EXPERIENCE

Steve Dubb has spent over a decade working on community economic development strategy. Steve currently is a senior editor for Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ), where he writes, edits and curates content, with a focus on issues concerning community wealth building and community economic development. Prior to NPQ, Steve worked as a consultant for a range of clients, including Campus Compact, Democracy Collaborative, economist Michael Shuman, Rising Tide Capital (Jersey City) and Strong City Baltimore. Before that, from 2004 to 2016, Steve worked for The Democracy Collaborative, where he served in a number of roles, including research director and director of special projects.  Steve also serves on the board of Cooperation Works!, the Center for Community-Based Enterprise (C2BE) in Detroit, and the Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (COFED) and is on the advisory board of North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO). In his work, Steve strives to support community-based business to build wealth in low-income communities and communities of color.

Anchor Dashboard Learning Cohort

Beginning in 2014, Steve helped create and then manage a group that is called the Anchor Dashboard Learning Cohort. Consisting of six institutions (Buffalo State, Cleveland State, Drexel, Rutgers University-Newark, University of Missouri-St. Louis and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond), the Learning Cohort is engaged in the practice of co-developing and piloting the Anchor Dashboard as a tool for the field that can help institutions more effectively support their surrounding communities.

The Road Half Traveled: University Engagement at a Crossroads

In 2012, Steve co-authored (with Rita Axelroth Hodges) The Road Half Traveled: University Engagement at a Crossroads (published by MSU Press in 2012). Also in 2012, Steve co-authored a paper on Leveraging Anchor Institutions for Local Job Creation and Wealth Building for a University of California, Berkeley institute. In 2013, Steve was lead author of a study titled The Anchor Dashboard: Aligning Institutional Practice to Meet Low-Income Community Needs, which aims to provide a framework for hospitals and universities to assess and improve their impact in low- and moderate-income communities.

Anchor Institution Task Force

In 2009, Steve was part of the core staff team that produced a chapter of recommendations for the Obama administration to inform federal policy with respect to anchor institutions; out of that paper came a group that is now called the Anchor Institution Task Force and meets annually to discuss anchor institution best practices and in which Steve has regularly participated.

Building Wealth: The New Asset-Based Approach to Solving Social and Economic Problems

In 2005, Steve was the lead author of Building Wealth: The New Asset-Based Approach to Solving Social and Economic Problems, a book published by the Aspen Institute, which the trade association Independent Sector awarded Honorable Mention in its annual Virginia Hodgkinson Research Book Prize competition given to the best book on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector that informs policy and practice. This book also served as the basis for The Democracy Collaborative's Community-Wealth.org website.

Evergreen Cooperatives

Steve has also worked on many additional anchor institution and community-based projects. This includes working with Ted Howard in 2007 on strategic planning for the Evergreen Cooperative in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then, Steve has helped develop strategies to foster community-owned businesses and /or better support existing businesses in low-income neighborhoods in over a dozen cities. These projects are summarized in capsule form below:

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Richmond, VA, 2015-2016: Social Enterprise Feasibility Study

Working for the City’s Office of Community Wealth Building and working in partnership with ReeSources, a local firm, led a team that conducted over 100 interviews and produced a strategy paper that identifies a set of nonprofit social enterprises and for-profit, employee-owned cooperatives that, by meeting needs of hospitals, universities, and the local public housing authority, promise to employ 50 residents or more at living wage jobs within three years.

Oakland and Richmond, CA: 2015-2016: Anchors for Resilient Communities

Working in partnership with Emerald Cities Collaborative and Health Care Without Harm, participated on a team that conducted over 100 interviews and produced a strategy paper on how to better leverage anchor institution spending to support local community wealth building in Richmond, East Oakland, and throughout the Bay Area in support of the Building Healthy Communities project of The California Endowment.

Washington, DC, 2015: Consumer Health Foundation strategy document

As a consultant for the Consumer Health Foundation, developed a strategy document for how the foundation might support local community wealth building through a blending of policy, research, technical assistance and narrative change strategies, thereby helping the foundation more directly influence the social determinants of health.

New Orleans, LA: 2014-2015: Health Care Small Business Gap Analysis:

Participated on a team that conducted over 100 interviews and produced a strategy paper for the New Orleans Business Alliance on how to support local small business and minority procurement in the health care sector. Conducted work in partnership with DMM Associates, a local minority small business development specialist.

Philadelphia, PA, 2014: Best Practices national study on behalf of Drexel University

Working for a team hired by Drexel University, led by American Coming Together and including participation by E-Consult and U3 Advisors, my role was to develop a scan of best practices in anchor institution procurement. Project report entailed two dozen interviews and a 20-page report, along with a PowerPoint presentation to Drexel.

