Title: Vice President, Innovation & Impact Investing
Organization: Volunteers of America
Location: Washington, DC
Stephen Samuels, AICP is Vice-President, Innovation & Impact Investing for Volunteers of America (VOA), one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing, and provider of hundreds of health and human services in over 400 communities. In his role, Stephen manages multiple impact funds and new business development, matching multi-sector impact capital with opportunities for scaling housing production, expanding value-based service lines, and piloting new social enterprises.
Prior to joining VOA, Stephen was the Executive Director in Kansas City for Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), one of the country’s largest community development financial institutions. Under his leadership, Greater Kansas City LISC invested over $25 million in grants and loans to spur the construction of hundreds of new housing units and programs that improved the safety, health and economic mobility of residents. Stephen worked with local government, foundations and banks to structure a new $4 million patient capital fund for predevelopment, and a low-interest loan fund for single family acquisition/rehab. Formerly, Stephen was the Director of Business Development at the University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center where he managed contract research for economic development, financial policy, and market analysis in the three-state region. He was also founder and president of Bridging Broadway, a 501(c)3, which led a comprehensive community engagement and planning process that guided over $25 million of public infrastructure investment around the first casino in downtown Cincinnati’s central business district. Stephen spent the first 10 years of his career in business development and marketing roles for a range of industries in the private sector.
Stephen was recently an adjunct professor at Kansas State University where he taught a land development class focused on catalytic urban revitalization. He has been an active member and leader with Urban Land Institute since 2010, and was a national ULI Advisory Services Panelist in 2019. He is a certified urban planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and received his degrees in urban planning and business real estate from the University of Cincinnati. Stephen currently lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, a cardio ICU nurse practitioner.