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National Business Alliance Names Third Cohort of Localists Leading the New Economy

18 September 2014
BY Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)

BALLE Fellows AnnouncementOAKLAND, C.A., Sep. 18 /CSRwire/ – BALLE (the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) today announced its third cohort of BALLE Local Economy Fellows – 17 leaders from across North America chosen as the top pioneers of the Local Economy Movement. BALLE Local Economy Fellows participate in an intimate and rigorous 18-month leadership immersion program that further strengthens their capacity for transformative systems change in their communities.

Individually, each 2014 BALLE Local Economy Fellow is a proven leader and innovative local economy connector – someone who represents, convenes, and influences whole communities of local businesses from Boston to New Orleans to Minneapolis. Combined, they are a diverse group of leaders who represent the cutting edge of social entrepreneurship incubation, community capital cultivation, and social justice.

“These challenging times require a different type of leader who can create the conditions for a new economy to emerge. Developing this type of leader is the purpose of the BALLE Local Economy Fellowship,” said Michelle Long, executive director of BALLE.  “With the transformational leadership development, skills and tools, and connections these leaders will receive as part of the fellowship, BALLE Local Economy Fellows will be poised to democratize opportunity, ownership and the economy, and bring real prosperity to more people; fundamentally fixing our global economy from the ground up.”

BALLE’s Local Economy Fellowship began in 2011 with a vision of creating an interconnected network of local economies that work in harmony with nature to support a healthy, prosperous, and joyful life for all people. Within a decade, BALLE plans to connect and support 250 communities of practice across North America that bolster their local economies from within – investing in the people and businesses rooted right where they are.

“The combination of personal transformation work and concrete support in planning local economies has accelerated our work in ways that I had no context for before this fellowship,” said 2013 BALLE Local Economy Fellow and Green For All Executive Director Nikki Silvestri. “I’ve gotten better at economic development and I’ve gotten better at being a leader.”

The new group of fellows joins the 2011 and 2013 cohorts, bringing the total number of BALLE Local Economy Fellows to 42 leaders representing more than 34,000 businesses and reaching over one million people. The program has already seen profound, lasting outcomes within just a few years, such as $4.28 million raised by January 2014 in new funding that Fellows directly attribute to connections or skills developed through the fellowship and 74 instances of collaboration.

The new group of BALLE Local Economy Fellows were selected through referrals and support from some of the most respected and well-known organizations in the field: NoVo Foundation, Echoing Green, Ashoka, New World Foundation, Rutgers Social Innovation Institute, Social Venture Network and Surdna Foundation. BALLE’s central partner in Local Economy Fellowship content development and program oversight is the Ventana Group, world-renowned leaders in transformative leadership development and systems change.

“We believe that an economic and cultural transformation to create real prosperity will require supporting emerging innovators,” said Jennifer Buffett of the NoVo Foundation. “This is why our partnership with BALLE to identify, connect, nourish, and illuminate today’s top local economy leaders is a key part of our strategy.”

An approach to economic development that fosters local business ownership and sustainability isn’t new, and is becoming more mainstream every day. From Economic Development Quarterly to Harvard Business Review, traditional economic voices are certifying that communities with a higher density and diversity of local, independently owned businesses have more wealth, jobs, and resiliency. The aim of the BALLE Local Economy Fellowship is nothing less than a new economy built on fairness, cooperation, and sustainability.

“BALLE Local Economy Fellows aren’t waiting for big government or big business to step in and fix all that ails a dying system – instead they are working to change economies right where they are, starting with the tools and resources they have:  human capital, resourcefulness, and an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Shawn Escoffery, Director of the Strong Local Economies Program for the Surdna Foundation.

The 2014 BALLE Local Economy Fellows

Name: Jay Bad Heart Bull

Place:  Minneapolis, Minnesota

Organization:  Native American Community Development Institute (NACD)

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/jay-bad-heart-bull


Name:  Andrea Chen

Place:  New Orleans, Louisiana

Organization:  Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/andrea-chen-fellow


Name:  José Corona

Place:  Oakland, California

Organization:  Inner City Advisors

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/jose-corona


Name:  Alfa Demmellash

Place:  Jersey City, New Jersey

Organization:  Rising Tide Capital

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/alfa-demmellash


Name:  Steven Dubb

Place:  Takoma Park, Maryland

Organization:  The Democracy Collaborative

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/steve-dubb-fellow


Name:  Sara Day Evans

Place:  Asheville, North Carolina

Organization:  Prosperity Collective and Accelerating Appalachia

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/sara-day-evans


Name:  Crystal German

Place:  Cincinnati, Ohio

Organization:  Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/crystal-german


Name:  Eric Griego

Place:  Albuquerque, New Mexico

Organization:  Fast Forward Consulting

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/eric-griego


Name:  Bob Junk

Place:  Lemont Furnace, Pennsylvania

Organization:  Fay-Penn Economic Development Council

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/bob-junk


Name:  Ramon Leon

Place:  Minneapolis, Minnesota

Organization:  Latino Economic Development Center

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/ramon-leon-fellow


Name:  Adele London

Place:  New Orleans, Louisiana

Organization:  Good Work Network

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/adele-london


Name:  Jessica Norwood

Place:  Mobile, Alabama

Organization:  Emerging ChangeMakers Network

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/jessica-norwood


Name:  Kelly Ramirez

Place:  Providence, Rhode Island

Organization:  Social Enterprise Greenhouse

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/kelly-ramirez


Name:  Euneika Rogers-Sipp

Place:  Stone Mountain, Georgia

Organization:  Sustainable Rural Regenerative Enterprises for Families (SURREF)

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/euneika-rogers-sipp-fellow


Name:  Aaron Tanaka

Place:  Boston, Massachusetts

Organization:  Boston Impact Initiative / Center for Economic Democracy

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/aaron-tanaka-fellow


Name:  Carlos Velasco

Place:  Phoenix, Arizona

Organization:  Fuerza Local Arizona

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/carlos-velasco-fellow


Name:  Donovan Woollard

Place:  Vancouver, British Columbia

Organization: RADIUS Ventures

Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/donovan-woollard


BALLE is a nonprofit organization focused on creating real prosperity by connecting leaders, spreading solutions that work, and driving investment toward local economies. BALLE equips entrepreneurs with tools and strategies for local success, and provides a national forum for the most visionary local economy leaders and funders to connect, build their capacity and innovate. BALLE is based out of the Impact Hub Oakland.http://bealocalist.org/

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