Jeremy 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.
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 philly.com 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.