Joel Ratner is President and CEO of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, a local community development funding intermediary with over twenty-five years of experience investing in community revitalization work in the City of Cleveland. Cleveland Neighborhood Progress works to accomplish its vision for all of Cleveland’s neighborhoods to be attractive, vibrant communities where people from all incomes, races, and generations thrive, prosper, and choose to live, learn, work, invest, and play.
Cleveland Neighborhood Progress provides operating support, technical assistance and training for Cleveland’s community development corporations. Through its subsidiaries, Village Capital and New Village Corporation, the organization finances and develops catalytic real estate projects. Since 1988, Neighborhood Progress and its subsidiaries have invested over $150 million in community organizations and their development agendas, creating over 7,400 housing units and over 2.5 million sq. ft. of retail/industrial space within the City of Cleveland.
Under Ratner’s leadership, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress has broadened its programming into both people and place based strategies of community development in an effort to respond to the varied needs of each neighborhood and be as comprehensive as possible.
Before joining Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Ratner served as President of the Raymond John Wean Foundation, leading its comprehensive effort to advance the Mahoning Valley. Under Ratner’s leadership, the Wean Foundation began a grassroots grantmaking effort that provided support to key catalytic developments and programs including a new community college, a coalition to ensure the provision of healthcare to children, a P-16 educational improvement effort, and the strengthening of the regional transit system. Prior to that, Ratner led the Neighborhood Connections Program at the Cleveland Foundation, which provides small grants to neighborhood groups working to improve their communities.