Community Solutions Announces New Board Co-Chairs, Brooke Denihan Barrett and Kenneth Banta

March 10, 2015

NEW YORK, NY— Community Solutions announced today that Brooke Denihan Barrett and Kenneth Banta would become Co-Chairs of its Board of Directors. Barrett and Banta follow Jill Ker Conway, the founding Chair, who has led the Board through nearly four highly successful years since the launch of Community Solutions in July of 2011. Conway, a former Smith College president and recent recipient of the National Humanities Medal, will remain on the Board.

“I am delighted that Brooke Barrett and Ken Banta have agreed to serve Community Solutions as Co-Chairs. Our work to end homelessness and break the grip of intergenerational poverty will benefit tremendously from their counsel and expertise,” said Rosanne Haggerty, President of Community Solutions. “In addition, I am so grateful to Jill Ker Conway for her exceptional leadership. She saw to it that Community Solutions was successfully launched and positioned to help communities around the country measurably improve their responses to homelessness and poverty.”  

Barrett and Banta bring complementary experience to their new, shared role. 

Barrett is CEO of Denihan Hospitality, where she leads a portfolio that includes the James and Affinia hotel brands as well as a collection of boutique hotels. In 2013, Real Estate Forum named her a “Legend” among influential women in real estate, and in 2012, she was honored with the Stevie Award for “Woman Executive of the Year.”

“The human services sector is changing as new models of flexible, community-based problem solving displace business as usual,” said Barrett. “Community Solutions is at the forefront of that shift in its work to end homelessness and intergenerational poverty. It’s an honor to step into the Co-Chair role at such an exciting time.”

Banta, a Rhodes Scholar, is Managing Partner at the Vanguard Group for Leadership. He has previously held executive strategy and communications positions at Bausch & Lomb, Schering Plough, and Retrophin. From 1985 to 1990, he served as Eastern Europe Bureau Chief for Time Magazine, covering the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

“Through successful national efforts like the 100,000 Homes Campaign, Community Solutions has demonstrated new, cost-effective models for solving complex social problems,” said Banta. “I’m honored to be of service to an organization that has already created so much hope and energy for positive change.”

Conway’s tenure has been highly successful. As Chair, she presided over the launch and rapid growth of Community Solutions, as well as three consecutive years of sound financial footing and high impact work with communities. Under her leadership, the organization pioneered innovative models of housing and community development, drawing on techniques from a variety of sectors to help communities redesign and improve their human service systems and make more effective use of existing housing and human service resources. In 2014, that work earned formal recognition from the United Nations and the Building and Social Housing Foundation, which jointly honored Community Solutions with the World Habitat Award at the World Urban Forum in Medellín, Colombia. 

Conway also presided over the launch of a growing international consulting arm at Community Solutions. Today, the organization is at work in 85 U.S. cities and seven countries around the world. 

In 2014, Community Solutions and McCormack Baron Salazar broke ground on the John and Jill Ker Conway Residence, a new supportive housing building for homeless veterans in Washington, DC, named in honor of Conway and her late husband, a veteran of the Second World War. The building is expected to open in January of 2016.

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About Community Solutions:

Community Solutions is an internationally recognized non-profit organization working toward a future without homelessness, where poverty never follows families beyond a single generation. We adapt successful problem-solving tools and strategies from diverse sectors like public health, manufacturing and design to civic and human services issues, supporting the natural wisdom and capacity of community members to develop their own solutions. Our initiatives include the 100,000 Homes Campaign, Zero: 2016, the Brownsville Partnership (Brooklyn, NY) and the Northeast Neighborhood Partnership (Hartford, CT).

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