The JP UP Date: Thank You Elisabeth Risch

Katie ArnoldThe JP UP date

Number 162                        March 18, 2021                                   St. Louis

Elisabeth Risch, Trailblazing Community Reinvestment Leader, Transitions from STL

Individuals, families and neighborhoods of St. Louis are better off today because of the work of Elisabeth Risch.  It’s that simple.  In fact, all of St. Louis is better off today, including our bank partners, because of the dynamo-like commitment, passion and work ethic of Elisabeth Risch.

There is no hyperbole here.  Assuming the helm of a nascent SLEHCRA (St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance) in her early 20s, Elisabeth propelled the “little engine that could” to engage the St. Louis banking community in pro-active community benefits agreements, yielding millions of dollars in support to low and moderate income communities, resulting in tangible change that continues to narrow the racial equity gap.

And along the way she earned her MSW (Master of Social Work), got married and started a family (not sure of the exact order, but you get the point).

Elisabeth is now transitioning to her home state of Ohio to join her family and assume the Executive Directorship of a Cincinnati based fair housing alliance.


Nour Mohamed:  AmeriCorpsVISTA Extraordinaire 

Guess what you get when you add the following human characteristics together: Dedicated, Studious, Fastidious? The answer:  Nour Mohamed.  Imported from Fort Wayne, Indiana, JP’s AmeriCorpsVISTA volunteer who knows no bounds, Nour Moahmed, has given, and continues to daily, his all as part of JP’s Home Team, our internal staff that advances home ownership and related credit building activities.

Most specifically, as a Housing Associate, Nour assists our Home Team in building capacity by enhancing our intake process and shepherding credit building clients along the ultimate path to home ownership.

When asked about his work experience at JP, Nour stated, “JP really gave me a stronger insight on the sense of belonging and being part of a successfully growing community.”

As for St. Louis, Nour noted, “I was really amazed by the artistic aspect of St. Louis, from street murals to the jazz culture.  I enjoy being in a community where art is appreciated but also where significant Black/POC artists from every genre where born and raised. I mean you have Albert King, Huey, Nelly and Metro Boomin.  It’s art all around!”

Justine PETERSEN and STL SCORE Chapter Advance Partnership

SCORE, Service Corps of Retired Executives, is enhancing its partnership with Justine PETERSEN.  Both SCORE and JP are official services partners with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  SCORE provides comprehensive, one-on-one small business mentoring to “scores” (pun intended) of small businesses nationwide.

Local STL Chapter president Pamela Gilbert, along with her predecessor Gary Masterson, are propelling the SCORE/JP partnership by educating fellow SCORE mentors on how and when to refer business clients to JP.  JP staffer Galen Gondolfi recently addressed SCORE members at their most recent membership meeting, and Galen will offer a workshop in partnership with SCORE in late March and participate in a panel discussion this May during Small Business Week.

Justine PETERSEN values its partnership with SCORE and is excited about moving our partnership forward.


JP staffer Marcus Bolden seems to always be smiling – even when it’s not his birthday.  Among many of Marcus’ gifts, is his seemingly unabated sense of optimism and affability.  Marcus leads our BAT (Business Assistance Team) the same way that he greets fellow staffers in the morning or in the hallway:  with a beaming smile and spirit.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARCUS!