Our mission is to strengthen Chicago area low- to moderate-income communities by collaborating with neighborhood stakeholders on community development efforts, acting as a developer and resource that supports economic development and neighborhood revitalization, and coordinating capital and resources to support community projects.
The long-term goal of CNI’s officers and board members is to expand capacity in order to be responsive to development opportunities in low-income communities throughout the greater Chicagoland area.
For 25 years, David has served neighborhoods throughout Chicago in various nonprofit and governmental capacities, including as a community organizer in North Lawndale and as Superintendent of the Chicago Park District. At CNI, David focuses on strategy and raising capital, and helped lead an organizing effort to have Pullman declared a National Monument. David has an undergraduate degree from Wheaton College and a Master’s in Social Science from the University of Chicago. David is also a member of Millennium Reserve Steering Committee and on the Cook County Commission on Social Innovation.
Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel
A corporate attorney with an MBA and more than 15 years of experience, Jennifer’s responsibilities at CNI include operations, legal, and finance; board, funder and government relations; and direction of the NMTC program and Pullman National Monument. Jennifer previously served as counsel at a bank holding company and worked in the economic consulting and tax practices at Huron Consulting Group and Arthur Andersen. Jennifer earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California, her JD and MBA from Pepperdine and is a University of Chicago Civic Leadership Academy Fellow and is a 2018 participant in Stanford University’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders. Jennifer is also a member of the boards of directors of Christ the King Jesuit College Prep and the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition.
Vice President of Lending, CNI and President, CNI Micro Finance Group
With more than 17 years of experience in the financial industry, Erica is the leader of CNI’s microlending program. Prior to joining CNI, Erica worked in commercial lending for 12 years at U.S. Bank and Park National Bank. She previously worked as a Finance Director at the Women’s Business Development Center. Erica earned her Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 2016, Erica was appointed to the Minority Economic Development Council, a program to improve the economic climate for minority and women-owned businesses in Illinois
Vice President of Real Estate and Inclusion
Ciere builds strong client partnerships and maps CNI’s real estate strategy by overseeing the entitlement, financing and development of CNI’s real estate projects. Since joining CNI in 2013, she has managed the development of new projects, including Pullman Park and has been instrumental in leading CNI’s community engagement process and building support for citywide projects. Ciere also leads CNI’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. She is a graduate of Hamilton College and earned a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from University of Illinois at Chicago. Currently Ciere serves as a Commissioner for the Roseland Medical District and is a LINK Unlimited mentor.
Director of Finance
With more than 14 years of experience in the finance industry, James is responsible for all finance and accounting functions at CNI, including financial management, analysis, planning, and forecasting. Prior to joining CNI, James spent five years as an Investment Officer with California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS). Prior to CalPERS, James was an Audit Supervisor with Ernst & Young. James earned his Business Degree from San Francisco State University and his Master’s in Nonprofit Management from North Park University.
Project Manager, Real Estate
Donald has more than 12 years of experience in the banking and real estate development field. At CNI, Donald is responsible for overseeing the organization’s affordable housing development programs, including the restoration of historic rowhomes, utilizing various financing initiatives. Prior to CNI, Donald worked as a Credit Analyst and Commercial Lender at Park National Bank. Donald earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance from Dominican University.
Maria has more than 25 years of accounting experience. At CNI, she is responsible for managing the bank accounts of CNI and its subsidiaries, providing loan servicing for microloans, assisting with monthly financial reporting, overseeing the accounts payable and reconciling the general ledger for all entities. Maria previously worked for Park National Bank and earned a degree from Chicago State University.