Cinnaire, a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides creative loans, development services and investments to support community development, recently announced Lucius Vassar has been appointed Senior Vice President, Detroit Market Leader.
As the Senior Vice President, Detroit Market Leader, Lucius will lead Cinnaire’s Priority City Initiative in Detroit. As part of the Priority City Initiative, Cinnaire will continue to dedicate resources to support community and economic development investments in the Detroit market, with accelerated investment over the next three years. Cinnaire has invested over $500 million in Detroit in the last 25 years.
“Cinnaire has committed to increasing the momentum of existing community development efforts by providing new capital, offering critical technical assistance and fostering collaboration between partners with a shared focus,” said Jim Peffley, Cinnaire Executive Vice President. “Lucius is a proven leader with a passion for revitalizing Detroit. His expertise will further the work we are doing to ensure all Detroit residents have access to the opportunities provided by living in healthy communities.”
In this new position, Lucius will be responsible for identifying resources and opportunities to further comprehensive community development objectives within the Detroit region by working closely with investors, non-profit leaders, public officials, developers and network associations to identify areas where Cinnaire can create and advance healthy communities. Lucius will be responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with local stakeholders that share Cinnaire’s vision to develop vibrant, affordable communities while providing all people with opportunities for empowerment. The strategy will incorporate all of Cinnaire’s business lines and services and will be designed to maximize economic impact in Detroit. Lucius will be responsible for developing, leading and coordinating this strategy.
“I am honored to join the Cinnaire team, having represented them for governmental relations for many years and witnessing their passion and dedication to community building.”, said Vassar. “My first job in the public sector was at the Michigan State Housing Development Authority working with the Michigan Housing Coordinating Council. Now, more than 25 years later, I’m so excited to have the opportunity to apply what I’ve learned, call upon trusted allies, and work alongside my fellow Detroiters to build and strengthen my community.”
Lucius earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Michigan State University and his Juris Doctor Cum Laude from Michigan State University College of Law. With more than 25 years of government relations and advocacy experience, his most recent role saw him advocating across Metro Detroit and the State of Michigan as Director of Governmental Affairs for Clark Hill PLC. Prior to joining Clark Hill, Lucius served in several leadership capacities in local and state government. He served as Director of the Detroit Workforce Development Department, Michigan’s largest workforce agency with an annual budget of more than $70 million. As Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Detroit, he led the process of development and implementation of policy initiatives at the local, state and federal levels. He created and maintained partnerships with corporations, civic organizations and foundations throughout Southeast Michigan working as the Director of Corporate and Civic Affairs. Previous public-sector experience also includes serving as Chief of Staff for the Senate Democratic Floor Leader Virgil C. Smith, where he forged partnerships across the aisle. In the private sector, Lucius worked as a multi-client lobbyist with one of Michigan’s largest firms, Muchmore Harrington Smalley and Associates.
A resident of Detroit, Lucius has served on many boards and commissions including Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Downtown Development Authority, Arts League of Michigan, City Connect Detroit, Detroit Police Foundation, and the Detroit Metro Conventions and Visitors Bureau. Invested in youth development, he regularly volunteers in the Detroit Public Schools Community District and serves on the Family and Community Engagement Advisory Group and the Cass Technical High School Parent Teacher Student Association. Lucius and his wife, Dr. Rema Reynolds Vassar, are also actively involved in community service through their church, Fellowship Chapel. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the National Bar Association, the Wolverine Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Detroit Branch NAACP.
Since 1993, Cinnaire has invested $3.7 billion to revitalize communities, resulting in more than $7 billion in community impact. A non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury, Cinnaire has supported 676 housing developments, provided 47,000 affordable apartment homes and created or retained more than 65,000 jobs. Headquartered in Lansing, MI, with offices in five states, Cinnaire provides access to investment funding, lending options, and title services that support community and economic development, creating stable, sustainable and vibrant communities.www.cinnaire.com