Knowledge is of no value unless it’s put to practice. We believe in objectively seeking and disseminating continuous improvement from experience and shared knowledge. By creating a new culture of making educated choices, we will continue to innovate and evolve.
Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to results. There are a lot of good intentions, but not enough results. We believe in order to achieve results, individual people and not organizations need to be held accountable. Companies are not people and true leadership cannot be exercised by committee nor should it hide behind a corporate shield.
A sustainable business is resource-efficient, respects the environment and plans for the future. We believe that this is not a charity, but a business program which will balance the needs of all the stakeholders, present and future, in order to improve our cities as they evolve.
If everyone moves forward together, then success takes care of itself. We believe that by providing the values, forums, methods, and opportunities necessary to change established patterns, then we can advance together to create positive, profitable and lasting change for all.
REDI is a Limited Liability Company dedicated to to supporting social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. REDI is committed to donating a portion of its net profit to helping organize and stabilize communities.
Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative (BCDI)
We believe that every problem has a slate of solutions waiting to be discovered and tested. We have come together, from diverse backgrounds, to create this bold and pragmatic experiment in equitable real estate development.
Ernst is the founder and president of Ernst Valery Investments Corp. (EVI). EVI invests in select underserved and undervalued key emerging domestic real estate markets, defined as urban transitional areas with high residential and retail demand. He has extensive experience in affordable and market rate housing development and investment, including providing due diligence capabilities and extensive skills in budget planning, design development, marketing, and the supervision and guidance of contractors, architects and engineers. He is responsible for the securing and structuring of financing, including expertise in securing Historic and New Markets Tax Credits. EVI focuses on a triple bottom line of solid financial returns, supporting communities, and environmental sustainability. Since formation, EVI has expanded its focus to include investing in small business development and innovative strategies for inclusive economic development. Ernst collaborates with MIT’s Community Innovators Laboratory (CoLab), and the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative to formulate strategies for equitable and inclusive economic development. He is currently developing prototypes to rate real estate developer quality based on their community engagement, an e-commerce platform to facilitate local procurement, and a framework for attracting investors committed to socially responsible development. Ernst is committed to working with communities and implementing development strategies that prevent displacement, protect community legacy and generate community wealth. As a principal of SA+A Development, Ernst shares overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations and execution of SA+A projects and relationships. He has successfully invested in and developed real estate in Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Pennsylvania; and New York. For the past 15 years, he has been involved in projects ranging from multi-tenant rental properties to the renovation and adaptive reuse of historical real estate assets. Ernst was born Port-au-Prince, Haiti and grew up in Nyack, New York.He was educated at Cornell University (B.S., M.P.A.) and Columbia University (M.S.), Ernst is now also a Research Affiliate at MIT’s CoLab. Ernst is married, with three young children and has settled in Baltimore.
Tina Fan is a consulting executive with 16 years of experience in management, operations and technology consulting. Tina is a skilled strategist with expertise in selling and leading client solutions, creating and mentoring high performing teams, and growing a business entrepreneurially. Most recently she was a managing director at Acquis consulting group for 10+ years where she helped build and operationalize the firm through strategic planning, marketing, sales, account management, partnership development, and mentoring. She has served as a program/project advisor to many clients for strategy, business process improvement, program management, change management, technology implementation and vendor sourcing. Prior to joining Acquis Consulting Group in 2005, Tina was a Senior Consultant for Accenture. She enjoys working on new ideas such as REDI and has co-authored two white papers on the Sunshine Act and Corporate Culture. Not only is Tina an avid problem solver, she also loves to travel, eat and shop. She has been to 43 countries and is an excellent cook. Tina holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and a certification in fashion design from Parson school of design.
Actor, Tony-Award winning Producer, Community Developer, Businessman and author Wendell Pierce has been in more than 30 films, appeared in nearly 50 television shows and has performed in dozens of stage productions around the world. He is perhaps best known for his work in the HBO dramas “The Wire”, “Treme”, and co-starred with Kerry Washington in the Emmy nominated TV film, “Confirmation”, portraying Justice Clarence Thomas. In film, he is known for his roles in the Academy Award winning films “Ray” and “Selma”. As well as, “Malcolm X”, “Waiting to Exhale”, “Brown Sugar” “It Could Happen To You”, “The Gift” and “One Last Thing”. He was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award as Best Actor in the movie “Four”.
He is the author of The Wind in the Reeds: A Storm, A Play and The City That Could Not Be Broken, a powerful and redemptive narrative of his family and the city of New Orleans. That book was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author. Pierce was born in New Orleans, raised in the black, middle-class community of Pontchartrain Park, the first African-American post-war suburb. After attending Benjamin Franklin High School, Pierce graduated from the New Orleans Centre for Creative Arts and The Juilliard School’s Drama Division. After Hurricane Katrina, Pierce started the non–profit Pontchartrain Park Community Development Corp., to build new affordable, solar, and geothermal homes in Pontchartrain Park for families displaced by Katrina. He is also one of the founders of Sterling Farms, a chain of fresh food markets in New Orleans, inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to bring more supermarkets to food deserts.
