropists.

Jack Knott

Jack-Knott-1Jack Knott took the reins of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy in August 2005 as the C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Chair and Professor. Before joining USC, Dean Knott served from 1997 until 2005 as professor of political science and director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Chicago. From 1987 to 1997, Dean Knott was a professor in the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, where he served as departmental chair and director of Michigan State’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research. Dean Knott is a leading scholar in the fields of political institutions and public policy, health policy, and public management. He has published three books, including Reforming Bureaucracy: The Politics of Institutional Choice, and numerous journal articles and book chapters. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, his M.A. in comparative political economy from the School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University, and his undergraduate degree in history from Calvin College.

Jessica LaBarbera

Jessica-LaBarbera2Jessica LaBarbera currently works as Director of Strategic Innovation for Nonprofit Finance Fund out of NFF’s Los Angeles office. In that role she leads efforts to develop partnerships and initiatives that seek to leverage private capital, monetize social impact and outcomes of social services, realize costs savings for government, and/or connect performance outcomes to financial return through mechanisms including Pay for Success transactions. Building on her work as California Market Director (2011-12), she is responsible for overseeing new regional initiatives and rolling out new products and services in the region. As NFF’s California Market Director, she was responsible for program growth and product delivery in California, identifying market needs and opportunities and meeting business development goals. Having also previously served as an Associate Director for the Northeast Region of NFF (2008-2010), Ms. LaBarbera plays an important role in integrating the organization’s national initiatives to those of the California market.

Simón Levy Dabbah

Simon-Levy-DabbahSimon Levy-Dabbah, Cheif Executive Officer of ProCDMX, has a Bachelor´s Degree in Law with a specialty in Foreign Trade by the Faculty of Law in the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and founder of the Mexico-China Professorship in UNAM, he is specialized in Chinese Law, has a Master´s Degree in International Management and Administration by the Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology (ITAM) and the ITESM Graduate School. He has also done postgraduate studies in International Private Law at The Hague Academy in International Law Business Creation and Internationalization at Instituto de Empresa in Madrid. Furthermore, he earned his PhD in Economics and Public Policy. He has been named a 2013 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He is the first Mexican lawyer to obtain a work permit as to provide services as an attorney in the People´s Republic of China. He has worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development and has collaborated with the World Bank. He chaired IdeasiaFund, the first investment fund between Asia and Latin-American. He was also the Chairman of the Board of LatinAsia, a firm that presented Mexican companies to the international market. He has been selected as a Club Member of Mexico´s Future Leaders by “Líderes de México” as well as a member of the Mexican Council of International Affairs. He is currently the CEO of “Calidad de Vida, Progreso y Desarrollo para la Ciudad de México, S.A. de C.V.”, Mexico City’s state owned company.

Terri Ludwig


Terri Ludwig is the President and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit that creates affordable homes and strengthens communities across the United States. To date, Enterprise has invested $18.6 billion in affordable housing, helping to create nearly 340,000 homes and touching millions of lives. As the president and CEO, Ms. Ludwig oversees an innovative organization dedicated to create opportunity for low and moderate-income people through affordable housing in diverse, thriving communities. Terri has over three decades of experience in investment banking and nonprofit leadership. She previously served as president of the Merrill Lynch Community Development Company, president and CEO of ACCION New York, and in several roles at Credit Suisse and Merrill Lynch.

Thomas Lyons

Lyons-Publicity-PhotoThomas Lyons is the Lawrence N. Field Family Chair in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Management in the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College of the City University of New York. His research specializations are the relationship between entrepreneurship and community economic development and social entrepreneurship. He is the co-author of eleven books and numerous articles and papers, and has edited a three-volume set on social entrepreneurship entitled Social Entrepreneurship: How Businesses Can Transform Society.


Michael McAfee

Michael_large-image-file-1Dr. Michael McAfee is Vice President for Programs at PolicyLink, has spent more than 20 years serving as a results-driven leader in the government, philanthropic, and human-service sectors. He has lead cross-sector efforts to invest more than $350 million into our nation’s most distressed communities, building communities of opportunity from cradle to career. This has culminated in the Promise Neighborhoods program, which became a permanent federal program through the authorization of the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015. He is on a journey to build a legacy grounded in equity – just and fair inclusion into a society in which all are fully participating, prospering and reaching their full potential.

