Today, Mayor Tishaura O. Jones announced the nomination of US Bank leader and Dream Builders 4 Equity President Neal Richardson as Executive Director of the St Louis Development Corporation (SLDC). With more more than 14 years of experience in economic and community development, Richardson is the ideal person to lead SLDC forward as the Jones administration seeks to be an active partner in equitable development.
“Neal Richardson understands that equitable development is more than just brick and mortar. From his time leading the Business Impact Group at US Bank to his work as President of Dream Builders 4 Equity, I know Neal will encourage forward-thinking, holistic development that opens up opportunities for families across our city.”
~Mayor Tishaura O. Jones
Richardson has spent 10 years at US Bank in an ascending series of responsibilities, from negotiating and underwriting complex tax credit investments to leading financial education strategy. In his current role as Director of the Business Impact Group, Richardson leads a team focused on closing economic gaps and creating equitable access to capital for women, people of color and those in disinvested communities.
“This is a pivotal moment for St. Louis to create a robust and inclusive economy by providing equitable opportunity for all residents, businesses, and neighborhoods to thrive. Our region will be stronger because we will work together to address the historical barriers that have created gaps in wealth and opportunity for all to have ownership in our collective future. I look forward to working with Mayor Jones, the SLDC board, residents and other stakeholders to build a better, more equitable St. Louis.”
Dream Builders 4 Equity hires minority contractors and students to rehabilitate derelict North City properties. Youth participants earn a living wage and journal about their experiences over the summer, after which it is published and sold with students receiving profits. A percentage of the property’s sale is then given to students and placed towards college savings. The organization to date has served more than 65 students and contributed $350,000 in direct financial benefits to students through scholarships, employment and book sale proceeds, and provided home repair and landscaping support to over 50 seniors across the city.
Richardson is a member of the FOCUS St. Louis Board of Directors, Artspace Board of Directors, and an advisory member in the development of the Equitable Economic Development Strategic Framework. He was the recipient of LaunchCode Dreamers award in 2020 and was named 40 Under 40 by the St. Louis Business Journal in 2019.
An earlier version of this article stated that Mayor Jones appointed Neal Richardson to the SLDC Executive Director position instead of nominated Neal Richardson to the SLDC Executive Director position.