The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has announced five appointments to its Community Development Advisory Council (CDAC) for 2020. The council, composed of community, business and labor leaders from the Kansas City Fed’s seven-state region, advises the Bank on current developments and emerging issues in community and economic development. 

Raúl Font, President, Latino Community Development Agency, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Raúl Font is president of the Latino Community Development Agency (LCDA), which addresses the needs of low-income families in Oklahoma.

Prior to joining LCDA, Font worked in the education field for 41 years of service. He has taught all grades from first grade to doctorial-level courses in multiple states. He has held every education position other than superintendent.

Debbie Gorski, Executive Director, Wyoming Women’s Business Center, Laramie, Wyoming

Debbie Gorski is executive director of the Wyoming Women’s Business Center (WWBC) and is a small business expert with more than 20 years of experience working directly with Wyoming entrepreneurs.

Prior to joining WWBC, Gorski was the associate state director of the Wyoming Small Business Development Center. She has also held positions with the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service and the Cent$ible Nutrition program in Campbell County. 

Neelima Parasker, President and Chief Executive Officer, SnapIT Solutions, Overland Park, Kansas

Neelima Parasker is the founder, president and CEO of SnapIT Solutions. She founded SnapIT in 2015 to empower communities and create opportunities in technology and engineering.

Parasker is a member of the KansasWorks State Workforce Board, which recommends to the governor and state agencies ways to align workforce development with the state’s economic development needs. She is also an Innovator in Residence with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Jim Reiff, Executive Director, Nebraska Enterprise Fund, Oakland, Nebraska

Jim Reiff is the executive director of the Nebraska Enterprise Fund, a certified CDFI serving small and microbusiness across Nebraska.

Reiff is a member of the Board of Omaha 100, a housing CDFI serving North Omaha; the advisory board of MetaFund, an investment CDFI based in Oklahoma; and the boards of Family Housing Advisory Services and Heartland Bike Share. 

Adrienne R. Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer, New Mexico Caregivers Coalition, Bernalillo, New Mexico

Adrienne Smith is the president and CEO of the New Mexico Caregivers Coalition, which advocates for and advances the professional development and workforce issues of the state’s direct caregivers.

She is a 2014 Aspen Institute Fellow and a 2015 Member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Community Advisory Council, representing the Tenth District. Smith served on the boards of the Latin American Youth Center, the New Mexico Forum on Youth in Community and the National Youth Employment Coalition. 

Current and reappointed council members include:

  • Aubrey Abbott Patterson, president and chief executive officer, Hutchinson Community Foundation, Hutchinson, Kansas;
  • Niki Donawa, chief community relations officer at Truman Medical Centers, Kansas City, Missouri;
  • Don Greenwell, president of The Builders' Association and executive director, Kansas City Chapter-Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Kansas City, Missouri;
  • Marcos Hernandez, vice president-corporate social responsibility manager and CRA officer, U.S. Bank, Omaha, Nebraska;
  • Rebecca Reynolds, executive director, Little Dixie Community Action Agency, Hugo, Oklahoma;
  • Cecilia Robinson-Woods, superintendent, Millwood Public Schools, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma;
  • Liddy Romero, executive director, WorkLife Partnership, Denver, Colorado;
  • Awais Sufi, chief executive officer, SchoolSmartKC, Kansas City, Missouri; and 
  • Cris White, executive director and chief executive officer, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Denver, Colorado.

Council members, who serve three-year terms, offer year-round insight on economic and community development issues. They meet twice a year with the Kansas City Fed’s leadership.

As the regional headquarters of the nation’s central bank, the Kansas City Fed and its branch offices in Denver, Oklahoma City and Omaha serve the seven states of the Tenth District: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, northern New Mexico and western Missouri.