Myron Orfield

OrfieldMyron Orfield is the Director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity. He has written three books and dozens of articles and book chapters on local government law, spatial inequality, fair housing, school desegregation, charter schools, state and local taxation and finance, and land use law. Professor Orfield has been a litigator in a large law firm, a civil rights lawyer, and an assistant attorney general of Minnesota, representing Minnesota in appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. He has been a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington and led both a national non-profit organization and a private research firm with clients all over the United States.

Gary Painter


Gary Painter is a Professor in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. He also serves as the Director of Social Policy in the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation. He has published numerous articles in top journals such as the Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Urban Economics, Urban Studies, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Real Estate Economics, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, and Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Professor Painter’s research interests focuses on social innovation, housing, urban economics, and education policy. He is among the world’s foremost experts on how changing demographics impact U.S. housing markets. Recent work has focused on how immigrants are integrating into housing markets across the U.S. and the role of the economic cycle on household formation. Other recent work has studied immigrant integration issues in spatial labor markets and in education. Current research focuses on how to evaluate social innovation.

He has served as a consultant for the National Association of Realtors, Pacific Economics Group, Andrew Davidson Co., Fannie Mae, Grant Thorton LLP, Burr Consulting, and the Research Institute for Housing America.

Manuel Pastor


Dr. Manuel Pastor is a Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicities at USC. Manuel currently directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at USC and USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. Dr. Pastor’s research generally focuses on issues of the economic, environmental, and social conditions facing low-income urban communities. His most recent book, Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America’s Metro Areas, argues how inequality stunts economic and growth and how bringing together equity and growth requires concerted local action. Dr. Pastor holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is the inaugural holder of the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change at USC.

Michael Peck


>Michael Peck is the co-founder of 1worker1vote.org, a national network of unionized, worker-owned co-operative businesses. 1worker1vote.org seeks to overcome inequality by bringing together the solidarity of unions, the business skills of co-operative owners, and the strength of a national, like-minded network, to create jobs, share investment opportunities and cross-train worker-owners. Since 1999, Michael has served as the North American delegate of the Mondragon Corporation, a federation of 260 worker co-operatives dedicated to maintaining a democratic organizational structure that prioritizes labor above capital. As of last year, Mondragon had more than 74,000 employees and sales of €11.8 billion Euros.

Robert Price

Robert-PriceRobert Price, born and raised in San Diego, graduated from San Diego High School and Pomona College, where he majored in government. The elder son of Sol Price, he has spent his entire career in retailing: first at the FedMart stores founded by his father, then at The Price Company where he and his father were cofounders of the Price Club membership warehouses, and most recently as founder and Chairman of the Board of PriceSmart, Inc., a warehouse club chain operating in Latin America. He also serves as president of The Price Family Charitable Fund and Price Philanthropies foundations founded by his father. Price and his family live in San Diego.

Michael Quick

Michael-QuickDr. Michael Quick was appointed Provost on April 1, 2015. He also serves as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and as Professor of Biological Sciences in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. As the university’s second-ranking administrator, he oversees the USC Dornsife College as well as the Keck School of Medicine of USC and 17 other professional schools, in addition to the divisions of student affairs, libraries, information technology services, research, student religious life and enrollment services. His strategic priorities for the university include tackling the “wicked problems” confronting the 21stCentury, faculty and student access and opportunity, educational value and affordability, and global impact. Dr. Quick received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University and studied as a post-doctoral research fellow at the California Institute of Technology. Before coming to USC in 2002, he was on the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His scholarship focuses on how therapeutic drugs and drugs of abuse alter the signaling properties of nerve cells. Dr. Quick previously served as Director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program, Vice Dean for Research and Executive Vice Dean of USC Dornsife, and Executive Vice Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Jeff Shumway

Shumway.Jeff_Jeff Shumway is the Vice President of Advisory Services at Social Finance. In this role, Jeff works to prepare governments, nonprofits, and philanthropies to pursue Pay for Success financing with an emphasis on measuring performance and achieving results. Before joining Social Finance, Jeff spent nearly a decade with The Bridgespan Group where he worked with foundations, intermediaries, and direct-service organizations to develop actionable, data-driven strategies.


