CVP Advisory Committee

Composed of community development professionals, finance experts, and JCUA members, the CVP Advisory Committee assists JCUA staff in ensuring CVP projects are impactful, viable, and aligned with JCUA’s mission.

Zachary Braun, Committee Chair

Senior Vice President, First Eagle Bank

With over 20 years of experience in banking and finance, Zachary Braun brings a wealth of knowledge to JCUA’s Community Ventures Program Advisory Council. Zachary serves as a Senior Vice President of First Eagle Bank, a locally owned commercial bank which proudly carries a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification.  Zachary obtained a Master of Business Administration degree from DePaul University with a dual concentration in Finance and Real Estate Investment & Finance. He served on the Board of Directors for the Jewish Council on Urban Affair for nine years.

 

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 Committee, Ralph brings decades of experience to the program where he has served in a leadership capacity for over eight years.

 

Nia Crosley

Law Student, Northwestern University

Nia is a law student at Northwestern University and a Jewish educator. She first got involved with JCUA when she moved to Chicago two years ago, and has been an active member of the Kol Or Jews of Color Caucus. Nia is originally from Texas: she grew up in Austin and taught eighth-grade U.S. History and English in Houston for six years. She currently teaches second grade religious school at Temple Sholom and plays in the Grateful Klez, Temple Sholom’s klezmer band. Nia attended the University of Pennsylvania for undergrad and Rice University for a master’s in teaching. She is passionate about civil rights litigation and has interned in exoneration work, plaintiff suits, and arbitration panels. Pedagogically, Nia is interested in Black Studies and socially conscious teaching around race, class, and gender. When not at school or at temple, Nia is active in Chicago’s dance and arts community.

 

David Feinberg

Director of Coaching and Knowledge Transfer, Chicago Community Loan Fund

David is responsible for the strategic implementation of CCLF’s technical expertise and special programs to build community development capacity and support Chicagoland’s thriving communities. Over the course of his career, David has led the development of more than $250M and 1,000,000 sq. ft. of non-profit and community centered real estate projects with a specialization in educational facilities, community centers and social enterprises. David was a 2019 Civic Leadership Academy Fellow and has previously held positions as an LSC representative and a state commissioner. David holds an MPL from the University of Southern California, a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Unit Planning from Arizona State University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Non-Fiction and Jewish Studies from Hampshire College. In his free time, David can be found coaching little league softball and traveling with his family.

 

Julie Kaviar

Chief of Staff, Office of Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton

Julie is the daughter of a Caribbean immigrant and granddaughter of a Jewish World War II veteran. She has spent her career as a social justice champion catalyzing progressive reform. She currently serves as Chief of Staff to Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton, where she wrote the first renters-rights legislation for suburban residents and tripled the number of languages in which the suburban Cook County ballot was translated. She formally served as a Deputy Press Secretary for the Chicago Mayor’s Office and as Deputy Communications Director for the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services. Julie received her undergraduate degree from Tufts University as a Balfour Chenault Scholar, is a 2019 graduate of the United Counties Council of Illinois (UCCI) Leadership Academy, a 2022 Jewish United Fund Chicago 36 Under 36, and a member of the 2023 Illinois Women’s Institute for Leadership (IWIL) Training Academy.

 

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 Levinson

Level 21, LLC

David Levinson arrived in Chicago in the fall of 1979 as a VISTA, assigned as Energy Programs Coordinator to The Neighborhood Institute (TNI), the not-for-profit community development arm of South Shore Bank. His work TNI involved education, advocacy and direct service. In 1984, David co-founded Recycling Services, which became one of the largest independently-owned paper recycling companies in the Midwest. David formerly served as JCUA’s Board Treasurer and has been consulting within the recycling industry.

 

Jessica Nepomiachi

Director of Special Projects for Real Estate Solutions, IFF

Jessica has a background in community development and affordable housing finance, policy and advocacy. In her previous roles as a developer, Jessica created and preserved hundreds of mixed income and affordable housing units utilizing the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program. She previously served at the Chicago Housing Authority and the New York Housing Authority. Jessica’s passion for equity and organizing developed through her work as a Legislative Aide for a New York City Council Member. Jessica received a BA in Latin American Studies from Hampshire College and an MS in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute.  She grew up in DeKalb and northern Chicagoland, and after living in NYC for many years, moved to Chicago in 2014. Jessica loves spending time with her rescue dog, family, monthly book club, and in nature.

 

Maryah Phillips

Program Specialist, Chicago Community Trust

Maryah Phillips (she/her) is the program specialist for We Rise Together: For an Equitable & Just Recovery, an initiative at The Chicago Community Trust. In this role, Maryah assists in the development and review of the grantmaking process, day-to-day administrative duties, and communications efforts. Maryah’s previous roles include serving as a research assistant at the Race and Opportunity Lab of Washington University, where she was involved in efforts intended to advance the economic well-being of Black boys and men in St. Louis; introducing social work to the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, where she, alongside two peers, conducted an evaluation on the diversity of the institution’s public program attendance and creating lesson plans for K-12 education centering Black artists’ work; and provided social-emotional lesson plans and support to high schoolers at Wendell Phillips Academy High School and Dunbar Vocational Career Academy. Born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago, Maryah holds an MSW from Washington University in St. Louis, where she concentrated in Domestic Social and Economic Development, and a BSW from Hope College.

 

Jeffrey Zaluda

Partner at Horwood, Marcus & Berk

Jeffrey A. Zaluda is a partner at Horwood, Marcus & Berk. He built his practice by creating long-term relationships with clients who value his accessibility and ability to bring creative, practical and empathetic solutions to their unique matters. Jeff’s clients include individuals, families, fiduciaries, closely held businesses, business owners, entrepreneurs, philanthropies and social impact investors. He advises on estate and tax planning, business and succession planning, asset protection and preservation, estate and trust administration, estate and trust litigation, and deployment of social capital. Jeff regularly speaks and writes and has prepared and presented dozens of professional articles, treatises and speeches on a variety of topics related to his trusts and estates practice. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and a member of the Tax Management Estate, Gifts and Trust Advisory Board, the Chicago Estate Planning Council and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, among other organizations. He regularly publishes in various professional journals.