The National Trust Community Investment Corporation welcomes Giovanni Araujo as the 2021 participant of the Tony Goldman Internship for Diversity in Preservation & Community Development.
“We are honored to have Giovanni join our team and share his knowledge, experience, and commitment to community development and also have the opportunity to train with our experienced team of community development finance professionals,” said NTCIC President Merrill Hoopengardner.
Prior to this role, Giovanni has directed and managed renovation projects as a project manager for a multifamily real estate investment sponsor focused on acquiring and operating value-add apartment communities. Giovanni is also currently pursuing a Master of Science in Finance degree with a concentration in Real Estate Finance & Development from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He will be working directly with NTCIC’s Project Management and Acquisitions team to gain experience in underwriting and facilitating tax credit transactions, especially those utilizing the federal New Markets Tax Credit.
This year, NTCIC partnered with the Open Access Initiative of Project REAP (Real Estate Associate Program) to identify talented professionals from underrepresented groups building careers in community development finance.
About the Tony Goldman Fellowship
In partnership with its affiliate NTCIC, the National Trust for Historic Preservation founded the Tony Goldman Internship program in 2018. Tony Goldman, a recipient of the distinguished Crowninshield Award,
was a foundational board member of NTCIC and is known for creating a legacy of diversity and inclusion.
The Tony Goldman Diversity Internship was created to honor his work in cultivating diversity in historic preservation, real estate finance, and community development. Goldman Properties principal and chairman Janet Goldman participated in the final selection of the Tony Goldman Intern.
About the Open Access Initiative
The community development finance industry, bolstered by the recent reauthorization of the New Markets Tax Credit Program, offers economic support to low-income areas in the form of lower than market rate interest loans and other economic incentives to help support small businesses, housing organizations, and other areas requiring assistance. The industry is urgently needed as the nation strains to recover from a pandemic that disproportionately affected communities of color in terms of health crises and the ensuing economic devastation that has witnessed unparalleled unemployment rates, evictions realized and threatened, food deprivation, and small businesses forced to close or struggle to stay viable.
Yet, while community development often serves communities of color, it is currently grossly under-represented by Black and Latinx individuals. Open Access is a newly organized group of executive-level individuals led by co-founders Gina Nisbeth, a director at Citi, and Jeff Monge, managing partner of Monge Capital. The goal of Open Access is to correct the imbalance so that BIPOC professionals will be significantly involved in and, increasingly, lead the efforts of community development finance to improve the health, education, and access to a wealth of economically disadvantaged populations. The program is presented in collaboration with Project REAP (Real Estate Associate Program), the nation’s most successful diversity initiative connecting professionals to commercial real estate (CRE) for over two decades.
Says REAP Chief Program Officer Osayamen Asemota-Bartholomew, “REAP is proud to help launch the rollout of Open Access, a program that will increase the representation of persons of color in community development finance. The current disproportionately low number of BIPOC professionals in the field both deprives neighborhoods of the cultural affinities offered by persons who reflect the ethnicity of the communities served and leaves large groups of talent unaware of and lacking access to career opportunities. We are glad to welcome the first round of Open Access fellows, a stellar and dedicated group.”
In the words of Dr. King, “Every crisis has both its dangers and its opportunities. Each can spell either salvation or doom.” Open Access hopes to bring communities closer to the former.