Arctaris Annual Impact Report: Leveraging Public-Private Partnerships to Amplify Impact

Kenneth Surrat

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Kenneth (Ken) Surratt is an experienced community leader who currently serves as Chief Community Investment Officer for United Way of Greater Cleveland. Ken’s broad experience includes time in local government, as well as the nonprofit and the private sectors. In his current role at United Way, he oversees all the organization’s grantmaking and community investments, United Way 211, and public policy.

Ken has years of public sector experience, serving as Outreach Manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and multiple roles within Cuyahoga County, most recently as Deputy Director of Housing and Community Development.

His experience also includes over a decade of work in the nonprofit education sector. Ken served as the first CFO of Breakthrough Schools, a high-performing network of charter schools in Cleveland. Prior to that, he was the Assistant Director of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University, a Policy Analyst with San Francisco Unified School District, and Manager of School Inspections with KIPP Foundation.

Ken’s private sector experience includes roles in finance and consulting in Cleveland and Washington, D.C. with Arthur Andersen LLP and IBM Consulting, respectively. He holds a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia and an M.B.A. from Duke University.

He was born and raised in Cleveland and now lives in Cleveland Heights, OH with his wife and three children.

Rebecca Davidson-Wagner

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Rebecca Davidson-Wagner has 19 years of experience and is the Director of CDFI Investments in the Commercial Lending Unit of the URA. The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) is the City of Pittsburgh’s economic development agency. The goals are to:

  1. create jobs,
  2. increase the city’s tax base,
  3. improve the vitality of the city’s businesses and neighborhoods, and
  4. improve the City of Pittsburgh’s livability as a whole.

Incorporated in 1946, the URA was one of the first redevelopment authorities in Pennsylvania. Organized by corporate and civic leaders, the URA undertook the first privately financed downtown redevelopment project in the United States — Gateway Center. URA also has a NMTC program run through its affiliate Pittsburgh Urban Initiatives, which Ms. Davidson-Wagner is responsible for.


Vanessa Otero

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Vanessa Otero is currently the Executive Director of Healing Racism Institute and was the Director of Smith College’s Urban Education Initiative prior to. Vanessa has over 10 years experience working with and advocating for LIPs and the Latino community.

Smith College educates women of promise for lives of distinction and purpose. A college of and for the world, Smith links the power of the liberal arts to excellence in research and scholarship, thereby developing engaged global citizens and leaders to address society’s challenges. Ms. Otero is the first-ever Director of the Urban Education Initiative at Smith College, leading a portfolio of programs (followship, student mentorship, and scholarship fund) focused on driving education as a lever for social mobility and well-being.

Ms. Otero has deep roots in the community. She is also the interim Director of Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley and serves on state and regional boards, including being appointed by the governor to the Governor’s Latino Advisory Commission. She is the chair of the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission and most recently was asked to join the Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Health Equity Advisory Group. The purpose of this body is to advise Commissioner Monica Bharel and DPH on health equity issues related to, and exacerbated by, the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide suggestions on solutions to be implemented at all levels.

Richard Waitumbi

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Richard Waitumbi is a Vice President at Bain Capital, on the Double Impact Private Equity Team, where he helps lead the underwriting process for the firm’s impact investments across its Health & Wellness, Education & Workforce Development, and Sustainability verticals in underserved communities. In addition to driving the new investment process, Mr. Waitumbi also supports his portfolio companies in developing and implementing value creation plans that deliver both competitive financial returns and meaningful, measurable social and environmental impact.

Mr. Waitumbi has over 10 years of financial experience, and three years of experience investing in disadvantaged communities. His experience with LICs is much deeper and more personal, as he grew up in Kenya and has seen poverty and the associated challenges up close.

Alma Roberts

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Alma Roberts serves as community health and economic opportunity and impact director for Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser Permanente believes “Inclusive economic growth is critical to both individual and community health. When there is a lack of economic opportunity in communities, the prospects for upward social mobility are diminished, often resulting in poorer health and higher mortality rates for people living in those communities. By contrast, economic growth and opportunity provides individuals with jobs, income, a sense of purpose, and opportunities to improve their economic circumstances over time.”

As a large, influential institution in our communities, Kaiser Permanente recognizes that the way they do business can support economic opportunity in local communities by being intentional about how they hire, purchase, build our facilities, and partner with communities.

Ms. Roberts has spent well over three decades working to improve the lives of LIPs. Her prior positions include organizations focused on maternal and child health, poverty solutions, and community health.

James Bason

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James Bason has been the President of Trufund Financial for over 10 years and has nearly 30 years of experience in financial services. Trufund is a CDFI (also has a CDE named Empowerment Reinvestment Fund, LLC) serving LICs and providing access to capital to LICs as its primary mission. Trufund’s mission is to help historically disadvantaged individuals and communities create thriving and resilient small businesses and entrepreneurial ecosystems in order to close racial and economic disparities and ensure an inclusive and equitable society. Mr. Bason is the President of Trufund, overseeing investments across Trufund’s service area.

Empowerment Reinvestment Fund (ERF) has received nine NMTC awards since 2002, investing in the most distressed census tracts in their footprint. ERF and Arctaris have similar mission alignments focused on Minority Owned/Controlled access to capital and operating business growth.