Since 2012, Money, a Time Inc. magazine dedicated to “helping readers take charge of their finances,” has released an annual list of heroes who “make extraordinary efforts to improve the personal finances of others.” With one individual selected from each of the fifty states and Washington, D.C., Money receives nominations for heroes from “past honorees, leaders of nonprofit groups, community-service coordinators at for-profit firms” and its readers.
For the 2014 list, AAFE Executive Director Chris Kui was selected as New York’s Money hero. Chris has been with AAFE since its early days, originally volunteering in the 1970s by teaching ESOL and citizenship classes. Since becoming AAFE’s Executive Director in 1993, Chris has played a monumental role in helping AAFE become one of New York City’s preeminent community development organizations. Under Chris’ leadership, AAFE has constructed and managed more than 700 units of affordable housing in the city and rehabbed over 100 homes for first-time home buyers. Chris also oversaw the creation of AAFE’s affiliates Renaissance Economic Development Corporation and AAFE Community Development Fund, which provide loans, education programs, and counseling to small business owners and home owners, respectively.
More recently, Chris spearheaded AAFE’s recovery efforts following Superstorm Sandy. Just days after the storm hit New York City, AAFE initiated emergency loan programs, providing more than $3 million to businesses and home owners whose lives were devastated by Sandy. Furthermore, in 2013, AAFE broke ground on Hardesty Renaissance in Kansas City, MO. The project plans to revitalize the site of a former federal complex, creating new jobs and being one of the catalysts that helps Northeast Kansas City become a sustainable place. Success will result in a model for projects of scale that AAFE can replicate in other cities.
Congratulations to Chris and all of Money‘s 2014 heroes!