Born and raised in the Midwest, Julie Porter has spent much of her professional career improving lives and neighborhoods through working to revitalize urban communities. Porter is a graduate of Wichita State University with a degree in Business Administration. In 1994 she joined Mercantile Bank in Kansas City and served first as an Assistant Vice President of Operations and Real Estate and then as Vice President of Construction Lending, often providing critical financing to build affordable housing.
In 2000, Porter left banking to concentrate on community development and joined Greater Kansas City LISC as Senior Program Officer, responsible for administration, lending and finance. In this role, she underwrote and closed loans for a wide variety of community development projects benefiting Kansas City neighborhoods.
In 2004, Porter was promoted to Executive Director of Greater Kansas City LISC and launched NeighborhoodsNOW, a comprehensive revitalization program. NeighborhoodsNOW mission was to rebuild targeted urban core neighborhoods physically, economically and socially. During her tenure as Executive Director, Porter garnered private and government grants of over $10 million.
In 2013, Porter left Greater Kansas City LISC and joined DreamKey Partners, formerly Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, as President. Porter has overseen the addition of 564 multi-family apartments for Charlotte’s working families and seniors to the DreamKey Partners’ already impressive portfolio of 1,380 units. This includes the DreamKey Partners’ first supportive housing community, a 20-unit project geared toward formerly homeless Veterans and their families. Porter was also instrumental in winning a hard-fought rezoning for Weddington Road, a workforce housing community which will eventually serve 70 families and give them access to excellent schools and opportunity for advancement.
Porter remains committed to comprehensive redevelopment of neighborhoods and has dedicated significant time to completing Brightwalk, an 88-acre master-planned community purposely designed for a mix of incomes. During her tenure, she also oversaw commercial development efforts on Statesville Avenue and a range of revitalization strategies in partnership with leaders in the Druid Hills community.