The annual New York CDFI Statewide Conference is the most important yearly gathering of community development finance professionals from across the state. This year’s theme, CDFIs: Partnering to Build New York State Communities, is all about leveraging, enhancing capacity and building partnerships.
The conference has now concluded. Check out the presenters’ bios and presentations, as well as photos from the conference. Thanks to all who helped to make this year’s conference a success, see you next year!
Speaker Bios and Presentations (Presentations are available under each speaker’s bio):
Aisha Benson, Managing Director for TruFund Financial Services, a national non-profit Community Development Financial Institution, manages the organization’s lending and economic development activities in the New York market. She is responsible for directing, managing and integrating multi-disciplined team functions related to the delivery of lending services and TA programs in New York City, Westchester, Long Island and Northern New Jersey. She is a seasoned banker and manager with substantial background in business lending, strategic operations and compliance. Previously, Ms. Benson served as Vice President of Business Lending at Carver Federal Savings Bank, and as the Vice President of Commercial Lending at JP Morgan Chase Community Development Group. She has 19 years of experience in lending, including loan sourcing underwriting, and relationship management for small businesses, middle-market companies, and not-for-profit organizations.
Ms. Benson is on the Board of the New Vision Community Economic Development Corporation. She is also an active volunteer with the Make A Wish Foundation and Habitat for Humanity. Ms. Benson received her BA, Cum Laude from Columbia University.
Seth Bornstein was named Executive Director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) in 2009. The QEDC, is a non-profit organization that helps to create and retain jobs through neighborhood development, entrepreneurial assistance and business and tourism attraction initiatives. He supervises all programs including Neighborhood Development, Women’s Business Center, Entreprenurial Assistance Program, Queens Tourism Council, Entrepreneur Space Incubator for Food & Business, and Home Improvement Contractor Training.
Seth began his career in 1979 with the QEDC where he initiated the first commercial revitalization programs that led to the creation of many merchants groups, business improvement districts and small developments such as the Hollis Center Mall. He was a site selection consultant from 1990 – 1996 prior to being appointed Director of Economic Development in 1997 for the Office of the Queens Borough President where he was active in development programs throughout the Borough and the construction of the Joseph P. Addabbo Health Center in Rockaway. From 2007 – 2009 he was Assistant Dean for Economic Development at LaGuardia Community College where he created the Centers for Economic Development encompassing the NYDesigns Incubator, Center for Corporate Education, Small Business Development Center and Procurement Centers.
Seth is a native New Yorker who graduated from Parsons School of Design/New School.
Mary Beth lives in Ithaca, New York with three pets and one husband; she is the proud mother of a junior at Colgate University with whom she shares a love of the textile world.
Click here to download Mary Beth’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).
In 1995 she spearheaded a joint venture with Women’s World Banking, joining eight organizations world-wide to develop women’s business networks. In 2001, she successfully launched BOC Capital Corp., a micro-loan fund certified as a Community Development Financial Institution in 2002 that provides financial assistance to low income and underrepresented communities throughout New York City. Ms. Carin successfully grew BOC Capital Corp.’s capitalization through grants and loans from U.S. Department of the Treasury CDFI Fund, U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Small Business Administration, Empire State Development Corporation and major banking institutions.
In addition to her work developing the BOC Network, she originated a U.S. Department of Labor demonstration project which trained NYC employment programs in the application of customized workplace literacy methodologies from 1992-1994, and later utilized this methodology to design a high-tech training program which began in 1997, and customized child care business development program in 2002. Until 1990, she worked in the not-for-profit sector, providing leadership strategies in program development, housing development and community needs assessment. Ms. Carin is a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional, a licensed Real Estate Broker, and graduated from Barnard College.
Click here to download Nancy’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).
Click here to download Monica’s presentation (in Adobe PDF).
Click here to download Jennifer’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).
Marilyn received her MBA from Union College in Schenectady, NY and her BA from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY.
Click here to download Marilyn’s presentation (in Adobe PDF).
Deyanira Del Río, New Economy Project’s co-director, joined New Economy Project in 2000. She leads the NYC Immigrant Financial Justice Network, a coalition that promotes immigrants’ economic rights and financial inclusion, and she recently designed and launched the NYC DREAMer Loan Fund. Dey has testified at legislative hearings, trained community groups and financial institutions throughout the country, and led campaigns to eliminate discriminatory barriers that immigrants face in the financial services system.
