2015 – Afternoon Keynote

Frank Fernandez

VP of Community Development at Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Afternoon keynote Speaker


A recognized leader on housing, transportation and economic development issues, Frank Fernandez served for eight years as the Executive Director of Green Doors, a non-profit group devoted to transforming lives and neighborhoods for people in need in the Austin metro area. Frank has worked extensively to help create housing solutions across the income spectrum. He is
the co-founder of HousingWorks, an Austin-based affordable housing advocacy coalition, and served as the chair of the Texas Supportive Housing Coalition. Frank also led the successful 2006 campaign to pass $55 million in municipal bonds to support affordable housing in Austin. Frank also actively engaged on transportation issues, serving on the Board of Capital Metro, Central Texas’ public transit agency. He served as the chair of the agency’s Finance & Audit Committee for four years, helping to raise the agency’s cash reserve from $9 million to $74 million during his tenure. Frank also co-founded and served as chair of the Alliance for Public Transportation, anon-profit group promoting progressive transit initiatives, and is a former board member of CAMPO, the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Central Texas. Prior to joining Green Doors in 2006, Frank served for five years as Deputy Director of PeopleFund, a community development financial institution. He previously worked as a public sector financial analyst for Salomon Smith Barney in New York City, structuring over $1 billion in financial transactions.

Frank joined the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation in February 2014 to lead and implement the Westside Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, a program designed to contribute to the transformational revitalization and redevelopment of Vine City, English Avenue, Castleberry Hill and other adjacent neighborhoods.

Frank’s work has been honored in the Austin community. In 2005, he received the “Vision Award” from Liveable City for his work creating HousingWorks. More recently, Frank received the Non-Profit Leadership award from Austin Under 40, and was Ernst and Young’s 2012 Social Entrepreneur of the Year.

Frank, a Florida native, holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Harvard University and an M.P.A. from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. He and his wife, Tina, an educational consultant with Bellwether Education Consulting, are the parents of 11-year old Lucia and 13-year-old Franky.