Jackson, MS, 2014: Community wealth building strategy development

Led a team that produced a strategy document for a local community group on how to best pursue cooperative development in alignment with city government and local universities and hospitals.

New Orleans, LA, 2014: Hiring and procurement anchor institution scan

Coauthored (with Ted Howard) 20-page sounding paper on anchor institution local hire and procurement policies on behalf of the Fund for Louisiana and the New Orleans’ Mayor’s office.

Jacksonville, FL: 2013-2014: Community Wealth Building Roundtable

Engaged by the municipal government of Florida's largest city, Steve led a team that worked with the mayor’s office to convene over 100 community stakeholders, elected officials, and anchor institution leaders for a catalytic conversation about how to use existing assets to build wealth in low-income neighborhoods. Following this convening, the Mayor established a Community Wealth Building Taskforce to implement recommendations.

Denver, CO: 2013-present: Denver Foundation

As a consultant for the Denver Foundation, Steve has worked in three areas: 1) support of the Community Campus Partnership at Anschutz Medical Campus, including helping them devise a local hire strategy; 2) support of Regis University’s anchor strategy; and 3) support for community wealth building development in Denver generally.

Portland, OR: 2013-present: Native American Youth and Family Center

For three years, Steve has served as “coach” for Native American Youth and Family Center, a nonprofit with a $10 million budget that serves Native American youth and families. Steve’s work centered on helping the nonprofit launch a business development arm that can provide back office services to expand a housing construction and maintenance business and support the launch of a food catering business and other businesses.

 

Minneapolis, MN: 2013-present: Little Earth of United Tribes

For three years, Steve has served as “coach” for Little Earth of United Tribes, a nonprofit that employs 70 and manages the only Indian-preference Section 8 housing project in the United States.  Steve’s work centered on helping the nonprofit support the launch of a food enterprise and to expand its property management business.

 

Illinois Governor's Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise, 2013

At the invitation of the Governor's Task Force, with David Zuckerman, Steve helped prepared an extensive set of recommendations for low-cost, high-impact measures that would support job creation.

Pittsburgh, PA: 2012-2013: Pittsburgh Wealth Building Initiative

Steve co-authored a report for a nonprofit, Urban Innovation 21, that identified ways to leverage anchor institution procurement and foundation resources to support small business development in the Hill District of Pittsburgh.  

Washington, DC, 2011-2012: Community Wealth Building Initiative

Steve led a research team that identified key opportunities across the metro Washington, DC region to leverage both anchor institution procurement and public infrastructure expenditures, especially stormwater management.

Atlanta, Georgia, 2011: Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative

Working with Ted Howard and the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, Steve co-authored a feasibility study that led to the development of a wealth building initiative which continues to this day. Although the process stalled for a while, it has since relaunched and an employee-owned greenhouse is expected to start operations in 2017.

Atlanta, Georgia, 2011: Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative

Working with Ted Howard and the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, Steve co-authored a feasibility study that led to the development of a wealth building initiative which continues to this day. Although the process stalled for a while, it has since relaunched and an employee-owned greenhouse is expected to start operations in 2017.

Atlanta, Georgia, 2011: Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative

Working with Ted Howard and the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, Steve co-authored a feasibility study that led to the development of a wealth building initiative which continues to this day. Although the process stalled for a while, it has since relaunched and an employee-owned greenhouse is expected to start operations in 2017.

Washington, DC, 2011: Ivy City/Trinidad neighborhood study

Working with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Steve conducted a study specific to the Ivy City and Trinidad neighborhoods in Ward 5 of Washington DC to assess feasibility of co-op development in those neighborhoods as part of a broader City strategy combining housing, retail, and business investments.

Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2009-2010, three cities: Dimension the Opportunities

Steve conducted preliminary research on three Annie E. Casey focus cities: New Haven, Connecticut; Baltimore, Maryland; and Atlanta; Georgia. Projezct identified critical factors that allowed for launch of the Evergreen Cooperatives initiative in Cleveland and applied those criteria to assess co-op feasibility in those three cities.

Cleveland, Ohio, 2007: Evergreen Cooperatives feasibility study

Working with Ted Howard and a core group of major educational and medical institutions convened through the Cleveland Foundation, Steve helped devise a strategy that led to the development of a network of three employee-owned cooperatives, known as the Evergreen Cooperatives, that today employ 120, mostly low-income residents and meet anchor procurement needs.

Cleveland, Ohio, 2006, Community Wealth Building Summit

Working with Ted Howard, Steve helped recruit speakers, presented on research findings, and helped organize the conference agenda. Steve also conducted pre- and post-conference responses of partners in Cleveland.