Topics from Opportunity Zones to lending in Native communities were in the spotlight at the western regional meeting of CDFIs that was held on July 18 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Denver Branch.
More than 50 CDFI practitioners and allies kicked off the 2018 meeting with a warm welcome from Ariel Cisneros of the Kansas City Federal Reserve, as well as Shelley Marquez of Wells Fargo.
Open space discussions allowed participants to share their local challenges and opportunities. Attendees welcomed the chance to talk more about how Opportunity Zones can potentially be deployed in low-income communities across the country.
“It’s always inspiring to hear from our CDFIs on the ground. At every regional meeting I see CDFIs sharing innovative new approaches to solving their community needs. This industry is so collaborative and by networking in smaller, regionally-focused groups like this, an opportunity to exchange ideas can turn challenges into solutions,” said Seth Julyan, OFN Senior Vice President, Membership.
Krystal Langholz of First Nations Oweesta joined Ted Piccolo of the Northwest Native Development Fund and Pete Upton of First Ponca Financial to highlight recent innovations that Native CDFIs are providing their communities. Oweesta recently launched a $10MM capital pool to meet the growing capital demands to produce growth and economic opportunity grounded in Native culture.
A highlight of every regional meeting is the opportunity to learn from CDFI clients. CDFI borrowers Ron Burnett, H C Trucking, Inc.; Kimball Crangle, Gorman and Company; and Bob Monroe, Solvera Advisors sat on a panel to discuss how they learned about CDFIs, and how these community partners helped them grow their businesses.