- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 22, 2002

David Caprara, former director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, has been appointed to oversee AmeriCorps VISTA, the Corporation for National and Community Service announced last week.
Mr. Caprara has a long record of managing and developing nonprofit initiatives aimed at alleviating poverty and empowering low-income families and communities. He held senior positions with the Empowerment Network, American Family Coalition, National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise and the Institute for Responsible Fatherhood and Family Revitalization.
A Virginia resident, Mr. Caprara, 47, also has worked with a number of community initiatives, including the Alexandria Landlord Tenant Board, We Care Anti-Drug Organization, Chicago Mayor's Task Force on Gangs and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
"David's knowledge and experience will help us meet the president's goal of meeting our most pressing human needs through service and volunteerism," said Rosie K. Mauk, AmeriCorps director.
Stephen Goldsmith, CNCS board chairman, echoed Ms. Mauk's sentiments.
"President Bush has called for service volunteers to play a critical role in strengthening faith and community groups that meet social needs, as well as emerging needs in homeland security," Mr. Goldsmith said. "The corporation is pleased to have David to help meet the president's goal of engaging more Americans to be citizens, not spectators."
AmeriCorps VISTA works with community and faith-based organizations in low-income neighborhoods to develop lasting solutions to poverty in the areas of housing, health care, literacy, community development, technology, crime prevention and hunger.
The 6,000 VISTA members nationwide help these groups by creating and developing projects, recruiting volunteers, raising funds, and building organizations' administrative, technological and financial capacity.
"I am particularly proud of VISTA's legacy of leadership in the area of community capacity building," Mr. Caprara said. "The rich array of experiences with capacity building will contribute greatly to the overall strength of grass-roots and faith-based community groups. I am confident that we can multiply our demonstrated performance outcomes in this program and other associated challenges of family and community empowerment by strategically applying this wealth of experience."
Mr. Caprara began his term with AmeriCorps on Dec. 2.
In addition to Mr. Caprara, others accepting new leadership roles are John Foster-Bey, who will lead the AmeriCorps state and national program, and Wendy Zenker who will lead AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps.
Mr. Caprara previously served as deputy assistant secretary and director of the Office of Resident Initiatives, under Secretary Jack Kemp at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He also served as executive director of the Governor's Commission on Citizen Empowerment under former Virginia Gov. George Allen. He also served as a member of the Virginia General Assembly's Task Force on Faith-based Community Service Groups.

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