Jeremy Nowak, R.I.P.

UnknownJeremy Nowak, a leader in community development finance and much more since the 1980s, passed away today. He recently suffered a massive heart attack.

Jeremy was a close friend of mine for 25 years. He mentored me, taught me, encouraged me, supported me, challenged me, guided me, looked out for me, represented me, and inspired me. He made my life better, as he made the lives of countless others better through his friendship, his work, his volunteer service, his ideas, and his generosity of spirit, time, and self.


Jeremy’s family has provided details on tomorrow’s public memorial:
Jeremy Nowak Memorial
10 a.m. | Friday, August 3, 2018 Behrakis Grand Hall, 
Creese Student Center
3210 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Reception To follow in the Drexel University Main Building
3141 Chestnut Street | Philadelphia, PA 19104
Parking: Complimentary parking will be available in the Drexel University Parking Garage, located on the southeast corner of 34th and Market streets. To enter the parking garage while traveling west on Market Street (away from City Hall and Route 76), make a left on 34th Street at the light.  Make a right at the light if traveling east on Market, toward City Hall. Then make an immediate left onto Ludlow Street and enter the garage from the rear of the building. If there is a “Lot Full” sign on display, please press the button on the gate for admittance. After parking your car in the garage, please note your space number. Take the elevators to the first-floor lobby and provide your parking space number to the attendant in the parking office.
To proceed to Behrakis Grand Hall, exit onto Market Street and walk to the right (east) for one block, until you reach 33rd Street. Turn right onto 33rd Street, walk south one block and cross Chestnut Street at the light. Turn left, cross 33rd Street at the light and proceed one-half block to the entrance to Creese Student Center. Once inside, continue to the left to reach Behrakis Grand Hall.


He gave everything he had to his many friends and inspired us all to do the same in our lives. Like many others, I miss him already and will miss him as long as I live.

Jeremy founded The Reinvestment Fund and led it to be one of the most successful CDFIs in the U.S. He led CDFI industry efforts to create the CDFI Fund in the early 1990s. He later chaired many Boards ranging from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to The Philadelphia Citizen. Earlier this year he published a groundbreaking book, The New Localism, with Bruce Katz.

Jeremy’s exceptional impact in the many worlds he touched are not the real measure of his life. His family–wife Jano and children Jessica and Adam–were the passion and pride of his life. Their loss is inconsolable.

Jeremy’s obituary from is available here. A more personal remembrance of Jeremy by Larry Platt, the Editor of The Philadelphia Citizen, is available here. Those who knew Jeremy well will be telling stories about him for years; Platt captures him well.

In coming weeks, I will publish more on Jeremy, appreciating and remembering his outsized roles, leadership, and innovations.



  1. Linda Pinsky · · Reply

    I remember you talking about him. I am saddened by your loss.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful dear friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rhonda Harrison · · Reply

    My condolences and prayers. He had such a big brain. I loved his giving spirit.


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