Our Mission

To be a catalyst for investment in Kansas City, Missouri's low-income communities through innovative financial products, targeted economic and community development programming, and the development of strategic partnerships that promote community collaboration and capacity building.

Our People

Ruben Alonso III, Executive DirectorRuben Alonso III

As Executive Director of the KCMO CDE, Mr. Alonso is responsible for the overall administration, management and ongoing development of the organization and its community and economic development programs. Mr. Alonso also administers the KCMO CDE's NMTC Program for which he has been responsible for allocation authority totaling $158 million since 2008, project pipeline development, transaction underwriting, debt and equity placement, investor development, and program marketing and outreach resulting in the origination of $97 million in NMTC transactions to date. Prior to his role with the KCMO CDE, Mr. Alonso was a Project Manager for the City of Kansas City, Missouri's Development Finance Division, a program manager/consultant for the Los Angeles Minority Business Development Center, and Finance and Royalty Accounting Supervisor for EMI Recorded Music.

Mr. Alonso was a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Slovakia from 2000 to 2002, has been a youth mentor since 2007, is a graduate of the Centurions Leadership Program of The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce (Class of 2014), and is on the Board of Directors of The Catalyst Fund for KCPS Students, a 501(c)(3) organization that serves as the Foundation for the Kansas City, Missouri School District. Mr. Alonso is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design at the University of Missouri, Kansas City where he teaches a course in urban redevelopment.

Mr. Alonso holds a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Miami's School of Business Administration and a Master of Public Policy with a concentration in economic development from the University of Southern California's Price School of Public Policy.

Carmen Lopez, Director of LendingCarmen Lopez

As the Director of Lending, Carmen Lopez manages and oversees the KCMO CDE’s loan portfolio as well develops new markets for existing and new loan products. Ms. Lopez is responsible for loan origination and production, quality control, underwriting, as well as coordinating the loan closings and processing/ servicing. Ms. Lopez has more than 16 years of experience in various asset building initiatives, primarily working with the Latino community in the Greater Kansas City area. Most recently she was the Executive Director of the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) where she oversaw entrepreneurial/ business development, micro lending, financial education, and adult education programs. Her previous work experience also includes being the Director of Commercial Loan Administration at the Bank of Belton, as well as management in nonprofit development and job placement project manager.

Ms. Lopez is an active board member of the Westside Housing Organization of Kansas City and Kansas City Northeast Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Lopez received her MBA from Baker University and her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communication and Spanish from Rockhurst University.

Christine Kahm, Program ManagerChristine Kahm

Mrs. Kahm’s role at the KCMO CDE includes the ongoing management, administration and development of various community and economic development programs including the Façade Improvement Loan Program (FILP), Kansas City Microloan Program, and NMTC Program.

Through extensive marketing, performing initial underwriting and due diligence, preparing executive summaries and presentations for review committees, as well as finalizing loan documents, she has helped the KCMO CDE develop a portfolio of almost $175,000 in façade improvement loans and contributed to the closing of $18.5 million in NMTC transactions to date. In addition to supporting the KCMO CDE’s alternative, non-traditional financing programs, she also manages the KCMO CDE’s Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO) 16-Week Workshop: How to Build a Growing and Profitable Business, a peer to peer business training program for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Over the past two years, Mrs. Kahm has also led the management and growth of the KCMO CDE’s sister organization, the Community Capital Fund (CCF), a separate nonprofit that supports and promotes community development in Kansas City’s historically underinvested and under resourced communities; she now serves an advisory role for the CCF.

A licensed architect in Missouri, she has previously worked on both coasts designing affordable housing, green buildings, and multifamily residential dwellings. She is currently serving as Co-Chair/Global Liaison of the Kansas City ULI (Urban Land Institute) Young Leaders Group. She holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, California as well as Master and Bachelor of Architecture degrees from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.

Amanda Wilson, Program ManagerAmanda

Ms. Wilson is responsible for supporting the KCMO CDE's Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO) program. Ms. Wilson also manages the Community Capital Fund and the organization's Neighborhood Opportunity Grant Program and the Annual Community Development Workshop.

She holds a Master’s in City & Regional Planning from Cornell University with a focus in land use and community development and currently serves on the board of the Heartland Conservation Alliance. She worked in Portland, Oregon for an urban conservation land trust and was an AmeriCorps volunteer with a watershed group prior to going into planning. Ms. Wilson holds a B.S. in biology and environmental policy from Missouri State University.

Shanea Ghrib, Administrative AssistantShanea

Mrs. Ghrib is responsible for helping in the day-to-day administration of the KCMO CDE and its programs. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting Degree from the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Our Governance

Board of Directors:

David Brain, CEO and Trustee, EPR Properties
Jean-Paul Chaurand,
Chief Operating Officer, Guadalupe Centers Inc.
Gary Cortes
(Board Chair), Retired Principal, Hoffman Cortes Contracting Company
Randall J. Landes,
Finance Department, City of Kansas City, Missouri
Robert Langenkamp
, Interim Executive Director, EDCKC
Benny Lee, Chairman and CEO, DuraComm Corporation
Margaret J. May
, Executive Director, Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council

Advisory Board:

Erika Brice, Manager, National Real Estate Practices, NeighborWorks America
Devan Case, Principal Owner, Pendulum Studios
Frank O. Oligbo, Board Member, Phoenix Family Housing
John A. Wood, Assistant City Manager for Neighborhoods, City of Kansas City, Missouri