NEWARK, NJ, May 3, 2021 / PRNewswire / – One of the New Jersey The best impact investing strategists should take the helm of a leading community development organization, with ambitious plans to scale up local investments in affordable housing, economic development, health, education and l ’employment.
Jorge cruz, a 30-year community investing veteran who most recently served as Director of External Affairs for New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), is the new Executive Director of LISC Greater Newark, the local branch of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). LISC is one of the largest community development organizations in the country, with $ 24 billion invested across the country, including more than $ 151 million in Newark.
“We are delighted that Jorge is joining the LISC family and leading our work in Newark,” mentionned Lisa Glover, Chairman and CEO of LISC. “Her experience will be a huge asset as we step up our efforts to create economic opportunities, especially in underfunded communities,” she said.
At the NJCC, Cruz led the capitalization and fund design of the Garden State Relief Fund, providing grants and loans to small businesses and nonprofits affected by the pandemic. He led the fundraising process to create the Equitable Small Business Initiative, a joint loan fund in partnership with the NJ African American Chamber of Commerce to help close the capital gap for entrepreneurs of color. He also led the formation of the Partnership to Invest in Transformative Community Health fund, a collaboration with philanthropic groups and health systems to tackle the social determinants of health.
“Jorge understands how to launch and lead groundbreaking initiatives that change lives,” said Glover. “He knows how to work with a wide range of investors, philanthropic funders, community partners and policy makers. He knows from experience that solutions must be locally appropriate – developed with and for residents – and not imposed from afar. “It couldn’t be more important now, as we help communities recover from COVID-19 and address the lingering inequalities that affect so many families,” she said.
Prior to joining the NJCC, Cruz was Director of Strategy for the Jewish Renaissance Foundation, where he helped drive collaborations focused on community revitalization and resident health. Previously, he was executive director of the Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation, leading one of the state’s largest affordable housing developers; was president of the Bruno group, working with companies to design philanthropy programs; and served as assistant to the mayor of Perth Amboy, coordinate city grants and collaborate with the mayor’s office for economic development.
“Our neighborhoods and communities in Greater Newark are teeming with talent and vibrancy; our job is to open up opportunities through LISC’s extensive toolbox to connect our employees within the New Jersey their imprint to realize their full potential, ”said Cruz. LISC works to create the kind of widely shared prosperity where people are given the chance to be successful regardless of race, class, gender or geography. We invest in strong, healthy communities, and I can’t think of a time when that was more important than now. “
In addition to his professional endeavors, Cruz volunteers with a number of organizations, serving on boards and commissions, including the Center for Nonprofits and the Academy for Urban Leadership. He currently sits on the National NeighbourWorks Association External Affairs Committee; Hispanic State Chamber of Commerce Business Advisory Board New Jersey; and as vice chairman of the board of directors of the Jewish Renaissance Foundation. Past involvement also includes the position of Organizational Delegate on the Government Affairs Committee of Opportunity Finance Network and the Regional Council of the CDFI Coalition. He has also been appointed governor to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice and Prevention and the New Jersey Policy Academy to End Homelessness.
Cruz graduated from College of New Jersey with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and work done in design and town planning at Rutgers University Bloustein School of Public Policy.
It can be reached early May 3rd at [email protected].
With residents and partners, LISC forges communities of resilient and inclusive opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business, and raise families. Since 1979, LISC has invested $ 24 billion to build or renovate more than 436,320 affordable homes and apartments and develop 74.4 million square feet of commercial, community and educational space. To learn more, visit www.lisc.org.
Colleen Mulcahy, for LISC
SOURCE Local Initiatives Support Company (LISC)