Nedra Sims Fears, Executive Director of the Greater Chatham Initiative (GCI)


Nedra Sims Fears is Executive Director of the Greater Chatham Initiative (GCI). GCI is a new economic development nonprofit. GCI creates a comprehensive action plan for economic growth and neighborhood vitality. Its goal is to strategically invest in four communities–Chatham, Greater Grand Crossing, Avalon Park and Auburn Gresham, so they can re-emerge as communities of opportunity and choice.

Fears is an economic development expert who specializes in strategic planning, financial modeling, community development financing, and program management.  Recently she secured a MacArthur Foundation and Exelon Corporation grants for GCI. Previously, Fears developed, and secured partial funding for two community development corporation plans a $37 million 38-block plan for a Detroit neighborhood; and a $17 million nine-block plan for an Atlanta neighborhood. Earlier in her career Fears financed $1 billion in low- and moderate-income single-family and multi-family housing for FannieMae, City of Chicago Department of Housing and Community Investment Corporation.

Fears ins a Harvard Loeb Fellow. She holds a BS from Cornell University in Interior Architecture and a MBA in finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is a proud South Sider. Most of the time she lives in her childhood Chatham home. You can find her periodically visiting her spouse and adult children in metro Atlanta.

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