Maurice Jones, President and CEO of nationally recognized LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), is the featured keynote speaker at RUPCO’s annual luncheon Community Lunch on November 8. Jones will share his perspective on how communities can change and revitalize neighborhoods through a local approach to housing, health, safety, and job creation. Community Lunch will be held at The Chateau, 240 Boulevard Avenue, Kingston from 11:30a.m. to 2 p.m. This event is open to the public; tickets can be purchased online for $35 here.

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation, known as LISC, is one of the largest organizations supporting projects to revitalize communities and bring greater economic opportunity to residents. Initiatives include affordable housing, better schools, safer streets, growing businesses and programs that improve the financial outlook of people. LISC partners with nonprofits like RUPCO and provides capital and strategic know-how facilitate change locally. LISC’s work impacts 7 million low-income Americans in both rural areas and urban centers across the country. “To have someone of Maurice’s caliber, experience and inspiration come and speak in Kingston is a real honor,” notes Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer at RUPCO. “These conversations around local economies, thriving communities, family-life and working together are the kinds of conversations we need to be having. We hope Maurice’s talk with inspire further conversation about how we define healthy, robust, profitable communities here; communities that provide opportunity, innovation, and housing; communities that are strong, diverse, and vibrant.”

Maurice Jones, President & CEO, LISCWith deep experience in both the public and private sectors, Jones took the helm as LISC’s fourth president & CEO in September 2016. Immediately prior to joining LISC, he served as the secretary of commerce for the Commonwealth of Virginia, where he managed 13 state agencies focused on statewide economic needs. He previously served as deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) overseeing operations for the agency and its 8,900 staff members. The depth and breadth of his experience in policy making, social services and legal arenas give him a unique perspective on how communities thrive when they work together closest to home.

Additionally, RUPCO is recognizing two local individuals for their commitment to community. RUPCO is presenting its Community Partner Award to Madeline Fletcher, Executive Director of Newburgh Community Land Bank (NCLB) for her leadership and vision of the Newburgh revitalization efforts happening in the historic East End. Fletcher, with real estate experience in housing finance and as a land use attorney, has led the Land Bank since its formation in 2012. RUPCO is currently working with NCLB, Safe Harbors of the Hudson and local contractor Libolt & Sons in the rehabilitation of 15 properties to create 45 new rental homes in one of Newburgh’s most distressed areas, a 4-block cluster between Broadway and First Street.

RUPCO is also recognizing Kingston resident, Harold Renzo with the inaugural presentation of the Community Inspiration Award. This award recognizes an individual committed to improving our neighborhoods in ways that benefit the entire community. Renzo, a Stuyvesant resident for over 20 years, was responsible for facilitating change in uptown Kingston by advocating for accessibility access via curb cuts for those using wheelchairs, sight canes and seeing-eye dogs, and other physical challenges. A former U.S. Marine, Renzo advocates for senior and supportive housing and has been a vocal proponent of Landmark Place for seniors, veterans and those with special needs.

Community Lunch brings together friends, family and supporter around the table for annual discussions about housing, local economies, and other relevant topics that affect community. For more information, contact Maru Gonzalez (845) 331-2140, ext. 276.

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