Fred Silva

Fred-Silva-1Fred Silva is California Forward’s senior fiscal policy advisor. Having spent 49 years in the development of public policy in state and local government, Fred is an expert in state and local finance, government operations, and the history of the state and local fiscal relationship in California. Prior to working with California Forward, Fred worked in a variety of capacities including senior advisor on governmental relations for the Public Policy Institute of California, executive secretary to the California Constitution Revision Commission, chief fiscal advisor to the President Pro Tempore of the California State Senate, chief consultant to the Senate Local Government Committee and special projects lead for the Office of Planning and Research. Prior to state government assignments Fred worked for the Association of Bay Area Governments. He has authored two dozen publications and commentaries regarding government fiscal issues in California. Fred holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from San Jose State University.

Dixon Slingerland


Dixon Slingerland is the Executive Director of the Youth Policy Institute, an organization dedicated to transforming Los Angeles neighborhoods by reducing poverty through access to high quality education and services. Under Dixon’s leadership, the Youth Policy Institute worked with the City of Los Angeles to secure a Promise Zone designation for Los Angeles, and the Institute is the lead implementation partner for the Los Angeles Promise Zone. Mr. Slingerland is a nationally recognized leader in creating place-based strategies designed to combat intergenerational poverty by saturating targeted services in communities where they are needed most.

Martim Smolka

Martim-SmolkaMartim Smolka is an economist graduated from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (1971), MA. and PhD in Regional Science from the University of Pennsylvania, 1980. Author of publications on the functioning of urban land markets and in particular informal land markets and regularization policies, on intra-urban structuring and the dynamics of property markets in Latin American cities and on land based tools to finance urban development including improvements of existing property tax systems.

As director (since 1995) of the Lincoln Institute’s Latin American Program, he directs research and educational programs on issues relating to land markets and land policies. Smolka, developed (and lectured in) inumerous educational programs for high-level public officials, members of the academia, NGOs leaders and other professionals, over the last twenty years throughout Latin America. He was an associate professor (now retired) at the Urban and Regional Research and Planning Institute (IPPUR) at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He co-founder and presided for 2 terms the Brazilian National Association for Research and Graduate Studies on Urban and Regional Planning (ANPUR), and was a Fellow at the Brazilian National Council for Research (CNPq).

Esther Wee

Esther-WeeMs. Wee has more than 20 years of management experience in domestic and international banking (Pacific Rim focus). Her well-rounded banking experience spans from commercial and real estate lending, international trade finance, foreign exchange, capital markets to compliance. She has a proven track record in marketing, business development, credit, and cross-border financing serving Fortune 500 companies to SME’s. Ms. Wee is the Senior Vice President and CRA Officer for Cathay Bank, where she has served in various capacities including Senior Vice President and Manager of the Multi-Cultural Corporate Lending Group, and Senior Vice President and Credit Administrator. She also served as Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Banking (C&I) at Chinatrust Bank, Senior Vice President and Manager of Pacific Rim Corporate Banking at Bank of the West, and Vice President and Manager of the Asian Business team in Southern California at Wells Fargo HSBC Trade Bank. Ms. Wee earned an MBA in Finance and Accounting at Washington University and currently serves as a Director of the American Red Cross San Gabriel Pomona Valley Chapter and the President of the Singapore American Business Association- Southern California.

Adlai Wertman

Adlai-WertmanProfessor Adlai Wertman is a Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship at USC’s Marshall School of Business, and is the founding director of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab, an academic center at the Marshall School focused on the study, teaching and development of new models to bring business resources and education to global community needs. Wertman is the former President and CEO of Chrysalis, the only non-profit in Los Angeles dedicated solely to helping homeless people change their lives through employment. A graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Wertman also spent 18 years as Managing Director and Manager of Prudential Securities’ West Coast Public Investment Banking Group.

Erich Yost


Erich Yost is a Management Analyst with HUD and currently serves as the Los Angeles Promise Zone Community Liaison. Prior to joining the Promise Zone team, Erich was a Supervisory Project Manager in HUD’s Los Angeles Multifamily Development Office. Erich participates in HUD’s place-based executive committee as a co-chair of the subcommittee focused on embedding place-based work throughout HUD program offices and headquarters, with a focus on training, technical assistance, and digital tools. A graduate of the Graduate School of Management at UC Irvine, Mr. Yost has previously worked as Director of Investment Management at Edison Capital and has held various positions at Wells Fargo Bank, First Interstate Band, and Cushman & Wakefield.