Allyson was born in Troy, MI and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Kalamazoo College, a program that allowed her to study in both Mexico and Spain.
Following that and a stint in the automotive industry, she earned a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where she simultaneously began working for the city and developing a strong interest in urban policy and economic development. Allyson continued to build her professional skills and policy experience as a management consultant to federal government agencies in Washington, DC, while staying tuned to developments in Detroit. Allyson is a strong advocate for sound public policies that will continue to bring young people back to Michigan, especially public transportation options, sustainability initiatives, vibrant neighborhoods, and of course, economic development efforts.
In her position with the Community Investment Support Fund (CISF), a non-profit subsidiary of Larson Realty Group, Allyson works specifically on fundraising and other capacity-building activities that will lead CISF from an emerging Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to one certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury. CISF specializes in providing leveraged loans at below-market rates to support projects in Detroit that would not be feasible through traditional financing.
Recently, Allyson has spent a great deal of time on Detroit’s Eastside, analyzing areas with the potential to build density through additional investment. She also has been assisting with CISF’s technical assistance grant application for the Treasury, which would allow CISF to build additional capacity to expand its support of Detroit’s low-income communities.
As a sports fan, Allyson has maintained her allegiance to Detroit’s teams no matter where she has lived. In addition to participating as a spectator, Allyson plays soccer in local social leagues and runs middle-distance races, with the goal of training for another marathon over the next two years. She enjoys traveling as much as possible and tries to visit a new country at least once a year, with her most recent trip being to Turkey and Greece.
For the Detroit Region to Thrive It’s Crucial to Revitalize Struggling Neighborhoods. Allyson McLean profile by Jay Walljasper