Today, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia announced that Markita Morris-Louis, Esq., will serve as the new Executive Director of the Arts + Business Council of Greater Philadelphia. As a program of the Chamber, the Arts + Business Council brings innovators from the creative and business communities together to spark new ideas, solve pressing problems, and shape an innovative and impactful region. She will officially join the Chamber on November 5th.

Markita’s diverse career experience and personal interests span community development, the performing arts, and real estate finance.  Most recently, Markita served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Clarifi, a nonprofit housing and financial counseling agency. At Clarifi, Markita led a team of 20 staff serving 15,000 clients annually, built strategic alliances and partnerships, supported the Board of Directors and led the development and execution of business and program development strategies.  She has served on numerous nonprofit boards and is known for her expertise in governance and fundraising.

“Markita will be instrumental in taking our creative economy work to the next level as we share new ideas, experiences and opportunities,” said Rob Wonderling, the Chamber’s President and CEO. “Our ecosystem of artists, designers, technologists and entrepreneurs come together under the umbrella we call the Arts + Business Council of Greater Philadelphia. We are so pleased to have someone with Markita’s extraordinary breadth of experience joining our organization.”

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. Prior to joining Clarifi, Markita spent 5 years advocating for fair lending practices for low-income consumers and supporting affordable housing transactions as a staff attorney at Regional Housing Legal Services. Markita also spent many years in private practice as real estate counsel in a large law firm during which she was honored by Philly VIP for her pro bono service. In addition, she performed at Rites and Reason Theatre in Providence, RI and with a New York City-based, professional West African dance company.

“We look forward to the new perspective and vibrant energy that Markita will bring to the creative community and the Arts + Business Council as we embark on our next chapter of growth through impactful programs, design thinking and thoughtful partnerships that activate a creative advantage for the Greater Philadelphia region”, said Arts + Business Council Advisory Board Chair Alan Jacobson, President of Exit Design + J2 Design.

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.  She holds degrees from Brown University and New York University School of Law.