Interactive Workshop (*Up to 40 Participants)
101

Place-based Impact Investments & Strategic Tools in Action

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Designed for community organizations, impact funds, and social enterprises focused on place-based investments and placemaking strategies, this workshop will review the power of key strategic tools, specifically Theories of Change and Program Logic Models, in helping provide a critical roadmap for intentional action and change. Come hear how our team leverages these tools for the Chestnut Opportunity Zone Fund and our investments, while also gaining first-hand practice developing your own Theory of Change and Program Logic Model to help align your team, articulate your efforts to key stakeholders, and provide a roadmap for impact.

Session Leaders & Participants:

  • Liza Soydan, Chestnut Opportunity Zone Fund & Chestnut Catalyst
  • Courtney Watson, Chestnut Opportunity Zone Fund & Chestnut Catalyst

Confirmed Panelists

Session Leaders & Participants:

Liza Soydan, Fund Partner, Chestnut Opportunity Zone Fund. Partner, Chestnut Catalyst Group. (Facilitator)

Liza brings expertise in community engagement and economic and community development impact analysis and reporting to the Fund. Liza has worked for more than a decade as a management and strategy consultant to clients in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. In 2018, she led an initiative to prepare key stakeholders in the southeast Tennessee region to leverage Opportunity Zone opportunities for impactful economic and community development. Since 2015, she has worked with Community Development Entities to develop New Market Tax Credit applications and analyze New Market Tax Credit projects’ community outcomes. She conducts community needs assessments and collects outcome and stakeholders’ insight data on behalf of economic and community development organizations across the country. Liza is a co-founder of Chestnut Catalyst Group, a woman-led company that brings knowledge and experience in impact framework design and measurement, strategic capacity building, and venture investing to Chestnut’s Opportunity Zone Fund. Liza joins two other Chattanoogans as participants in the Boston Impact Initiative’s Fund Building Cohort alongside changemakers from 10 communities from across the nation.

Liza received a B.S. in Marketing and an MBA from the University of West Georgia.

Liza’s perfect day includes running in the South’s heat and humidity, a trip to the public library, and an at-home movie night with her husband and children.   

Courtney Watson, Fund Partner, Chestnut Opportunity Zone Fund. Partner, Chestnut Catalyst Group. (Facilitator)

Courtney is a co-founder of Chestnut Catalyst Group, a woman-led company that brings knowledge and experience in impact framework design and measurement, strategic capacity building, and venture investing to Chestnut’s Opportunity Zone Fund. As a partner in Chestnut Opportunity Zone Fund, she helps source and evaluate projects, develop collaborative partnerships, and evaluate the impact of investments to deliver on the fund’s double-bottom line strategy. Courtney is also a partner in the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund (“CRF”), a venture capital firm focused on investing in early-stage companies in the Southeast. Courtney currently serves on the investment committee of LaunchTN’s Impact Fund that was established to invest in Tennessee-based, for-profit startups with a mission to solve fundamental social, environmental, and economic challenges.  Courtney’s prior career experiences reflect a range of expertise, interests, and a commitment to the Chattanooga community. She helped launch a foundation-sponsored local food program in Chattanooga called Gaining Ground to increase the production and consumption of locally grown food. In addition, she managed COLAB’s GIGTANK Startup Accelerator, a non-profit boutique accelerator for startups. Prior to Chattanooga, Courtney worked for The Corporate Executive Board (acquired by Gartner), a research and consulting firm in Washington, DC that provides best practice research, benchmarking datasets, analytical tools, and executive education for the world’s top corporations. She has also worked for various tech companies including AOL and high-growth San Francisco-based startup, Flycast Communications.

Courtney received a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia with a minor in French and an MBA in Finance and Strategy from Vanderbilt University. 

Courtney is often found in her garden, on a yoga mat, or at the soccer fields watching her kids.

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