Michael Sriprasert Named President of PHLF
I am very pleased to announce that Michael Sriprasert, our vice-president, who also heads two of our subsidiaries—Landmarks Community Capital and Landmarks Development Corporations— will become president of this organization on August 10. I will then assume a new role as President Emeritus.
This is the culmination of a process and discussion about the future of our organization that our Boards of Trustees started in 2011. The leadership of our organization felt then—and we still do— that we had an excellent and enterprising staff member in Michael, who not only understood preservation real estate, but also how it influences and impacts our ability to achieve great results in historic preservation as a tool of community development.
Since then, Michael has led our lending subsidiary, transforming it into a Community Development Financial Institution, which has raised significant funds to help organizations, individuals, and businesses, finance extensive historic restoration and preservation projects in the region.
Michael later took on the leadership of the Landmarks Development Corporation, our for-profit real estate development subsidiary, which is the vehicle through which we undertake significant historic preservation and adaptive reuse initiatives everywhere we are engaged.
He has gained indelible experience on almost all fronts of our organization’s work in neighborhoods, Main Street communities, cities, and towns in our region. Among Michael’s early and biggest accomplishments was his ability to advocate for and secure funding for preservation projects through utilization of historic rehabilitation and low-income housing tax credits.
To that end, Michael led our comprehensive preservation and community development initiative in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, where we have created 67 units of affordable and subsidized housing in beautifully restored buildings for people of low- and moderate- income. Our work in Wilkinsburg showcases what we believe should be the challenge of a modern historic preservation organization— to help improve the quality of lives of people through preservation.
Indeed, we not only restored historic buildings in Wilkinsburg, but acquired and cleaned up blighted vacant lots, created community gardens, established an educational center, provided loans to small businesses and non-profits, and grants to historic churches, expanded social service outreach for our tenants in subsidized housing, and created two National Register Historic Districts, to help incentivize others to redevelop historic buildings. This represents more than $25 million invested in the community, establishing a beachhead for renewal.
Michael has led our efforts in lending, preservation real estate development, and advocacy in Downtown Pittsburgh, in the historic North Side, Hill District, South Side, and Hilltop neighborhoods in the city.
A native of Maryland, Michael grew up near Washington D.C., and came to Pittsburgh in 2002 to pursue a Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs. He is a graduate of Kenyon College and holds two Masters degrees— one in Public Policy and Management from the Heinz College and a Master of Business Administration from the Tepper School of Business—from Carnegie Mellon University. He joined the staff of our organization in 2006.
We are ready and have long prepared for this transition. We have hired new and younger staff members over the years as some of our most dedicated long-term staffers have retired or partially retired, but we retain a lot of our institutional memory. It is therefore appropriate that we look to the future with a young leader who has been immersed in the culture and principles that guide our organization.
I am especially proud that we have had a diverse organization not just in ethnic composition but in various life experiences. This has been reflected in our staff, our board members, and community partners, since the creation of this organization in 1964.
With Michael at the helm, we will continue to reflect leadership with the integration of diverse voices in our organization. I will remain active, and I will be available to Michael and our various Boards of Trustees as an advisor. I will have certain duties to perform, but Michael will be our leader.
Our Trustees, our staff members, and the wider community have enabled us to build one of the finest preservation organizations in the United States. I want to thank you all for your support of our organization and for me through the years.