Advisory Board

Stephen Mason

Advisory Board Member

Stephen Mason is a team leader at International Paper in Eastover (SC) where he leads a high-tech production team in safety and efficiency. Prior to that, he was the Associate Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development, and Dean of Engineering and Information Resources & Technology (IRT) at Denmark Technical College (SC). He has a demonstrated track record of identifying and engaging key strategic external partners, both individual and institutional, for the purpose of building effective collaborative initiatives to deliver programs, curriculum, and industry partnerships. He has also served as the Dean of Continuing Education for the college. In the past, he worked in divisional growth, opening new technology/quick jobs training centers in Barnwell and Allendale, South Carolina.

Mr. Mason brings more than 34 years of experience in private industry and educational administration. He holds a masters degree in Secondary Education from South Carolina State University and has a B.S. in Engineering Technology from Clemson University.

Joe Wesolowski

Advisory Board Member

In addition to serving on RDP's Advisory Board (AB), Joe Wesolowski serves on the AB for National New Markets Fund, LLC, both award winning CDEs serving low-income communities nationwide. Mr. Wesolowski formerly served as Chief Operating Officer for Enterprise Community Investment, Inc. where he directed and oversaw Structured Finance operations which included leveraging the New Markets Tax Credit program and coordination of field production for all business lines. Under this role, he was responsible for leveraging NMTC funds and other financing vehicles to provide real estate capital for commercial and mixed-use development in underserved and emerging markets. Under his tenure he raised and placed over $500MM of capital, primarily to low-income communities. As a seasoned real estate professional with over 35 years of experience, Mr. Wesolowski has expertise in financial management, strategic planning, and deal structuring and negotiation.

Formerly, Wesolowski was Chief Financial Officer of USF&G Realty Advisors, Inc. where he oversaw all financial operations. He served as Executive Vice President for a local real estate developer responsible for development, financing, leasing and management of owned real estate. Mr. Wesolowski also served as a political appointee to Baltimore City as a real estate officer with responsibility for overseeing city government real estate acquisition, disposition, leasing, analysis and approval of all deal structures. A Certified Public Accountant, Mr. Wesolowski earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Loyola College, graduating Summa Cum Laude, and holds a Master of Administrative Science from the Johns Hopkins University.

David Bradley

Advisory Board Member

For nearly 30 years, David Bradley has been recognized as one of Washington’s leading advocates for low-income programs. David has worked with congressional leadership to develop federal policies related to major social service programs which impact the lives of low-income Americans, and has served on many advisory boards and commissions.

Since 1981, David has served as Executive Director of the National Community Action Foundation (NCAF) which he helped found in 1981. NCAF is a private, non-profit advocacy organization that interacts with Congress, the Executive Branch, state and local governments and local agencies on behalf of a variety of low-income programs.

David is the principle author of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). This three quarter of a billion dollar program provides the core funding to the nation’s Community Action Agency (CAA) network. David’s most recent activities have been to meet with members of Congress and representatives of other countries who are interested in establishing a community action program in their countries.

David has a Bachelors and Masters degree from George Washington University. In 1987 he was a Senior Executive Fellow at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. He served in President Carter’s Administration as Congressional Liaison at the Small Business Administration.

Debra Shoaf

Advisory Board Member

Debra Shoaf oversees the finance, risk management, and real estate functions for Atlanta Community Food Bank. The Food Bank is a $160MM+/year organization that is on target to procure and distribute over 100 million pounds of food this year to nearly 700 partner agencies, serving individuals in 29 Georgia counties in metro Atlanta and north Georgia. Debra was the internal lead for the Food Bank’s new 345k SF facility construction and infrastructure expansion which was funded with a New Market Tax Credit financing package.

Debra serves on the Feeding America Financial Leaders Steering Committee and is the Chair of the Recruiting subcommittee. She was selected as the Feeding America Senior Financial Leader of the Year in 2018, and featured by Forbes as one of the best nonprofit CFOs of 2020. Prior to joining the Food Bank, Debra served as the Vice President of Finance and Accounting at Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. She has also held positions in private industry as Chief Financial Officer for Renfroe Enterprises in the real estate development, warehousing, billboard, and construction industries and as Controller at Ivan Allen Company in the retail office supplies, printing, and furniture industries. Previously, Debra worked in public accounting and government agency roles in audit and tax positions. She holds a B.B.A. in Accounting from Georgia State University and is a Certified Public Accountant. Debra and her family live in Peachtree City.

Michael Thorsteinson

Advisory Board Member

Michael Thorsteinson retired in 2017 after 33 years as Executive Director at Three Rivers Community Action, Inc, a nonprofit human services organization in southeastern Minnesota, created by local citizens and incorporated in 1966.  It serves over 11,000 clients per year, providing for their well-being by facilitating homeownership, or providing personal services such as keeping them warm/sheltered, conversation/companionship, employment, health, education, transportation, food access, involving them in service. This nonprofit primarily serves low-income families, in addition to the community-at-large by creating a healthier environment for all citizens regardless of economic status. In that capacity, Thorsteinson was responsible for a $12.5 MM budget, $45 MM in assets, 175-person staff, 300 volunteers, and more than twenty separate programs.  Under his leadership, Three Rivers has made available almost 700 units of new and rehabilitated housing to the workforce, helped more than 200 diverse families purchase homes, created the $5.5MM Northfield Community Resource Center which has been recognized as a model of how to do collaborative facilities, led the development of state funding for Head Start, and initiated a private capital raising process.  In addition to his work with Three Rivers Community Action, Thorsteinson serves on/has served on diverse boards, commissions, task forces, and panels, such as CAPI USA which helps immigrant populations (low income) find employment, housing, health care, etc; the Northfield MN School Board; MN Coalition for Education Reform and Accountability; The Governors Big Plan for Education Task Force; The MN Community Action Association; Children, Families, and Learning; and the Minnesota Health Care Commission.

Mark Linder

Advisory Board Member

Mark Linder was the co-founder and first President/CEO of Agriculture in the Classroom program which he helped to establish, first in California, then throughout the United States and across the globe during his 23 years with California Farm Bureau. Mark is a co-founder and has served as President/CEO of Food, Land and People, an educational organization representing diverse sectors of society with the common interest of positive dialogue, focused on the interdependence of food production, environmental quality, and the sustainability of human cultures. Mark was instrumental in generating support for the award winning America's Heartland public television show, which is aired weekly on more than 240 television stations across the United States.

Raised on a 5th generation family farm in Iowa, Mark is a graduate of Iowa State University, a fellow of the California Agricultural Leadership Program, and an Agricultural Fellow of the John J. McCloy Fellows Program to Germany.

Mark is currently a Business Development and Strategic Alliances Consultant based in California's Napa Valley. He works throughout the United States and internationally with agricultural organizations and businesses.