As the company’s national program vice president, Queens native Richard Manson has led the way by designing and implementing effective strategies, fundraising for resources, and supporting community organizations in their revitalization efforts.
He also builds a constituency among the civic leadership of different cities throughout the country, and works with philanthropic and corporate leadership toward a common mission.
Growing up in Jamaica, Manson said he was always surrounded by changing neighborhoods. On the drive from Queens to Brooklyn, where his grandparents lived, he saw neighborhoods “in great decline.”
“It struck me that it doesn’t happen by itself,” he said. “I didn’t know what was behind the curtain.”
In college and graduate school, Manson said he learned that “things don’t happen by chance.” People and institutions make decisions that have an impact over the years, he said.
“When I got into this field, I learned there is a way to influence how decisions are made and investments are prioritized,” he added.
On February 4, LISC’s New York City office is honoring Manson, as well as the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, at a virtual gala. Manson said he’s overwhelmed by the recognition, but also proud of his work over the past four decades.
Despite all of the progress made, Manson said there are always more issues to be addressed.
“Sadly, there’s much more that needs to be done,” he said. “People are still left out of the economic mainstream.
“We’ll continue to attract the resources to support the neighborhood leaders that will lead the redevelopment through the economic crisis and pandemic we need to get out of,” Manson added.