The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is launching its first community advisory council to address economic and social issues in low income communities in Ohio, as well as parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky.
The bank’s economic development office set up the 15-person council “to touch base on a regular, systematic basis with key stakeholders in our district,” said the Cleveland Fed’s Mary Helen Petrus.
The advisory council includes two representatives from Columbus. Bryan Kieler, the director of lending in Ohio at mission-based lender IFF, and Jillian Ollinger, the interim assistant executive director of Ohio State's Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, were appointed to two-year terms.
Eliza Bryant Village CEO Danny Williams is one of the three members from Cleveland.
“At least from our perspective, they get a chance to hear from us about the ripple effect of some of the economic decisions that they and others in the government may be making,” said Williams.
He doesn’t have recommendations for the Fed, but said the branch’s goals of stabilizing communities and increasing fair access to credit apply to the seniors that his organization serves.
“Fulfilling that mission would be better informed if they have some direct input from people and organizations that deal with those populations that are facing financial strain, facing a number of the factors that might make it difficult for them to get access to credit,” said Williams.
Other members of the council include the head of the United Way in Cleveland, the superintendent of Akron public schools, a vice president at University Hospitals, and the head of the Toledo Community Foundation.
The council’s first meeting is scheduled for October 17.