Dey serves as board chair of the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union, board vice-chair of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, and a board member of New Immigrant Community Empowerment. She is a Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Thought Leader with the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, and a past fellow with the Revson Fellows Program on the Future of the City of New York and the Coro Immigrant Civic Leadership Program. In 2009, she received the Mujeres Destacadas (Outstanding Women) award from El Diario/La Prensa.
Governor Cuomo appointed Seth Diamond State Director for Storm Recovery in May of this year. In that capacity Mr. Diamond is overseeing the planning, coordination and implementation efforts associated with funding the state has received for recovery, rebuilding and resiliency work associated with Hurricanes Sandy, Irene and Lee. This work includes direct assistance to affected home owners and small businesses, efforts to improve the resiliency of local communities and statewide planning to improve resiliency. Immediately before assuming his current position Mr. Diamond served for three years as New York City’s Commissioner for the Department of Homeless Services. In that capacity he led the city’s efforts to assist those with no housing alternative by providing temporary shelter and helping ensure those in shelter received the employment and rehabilitative services they needed to return to the community. Mr. Diamond also spent 15 years working at the city’s Human Resources Administration directing the employment, public assistance and food stamp programs. He directed the city’s welfare reform efforts which led to a significant reduction in the number of people receiving public assistance and record increases in those obtaining employment. He also increased access to food stamps particularly for low income working New Yorkers.
Mr. Diamond attended Brown University and NYU School of Law.
Joy Feigenbaum is Executive Deputy Superintendent at the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”), responsible for the Financial Frauds & Consumer Protection Division. In that position, Ms. Feigenbaum oversees a Civil Investigations Unit (including a staff of attorneys investigating civil financial fraud and misconduct involving violations of the consumer, banking, insurance and financial services laws; a unit conducting investigations of licensed insurance producers; and a disciplinary unit of attorneys pursuing administrative enforcement proceedings against licensed producers and consulting on enforcement actions involving licensed insurers), a Criminal Investigation Unit (comprised of the bureaus handling Banking Criminal Investigations and Insurance Frauds), a Consumer Assistance Unit (“CAU”) (handling consumer complaints, prompt pay complaints, external appeals of health insurance denials and outreach), a Consumer Examinations Unit (conducting Fair Lending, Consumer Compliance and Community Reinvestment Act examinations, and overseeing the Banking Development District Program), a Producer Licensing Unit, a Student Protection Unit and the Holocaust Claims Processing Organization. Ms. Feigenbaum also worked on the legislation – the Financial Services Law – which formed DFS by merging the former Insurance and Banking Departments.
Before joining the Department, Ms. Feigenbaum spent more than fourteen years at the New York Attorney General’s Office with the Bureau of Consumer Frauds & Protection. She served as Bureau Chief from 2007 through July 2010, when she was appointed Special Deputy Attorney General for Consumer Frauds & Protection. At the Attorney General’s Office, Ms. Feigenbaum led major consumer frauds, deceptive practices and false advertising investigations, including the Attorney General’s groundbreaking investigation of the student loan industry, as well as many broad industry investigations involving life, health, disability and worker’s compensation insurance, mortgage fraud, foreclosure rescue scams, credit and debit card practices, consumer financing, debt settlement, and online and direct mail post-transaction marketing of membership clubs. Her consumer advocacy at the Attorney General’s Office also included work on the states’ litigation against the tobacco industry culminating in the Master Settlement Agreement and subsequent tobacco enforcement investigations and cases. Ms. Feigenbaum also has been a frequent presenter at conferences on consumer financial services, advertising law and consumer protection issues.
Prior to her service at the Attorney General’s Office, Ms. Feigenbaum worked in private litigation practice at LeBoeuf Lamb Leiby & MacRae, Kelley Drye & Warren and Szold & Brandwen, PC (now Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, PA). Her practice focused on general commercial, insurance, reinsurance, product liability, banking, antitrust and health care litigation and advisory work.
Ms. Feigenbaum is a member of the bars of the State of New York, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the U.S. Supreme Court. She earned a B.A. in History and proficiency degree in French from Rutgers College where she graduated with highest honors, and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Click here to download Joy’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).
Click here to download Tammy’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).
Her career in community development began during her service as a municipal development volunteer in the Peace Corps in rural El Salvador. Leslie went on to work in domestic micro finance, hired by Accion New Mexico to coordinate public relations and marketing activities for the nonprofit small business lender. She played a number of management and senior-level roles during her Accion career, including vice president positions overseeing lending, portfolio quality, client service and strategic partnership development. Leslie helped the organization expand its footprint into Arizona and Colorado and grow to become the nation’s fourth largest micro lender.
