A Note from CCF Donor Representative Wendy Fleischer:
The Change Capital Fund (CCF) donor collaborative and the whole community development sector owes a debt of gratitude to Gary Hattem for his inspired leadership and outsized contributions. In 1996, while at Deutsche Bank, Gary co-founded CCF along with Steve Flax of M&T Bank and Pat Jenny of The New York Community Trust. The goal of CCF is to enable community development corporations to revitalize New York City’s abandoned neighborhoods through multi-year, flexible funding. In large part, it has been Gary’s vision, integrity and brilliance that propelled CCF’s success for two decades. CCF may have been the first time corporate and foundation donors in our city came together for a common cause, but it was not the last. In recent years, Gary brought donors together to repair NYC after Sandy, to enable nonprofit developers to create a Joint Ownership Entity, and to empower neighborhood residents to engage in the City’s rezoning process. I am grateful that I have had the great fortune to work with Gary and to get to watch him work his magic from up close.
Following are just a few tributes from the many of us who wish to share our thanks:
The community development movement in New York City has benefited tremendously from Gary’s leadership, commitment and expertise over many years. Gary played important roles in numerous aspects of our movement, including the recent launch of Joint Operating Entity, which will help ensure that affordable housing owned by nonprofits, will remain vital assets in our communities for generations to come. He will be sorely missed. I wish him all the best in his retirement!
Michelle de la Uz
Fifth Avenue Committee, Inc.
I’ve had the remarkable good fortune to have worked with Gary Hattem my whole professional career. Proudly, I claim Gary as my mentor! He has taught me discretion, humility and to never lose sight of who our work, despite where we work, should benefit- la gente!
From Gary unleashing my mercantile propensities selling fuel oil in Williamsburg, to starting a provocative men’s group at St. Nicks Alliance, long before it was fashionable (it’s never really been fashionable), to modeling and allowing M&T Bank to pinch his “outstanding” CRA program at Deutsche Bank, to grooming me for and then passing the baton on as chair of the Change Capital Fund, Gary has always been a radical and positive force for me personally. His smarts and strength of personality have raised the bar, not only for me and other bankers, and not just for the manifold of practitioners in the community development field, but for the industry itself. Gary’s name is synonymous with community development in New York City! Lastly, many of us know our work lives would have been less fun and certainly less effective without his charm, charisma and magnetism. We are forever indebted to Gary.
Gary Hattem Presente!
Long live making the world a better place!
Administrative VP | M&T Bank
Community Reinvestment Group| Regional CRA Manager
When I worked at HPD, back in 1986 or so, I was introduced to Gary. St. Nicks and HPD were closing on the sale of 11 Ten Eyck, a limited equity coop. He proceeded to ask that I approve an increase in the sales prices on the coops to close some small gap that had opened in the project’s financing. And he did it in such a calm, reasonable, reassuring manner that I found myself consenting to a request that I probably didn’t have the authority to consent to, that if more senior people discovered I had consented to, it would have led to my summary evisceration. And I felt good about it.
But that has always been typical of Gary. He’s always been able to get bureaucrats and bankers and philanthropists and politicians and neighborhood residents to agree to things that left in the hands of others, with far less deft touches than his, would be rejected out of hand.
We’ve all benefited from Gary’s elegant understanding of the intersection of social policy, politics and finance, just as we’ve all been graced by his boundless optimism and ambition for our communities and lives. We’re now entering an exceptionally difficult period for community development, for this City, and for the nation, and we’ll miss the comfort Gary’s leadership has provided for all of us from his perch at Deutsche Bank. We will not have that luxury, but I know that Gary will continue to provide it from whatever new vantage point he assumes in the future.
Stay well, Gary.
I first met Gary in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I was newly on the job as Assistant Commissioner of Strategic Planning at HPD, and as phone call after phone call from funders came in asking how philanthropy could help. Then Commissioner Mat Wambua’s immediate response was that we needed to reach out to Gary Hattem because he was the person we could rely on to organize the funding community into an effective and unified collaborative. And Mat was not mistaken. Gary sprang into action and rapidly organized the NYC Housing and Neighborhood Recovery Donors Collaborative, which in short order deployed $3.255 million to support 34 nonprofits serving low-income New Yorkers in 13 Sandy-affected neighborhoods to plan and implement recovery and resiliency strategies. The collaborative would go on to win the HUD Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.
