Elyse D. Cherry is CEO of Boston Community Capital (BCC). Cherry helped found BCC in 1984, and has been integrally involved in its growth from a start-up organization to what is, today, a national model for community investment.
Under her leadership, BCC has invested more than $1 billion in underserved communities, financing affordable housing, jobs and opportunities for low-income people. Elyse is a leader in the community development finance industry with a reputation for finding solutions to tough problems. The Washington Post called her pioneering foreclosure-relief program, the SUN Initiative, a “national model for fighting blight;” former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke called it “an innovative strategy to prevent occupied homes from becoming vacant and creating a strain on the community.” In 2014, the White House recognized her as a Champion of Change for her work to bring solar power to low-income communities; Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly inducted her into its Circle of Excellence; and Women’s eNews named her one of “21 Leaders for the 21st Century.” Cherry currently serves on the Massachusetts Governor’s Foreclosure Impacts Task Force and the Advisory Committee to the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. She is past Chair of the Massachusetts Cultural Council and MassEquality. She has served as Vice Chair of the Opportunity Finance Network. Elyse is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Northeastern University School of Law. She started her career as a VISTA Volunteer at the East Tennessee Community Design Center.