BRIDGE Housing Grows Community Development Initiative

Marco Ramirez Joins as Senior Manager, Community Development for Jordan Downs
Kassie Bertumen Named Community Development Manager

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, February 23, 2016—Nonprofit BRIDGE Housing has created two positions under its new Community Development Initiative, which will leverage its role as an affordable housing developer to partner with and enhance neighborhood institutions and communities, focusing on the social determinants of health that affect residents’ quality of life and long-term outcomes.

Marco Ramirez joined BRIDGE on Feb. 22 as Senior Manager, Community Development for Jordan Downs. He will oversee and ensure implementation of community development and program-related activities at Jordan Downs–a large-scale revitalization effort that BRIDGE and its partners are undertaking in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, which ultimately will transform 700 units of distressed public housing into a mixed-income, mixed-use community with approximately 650 additional homes and no loss of public housing.

Mr. Ramirez’s responsibilities will include developing and maintaining relationships with existing neighborhood institutions, service providers, key stakeholders and community members; supporting the creation of a jobs pipeline in partnership with service leaders; and leading data sharing, communications and other community building activities.

A seasoned community and economic development practitioner-scholar, Mr. Ramirez most recently served as Director, Community Building and Neighborhood Revitalization for the Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation in Ventura, CA. He earned a B.A. in Public Administration from the University of La Verne, an Executive Master of Leadership from the University of Southern California (USC) and a Doctorate in Policy, Planning and Development, also from USC.

Effective Feb. 8, Kassie Bertumen took on a new role as BRIDGE’s Community Development Manager. Previously, Ms. Bertumen had been a Project Manager at BRIDGE, where she worked on a number of developments, including the recently acquired Oceanview Senior Apartments in Pacifica and the newly-constructed multi-family Rivermark apartments in West Sacramento. In her new role, she is responsible for providing initiative design, development, implementation and evaluation support, as well as managing the ongoing research and advancement of the Trauma Informed Community Building model at two key sites: Jordan Downs in Los Angeles and Potrero Hill in San Francisco.

Ms. Bertumen comes to BRIDGE with a diverse background in community development, affordable housing finance and program feasibility and analysis from Washington, DC and the Boston region. She has worked for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and the City of Oakland and was a published researcher at the Urban Institute. Kassie holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley, and a Master’s in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“We are delighted to welcome Marco and Kassie to our team,” said Susan Neufeld, Vice President of Community Development and Programs for BRIDGE. “They will help us refine our holistic community development approach, take it to scale and inform the field.”

Both positions report to Emily Weinstein, BRIDGE’s Director of Community Development, and were made possible by the Equity with a Twist investment BRIDGE recently received from the Low Income Investment Fund and JPMorgan Chase & Co.—an innovative investment that provides flexible, low-cost financing for integrative, outcomes-driven solutions to poverty.

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