She went on to launch a national consulting practice that focuses on community development, specializing in nonprofit and small business capacity building. Her current work includes business model evaluation, program improvement and staff development for community development organizations from coast to coast. Leslie’s operational experience includes strategic planning and facilitation, program management and process improvement, business development and market expansion, board support, fundraising, community organizing and outreach, credit education and entrepreneurial training, micro lending, portfolio management, and sales team development.
Leslie is a third-generation University of New Mexico Lobo and two-time graduate, having earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science as well as a master’s degree in business administration. She returned to her alma mater in 2012 as a part-time lecturer at the Anderson School of Management, teaching an undergraduate course in entrepreneurship. Leslie’s community work includes service on the board of directors for the Albuquerque Public Schools Education Foundation and the Anderson School of Management Alumni Council. She is also an advisory board member for Kitchen Table Advisors, a California nonprofit organization that helps local family farms improve business performance and increase sustainability. Leslie has helped establish several scholarship programs, including the Perseverance Award for UNM EMBA students, the Hank Trewhitt Daily Lobo Alumni Award for UNM student journalists, and the Barbara Kerr Page Endowment for journalism students at New Mexico State University.
Click here to download Leslie’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).
Prior to joining Pew, Horowitz worked at a polling firm, Hart Research, conducting strategic opinion research for clients in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. His previous work was in media relations, baseball information, and communications for the Florida Marlins and Cincinnati Reds. Horowitz holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Harvard University.
Click here to download Alex’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).
Kim Jacobs has served as Executive Director of Community Capital New York, a Community Development Financial Institution, since its creation in 1989. Under her leadership, the organization has realized important goals in affordable housing and small business development throughout the communities served in the lower Hudson Valley.
Prior to her work in Westchester, Kim served as the Deputy Director of Rochester Downtown Development Corporation in Rochester, NY and also worked as a Senior Planner for the City of Sioux Falls, SD and other planning positions in Iowa, Texas and California. She has a MS in Urban Planning from the University of Iowa and an MBA in Finance from Pace University. Ms. Jacobs serves on a variety of community Advisory Boards. In 2000, she was selected as a Fannie Mae fellow to the Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives Program at Harvard University.
Click here to download Kim’s presentation (in MS Excel).
Click here to access Seth’s presentation (weblink, opens in new tab/window).
Click here to download Dan’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).
Sarah Ludwig is founder and co-director of New Economy Project (formerly known as NEDAP). Since launching the organization in 1995, she has worked with hundreds of grassroots groups to organize and advocate for neighborhood equity and financial justice, and has spoken frequently at community forums and public hearings on a wide range of economic justice matters. In 2000, Sarah co-founded the coalition, New Yorkers for Responsible Lending, which has secured major state-level policy changes and now includes more than 160 organizational members.
Sarah received the 2000 Rockefeller Foundation’s Next Generation Leadership fellowship; the 2002 Union Square Award; the Ford Foundation’s 2004 Leadership for a Changing World award; New York Lawyers for the Public Interest’s 2008 Felix A. Fishman Award; and Chhaya CDC’s 2011 Architect of Change award. She served on the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council from 2006-2008, and serves on the boards of directors of the Center for Responsible Lending, Consumer Federation of America, and North Star Fund. Sarah received degrees in law and urban planning from NYU, and since 2003 has taught a course on community equity in NYU’s urban planning program.
Micah Martorell was born in Reading, PA. Grew up in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico then Reading, PA. He now lives in Ithaca, NY. Micah started as a Member Service Representative for Alternatives Federal Credit Union a local Community Development Credit Union based in Ithaca, NY. He quickly moved up and was promoted to the Business Lending Department. He is a proven charismatic closer and leader. He is passionate about volunteer activities and helping his community. He has a strong background developing sales and marketing strategies. He has closed million dollar proposals and was rewarded by being sent to Puerto Rico to meet and hear Colin Powell speak about his Youth Mentoring Program right after he was elected to become US Secretary of State in 2001.
After moving to Ithaca, NY, Micah met Tristram Coffin, the CEO of Alternatives Federal Credit Union who introduced him to the local Latino community and inspired him to get involved. Micah became active in the Latino Civic Association of Tompkins County and currently is the President of the organization. Micah is no stranger to challenges and is constantly thinking outside the box. He has a solid entrepreneurial spirit.
One of Micah’s favorite quotes from a Forbes article written about Steve Jobs, “The entrepreneurial spirit isn’t just about money. It’s about building wealth through resources that only great relationships can bring. It’s about connecting the dots: those connection points of intelligence, wisdom, desire and ability that are innate to people. It’s about having the intuition not only to know that they exist but also to know what to do with them to continuously cultivate innovation and initiative.”
