Debora is executive director of Mahoning County Land Bank (MCLB), the fourth county land reutilization corporation to be incorporated in Ohio. She is a lifelong resident of northeast Ohio, a graduate of Youngstown State University, and a former reporter with The Vindicator, the daily newspaper in Youngstown. She was a founding member of the board of directors of Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation from 2009 to 2015.
MCLB has a staff of five full-time and four part-time employees. The organization has managed more than $16 million of residential demolition activities with reimbursement awards from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and Ohio Housing Finance Agency. It also played a key role in land assembly for the developer of a self-chilling beverage can, who is now building a factory in Youngstown, his hometown.
Before MCLB, Debora was executive director of a regional council of governments that also was tasked with vacant land revitalization and operated on a limited budget. “Our work was challenging, but we were able to gain traction and make some positive changes,” she said. She offers to share her experiences with newly-formed land banks to help them succeed and to advocate for land banks of all sizes as a representative of OLBA.