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ERIC SMITH, Executive Director

Eric grew up in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This country falls low on the development index and has been ravaged by conflict, yet Eric remembers the abundance of his community. The richness of the culture and social connection where people not only believed that it takes a village to raise a child, they lived it. Eric has dedicated his life to building these abundant communities in the US and around the world.

Eric has two decades of experience and a graduate degree in community development. In addition to his part-time role as our executive director, he serves as the community and economic development extension educator for the northwest Ohio region through Central State University. Eric has also served as a connector in multiple urban centers and rural communities in Ohio.

He belongs to a national network of Asset-Based Community Development trainer/coaches in which Great Lakes Urban is looking to take a leadership role in expanding this network.