Comprised of lawyers, developers, bankers and community development experts, the CVP Advisory Council assists JCUA staff to ensure the following:

  • CVP loans are given to viable projects.
  • Projects involve an acceptable amount of risk.
  • Projects have responsible repayment plans.
  • Projects are in line with JCUA’s overall mission.



Zachary Braun

Senior Vice President, First Eagle Bank

With over 15 years of experience in banking and finance, Zachary Braun brings a wealth of knowledge to JCUA’s Community Ventures Program Advisory Council. Mr. Braun serves as the Senior Vice President of First Eagle Bank, a locally owned commercial bank which proudly carries a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification, Zachary serves on JCUA’s Board of Directors.

Ralph Brown

Founder/President, Technical Assistance Corporation

In a 50-year career devoted to the development and preservation of low and moderate income housing, attorney Ralph Brown has a national profile and has been involved in the production of thousands of affordable housing developments throughout the city. Through his leadership on the Community Ventures Advisory Council, Ralph brings decades of experience to the program where he has served in a leadership capacity  for over eight  years.

Edward Chez

Managing Partner, Schultz & Chez, L.L.P.

Edward Chez is the Managing Partner at Schultz & Chez, L.L.P. a family-owned accounting firm with a focus on tax preparation and estate planning. With over 50 years of experience in accounting and wealth management, Edward brings expertise in analyzing the viability of community development projects. He is an avid supporter of Misercordia, an organization that offers assistance to the developmentally disabled. He currently serves on the JCUA Board of Directors.

STEve Keen

Consultant, Executive Service Corps of Chicago

Steve Keen serves as a consultant for the Executive Service Corps of Chicago which does management consulting for non-profits and has been on the board of Open Communities and the United Way of Highland Park/Highwood. He currently serves on JCUA’s Board of Directors where he has also served as president of the board and chair of the finance committee.  Steve and his wife Gerry are investors in the Community Ventures program, and are also active with Congregation Hakafa with their refugee mentoring program.

David Midgley

Former Director, Illinois Housing Development Authority

With an extensive career as a real estate and financing attorney, David Midgley has offered legal counsel to a variety of development projects. Currently retired, David is the former Deputy Director and served as the Director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority. Mr. Midgley is a former investment banker and advisor for tax-exempt bond issues for moderate income housing and has represented clients nationwide. David has been an active supporter of JCUA for over 10 years and previously served on the organization’s Board of Directors.

roberta Nechin

Consultant, Affordable Housing Development

Roberta Nechin has supported JCUA for nearly 20 years and has been leading the Community Ventures Program for over 15 years. As an independent consultant focused on affordable housing development, Roberta has helped to bring thousands of units of affordable housing to neighborhoods throughout Chicagoland. She serves as the Chair the Community Ventures Project Advisory Committee.

nadia Underhill

Director of Real Estate Development at Heartland Housing

Nadia Underhill is leads Heartland Housing’s affordable housing development work. Nadia has more than 12 years of experience financing, planning and constructing publicly financed housing developments. She has lead award-winning development projects throughout Chicagoland including the renovation of the former Viceroy Hotel that now offers 89 units of affordable housing on Chicago’s Near West Side.

Rich Wallach

Senior Director of Community Development at IFF

Chair, JCUA Community Ventures Advisory Committee

Rich Wallach is a development and acquisitions professional with over 35 years of experience in for-profit, non-profit and public sector real estate and urban redevelopment. As Senior Director of Community Development at IFF, Rich Wallach conceptualizes, evaluates and executes proactive comprehensive community development opportunities.