Stories

Economic Development

  • Remembering Sandy Rosenblith

    Rural America lost one of its most tenacious champions with the death of Sandy Rosenblith last month. She was one of the most effective, difficult people I have ever known.

    She understood how important place-based change is to low-wealth communities, and that strong, resident-led organizations are key to creating jobs, housing, financial services and the other things people...

    Sandy Rosenblith
  • Justin Maxson: MACED's Approach

    From 2002 to 2015, Justin Maxson served as President of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development in Kentucky, where he supported and generated innovative development strategies, including small enterprise lending and technical assistance solutions, energy efficiency support strategies and targeted research and policy efforts aimed at creating benefits for low-to-moderate...

  • Martin Eakes: Income Inequality and Beginning of Self Help

    Martin Eakes is co-founder and CEO of Self Help Credit Union and the Center for Responsible Lending. He holds a law degree from Yale, a master's from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton, and a bachelor's degree from Davidson College. A native of North Carolina, Eakes is a nationally recognized expert on development finance and has been honored by the John D. and Catherine...

  • Ines Polonius: Entrepreneurship in Arkansas

    Ines Polonius spearheaded the merger of Community Resource Group and alt.Consulting to form Communities Unlimited, which offers infrastructure services and economic entrepreneurial growth strategies in seven states.

    As Executive Director of alt.Consulting, Polonius worked with hundreds of small businesses in manufacturing, distribution, service and retail. Among the services Polonius...

  • Ralph Paige: Credit Unions

    Ralph Paige has served the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund for 30 years, 15 as Executive Director. The Federation improves the quality of rural life through housing, community credit unions, cooperatives and training programs. It helps small farmers access the full range of USDA programs and keeps thousands of landowners informed of their rights and responsibilities to...