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NeighborWorks America Development Team
NeighborWorks is proud to introduce our new Development team made up of seven talented and energetic development professionals. Leveraging more than 100 years of collective experience, the Development team will develop new relationships and strengthen existing relationships with corporate and foundation partners to support the long-term sustainability of NeighborWorks America’s national programs. Our new team, led by Director Sarah Greenberg, strives to reinforce NeighborWorks’ reputation as productive and trusted stewards for our partners.
Director, Development Division
Sarah M. Greenberg is the Director of the Development Division at NeighborWorks America and leads a team of six development professionals. Reporting to the CEO, she provides strategic leadership for partnership and resource development efforts in support of our corporate mission. Prior to taking on this role, she created and managed NeighborWorks America’s Stable Communities Initiative, a program designed to support community development organizations dealing with the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis. Sarah has a Master’s of Community Planning degree from the University of Maryland. She is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and has a special interest in the revitalization of older industrial communities.
Director, National Partnerships
Akilah Watkins-Butler is Director of National Partnerships at NeighborWorks America, where she implements strategies to attract financial resources and maintains strong relationships with existing funders and partners. Before coming to NeighborWorks, Akilah worked with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focusing on healthy eating and active living public policies. Between 2002 and 2004, Akilah served as Program Officer of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta overseeing their community development portfolio. Akilah earned her undergraduate degree from Empire State College in community and human services and her Masters in community economic development from Southern New Hampshire University.
Director, National Partnerships
Jeanne’s professional career includes over 20 years experience with comprehensive strategic planning in distressed communities across the country, focusing on community and economic development. Jeanne was instrumental in the development of the original Success Measures Evaluation Program and has been recognized for her work and accomplishments on a national level. She was named one of Detroit’s Most Influential and Powerful Women in 2005. Originally a native Detroiter, Jeanne relocated to Washington, DC to become a member of the NeighborWorks America family as Director of National Partnerships.
Senior Manager, Regional Partnerships
Jennifer began her career in community development in 2005 when she joined Manna, Inc.’s—a NeighborWorks chartered member—development team and later as Director of Corporate Development. During her tenure, she increased the investments in Manna’s Capstone Fund (RLF) from $1.9 million to $3 million, implemented Manna’s social media strategy, and was awarded several highly competitive grants including the Bank of America Neighborhood Excellence Initiative and the Wells Fargo Priority Markets. Jennifer joined NeighborWorks America’s Development Division in June 2012 and focuses on increasing NeighborWorks’ partnerships with local and regional funders.
Senior Manager, Stewardship
Carmen joined NeighborWorks America in January 2007. With over 12 years in fundraising and relationship management experience, she brings a rich knowledge of development strategies and approaches that lead to successful private/non-profit partnerships. With Carmen’s help, NeighborWorks reached its goal to raise $100 million in support of affordable housing and community revitalization for low- to moderate-income families from 2007 to 2011. Before joining NeighborWorks, she worked at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) developing strategic alliances in support of civil rights and opportunities for the Latino community. She is currently pursuing her professional certification in fundraising (CFRE) and has an M.A. in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University.
Thomas Lopez supports the Development team by providing data analysis for NeighborWorks programs and tracking partner relationships. Thomas is passionate about community development and has worked in nonprofit fundraising since graduating from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 2010. Prior to NeighborWorks, he worked at international institutions in three South American countries and at DC-based Latino Economic Development Corporation, where he wrote grant proposals for corporate, foundation, and government partners and led individual fundraising efforts and special events. Thomas, originally from Texas, is fluent in Spanish and tutors children in his community on the weekends.
Rachael Vargas is the Development Coordinator in NeighborWorks America’s DC office. She provides administrative support to the Development Division Director and manages the Division’s budget. Before joining NeighborWorks, she served as the Country Director for Emerge Global in Sri Lanka, where she engaged local funders, negotiated contracts, managed programs, and wrote grants. Rachael graduated with a Bachelor in Philosophy from Bates College in 2007 and is originally from Mountain View, Arkansas.