Happy New Year!

2019 was an interesting year for all of us. We put in motion the strategy for our growth and sustainability which will take place over the next five years. We spent the previous five years going through a deep and revealing phased process to determine what the future would hold for us. In May of this year we went public with our five-year strategic plan. It was the culmination of all the heavy lifting we did in the prior years and it was energizing and exciting to see it become a reality. The question now is determining how the plan has been received internally and externally. Overall internally, I feel it has been uncomfortable for most everyone. Change always feels like that…

There have been some significant positive results so far and there have been some missed results that we are adjusting to based on our first feedback loop quarterly meeting. The biggest issues were in the areas of getting all the seats filled on the bus to deliver our stated results. Lending continues to be a struggle and we have overestimated the capacity for development work. Getting the right people in the right seats is imperative as is getting all the seats filled. I have no doubts that this will happen, but the timing has been a bit off.

The work in grant capital has delivered beyond our beliefs this past year. This is really something positive since that position is vacant. It took a whole team pitching in and being supportive of each other to pull that off. Overall, our tax credit equity with LIHTC and NMTC were very successful in 2019. We are adjusting the capital raising strategy in the east, as that market has changed for access to housing credit investment, and we feel confident that the plan for next year will have better results.

Radical truth and transparency require me to be straight up with all of you. The executive leadership and management teams have had some struggles this year. The good news is that we are fully aware and resolving issues and strengthening teams to become a high-performing, employee-centered, trusting organization of passionate people. There is no question that we are well on our way to that end.

I have been very pleased with the meetings I have had with our new staff members. You can feel the energy, excitement, and passion they exude. We have the obligation to show by example that their energy and commitment is who we are. It means we must be engaged, empathetic, and ready to listen on a regular basis. The remarkable team we are building has given me a boost in my energy and the passion I have for what we do. I want nothing more than to create an environment where we can develop a legacy for you, your families, our partners, and ultimately the people we are striving to create healthy communities for.

I hope you all had a warm holiday season with your families and friends. 2020 is here, so let’s hit the ground hard and accomplish all we have committed ourselves to do. I’m confident 2020 will bring us calm, stability, joyous moments, and a stronger team!

Mark McDaniel, Cinnaire CEO