Our Entrepreneurs

Thriving Cities Group

Josh Yates & Justin Straight

Josh Yates is the President & CEO of The Thriving Cities Group. Josh founded The Thriving Cities Group out of research performed at the University of Virginia, where he continues to serve as Research Assistant Professor of Sociology. At the University of Virginia, Josh also serves as Director for the Program on Culture, Capitalism, and Global Change at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. Josh holds a Ph.D in Sociology from the University of Virginia. As CEO of The Thriving Cities Group, Josh provides executive leadership in all its operations.



Justin Straight is the Chief Operations Officer at The Thriving Cities Group. Prior to joining The Thriving Cities Group, Justin was the Executive Director of DurhamCares, a consulting and marketing organization focused on mobilizing residents to invest in their community and increase nonprofit collaboration. Justin is also experienced in international development, having served as Regional Director for HOPE International for their  private sector microfinance banks in Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Peru, and Dominican Republic. Justin is also the Co-Founder of LoanWell (a venture in the 2019 Praxis Business Accelerator), and a friends and family lending platform that has been accepted into the Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange.

THRIVING CITIES GROUP (TCG) is a nonprofit that equips communities and institutions with resources to lead change so all can thrive together in their cities.

TCG accomplishes this mission through three capacity-building programs:

City Craft: frameworks and tools for more impactful civic leadership

City Voice: a capacity-building process for resident-led community development

City Roundtable: a technology platform that enables community-based philanthropic investment to achieve more effective, equitable, and enduring social impact in cities.

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