Rutgers’ Richardson named fellow at Aspen Institute

His cohort will work to create more inclusive economy and more equitable wealth distribution

Lyneir Richardson, executive director of Rutgers Business School’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, has been selected by the Aspen Institute to serve among its Wealth Innovation Cohort Fellows.

The fellows will work within Aspen’s Financial Security and Future of Wealth Program to help address the urgent and widespread crisis of household financial insecurity in the U.S. and create a more inclusive economy with reduced wealth inequity and shared prosperity.

The goal of Aspen’s Future of Wealth Program is to increase by 10-fold the wealth of households of color and those in the bottom half of the wealth distribution in the U.S. by 2050.

Aspen’s website describes the fellows as a select group of leaders who are developing and replicating models to democratize ownership of commercial and mixed-use real estate in communities across America. Each has been successful in expanding access to real estate ownership in their respective communities and has demonstrated a commitment to radically expanding ownership opportunities for low-wealth and communities of color across the country.

Richardson is CEO of Chicago TREND, a commercial real estate firm that owns urban shopping centers and provides economic advisory services to corporations, government agencies and philanthropic organizations. He formed Chicago TREND to help close the racial wealth gap and strengthen urban neighborhoods via commercial real estate ownership.

In his role as executive director of CUEED, Richardson nurtures entrepreneurship and small business ownership as a way of fostering economic development in the region. CUEED’s programs have helped to support more than 800 diverse small business owners, strengthen urban communities and create greater inclusion in the innovation sector.

Richardson is also an assistant professor of professional practice at Rutgers Business School, where he teaches MBA students. He uses the research and business models from both CUEED and TREND in the RBS classroom.

“For the last 10 years, Rutgers Business School has supported my research on deal structures and investment vehicles that aim to diversify and democratize ownership of commercial real estate,” Richardson said. “I am happy to have the opportunity to share what I have been learning and doing — and to work with other Aspen fellows to create new strategies that will close the racial wealth gap and strengthen urban neighborhoods.”