Reinvestment Fund founder Jeremy Nowak, 66, has died - Generocity Philly

People

Jul. 30, 2018 12:30 pm

Reinvestment Fund founder Jeremy Nowak, 66, has died

The self-described "strategic advisor, author and columnist" founded the CDFI in 1985 and served as a board chair for several Philadelphia-area nonprofits.

Jeremy Nowak at an Opportunity Finance Network conference.

(Courtesy photo)

Update: This story has been updated to include comment from Reinvestment Fund. (7/31, 9:25 a.m.)
Jeremy Nowak passed away on Saturday following complications from a heart attack. He was 66.

The self-described “strategic advisor, author and columnist” founded community development financial institution Reinvestment Fund in 1985, which in the past 32 years has deployed $1.9 billion into local communities, helping finance diverse projects from high-quality grocery stores and affordable housing to schools and health centers.

Nowak was also a serial board member: He has chaired the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Mastery Charter Schools, The Philadelphia Citizen (where he also kept a column) and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, as well as served on the board of the University City Science Center and others over the past few decades.

Most recently, he worked as president of his own J Nowak Strategy and New Localism Advisors and as the William Penn Foundation’s president from 2011 to 2012. In 2017, he coauthored the book “The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism” with Bruce Katz.

(Courtesy of Science Center)

In an emailed statement, impact investing advocacy org ImpactPHL called Nowak a “champion of the movement and a trusted advisor.”

From our Partners

“Jeremy was a moral conscience for our city and its leadership,” the statement reads. “He held everyone accountable for being their best selves. At a time when so many serious problems need to be solved, we need more people like Jeremy helping us find our way.”

Former Science Center head Stephen Tang told Technical.ly Philly that Nowak’s passing is “a tremendous loss for our city and community.”

“He was unique in his ability to transcend the commercial, social and civic arenas,” Tang said. “In fact one could say that his career as a commercial and social entrepreneur (by founding The Reinvestment Fund and scaling it into prominence), followed by his recent roles as a civic entrepreneur (through his writings and Philadelphia Citizen) made him the quintessential systems thinker and thought leader for our community. He knew ‘how the dots connect’ for profound positive impact.”

Archna Sahay, who left her position as director of entrepreneurial investment with the City of Philadelphia to join Nowak’s consulting group last June, called him a “confidant, mentor, advisor, friend.”

“He had such a curiosity for all things and he was larger than life. He poured everything he had into this city, his work and his loved ones. I had never met anyone like him,” she told Technical.ly.

Reinvestment Fund published a statement on Monday about Nowak’s legacy within the organization. Read it here.

-30-
LEAVE A COMMENT

From our Partners

In conversation with Bill Golderer: On changes at Philly’s United Way, his new hires and the bat signal

Have you snagged your PTW19 Signature Event ticket yet?

On the Market: 21 jobs at museums, hospitals, historic homes and community organizations

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

Nonprofits and startups can win up to $360K at the WeWork Creator Awards

Philadelphia

Pennsylvania Humanities Council

Senior Director of Content and Engagement

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Maternity Care Coalition

Vice President of Finance and Administration

Apply Now

Bayada transitions from for-profit to nonprofit to save its mission-driven culture

Can a creator hub in Kensington help slow displacement?

Women’s Opportunities Resource Center, other local orgs received an incredible $44 million

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

12 Philly immigrants who are ready to mobilize

Perkasie, PA

Pearl S. Buck International

President & CEO

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Maternity Care Coalition

Facilities & Administration Assistant

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Maternity Care Coalition

Receptionist

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity