PEORIA, Ill., Oct. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has named Brandon Holmes, a driving force in Cincinnati's community development industry, to lead its work revitalizing troubled neighborhoods in Peoria.
Holmes will take over as executive director of the new LISC Peoria program in November. He has been meeting with the LISC Peoria Local Advisory Board to discuss strategy, connect with local community development leaders and prepare for opening the office next month.
"Small cities—particularly aging industrial cities—face a unique set of challenges and opportunities," Holmes said. "They rarely get the attention of a Chicago, New York, or L.A. But they are the economic backbone of this country, with strong histories of innovation and tremendous civic engagement. They have the capacity to be collaborative, nimble, and creative—to really lead from Main Street as well as from city hall. That's certainly the case in Peoria."
Before accepting the Peoria position, Holmes was a program officer helping lead the lending and development effort for LISC's Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky program. Prior to that he was vice president of development with Community Redevelopment Group and a managing member at New Horizons Development Group, both in Cincinnati. He has also worked as a HUD fellow with both Hamilton County Planning Commission and several Cincinnati-area community development corporations.
During its four-month search for an executive director, the LISC Peoria board was impressed with Holmes' history of results, given his experience within the LISC organization and throughout troubled neighborhoods.
"Brandon will bring the same skills and experience he used to energize neighborhoods in one historic river city to tackle the problems residents face here in another," said Michael Rubinger, LISC president and CEO.
Peoria represents LISC's 31st program site and the first new one in more than a decade. The Peoria program is being established as a result of a $3 million three-year grant from the Caterpillar Foundation. Work in this Central Illinois city will focus on housing, safety, and economic development in the South Peoria and East Bluff neighborhoods. They both have high rates of poverty and unemployment, large numbers of vacant properties, significant crime and crumbling housing stock.
"The strength of the LISC model is that it works as well in Peoria or Cincinnati as it does in Harlem. It's not a one-size-fits-all solution to economic decline but a flexible platform that lifts each community and its residents based on their particular needs. We are thrilled to have Brandon lead this effort here in Peoria."
LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has raised $12 billion to build or rehab 289,000 affordable homes and develop 46 million square feet of retail, community and educational space nationwide. Since 1994, LISC support has leveraged nearly $40 billion in total development activity. For more information, visit www.lisc.org.
Colleen Mulcahy, LISC Communications
312-342-8244 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Local Initiatives Support Corporation