Click here to download Micah’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).
Click here to download Carl’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).
Matthew L. Nelson is President of HCR’s Office of Community Renewal where he oversees community revitalization and economic development programs including the Community Development Block Grant program, New York Main Street program, and locally administered programs.
Mr. Nelson has a long and distinguished history of public service. Since 1999, Matthew has held a variety of positions in both State and Federal government, most recently serving as a member of the Senior Staff to Governor Cuomo in the Executive Chamber. Prior to that, he had served in the Chamber under Governor Paterson, handling a range of high-level responsibilities, including intergovernmental affairs and planning. He has also held senior positions in Offices of U.S. Senators, as well as in the Clinton White House.
Mr. Nelson is a graduate of University of Maryland.
Click here to download Matthew’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).
Click here to download Anthony’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).
Jeffrey H. Pearlman focuses his practice on government law and litigation.
Prior to joining the firm, Jeffrey served in the New York State Executive Chamber as Assistant Counsel to former New York State Governor David A. Paterson. As Assistant Counsel, he advised on legal and policy matters in several areas, including arts, education, judiciary, elections, ethics, Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and Open Meetings Law. He also oversaw and managed litigation in these areas.
Jeffrey has also operated as counsel to New York State Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson. In that capacity, he functioned as the Lieutenant Governor’s Chief Legal Officer and advised on the development and implementation of new policies and procedures.
Isaac Roldan has been in the Small Business lending field for over ten years. With a back round in finance, Isaac began his small business assistance career with Accion, the largest nonprofit microfinance organization in the U.S. His initial role as Manager of Asset Recovery became very pivotal in 2008 when the recession hit and much of Accion’s loan portfolio was in jeopardy. The recession affected small businesses tremendously and many were not certain they would survive. Isaac created a Hardship program which alleviated some of the financial stress on these small businesses allowing them to free up some much needed capital. The Hardship Program assisted over 70 small businesses in the NYC area totaling over 3 million dollars. In 2009, Isaac moved to the lending team serving under banked small businesses who otherwise were unable to secure bank financing due to poor credit, lack of financial formality, poor business planning etc. Meeting the needs of small businesses through education and financing became Isaac’s new passion. “ One in five households in the United States are under banked and are unable to access the affordable lending necessary to be successful entrepreneurs”. After two years of providing financial support to small businesses, Isaac managed Business Development with Accion in order to establish key relationships that would extend Accion’s reach and benefit small businesses that struggle with accessing much needed funding. He was able to connect with major banks in the NYC area and educate them on available options to clients they were unable to finance. This lead to a significant increase in the amount of small businesses that Isaac and his team were able to assist with start up costs, expansion and other challenges faced by small businesses.
Now an expert in all facets of small business lending and education, having significant experience working with entrepreneurs in financial hardship, under banked entrepreneurs looking for financing and establishing key relationships which can be leveraged to support small business owners, Isaac has accepted a position with CAMBA EDC as Director of Small Business Services. Isaac was born and raised in Flatbush Brooklyn and coming back to his roots is especially significant for Isaac. ” I am so excited about the changes in Brooklyn and the opportunities that are consistently being presented to small business owners in the area. Providing financial education and assisting to formalize small businesses will help to ensure that these businesses are able to continue operating and are up to date with technology, managing their own finances and becoming educated business owners that can have access to affordable lending”.
Click here to download Isaac’s presentation (in MS Excel).
Click here to download Nicole’s presentation (in MS Powerpoint).
Click here to download Joanna’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).
Dr. Swack was the founder and former Dean of the School of Community Economic Development (CED) at Southern New Hampshire University. Dr. Swack has been involved in the design, implementation and management of a number community development lending and investment institutions both inside and outside the United States. He was the first Chairman and served for 17 years as a board member of the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA), a state-chartered equity fund for community economic development ventures and projects. He is the founding president and a current board member of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. He was a founding board member of the National Association of Community Development Loan Funds (now the Opportunity Finance Network), a trade association of Community Development Finance Institutions. In 2000 he founded, and continues to direct, the Financial Innovations Roundtable, a program that promotes new approaches and policies designed to build the field of community development finance and increase access to capital for community development intermediaries. Internationally he has been involved in development finance and microfinance work in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Dr. Swack received his doctorate from Columbia University, his master’s degree from Harvard University and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
ERDA’s key programs include workforce development, college preparation, financial education, counseling and community revitalization. In April 2010, ERDA opened the ERDA Federal Credit Union (FCU) – the first new credit union in NYC in 10 years, the first in Queens in 30 years, and the first chartered nationally in the Obama administration. Bishop Taylor has been profiled by the New York Times, CNN, National Public Radio, and other leading media outlets for his leadership around public housing, and has received prestigious awards including the New York City Public Library’s Brooke Astor Award, NYC Neighborhood Achievement Leadership Award, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York Martin Luther King Award. He was also a participant in the United Way Executive Fellows Program, and was chosen to participate in the highly competitive Achieving Excellence in Community Development program led by Neighborworks and Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.
