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We Are Central Profile: Meet Lisa Locke

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

At the St. Louis Fed, new chapters are being written in our story every day by employees in every division, department and unit. Our We Are Central profile series introduces you to people who help make the Bank central to the nation’s economy.

By Laura Hopper, Public Affairs Staff

Colleagues who work in the St. Louis Fed’s Community Development department focus on economic opportunity and fair, equal access to credit.

Lisa Locke is vital to that effort. As a Community Development advisor, her role centers on promoting small business development and entrepreneurship.

Lisa Locke, Community Development advisor

She says that encouraging economic development in low- to moderate-income communities can create job opportunities and a more diversified, inclusive economy.

Though she’s based out of our Louisville, Ky., Branch, Locke helps to foster partnerships and initiatives across the entire St. Louis Fed District—an area stretching across all of Arkansas as well as parts of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Last year, you marked 25 years with the Federal Reserve. Why did you want to work for the Fed?

I was already working in retail banking, and I was just looking for a change, something different. As I was coming out of the retail component of a financial institution, someone suggested the Federal Reserve Bank. I applied, and it started from there.

Tell me about your key responsibilities working in Community Development.

We really focus on the community and outreach. We are a convener; we are a collaborator. We are not a grantmaking organization, but our role as a “convener” is to bring organizations together that may not typically be in the same room (including financial institutions, nonprofits, community-based organizations, academia and government agencies).

We bring all of them together and really focus on how we can promote economic mobility for low- to moderate-income individuals and neighborhoods.

We do our work through a variety of different ways, whether it’s workshops, conferences, policy insights, webinars or our regular Bridges publication. Our team shares the latest national and regional initiatives, research, programs and information with various community organizations throughout the Eighth Federal Reserve District.

What do you enjoy most about the work you do?

"For America’s economy to grow, all communities must grow. It’s really important that we are concerned about economic mobility and the economic impact on all communities."

I enjoy working with those organizations and then seeing the implementation of some of the initiatives or programs that we introduced to them come to life, along with the economic impact it makes.

For America’s economy to grow, all communities must grow. It’s really important that we are concerned about economic mobility and the economic impact on all communities.

It’s only going to benefit all of us if everyone is self-sufficient and all communities are able to grow—leaving no one behind.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I’m a foodie: I enjoy trying new restaurants and new foods all the time. I’m a huge University of Louisville fan and also love cheering on the Cards.

What I love more than anything is spending time with family. All of our moments together—big and small—are important to me.

Additional Resources

Laura J. Hopper 

Laura Hopper is the St. Louis Fed's employee ambassador coordinator. She works in the External Engagement and Corporate Communications Division.

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