Farewell Jeremy Nowak

Today marks Jeremy Nowak’s last day as CEO of The Reinvestment Fund. We are going to miss him deeply here at PolicyMap, but know we’ll see him often as he takes on his new role as President of the William Penn Foundation. There aren’t words to sufficiently describe how grateful we are for the support (and humor) he has shared with us these last few years. He was the reason we were able to turn the simple idea of PolicyMap into a powerful reality. Thank you Jeremy and good luck!

Dear Friends,

Today is my final day as the CEO of The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) after 26 years at the helm. I will begin a new adventure as President of the William Penn Foundation on June 27th 2011.

TRF represents a remarkable personal and professional journey for me. My first day on the job was May 5th 1985. At that time we had a bank account of $10,000 and a one room sub-lease. I was the first and only staff person during that first year.

I am leaving a very different institution. We have invested more than $1 billion into some of the poorest communities in America, leveraging an additional $3 billion in development capital. Today we manage $700 million in assets, operate a real estate development company, and provide the highest quality data and policy analysis through original research and our proprietary mapping tool (www.policymap.com).

Along the way we have proved it is possible to redevelop the housing and commercial real estate of low income communities, support the best innovations in education, bring quality food to low access areas, and create jobs for those that need employment. We also learned it is necessary to speak the truth, whether it is about the abusive lending practices we identified years before they wrecked havoc on our economy or the dead-end bureaucracies that still cannot teach our children.

I have had the good fortune to work with a talented staff and board, terrific investors, and great supporters from government, philanthropy, civic groups, the private sector, and the faith community. These relationships are the enduring gift I received from my time here. I will always cherish these friendships and relationships above all else.

The best days of TRF are in front of us. It is hard to think that way from the perspective of the economic and social challenges we experience today. But today, more than ever we need the common sense and integrity of an organization that finds new ways to combine public purpose and private enterprise and is still not afraid to take a stand, based on practical wisdom and reflection.

For the next two weeks I am going to take a vacation and then I will begin a new chapter. I will have the honor of leading an extraordinary institution that carries a legacy of public good, humility and civic capacity. I look forward to continuing our work together from that platform. It is an honor to have been chosen to lead William Penn, just as it has been an honor to lead TRF.

And so for the last time, I sign off as —

Jeremy Nowak
President and CEO, The Reinvestment Fund

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