A veteran of stage and screen, Mr. Pierce won an Obie Award for his sustained career in the Off-Broadway theater. He has acted and produced on Broadway as well. His production of Clybourne Park was nominated for four Tony Awards, and won the Tony for Best Play in 2012. In 2009, Pierce became the host of the nationally syndicated, Peabody Award-winning radio program, “Jazz at Lincoln Center.” He was 1 of 20 Presidential Scholars in the Arts in 1981 when he received his medallion at a White House ceremony. The Social Justice Movement of the 21st Century is Economic Development. Mr. Pierce is an ardent promoter of socially conscience investment.
Naomi Abraham has worked in the make-the-world-great sector for more than 15 years. From leading communications for an international human rights organization to managing a multimillion-dollar immigrant civic engagement fund, Naomi’s career has been focused on developing smart and creative vehicles that work to bridge the gap between the world we live in and the one we want to live in. In 2010, she transitioned from working in philanthropy to communications because of her ardent belief in the power of storytelling. Since then she has worked with various human rights and social justice organizations in the U.S. and around the world. Most recently she was the communications director for the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience and before that a communications strategist with PolicyLink. She has also worked as a freelance journalist publishing articles on human rights and social issues for which she was awarded a fellowship with the Ford Foundation and the International Center For Journalists to report on human rights abuses in Uganda and Kenya. Today, in addition to her work with REDI, she is mom to a terrific little person and a communications consultant and trainer. She holds graduate degrees in international relations and journalism, respectively from City University of New York and Columbia University.
Dayna Cunningham is Executive Director of CoLab. Prior to CoLab, as Program Director of the ELIAS Project, an MIT-based collaboration between business, NGOs and government, she worked with leaders using profound innovation processes to create multi-sector initiatives for economic, social and environmental sustainability. Before that, Dayna worked as an Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation supporting efforts to explore changing racial dynamics and new conceptions of race in the U.S., as well as civil rights legal innovation. Prior to the Rockefeller Foundation, Dayna worked as a voting rights lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, litigating cases in Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and elsewhere in the South, and briefly as an officer for the New York City Program at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Dayna is a 2004 graduate of the Sloan Fellows MBA program of the MIT Sloan School of Management. She has an undergraduate degree from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and a juris doctor degree from New York University School of Law.
Jerry’s primary responsibilities include strategic planning, business development and supervision of marketing activities. Prior to forming Stratford Capital, from 1995 to 2006, he was Chief Executive Officer of Franklin Capital Group, a real estate investment company specializing in the financing and development of apartment communities nationwide. During his tenure, Franklin Capital Group placed more than $350 million in equity capital in over 115 residential rental properties consisting of more than 13,500 apartment units. From 1987 to 1994, he was Executive Vice President of Sumner Development Company, a real estate company, and president of an affiliated entity, Mount Vernon Financial Corporation, where he arranged debt and equity financing and participated in project acquisition and development. From 1975 to 1987, he was Managing Director of First Winthrop Corporation and subsequently Chief Executive Officer of Winthrop Financial Associates, both Boston, Massachusetts based real estate companies As one of the founders of Winthrop, he was responsible for the acquisition and syndication to private investors of over $5.5 billion dollars of property, including over 40,000 rental apartment units. From 1967 to 1969, he served as an officer in the United States Navy. He is a graduate of Yale University and holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Richard Roberts is Managing Director of Acquisitions for Red Stone Equity Partners, LLC assisting in the origination and management of developer relationships in the Northeast and the development of new business strategies for the firm. Richard has extensive career in affordable housing and urban market investments having worked in these areas for over 18 years. Prior to joining Red Stone, he worked in the government, for profit and nonprofit sectors including serving as the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, one of the largest allocators of Low Income Housing Tax Credits in the country, where he was responsible for the investment of more than $1 billion into New York City’s neighborhoods and the creation of over 30,000 units of affordable housing. He is also the founding Managing Director of the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group where he devised and led a creative strategy responsible for the establishment of the firm’s community development investment platform. Richard is active on a number of civic, philanthropic and industry organizations and serves on the boards of NYSAFAH, Citizen’s Housing and Planning Council (executive committee) and is co-Chair of the ULI New York Housing Council. Richard holds both a BA and JD from Yale University.
For 25 years, Nancy Rome has produced controversial and award-winning documentary films for several broadcasters, among them Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, and
picked up by PBS and other US broadcasters. She played an integral part of strategic planning and programming for a new 24-hour news and current affairs global network bureau in Washington, DC. More recently she has shifted her focus to Baltimore, where she grew up and hopes to make a difference in real terms rather than through a camera lens. She has brought her long experience in the art world (including a decade consulting for Christie’s in NYC) and in interior design (more than a dozen houses and corporate spaces) and her aesthetic sensibilities to EVI’s projects, working closely with our architects and on landscape design. She has served on various committees at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Evergreen House and Library (a Johns Hopkins Museum) and is on the Consulting Board at Ladew Gardens in Monkton, MD. She was educated at Middlebury College and at Oxford University.