Ines Polonius is CEO of Communities Unlimited, Inc., a CDFI and Rural Development Hub serving the rural South. Communities Unlimited (CU)’s team of 64 full time professionals works side-by-side with local leaders to create fair access to resources needed to sustain healthy communities, healthy businesses, and healthy families. CU resides in the solutions space, providing a holistic approach to community economic development that includes direct assistance and capital to community leadership teams, micro-enterprises, small businesses as well as water and waste water systems in persistently poor rural places across Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Alabama and Tennessee.
In 1998, Ines founded alt.Consulting, dedicated to starting, growing, transitioning and turning around micro-enterprises and small businesses in the rural Arkansas Delta until a successful merger with Community Resource Group in 2014 formed Communities Unlimited, Inc.
Ines earned an MBA and an MA in Economics from Boston University and received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Today, Ines serves on the board of directors of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) and of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO). She is a 2017 BALLE Fellow, a current RWJF Interdisciplinary Research Leader, an active member of the Partners for Rural Transformation and the national WealthWorks network, and participates in the Rural Development Innovation Group.