Emerging Impact Investing Strategies for Rural Communities | Council on Foundations

Emerging Impact Investing Strategies for Rural Communities

Building on last month's webinar about Uplift America, this webinar continues the conversation about investing in rural communities as they continue to shift away from extractive industries such as timber, paper, and coal. Practicing impact investors will describe how they, alongside government and other partners, are fueling emerging entrepreneurs and business enterprises to create quality jobs, revitalize place, and nurture a broader set of opportunities for communities undergoing changing economies. The topics covered will include leveraging the New Markets Tax Credit to provide flexible gap financing and working with intermediary organizations.
Speakers include:
Patrick Cleary, Executive Director, Humboldt Area Foundation
Mr. Cleary has had a wide variety of careers: 17 years on Wall Street, a brief stint as general manager of the North Coast Co-op, over a dozen years as general manager of commercial and public radio stations. He has served on a variety of nonprofit boards over the years, including the Humboldt Folklife Society, the Headwaters Fund, and Dell Arte.
Ross Welch, Executive Director, Arcata Economic Development Corporation
Mr. Welch comes to AEDC with thirty years of lending experience in Humboldt, Del Norte and Mendocino Counties. For the past eight years, Ross has worked in Humboldt County, most recently for Redwood Capital Bank where he worked in commercial lending and as branch manager. Besides lending experience, Ross has also served on various community organizations such as the Crescent City JayCees and Rotary Clubs in Eureka, Fortuna and Fort Bragg. He is currently a member of the Arcata Rotary Club and the Arcata Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Brendan Maher, Director, Capital Markets, Heron Foundation
Brendan Maher joined the Heron Foundation in 2016 as a Director on the Capital Markets team. Prior to joining Heron, Mr. Maher was a Partner and Portfolio Manager for several long/short
equity asset management companies over the past two decades.

Mr. Maher is currently the President of the Board of Team Schools, a KIPP New Jersey cluster of charter schools located in Newark, NJ; sits on the Advisory Board of the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Notre Dame; and is the Founder of FISH, Inc., a social venture incubator located in South Bend, IN.

Mr. Maher graduated from the University of Notre Dame and is married with three fabulous children.

Lisa Richter, Managing Partner, Avivar Capital (Moderator)
Ms. Richter is a Principal of Avivar Capital and was formerly the co-founder and principal of GPS Capital Partners, a national consultancy that assists foundations and other institutions to design and execute impact investing strategy. Lisa brings over two decades of fund management and investing experience spanning asset classes, return expectations, geographies and issue areas, and frequently incorporating place-based or sector focus to increase equitable access to opportunity. GPS network consultants have managed impact investment portfolios within foundations, community development financial institutionsequity funds, and banks. Clients range from small foundations to the nation’s largest independent and community foundations, banks and institutional investors with interests ranging from driving particular place-based impact investing outcomes to strategies that apply traditional asset allocations to earn market-rate expected returns.