From left to right: Joseph Ott, Lisa Nelson, Paul Kaboth, Francisca Richter, Tom Fitzpatrick, Donna Brooks, Anne O'Shaughnessy, Bonnie Blankenship, Matt Klesta, and Mary Helen Petrus. Not pictured: Ann Marie Wiersch.
Meet the Team

Here at the Cleveland Fed, our Community Development team includes economists, policy analysts, writers, and meeting planners working from three cities—Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati—to provide assistance to groups across the Fourth District. Our team’s mission is similar to the Bank’s: support the Federal Reserve’s economic growth objectives by promoting stable, sustainable communities along with fair and impartial access to credit.

We do this in a number of ways. We conduct applied research, analyze data and trends, and provide technical assistance to organizations like yours. We share findings and policy implications through publications and webinars, in face-to-face meetings, and at conferences. We convene meetings, bringing together key players in community and economic development.

Everything we do is aimed at deepening our understanding of issues that affect development of strong communities in our district. Through both quantitative and qualitative research, we can provide credible, evidence-based support and solutions for our constituents.

How can we help you?

  • Bonnie Blankenship
    Senior Policy Analyst
    Bonnie, working from the Cincinnati office, conducts outreach and policy analysis on current and emerging issues. She provides information and technical assistance to financial institutions, community-based organizations, and government entities relevant to the Fourth District. (bio)
    Thomas J. Fitzpatrick IV
    Assistant Vice President
    Tom is a widely published economist with expertise in a range of subjects, among them foreclosures, land banking, and consumer finance. He’s also licensed to practice law in Ohio. (bio)
    Paul Kaboth
    Vice President & Community Development Officer
    Paul has 27 years of experience at the Cleveland Fed, mostly in banking supervision. He brings that knowledge, along with a passion for improving the region’s neighborhoods, to his role as the team’s leader. (bio)
  • Matthew Klesta
    Research Analyst
    Matt is a research analyst with considerable experience in GIS mapping and data analysis. He creates maps for our popular tool, the Community Stabilization Index, among other responsibilities. Matt is leading the planning of our 2013 Policy Summit. (bio)
    Lisa Nelson
    Senior Policy Analyst
    Lisa, our team’s most knowledgeable data expert, conducts research on a range of community development issues. Her work, published in multiple outlets, focuses mostly on housing and lending in LMI communities. (bio)
    Anne O’Shaughnessy
    Project Manager
    Anne leads the team’s communications efforts, getting the word out about our applied research, tools and analyses, and events aimed at helping constituents in their respective roles. She also led planning of the annual Policy Summit for three years. (bio)
  • Joseph Ott
    Senior Policy Analyst
    Joseph, with 14 years of experience in community development, directs programming and outreach activities in western Pa., southeast Ohio, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia. He provides technical assistance to organizations about, for instance, credit availability and housing. (bio)
    Mary Helen Petrus
    Assistant Vice President
    Mary Helen conducts outreach throughout Ohio. With her policy expertise, she assists organizations in understanding how the Federal Reserve Bank can partner with them to tackle key issues in community development. (bio)
    Francisca G.-C. Richter
    Research Economist
    As director of our team’s research efforts, Francisca oversees and conducts quantitative research on a range of topics that impact stable communities, including education, access to credit, workforce development, and housing. (bio)
  • Ann Marie Wiersch
    Senior Policy Analyst
    Ann Marie, a 15-year veteran of the Cleveland Fed, joined the team in 2014. Ann Marie researches and analyzes various policy issues for the bank, including small business lending, state and local government finance, student loan debt, and, going forward, for-profit education and certification programs. (bio)