CORE STAFF

Tom Burns has over 35 years of experience helping nonprofits, foundations and government agencies strengthen their organizations and program effectiveness.  His areas of expertise include strategic planning and management, organizational and program assessment, and multi-organizational collaboration.  He serves as Managing Director of the Urban Ventures Group, a consulting firm he founded in 2003 to offer specialized planning and program development support to organizations concerned with funding and implementing innovative urban revitalization efforts.  Urban Ventures’ engagements are varied and its client base includes national and local funders, place-based partnerships and collaboratives, and individual nonprofits.  Prior to launching Urban Ventures, Tom served for 15 years as the founding director of the OMG Center for Collaborative Learning, a national nonprofit research and consulting organization based in Philadelphia.  Before that he was on the faculty of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania for 10 years, where he taught graduate courses in systems thinking, organization theory, strategic planning and public-private partnerships.  While at Penn he was a senior member of the research staff of the Wharton School's Management and Behavioral Science Center, and a Group Director at the Fels Center of Government.  Dr. Burns holds an undergraduate degree in architecture and a Master's degree in management and urban planning.  He received his Ph.D. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1980.

Evette Banfield is a researcher, analyst and evaluator with expertise in the areas of children and youth, affordable housing, comprehensive community-building and neighborhood-based service delivery.  Since joining Urban Ventures in 2004 she has coordinated fieldwork planning, evaluation and technical assistance activities for dozens of engagements with community-based nonprofits, funders and intermediary organizations.  Before joining Urban Ventures, Evette served as a Program Manager at the Center for Youth Development of the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, where she completed neighborhood-based assessments of youth-serving agencies.  During a five-year tenure at the OMG Center for Collaborative Learning in Philadelphia, she served on assessments of several national community development initiatives including the Prudential Foundation’s Neighborhood Partnership Initiative, the Fannie Mae Foundation’s Sustained Excellence Awards Program, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Rebuilding Communities Initiative.  She also coordinated fieldwork for assessments of the Detroit Community Development Funders’ Collaborative and the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership.  While completing her graduate studies in New York, she served as a policy analyst at the Families and Work Institute, a program coordinator for Citibank’s Community Affairs department, and a research assistant for the Citizens’ Committee for Children.  Evette holds a B.A. in Government from St. Lawrence University and a M.S. in Management and Urban Policy from the New School.

Thomas Burns
Managing Director

Evette Banfield

Program Director

ASSOCIATES

Susan Havey

Business Manager

Susan Havey has over 25 years business management experience that includes developing and overseeing office systems, facilities and equipment; setting up and maintaining financial systems and records; coordinating communication’s systems and external relations; and providing essential executive support functions.  At Urban Ventures she is responsible for the overall operation of the organization and its financial management.   Ms. Havey serves as a critical point of contact between the organization and its clients, sub-contractors, vendors and lending partners.  Prior to joining Urban Ventures she served for six years as Business Manager for the OMG Center for Collaborative Learning.  Prior to joining OMG, she served for seven years as Business Manager of the Penn Laurel Girl Scout Council in York, Pennsylvania.  She received a B.S. from Drexel University.

Urban Ventures regularly works in collaboration with other individuals and consulting firms.  We enjoy and are good at working in project teams that combine the talents of sub-consultants and organizational partners.