Charles Storch
Chicago Tribune staff reporter
July 3, 2008

Chicago lawyer Dory Rand and staffers at Woodstock Institute have collaborated over the years on community reinvestment efforts and programs to help low-income people sharpen their financial wits and avoid sharpies. That history and familiarity should help Rand now that she has been named Woodstock’s president.

Rand has worked for the last 12 years at the Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, where she headed its community investment unit. On July 16, she is to become the sixth president in the 35-year life of Woodstock, a research and advocacy non-profit that works for access to equitable financial services and credit in low-income and minority communities here and nationally.

She succeeds Malcolm Bush, who left after 15 years as chief to join Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago.

"I’ve always been impressed with the quality and effectiveness of Woodstock’s work," she said. "I know its staff and funders. It seems comfortable, yet the current financial situation"—of bad loans hurting banks and neighborhoods—"offers us so many challenges."

At Shriver, Rand partnered with Woodstock on statewide efforts to promote financial literacy and savings-incentives programs geared at helping poor households build and protect assets. They pushed state legislation that resulted in the 2005 payday loan reform act and, more recently, bills to close loopholes in the law.

Rand was born 50 years ago in Massillon, Ohio. She received undergraduate and law degrees at Ohio State University, then moved to Chicago in 1982. She worked here at the ACLU, with a law firm and then the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago before joining Shriver.

The mother of two teens lives in Hyde Park. For recreation, she competes in triathlons.

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