Brad White, Alphawood Foundation

TITLE: Associate Director

FUNDING AREAS: Arts, arts education, performing arts, LGBT, domestic violence, literature and historic building preservation in the Chicagoland area.

CONTACT: bwhite@alphawood.org, (773) 477-8984

IP TAKE: White has an extensive background in affordable housing development and historical building preservation, and you can bet that he's making these community issues part of the foundation's grantmaking strategy.

PROFILE: As many Chicago-area nonprofits will attest, getting involved with the Alphawood Foundation is oftentimes easier said than done. Private philanthropist, Fred Eychaner, founded Alphawood but since 2012, he's employed a couple experienced staff members to take charge of the grantmaking operations. Around the same time that Eychaner hired Jim McDonough as Executive Director, he hired Brad White as the foundation's Associate Director. (Read Alphawood Foundation: Chicago Grants).

Before joining forces with Eychaner and McDonough, White accumulated over 25 years of professional and volunteer experience in economic and community development, historic preservation, affordable housing, and public policy. White earned his Bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Michigan and his law degree at DePaul University. He previously served as the Senior Vice President of CB White & Associates, where he provided affordable housing and community development consulting.

He also held a Senior Vice President title at The Habitat Company LLC, which is a national manager and developer of residential apartments and condos. Prior to this, he was Vice President at Related Midwest LLC. In this role, White oversaw redevelopment on Chicago's West Side and was the guy responsible for acquiring, financing, and developing affordable, market-rate housing. According to a press release, “He has created planning and incentive strategies for economic development in downtown areas, neighborhood commercial districts, and residential districts. In addition, he has worked with neighborhood residents to help them shape the development of their neighborhoods.”

Housing and community development seems to White's specialty, but historical preservation isn't too far behind. In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed White to serve as a citizen member of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, an Executive Branch agency that's focused on regulatory compliance, outreach, and advising the President on related matters. On the council, White serves as Chair of the Preservation Initiatives Committee and the Right-Sizing and Historic Preservation Task Force.

Over the years, White has spoken about historic preservation and published an an expert on the topic. Along with co-author, Richard J. Roddewig, White published an examination report, “Preparing a Historic Preservation Plan,” and a research evaluation, “Improving the Accuracy of Identifying Lesbians for Telephone Surveys About Health.” White has been a board member, featured speaker, or otherwise involved with the following organizations:

  • National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • University of Michigan Real Estate Club
  • RealShare
  • American Planning Association
  • Chicago Chapter of the Urban Land Institute
  • Illinois Housing Council
  • Delta Institute
  • Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois

On his Linkedin page, here is how White describes his current role at the Alphawood Foundation: "Current responsibilities include researching and analyzing major project opportunities, providing recommendations, and leading implementation efforts. Also responsible for helping to manage staff and foundation resources."