The Local Initiatives Support Corp., a community investment group that works to resuscitate urban Indianapolis neighborhoods, has named Tedd Grain as executive director.
Grain, who joined LISC in 2009 and became deputy director four years ago, succeeds Bill Taft in the top spot. Taft was named senior vice president for economic development for LISC National in March after 13 years in charge of the local office.
Since its founding in 1992, LISC Indianapolis has invested more than $260 million to leverage almost $958 million of investment in urban neighborhoods.
Those include investments in affordable housing, small businesses, community facilities, charter schools, commercial corridor revitalization, and green spaces. Many of those investments were made as part of initiatives including the Great Indy Neighborhoods Initiative, Fostering Commercial Urban Strategies, Centers for Working Families, and Great Places 2020.
LISC Indianapolis—one of 32 LISC urban program offices. Grain joined the organization as a program officer and then became deputy director.
“Tedd is a proven innovator who understands how to connect community groups, business leaders, policymakers and residents to create a more inclusive economy,” said Maurice Jones, LISC president and CEO, in written comments. “He has deep connections in the neighborhoods where LISC works and strong relationships with funders that are committed to safe and healthy communities. He is the right person to lead our growing work in Indianapolis.”
Grain grew up in Recife, Brazil, before becoming a community organizer in Indianapolis, working with the Justice for Immigrants Coalition of Indiana.
He also worked on policy issues for the Indy Chamber and served as a professor at Indiana University’s School for Public and Environmental Affairs, teaching about sustainable community development.
“I look forward to building on LISC’s long history of collaboration with residents and partners to catalyze resilient communities in Indianapolis,” Grain said in written remarks. “In the months to come, we will be deepening our work in inclusive economic development, focusing intensely on neighborhood health, and building the capacity of local organizations to lead long-term growth.”
Grain will oversee a staff of 11 and provide strategic direction and guidance for all aspects of LISC’s local work. He has served as interim executive director since March.
Grain has master’s degrees in both philanthropic studies (Indiana University) and not-for-profit management (IUPUI)) as well as a certificate in social entrepreneurship from IU’s Kelley School of Business. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature at Earlham College and is fluent in both Portuguese and Spanish.
He is on the boards of the Eskenazi Health Center, Renew Indianapolis and EmployIndy, and was a founding member of the Latino Youth Collective.
Grain was a 2014 selection to IBJ’s Forty Under 40.