Cinnaire has announced three new members have joined the organization’s Board of Directors to provide strategic direction supporting continued growth around Cinnaire’s commitment to investing in people and places to transform and create healthy communities. As recognized leaders in the public, business, and nonprofit sectors, Cinnaire’s board members bring a broad base of knowledge, experience and diversity to the table.

“Our board members play an instrumental role advancing Cinnaire’s work creating equitable communities and opportunities for underserved people,” said Mark McDaniel, Cinnaire President and CEO. “Strong governance and transparency are essential to our success as an organization and we’re grateful to our board members for sharing their wisdom and experience with our team.”

The three new board members include:

  • Marissa Downs, Principal, Mosaic Development
  • Akobe Sandy, CFA, Impact Investment Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Sarida Scott, Assistant Professor and Director, University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture and Community Development

Marissa Downs is principal at Mosaic Property Ventures, a multifamily housing development company that takes a thoughtful approach to community development by creating dynamic neighborhoods and housing opportunities for individuals, families, and older adults. She previously served as Senior Vice President at Commonwealth Development Corporation, where she led the development team through the expansion of Commonwealth’s LIHTC footprint from Wisconsin to twelve states and developed over 1,500 affordable housing units nationwide. Marissa serves as Chair of the Appleton Redevelopment Authority, WPHD Chairperson of the Board of Directors, and is a board member for Habitat for Humanity, Door County Housing CLT, Legacy Private Trust, and Trout Museum of Art.

Akobe Sandy serves as Impact Investment Officer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where he brings his extensive experience in investment management and socially responsible investment to his role. His work bridges capital gaps for under-invested people and communities and employs impact capital to advance the Foundation’s longstanding history of championing solutions that further opportunities for equitable health and wellbeing. Previously, Akobe was an impact investments senior associate for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, where he helped manage MacArthur’s $500 million impact investments portfolio, including Benefit Chicago, a $100 million fund advancing economic development throughout the Chicago region. He also developed grantmaking within MacArthur’s Impact Investments Programs to advance racial equity and expand inclusive investment practices. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and is a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society Chicago.

Sarida Scott is an assistant professor of architecture and community development and director for the master of community development program at the University of Detroit Mercy. The program offers a holistic approach to the theory and practice of community development with a foundation rooted in service, social justice, and sustainability. Her career has concentrated in the areas of nonprofit legal compliance, education, and community engagement. Sarida was a program officer at W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where she developed a Detroit strategic plan to facilitate investment of approximately $7 million; served as executive director for Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD); and held positions of legal director and chief program officer at Michigan Community Resources. A native Detroiter, Sarida is passionate about ensuring that Detroit has an equitable recovery and return to its once legendary vibe. She serves as board member for Wayne Metro and the Michigan League for Public Policy and sits on the Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program Advisory Council.

Cinnaire 2023 Board of Directors also includes: 

  • Wendell Johns, Chairman of the Board – Retired, Fannie Mae
  • Michael J. Taylor, Vice Chair – Senior Vice President/Western Territory, PNC Bank
  • Paul J. Weaver, Board Treasurer – Retired, Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis
  • Donald F. Tucker, Board Secretary – Donald Tucker Consulting
  • Jeffrey Benson, Director – President/CEO, Case Credit Union
  • Brett Macleod, Director – Executive Director, JP Morgan Chase
  • Christine Hobbs, Director – Retired, Freddie Mac Multifamily
  • Derrick Collins, Director – Dean, College of Business, Chicago State University
  • Quinette Roberson, Director – John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor of Management and Psychology, Michigan State University

Click here to meet our board members.

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