Meet NACEDA's New Board Members

Community development professionals from across the country elected five new members to the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) Board of Directors on December 11, 2020. The new board members were unanimously elected during the NACEDA Annual Meeting, which was held virtually. View their bios.

“The organization is humbled by this year's incredibly strong interest in board service," said NACEDA Board Chair Rick Sauer. "The selection committee considered nominations from across the country and from a wide variety of institutions. We are excited about the strong contingent of new board members stepping forward to advance the community development field at such a critical time. We look forward to the leadership and resources they will bring to NACEDA, its members, and the communities we serve." Sauer is executive director of the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations.

NACEDA is an alliance of 38 state and regional community development associations in 25 states and the District of Columbia who are dedicated to improving places for the people who live and work there. Working at the local, state and national levels, the NACEDA network advances opportunity and prosperity in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods that have experienced a significant lack of investment. Through its members, NACEDA serves 3,500 community development organizations across the United States.

In addition to welcoming the new board members, NACEDA will be saying goodbye to long-standing members Terry Chelikowsky, Nate Coffman, Hala Farid, and Jodi Reeves, who are terming off this year.

NACEDA is delighted to introduce our new board members.

Roberto Barragan
Executive Director
California Community Economic Development Association
Los Angeles, California

Roberto Barragan is the Executive Director of the California Community Economic Development Association, a 200 member association committed to community revitalization in diverse urban and rural neighborhoods across the state of California. Roberto assists Community Development Corporations (CDCs), Community Action Agencies and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to plan, fund, establish and expand robust community economic development programs, including micro and small business lending programs, strategic and innovative community reinvestment solutions, as well as assist nonprofit organizations with social venture business plans and funding strategies as well as fund development plans and campaigns, and conceptualize, structure, fund and manage community led real estate projects, e.g. administrative offices, child development and training facilities, homeless shelters, affordable housing and commercial and retail projects that serve low and moderate income communities.

Paul Ettorre
Community Development Relationship Manager
Woodforest Bank
Cleveland, Ohio

Paul’s entire career has centered around the community development field including banking, nonprofit leadership, digital divide, urban redevelopment, and all forms of affordable housing. On the Woodforest team, Paul helps to shape and execute the banks’ on-theground CRA strategies for Ohio, New York, and parts of Indiana and Kentucky. He is also part of a larger Woodforest team committed to maintaining the bank’s OUTSTANDING CRA rating across its 17-state footprint. Paul spent the first 9 years of his career at an affordable housing CDC, and thereafter as housing director at another Cleveland CDC where he nurtured his lifelong commitment for equitable community placemaking. While at Key Bank, Paul was a lender and trusted advisor to numerous CDC’s throughout the bank’s Midwest footprint. Paul is now a board member (and active classroom volunteer pre/post Covid) on his local Junior Achievement chapter as well as a member of the board of directors for almost 10 years on his local neighborhood CDC.  

Bambie Hayes-Brown
President and CEO
Georgia Advancing Communities Together, Inc. 
Atlanta, Georgia

Bambie Hayes-Brown is a native of Cordele, Georgia and a graduate of Shorter University with both a Bachelor’s in Business Management and an MBA, and obtained her Doctor of Divinity Degree in 2020. Bambie is a 2018 graduate of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute and the Georgia Academy of Economic Development. Bambie is the President and CEO of Georgia Advancing Communities Together, Inc., a statewide membership organization of housing and community development agencies. She has 24 years’ experience in rural and urban housing, community and economic development. Bambie is a registered lobbyist, Real Estate Broker, Certified Economic Development Finance Professional & co-chairs the HouseATL Policy Committee. Bambie serves on the Board of Directors of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the DeKalb County Branch NAACP, and the ATL Airport Chamber of Commerce and serves on numerous advisory committees including the Enterprise Community Partners Southeast Advisory Committee, Housing Justice League, and Cadence Bank. Bambie is married to Shearon Brown and splits her residence between Forest Park and South Georgia.

Mercedeh Mortazavi
Vice President
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Foundation
Washington, DC

Mercedeh Mortazavi is a Vice President in the JPMorgan Chase & Co. Foundation, a global leader dedicated to driving inclusive economic growth in communities worldwide. The JPMorgan Chase Foundation has made a commitment to invest $2 billion over five years to strengthen workforce systems, strengthen neighborhoods, grow small businesses, and improve the financial health of individuals. Mercedeh is responsible for helping establish and execute the firm’s national philanthropic strategies on neighborhood development, including leading the PRO Neighborhoods Competition and Advancing Cities Challenge aimed at advancing solutions that tackle major social and economic challenges across the country. Through the neighborhood development portfolio, Mercedeh has supported the deployment of over $245 million over five years to equip community leaders with the capital and tools needed to promote neighborhoods of opportunity where diverse individuals and families at all income levels can thrive. This includes enabling nonprofit partners to raise an additional $1 billion of outside capital to be deployed in underinvested neighborhoods.

Kate Pratt
Vice President of Operations
South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development
Charleston, South Carolina

Kate Pratt is the Vice President of Operations for the South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development (SCACED) where she oversees all program staff and financial resources. Kate supports member CDCs and CDFIs through the provision of technical assistance, develops partnerships that increase visibility and represents the organization at community, educational and political events Additionally Kate is involved in resource development, advocacy and the capacity building of non-profits to increase the impact they have on local communities. Kate is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in public relations. She was Development Director for the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties, Executive Director of Summerville D.R.E.A.M. and Resource Development Director for Pro Bono Legal Services before joining the SCACED staff in 2008. She is happily married to Eric Pratt of Charleston, SC and they have three sons Finlay, Cullen and Murphy Pratt.