Working directly for Gary and witnessing his leadership, vision, integrity, and intelligence in action on a daily basis has been an inspiration to grow, learn, stretch, and challenge myself always to seek out innovative ways to build a more equitable and sustainable society and world. I have been tremendously privileged to count him as a mentor, and I will miss him tremendously.
Vice President, Philanthropic Initiatives
I worked with Gary Hattem for seven years at Deutsche Bank, and it was a master class about how to navigate and innovate the community development industry. Since Gary was around at the very beginning as founding executive director of St. Nicks Alliance, he had a long view of the field, the players, and how to get things done. And he always used this accumulated knowledge to push the field forward. Gary never stood still, always identifying gaps where the right kind of expertise married with the right kind of financial resource could be catalytic. What’s more, Gary understood that one institution, even as large and influential as Deutsche Bank, couldn’t make change happen on its own. He loved to share his ideas with his philanthropic and financial peers and colleagues, and during a thirty-minute phone call, you could hear whoever was on the other end of the line move from skepticism to agreement. Gary had this amazing ability to bring people along in his thinking, and make his early-stage visionary ideas seem like things that obviously needed to exist in the world. I saw this happen with Living Cities, the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation, Spaceworks, the Joint Ownership Entity (JOE), and of course with the Change Capital Fund.
LISC New York City
When I started at Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation in 1984, everyone kept advising me to go speak to Gary Hattem and the folks at St. Nicks Alliance. I was told that they were the organization we wanted to emulate – a community-based organization that combines affordable housing development, youth and human services, and a strong underpinning/foundation of community organizing. It was good advice: from that beginning, Gary was always generous with his time and support of a very inexperienced executive director. When he left St. Nicks, he took his commitment to the Community Development Corporation (CDC) field to Bankers Trust/Deutsche Bank and changed philanthropy in the sector in profound ways. He pioneered multi-year grants and funding collaboratives in our sector and attracted deeper investments in the work of CDCs. At Deutsche Bank he established the Working Capital Program, which has been a game-changer for our organization. It was the first sustained grant and loan source that I can recall that encouraged CDCs to take risks to accomplish great social good. We’ve been lucky enough to participate in many rounds of the program and because of it, acquired vacant land and buildings that have been transformed into affordable rental and home ownership opportunities, new retail spaces, and one amazing alternative public school. I’m grateful that Gary never wavered in his commitment to our work and the struggling neighborhoods of New York City.
Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation
As founding Executive Director of St. Nicks Alliance, Gary pioneered with other Community Development Corporation (CDC) leaders across the city to lead revitalization of low income neighborhoods. After joining Deutsche Bank he adapted his CDC learnings and created a new banking product enabling CDCs to develop impactful projects in low-income neighborhoods throughout New York City and across the world.
Gary has long engaged the philanthropic community to help build and innovate effective community development strategies.
The Change Capital Fund is one example that is enabling the sector to innovate and build new outcome driven approaches. Gary was an instrumental part of the founding of Joint Operating Entity and if not for his vision and support, this new approach to building and sustaining affordable housing would never get off the ground.
Gary has spent his career breaking new ground and shaping a vision for how locally controlled organizations can lead revitalization and create pathways to economic opportunity. His presence in the sector will be missed.
St. Nicks Alliance
What I admire most about Gary is his creative leadership. Always pushing for a new approach, a better way. When I think back on the best accomplishments in the community development field in New York City over the past twenty years-Gary was always in the mix! I especially appreciated his role in herding government officials, foundation folks, and bankers in a coordinated response in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. I was proud of what we were able to accomplish on behalf of New Yorkers in the course of that eighteen-month initiative. Thank you Gary, and best wishes.
Senior Program Officer
New York Community Trust