With a background that includes only four years living outside the Baltimore-metro area, perhaps it’s no surprise that Lisa K. Budlow was recently named CEO of CHAI: Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc., an agency of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore that helps improve Baltimore Jewish neighborhoods through enhanced housing, community development and helping older people age in their own communities.
After graduating from Randallstown High School, Budlow spent those four years outside Baltimore attending Emory University, returning to earn her law degree at the University of Maryland. She now lives in Reisterstown with her husband Paul, also a Randallstown alum, and their five children. They are 14-year members of Temple Oheb Shalom, where Budlow serves on the board of directors.
As CHAI’s new CEO, Budlow’s main responsibilities include continuing to strengthen northwest Baltimore neighborhoods while supervising the organization’s homeownership, senior housing and aging in community programs as well as developing a vision for CHAI’s growth.
That vision for growth includes the new Northwest Baltimore Partnership in conjunction with LifeBridge and Park Heights Renaissance, with whom CHAI has worked for years.
“The point of that work is to look at the whole neighborhood where we are situated, including parts of Pikesville, and all of the Central Park Heights neighborhood,” Budlow said. “From CHAI’s perspective, we’ve developed a certain expertise in community and housing development and we feel like we can be a strong partner in Central Park Heights to work on the revitalization of that area.”
Before her work at CHAI, Budlow was chief program officer at AJFCA (Association of Jewish Family & Children’s Agencies) and in the community services division of Catholic Charities of Baltimore. After law school, she was a mergers and acquisitions attorney at Miles & Stockbridge P.C.
“The board has great confidence that Lisa will continue to lead this organization in dynamic ways for many years to come,” CHAI board president Melissa Peters said in a statement.
Working at CHAI for the past two and a half years, as vice president for Aging in Community, as chief operating officer and as interim CEO, Budlow said the job is “incredibly rewarding in so many ways every day.”
“We have a team of incredibly mission-driven, passionate professionals that work in all these different areas in aging and community development and housing development, so leading that team is incredibly rewarding,” she added. “The other thing is representing the Jewish community and doing the good work that we do. We’re part of a really close-knit community of agencies that support one another and it feels good to be a part of that system and contributing to the community.”