Frank Fernandez

A co-founder of City Lights Group, Frank Fernandez, a recognized leader on housing, transportation and economic development issues, currently serves as Vice President of Community Development at The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia. Before relocating toAtlanta from Austin, Frank served as the Executive Director of Green Doors, a non-profit group devoted to transforming lives and neighborhoods for people in need in Central Texas. Prior to joining Green Doors, Frank served for five years as Deputy Director of PeopleFund, a community development financial institution. Frank previously worked as a public sector financial analyst for Salomon Smith Barney in New York City, structuring over $1 billion in financial transactions. Frank has additionally provided consulting services to a wide variety of clients over the past decade, including universities, non-profits, trade associations, and foundations. In Austin, Frank served on the Board of Capital Metro, Central Texas’ public transit agency, and CAMPO, the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Central Texas. A Florida native, Frank holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Harvard University and an M.P.A. from the LBJ School of Public Affairs.



Jeanne Russell

Jeanne Russell is the owner and co-founder of Mission Street Consulting. In that capacity, she helped design and launch SA Works, the Centers for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) and Upgrade, among other initiatives. Prior to forming Mission Street Consulting LLC, she was part of the founding leadership team of SA2020, where she oversaw the development of a community data indicators dashboard and coordinated the Talent Pipeline Task Force. Jeanne previously served as Education Advisor to Mayor Julián Castro, helping craft Pre-K 4 SA, and cafecollege, both national models. She began her career as a teacher and spent a decade as an investigative reporter and editor before joining the public sector.



Marsha Krassner

Marsha Krassner enjoys a national reputation in the impact investing and CDFI fields since launching her company, MDK Consulting Group, in 1995, following a successful, 14-year career as an analyst and lender with Capital Impact Partners, a leading national CDFI. Her engagements are varied, and include market analyses, strategic and business planning, contracted underwriting, and securing grants, loans and tax credits on behalf of her clients. Marsha’s client list includes some of the most sophisticated CDFI’s from around the country. Working in both rural and urban communities, Marsha has secured more than $2.7billion for her clients, all of whom are working in the country’s most economically distressed communities.



Michael Kellerman

Michael Kellerman is driven by creating effective strategies for social sector growth and organizational excellence. Based in Philadelphia, Michael focuses on program strategy, revenue development, public policy, research, and data analysis. Current clients include Esperanza, a Philadelphia-based poverty alleviation conglomerate with a national focus, where Michael is assisting with the Gates Foundation’s US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty; Center City District, Philadelphia’s business improvement district and one of the nation’s largest municipal authorities focused on downtown development; and Ballet Austin, one the nation’s most innovative ballet companies, where Michael is coordinating the launch of the organization’s campaign for permanence, which has doubled the group’s endowment from $4.5 million to $9 million. Prior to his work as a consultant, Michael was Director of Philanthropic Partnerships with the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, DC, where we worked with the organization’s senior leadership in Global Environmental. Michael has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs.



Caroline Alexander

Caroline Alexander specializes in creative strategy development, qualitative and quantitative research, and insightful data analytics. Prior to launching Alexander Research & Consulting, Caroline Alexander led consulting projects across the US with TIP Strategies, an economic and workforce strategy consulting firms. In this capacity, she worked with urban, suburban, and rural communities to craft their visions for the future and develop community-supported strategic plans to move towards those visions. Her recent clients include Workforce Solutions Capital Area (Austin, TX); the City of Fort Collins (CO); the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; and the Tampa Bay Partnership. Previously, Caroline worked in microfinance with the Lift Fund (formerly ACCION Texas) and in corporate finance with Credit Suisse First Boston. She has a M.P.A. from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Economics from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina.