Meet five people 40 years old and younger who are making a difference in our industry: AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE's 2010 Young Leaders.

Representing the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, this year's group includes two developers, a banker, a county housing agency executive, and the leader of a large housing trust.

Caleb Roope, DJ Nelson, Alice Carr, Stacy Spann and Kevin Zwick are being recognized for the accomplishments they have achieved and the promise they hold for the future.

Nominated by their colleagues, they are rising stars at a time when the economy is sputtering and the demand for affordable housing is growing.

Developing young leaders is vital for the industry. It looks to be especially important in the nonprofit world, where a leadership shortage is emerging.

The Bridgespan Group, an organization that serves nonprofit and philanthropic leaders, forecasts a deficit of 640,000 new senior managers in the nonprofit sector during the next decade, says David Simms, a partner at Bridgespan, citing a 2006 examination of the sector's needs.

The group looked at nonprofits in all domains, including many working in affordable housing.

The findings serve as a wake-up call, says Simms. The call in 2006 was for people to focus on this issue. “That's still the right answer,” he says.

Simms points to several trends in the sector that are contributing to the demand even in a sluggish economy. A large number of baby boomers are retiring. There's new philanthropic money, and government agencies are outsourcing several of their programs, all of which have led to new opportunities for nonprofits.

Fostering young leaders is no less important for for-profit firms and public agencies, which play significant roles in the development of affordable housing.

With an eye on the future, AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE recognizes the industry's young leaders for the third year. Read their individual stories on the following pages.