Compass Working Capital welcomes Markita Morris-Louis, Esq. as the organization’s founding Chief Strategy Officer. In this role, Markita will lead Compass’ national strategy for increased scale and impact, and oversee the organization’s growing body of work in the Philadelphia area.
Markita’s career path and personal interests have taken her to roles in financial capability, real estate law, community development, and the performing arts. Most recently, Markita served as the Executive Director of the Arts + Business Council for Greater Philadelphia. Prior to joining the Arts and Business Council, she served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Clarifi, a nonprofit housing and financial counseling agency.
“Markita is one of the most talented and inspiring leaders I have met in the asset-building and financial capability field throughout my career,” said Sherry Riva, Compass’ Founder and Executive Director. “It is an extraordinary moment for Compass that she is joining our team and will help lead us to act on the opportunities for increased scale and impact that lay before us.”
At Clarifi, Markita led a team of 20 financial and housing counselors serving 15,000 clients annually. She built and managed multiple strategic alliances and partnerships, including innovative public-private initiatives focused on integrating financial counseling services into workforce development programs, medical partnerships, and the city’s financial empowerment centers. Markita also led the development and execution of philanthropic and business development strategies, including establishing and maintaining funding relationships with foundations and government agencies raising over $2M annually and developing fee-for-service engagements with employers, financial institutions, and other firms.
Prior to joining Clarifi, Markita spent nearly a dozen years in roles related to real estate law and community development, including several years advocating for fair lending practices for low-income consumers and supporting affordable housing transactions at Regional Housing Legal Services in Pennsylvania, the New Economy Project in NY, and Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs in Washington, D.C.
She has served on numerous nonprofit and community-based boards, and is currently Vice Chair of the Affordable Housing Advisory Council of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh Board and a trustee of the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Board, which operates under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Markita has been featured in local and regional media and has spoken at national conferences on issues ranging from racial disparities in homeownership to social determinants of health. For her service to the Greater Philadelphia community, Markita was honored as a Woman of Distinction by the Philadelphia Business Journal in 2015 and in 2016 was named a Social Mobility Innovator by the Social Innovations Journal. In May 2019, Lutheran Settlement House honored Markita with its Women of Courage Visionary Leader Award. She holds degrees from Brown University and New York University School of Law.