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The BALLE Board Evolves

Co-leadership and new voices emerge.

So many of us work hard, every day, to make our communities better in tangible ways. One way we lend our time and expertise is by participating on boards for organizations and issues we care about.

BALLE is thrilled to share about the evolution of our board, and welcome two new members.

Outgoing Board Chair Sandy Wiggins is the definition of servant leadership. His steady, thoughtful guidance has been critical to stabilizing and transforming the way BALLE functions over the nine years that he has served, including six years as Chair. Sandy’s expertise will continue to be valued and engaged in the Local Economy Foundation Circle, as that program continues to develop, including the launch of the 2018 cohort this April. Our deepest gratitude to Sandy for his many years in service to building local economies that work for all of life.

BALLE is no stranger to co-leadership — and so, it is no surprise, we are transitioning to co-chairs for our Board: Kimber Lanning and Nikki Silvestri.

Kimber Lanning has been a rocket ship since she opened her first business 30 years ago in Arizona; and her role in driving practical, positive transformation, grounded in sustainable economic development, has translated to thousands of quality jobs, and better use of existing assets, in more neighborhoods in Phoenix, Tucson, and across Arizona. Along with participating in the first cohort of BALLE Fellows, Kimber has served on the board for five years, and co-chaired the search committee for BALLE’s new executive director.

Nikki Silvestri, CEO of Soil and Shadow, is emerging from maternity leave after welcoming her son, Ikenna, into the world in November; and she will turn her attention to co-leading the BALLE board into 2018. Nikki’s growing business offers products and services to explore our relationship to land, and healthy soil, in particular. A 2014 BALLE Fellow, Nikki’s leadership on the BALLE board for the past three years, and chairing the Transition committee in 2017, provides a powerful foundation for collaboration with Kimber and others.

Welcome! Tomás Durán has been preserving jobs and creating new owners for years in southern California. A major focus of his work at Concerned Capital has been succession planning in the manufacturing sector, working with the largest manufacturing workforce in the country in the Los Angeles, Long Beach and Santa Ana metropolitan area. A 2016 BALLE Fellow, Tomás is committed to expanding the Board’s representation across different backgrounds and perspectives.

Welcome! Harold Pettigrew has been building skills and relationships to advance local business policy and increase the number of small businesses in Washington, D.C. for 15 years. As Executive Director of the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) Harold is providing entrepreneurs with affordable lending capital, alongside technical assistance to make sure businesses have the support they need to be successful. A 2016 BALLE Fellow, Harold is instrumental to the local economy ecosystem in the D.C. metro region.

We also want to express gratitude for the support of Ted Howard, who served on the BALLE board for three years. Ted’s contributions to the broader local economy field has been invaluable, cofounding the Democracy Collaborative to not only research what it takes to create sustainable community wealth-building, but also put that research into practice, in places like Cleveland, Richmond, and Albuquerque, among many others. We will continue to promote Ted’s work and look forward to collaborating in new ways.

All of these transitions have been successful because of the oversight, and the foresight, of Board Treasurer Dawn McGee, Secretary Jose Corona, and board members Alfa Demmellash, James Johnson Piett, and Susan Witt — along with the BALLE-Mama, Judy Wicks, who has continued to represent and evolve her vision for BALLE since its founding in 2001.

Our organization and our incredible Leadership Network are poised to do great things, in large part thanks to the passion, clarity, and leadership of this board. Deep appreciation to all who have served, past and present!

Categories: BALLE Leadership