Breakout Sessions

Financing Sponsor

Advancing Prosperity and Economic Justice through Less Traditional Loan Products

Traditional lenders with traditional approaches so often miss the mark of connecting smart and obvious loans that reach the real needs of people. The Partners for Rural Transformation’s CDFIs are partnering to connect capital to borrowers with a less traditional product. With the exposure of structural inequities especially during COVID-19, the call is clear for CDFIs to lead the way and get capital to where it is most needed and for banks and foundations to support the work.

Suzanne Anarde, CEO, RCAC
Nick Mitchell-Bennett, Executive Director, Community Development Corporation
of Brownsville

Sara Morgan, COO, Fahe
Deborah Temple, Director of Lending, Communities Unlimited, Inc.

Building a Pipeline: Technical Assistance as a Path to Credit-Readiness

Getting a potential borrower to a place where they can successfully apply for a loan from a CDFI can be a long and intensive process when working with the hardest to serve geographies and populations. Meshing deeply targeted technical assistance aimed at organizational capacity building with the patient lending CDFIs are known for can help to holistically serve the hardest to reach. Join this session to learn more about the power of combining technical assistance with CDFI lending for both affordable housing and small business development.

Shahir Ahmed, Senior Program Director, Neighborhood Development Center
Shonterria Charleston, Director of Training and Technical Assistance,
Housing Assistance Council

Eileen Neely, Director of Lending, Housing Assistance Council
Tracey Prince, Executive Director, B D T Housing Services

Credit Building Stepping Stones: Creating Entry Level Loans for Underserved Consumers

Many CDFIs are forced to turn away aspiring entrepreneurs or consumers due to their lack of or challenged credit. This can prohibit service to people of color who disproportionately lack access to safe and affordable credit options. To address this issue, CDFIs are offering low risk entry level consumer credit products that increase access to credit and expand their borrower pipeline. In this session, Credit Builders Alliance, FUND Community Institute, Justine PETERSEN, and the Community Loan Center will share research, tools, and guidance on two consumer products: credit builder loans and employer-based loans. The goal of the session is to equip CDFIs with the insight and resources they need to launch or expand upon their small dollar loan products to broaden community impact.

Talia Kahn-Kravis, Manager of Innovations and Business Development,
Credit Builders Alliance

Nick Mitchell-Bennett, Executive Director, Community Development Corporation
of Brownsville

Emily Sipfle, Managing Consultant, FUND Consulting
Tamra Thetford, Chief Program Officer, Justine PETERSEN

Forbearance Assessment and Process Implementation

The financial impacts brought about by COVID-19 on many of our partners has motivated CDFIs to develop and evaluate loan forbearance tools and programs to support struggling partners. This panel discussion demonstrates the vital components of implementing, tracking, and evaluating a loan forbearance process from the perspective of affordable housing properties, non-profit management and small business lending. The discussion will address best practices that can be implemented across the spectrum of CDFIs, including information required from borrowers to initiate a forbearance agreement. Rating forbearance requests involves weighting key factors including pre-COVID financials, recapture risk, subsidies received, and physical occupancy of properties. We will also cover recommended reporting covenants and borrower stipulations.

Galen Gondolfi, Senior Loan Counselor and Chief Communications Officer,

Jessie C. Lee, Managing Director, Renaissance Economic Development Corp.
Trey Phillips, Director of Portfolio Management, Cinnaire Corporation
Andy Waters, Managing Director of Portfolio Management, IFF

Managing Loan Modifications and Troubled Debt Restructures (TDRs) through Challenging Times

Based on a survey conducted by Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) of nine small business CDFIs, each had a unique method for determining when a loan modification triggers the Troubled Debt Restructure (TDR) designation. The potential ripple effect of TDRs on funder portfolio quality covenants, participation loans, and flexibility with borrowers (the hallmark of a CDFI) is profound. While the Federal Reserve Bank provided leeway on TDRs during the COVID-19 crisis, the economic challenges for small businesses are just beginning. Due to the pandemic, many loans may become TDRs: how will we manage the impact? How will we maintain covenants with our funders? How could we, together as an industry, think about TDRs? Two CDFIs and two audit firms will share their experiences and perspectives.

Angela Honzik, Senior Manager, RSM US LLP
Patrick Mulloy, Partner, Audit Services, RSM US LLP
Emi Reyes, Lending Risk Manager, Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC)
Daniel Wallace, SVP Lending & Investment, Coastal Enterprises (CEI)

Managing Risk in the Time of COVID-19

While CDFIs have demonstrated time and again their ability to mitigate and manage risk, the level of uncertainty introduced with the recent pandemic has made sizing up risk more challenging. The purpose of this session is to provide participants with a framework for analyzing pandemic-related risk in their underwriting and portfolio management functions. Three CDFIs from different sectors and geographies will share their creative and rigorous approaches to risk management while maintaining a strong mission focus. Participants will leave the session with actionable ideas for assessing pandemic-related risk in new loans, evaluating and managing risk in existing portfolios, and stress testing portfolios under different operating assumptions.

Keona N. Cowan, Executive Vice President, Lending Department, Invest Detroit
Ross Culverwell, VP and Chief Credit Officer, Community Vision
Peter Schaeffing, President, High Impact Financial Analysis, LLC
Ozlem Tanik Ponarin, Director of Commercial Risk Management, Self-Help

Racial Equity, Quality Jobs, and Resiliency through Employee Ownership and Cooperatives

We need solutions that address racial equity, quality jobs, and economic resiliency within communities. Transitioning small businesses to employee ownership offers a diverse workforce the opportunity to become owners, increase wages, assets, and voice in the workplace, and create businesses that are more resilient in bad economic times. Pre-COVID there was already an increase in businesses being sold or closed by retiring owners, creating an opportunity for ownership by frontline workers and workers of color. CDFIs can facilitate the transfer of ownership by providing capital at a critical juncture. This session covers the process, financing considerations, and motivations of business owners and workers. Speakers will share financing case studies, and a summary of the latest research.

Samantha Bailey, Loan Officer, Shared Capital Cooperative
Jennifer Bryant, Program Manager, Washington Area Community
Investment Fund (Wacif)

Mark Fick, Senior Loan Officer, Shared Capital Cooperative
Alison Lingane, Co-founder, Project Equity

Redefining Risk: Dismantling Systemic Racism in the Underwriting and Due Diligence Process

Risk-assessment is a foundational part of any investor’s analysis, yet how much of our traditional risk analyses have implicit bias embedded in seemingly objective criteria and processes? In this session, three impact investors, including two CDFIs and a commercial bank investor, share their underwriting criteria and how they are examining their diligence process with an explicit equity lens. Specific barriers examined may include: basic eligibility criteria; cultural sensitivity of staff; perceptions of risk (e.g., projects located in disinvested neighborhoods); and general accessibility of tools and know-how, including familiarity with finance.

Ellis Carr, President and CEO, Capital Impact Partners
Lance Knuckles, Program Manager, Business Impact Group
U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation

Matthew Roth, President Core Business Solutions, IFF
Yi Wei, VP, Impact Capital, IFF