Bishop Taylor is the author of Unbroken Promises, published by Whitaker House (2003). He currently serves as a Commissioner on the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board.
Dr. Thompson worked for 10 years as a Vice-President and lead lender for two regional banks from 1977 to 1987. During his tenure as a lender he specialized in commercial lending. His loan portfolios included loans to companies in manufacturing, mining, hotels and casinos, agriculture, non-profits (including churches, schools and civic organizations ) and industrial properties. He also produced SBA loans for both banks. Since 1987 he has provided commercial lending training and support to credit unions in five states. He has also delivered lending training through the Credit Union leagues in Utah, and Idaho.
Dr. Thompson is the President/CEO of Thompson Consulting & Training, Inc. TCT provides companies with services in Asset/Liability Management (including pricing of loans and deposits) strategic planning, budgeting, marketing, and Training. For over 35 years Dr. Thompson has served clients in financial, manufacturing, health care, fund-raising, telecommunications and transportation industries.
Click here to download Randy’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).
Yanki Tshering founded the Business Center for New Americans as a department of NYANA in 1997 and her leadership was key as BCNA transitioned, from 2009 through 2010, into a new and independent entity.
She has over twelve years of experience in developing and implementing economic development programs in New York City. Her responsibilities center around supporting the long-term sustainability of the organization and include setting the vision and strategic direction, fundraising, fiscal oversight, fiscal management, and working closely with the Board of Directors to assist in board development.
Her passion for economic development stems from her belief that with the appropriate support, new comers to this country like refugees can start new lives and contribute to the mainstream economy.
Ms. Tshering who lived for many years in Tibetan refugee communities in India and Nepal, came to the US in 1986. She has a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University with a functional specialization in Economic Development and a regional specialization in South Asian Studies. She is also a board member of Credit Builders Alliance (CBA), a national organization which develops innovation ways for low to moderate income individuals to build credit and get financial access in order to build personal assets; and Piper Theatre in Brooklyn.
Click here for Yanki’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).
Meagan Weatherby is the Program Sustainability & Outreach Coordinator for Cooperative Federal, a $19.8 million CDFI Credit Union in Syracuse, NY. She is responsible for grants management, resource development, program administration & reporting, and a range of marketing and outreach functions. Among other duties, this includes coordinating the credit union’s HUD-approved Housing Counseling program; leading their Better Directions site; and serving on the Work Group for UP Start Syracuse, a new microbusiness training and incubation program that was recently launched by a consortium of Syracuse non-profits.
Meagan is a graduate of the Federation’s Community Development Credit Union (CDCU) Institute. Meagan has been a member of Coop Fed’s team since 2005, completing two terms of service through AmeriCorps*VISTA before joining the staff in 2007. She moved to Syracuse from her hometown of New Britain, CT to attend Syracuse University, where she earned a dual BA in English & Textual Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies (2005) summa cum laude. During college, she worked as an editor for the Campbell Public Affairs Institute at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School and interned at the Fair Housing Council of Central New York. In addition to economic justice and community development, Meagan is passionate about cooperatives and permaculture. She is on the business planning committee for Eat to Live Food Cooperative, a new co-op that is about to open its doors in a low-income Food Desert neighborhood, and sat on the planning committee for the 2013 New York Cooperative Summit. Meagan lives in Syracuse’s “Westcott Nation” with her husband, her cat, and their human and feline housemates.
Click here to download Meagan’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).
Adam has been a featured speaker for C-40 Cities, the National Governor’s Association, Net Impact, Opportunity Finance Network, Climate and Energy Funders Group, Oregon BEST, and the California Public Utilities Commission. In 2012 he was appointed by the Governor of Oregon to serve on the Oregon Growth Board. He is also past President of Oregon Tilth, one of the largest organic product certifiers in the United States. Adam earned his Master of Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon in 2002. Adam currently services as executive management for Craft3, guiding organizational growth, new program design and brand development activities. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and two young children.
Click here to download Adam’s presentation (in MS PowerPoint).