Celebrating Visionary Leadership this Women’s History Month

Watchen-2 stories
Pioneering Impact with Neighborworks

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we are delighted to spotlight the remarkable leadership of our President and CEO, Watchen Harris Bruce.

Under her stewardship, Baltimore Community Lending as experienced unparalleled growth and recognition.

Notably, Bruce is among the 50 recent graduates of the esteemed 11th Neighborworks America Achieving Excellence Program, a testament to her commitment in community impact.

This transformative program empowers nonprofit leaders to drive meaningful change by focusing on organizational performance and outcomes. Over the course of 16 months, Watchen and her peers tackled self-identified performance challenges crucial to the future of their organizations and the communities they serve.

Together, these leaders engaged in a rigorous curriculum offered in collaboration with Harvard University, working tirelessly over two years to enact projects that will catalyze positive change in their respective communities.Watchen’s participation highlights her dedication to driving a lasting transformation and emphasizes Baltimore Community Lending’s commitment to innovation, progress and development.

Insights from the 2024 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference

As the leading forum for community development professionals, The National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference (NICRC), brought together experts from across the nation to share insights, emerging ideas, and promising practices. The conference program featured signature sessions led by regulators, focusing on key topics such as Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) examinations. With the recent issuance of the revised CRA regulation on October 24, 2023, attendees eagerly delved into discussions surrounding the current regulatory landscape and anticipated changes.

Among the distinguished panelists was Watchen Bruce, who lent her expertise to discussions on the vital role of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities, as well as the importance of partnerships with commercial banks. Held from March 4th to 7th in Portland, OR, the conference provided a dynamic platform for networking and knowledge exchange.

Notable attendees included Chris Rockey from PNC and Anthony Weekly from Truist Bank, underscoring the significance of this gathering in shaping the future of community development initiatives nationwide.