trans•act Advisory Board
The Advisory Board members were selected to reflect the broad range of
interests — public health, public markets, and private
foundation investors — with a stake in our model of markets as a vehicle for developing financial, human, and social capital.
Miguel A. Garcia
Mr. Miguel Garcia is a Program Officer in the Community and Resource Development Unit at the Ford Foundation in New York City. His initial focus over the first two years of his appointment has been on mixed-race, mixed-income communities; active public spaces; and community development training opportunities. Current work on mixed-income development includes housing, worker centers, transit-oriented development, transnational communities and emerging innovations in development finance. Current work on public spaces focuses on public markets, neighborhood arts and culture institutions, community technology centers and open space and recreation. He was formerly with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Houston, Texas, where he worked on community economic development and affordable housing programs and projects. Prior to working for the federal government, he served as the Assistant Director of the City of Houston’s Planning and Development Department where he managed various neighborhood revitalization programs. Prior to working for the city, he was the first executive director for the Association For the Advancement of Mexican Americans (AAMA) Community Development Corporation where he redeveloped shopping centers, industrial parks and initiated affordable housing projects that included ownership and rental properties.
G. Geoffrey Lutz
A local expert in Real Estate Brokerage, Consulting, and Development, Geoffrey is a Louisiana Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser and Tulane graduate, with degrees in Mathematics, German and Business. His concentration in commercial real estate, adaptive re-use of historic structures, and market studies for commercial and multi-family projects provides an important perspective for the research work of trans⋅act. His development projects include hotel, retail, and restaurant properties. He is currently an adjunct professor at Tulane University College and was awarded the John Dyer Award for Teaching Excellence in 2000. He is also very involved with his community, serving as a board member to the Green Project, a New Orleans Warehouse store that resells high-quality, salvaged building materials at low cost and provides other environmental services to the local community space. Geoffrey also serves as a board member to the recently independent marketumbrella.org.
Richard McCarthy IV
Richard is co-founder and executive director of marketumbrella.org (formerly the Economics Institute). A social entrepreneur, he regularly assists communities in the planning and implementation of projects like marketumbrella.org’s own Crescent City Farmers Market and the regional post-Katrina rebuilding effort. In 2002, he led a New Orleans delegation to the United Nations’ World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa, as well as to the preparatory meetings in Indonesia. In 2006, he was asked to serve as vice president of the new national organization, the Farmers Market Coalition. He also served on the Project for Public Spaces’ public markets initiative, which has resulted in $2 million in new grant money for public markets. With family roots in New Orleans, Richard embodies the phrase, “think globally; act locally.” He received his bachelor's degree in international relations from Richmond College in London and his master’s degree from the London School of Economics. While headquartered in New Orleans, he travels frequently to give communities everywhere the tools to manage their own lives and livelihoods.
Stacy has worked with farmers markets from a variety of vantage points: vendor, manager, researcher, and consumer. She has grown and sold everything from asian mustards to zinnias, and later served as the manager of the Morgantown Farmers Market for two years. In 2005, she earned a Masters of Science in Agricultural and Environmental Education from West Virginia University, and has since co-authored articles on farmers market impacts and characteristics for academic agricultural publications. As Executive Director, Stacy is responsible for communications, member outreach, and best practices documentation, as well as assisting the board with grant management and program development. Stacy enjoys working with managers, farmers, economic developers, and others in the farmers market sphere to cultivate an environment of sharing: ideas, assessment tools, success stories, obstacles, and other resources. She is a “true believer” in the power of farmers markets to sustain healthy farms, healthy communities, and healthy economies.
Roy O. Priest
Roy is the chairman of the trans⋅act Advisory Board. The former president and CEO of the National Congress for Community Economic Development (NCCED) he came to NCCED from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) after 17 years of distinguished service. Mr. Priest served as director of the Office of Economic Development (OED), where he was responsible for supervision of the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and Urban Development Action Grants Programs (UDAG), as well as Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities (EZ/EC). He also directed the Buffalo HUD office from 1980-1985, bringing his experience and expertise to small cities' community development issues. Before beginning his tenure at HUD, Mr. Priest worked for the city government of the District of Columbia, where he served in many capacities, including senior management positions with the Redevelopment Land Agency and with the District's first consolidated housing department as Director of Resource Development and Director of the Office of Policy, Planning, Program Development and Evaluation. Throughout his career, Mr. Priest has been a deeply committed advocate of community development, and has inspired and nurtured many careers in the field. He is an engaging speaker and is frequently sought after to share his knowledge of programs and principles of community development.
Mary Rowe assumed the position of Vice President of Urban Programs of blue moon fund in March 2007, following eighteen months as its Senior Urban Fellow. Mary’s fellowship focused on self-organization in cities as the underpinning of urban resilience, with New Orleans, Charlottesville (where the fund is based) and New York City as case studies. Now a member of the blue moon staff, Mary is charged with developing an urban program that reflects the values of the fund, specifically fostering the diversity of urban responses to change and the connections that bridge them. Prior to joining the blue moon fund, Mary was Director of Toronto-based Ideas that Matter, a convening and publishing program based on the work of Jane Jacobs.
Ms. Elisa Wong is responsible for Kaiser Permanente’s national Community Health Initiatives (CHI), a place-based, prevention-driven approach to health, focusing on policies and environmental changes that promote healthy eating and active living. In that role, Ms. Wong is responsible for providing technical assistance to nine CHI sites around strategic planning, community engagement, and partnership development. In addition, Ms. Wong provides coordination for Kaiser Permanente’s farmers market program and other community food initiatives, focusing on increasing access to healthy foods in low-income communities. Ms. Wong has also worked with underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, focusing on health disparities, chronic disease management and public health advocacy. Ms. Wong received her Masters of Public Health with a focus in Health Policy & Management from University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health.
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