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Kresge president named to list of ‘Michigan Change Makers’

General Foundation News

This is an image of The Kresge Foundation President and CEO Rip RapsonKresge Foundation President and CEO Rip Rapson was named one of 12 “Michigan Change Makers” by Crain’s Detroit Business.

The business publication credited Rapson with “changing philanthropy in Detroit,” taking the foundation’s work beyond grantmaking, bringing stakeholders together to address issues and solve problems, and helping to spur private investment in the city.

Crain’s cited a range of accomplishments:

  • Convening community conversations that led to development Detroit Future City plan, a 50-year blueprint for revitalizing the city and its neighborhoods.
  • Launching the Hope Starts Here initiative with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to develop a high-quality early childhood system in Detroit.
  • Helping neighborhood groups solve problems through the Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit grant initiative.
  • Making the initial $5 million contribution and guarantees that launched the Woodward Corridor Investment Fund, which grew to $30.25 million fund after other contributions.
  • Branching out into low-interest loans, guarantees and investments in community development financial institutions.
  • Developing the $40 million Detroit Home Mortgage program, which gives qualified buyers a first mortgage up to the appraised value of a home and second mortgage of up to $75,000 for renovations. In its first year, mortgages rose 25 percent across the city.
  • Making the initial contribution of $50 million to the M-1 Rail project, which opened the downtown QLine streetcar system in May.

Rapson joined Kresge as president and CEO in 2006 and led a transition from specializing in capital-challenge grants to operating a suite of programs and practices working to expand opportunities in America’s cities.