Rodney Foxworth was named executive director of a nonprofit that is focused on equitable and sustainable local economies.
Foxworth, a leader in Baltimore’s social entrepreneurship community, will lead BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies). The organization has a network of leaders in local economies both in the U.S. and Canada. The position is based in Oakland, Calif. Foxworth said he plans to begin moving to Oakland this fall and begin full-time with the organization at the end of 2017.
“After 17 years as BALLE’s founding Executive Director, I am completely confident in this choice for the future of the
organization,” Outgoing BALLE Executive Director Michelle Long said in a statement. “I respect Rodney’s vision, his thought leadership, and his experience. I appreciate his comfort with the complexity and nuances of network leadership, emergence and systems change. He works in partnership, and walks with ease in many circles and with many constituencies. His leadership is what BALLE and the local economy field needs right now.”
Foxworth, who has been a fellow at BALLE for the last year, was chosen following a national search. The Baltimore native said the new role presents an opportunity to join a growing organization and work in different areas, such as rural communities.
“It’s an opportunity for me to be in service to a national community of people, do a lot of the things that I’ve done in Baltimore on a larger scale and be able to grow as a leader,” he said.
Taking the role will mean transitioning from Baltimore. Foxworth is from the city, and has been involved in a number of initiatives focused on equity and inclusion, both in the philanthropy and investment community. He founded the firm Invested Impact and is a cofounder of Impact Hub Baltimore, a hub for the city’s social entrepreneurs. Many have seen him speak at events like a daylong session convened by the Aspen Institute at Impact Hub earlier this year and Baltimore Innovation Week.
Foxworth said it was a hard decision to leave Baltimore, but he is confident that organizations in the city will carry forward efforts to get capital to a more diverse community of entrepreneurs who are looking to create social change as part of their business.
“It was a difficult decision to make to join BALLE as its executive director because I’m inspired by everyone who works here in Baltimore…but the leadership is here,” he said.