Each summer, OFN interns have been outstanding additions to our two offices, and this year is no different. Our four interns share a passion for OFN’s work and a desire to grow the CDFI industry. To introduce you to these remarkable future leaders, Strategic Communications intern, Anna Gomez is sitting down with an intern each week. They’ll talk OFN, CDFIs, Fall plans, and potential dinner party guests. We’ve also asked each supervisor to share a few words about their intern. Last week, we learned about Mingming Mao, and the enthusiasm she brings to the Knowledge Sharing team.
This week, we learn a little more about our newest Public Policy pundit, Caitlin Tardio, and the role she plays at OFN, where’s she working from the D.C. office.
Name: Caitlin Tardio
OFN Department: Public Policy
Major & School: Pursuing a BA double-major in Government and History at Bowdoin College
Hometown: Millbrook, NY
Hidden Talent: Certified in scuba diving
What attracted you to the CDFI industry/OFN? What made you apply to OFN?
I first heard about CDFIs through applying for the OFN internship. I briefly learned about the field then and was inspired to work for OFN and the CDFI industry.
Tell us about some of the projects you are working on. How will they help OFN and/or the industry?
My main project is working on the CDFIsInvest.org site. I’m creating infographics for all members of Congress, which are going to be helpful for Policy’s work because we can show Congress and congressional staff—on paper and on social media—the impact CDFIs have on constituents. Additionally, I’m covering Congress’ Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee’s hearings to track the CDFI Fund and see if there are any updates to the budget regarding appropriations. I’ve been to two subcommittee hearings so far, and I’ve been writing a transcript for them. I’m also compiling information for representatives and senators that we believe may be allies to the CDFI Fund, and I’m helping to organize CDFI site visits during the August recess.
What have you learned about OFN and the CDFI industry that you didn’t know when you started?
Well I didn’t know anything when I started! The big topic I’ve been inspired about is how CDFIs combine public and private funding, and these organizations will do that to create localized change. It’s that combination of funds like the CDFI Fund, as well as investments from banks and others, that can go into specific projects to create change.
What are you up to this summer when you’re not at OFN?
I have friends from Bowdoin that are in the area, so I have been exploring D.C. with them. Recently we hiked the Billy Goat Trail on the Potomac in Maryland. I’m honestly just trying to stay cool in this D.C. heat!
If you could have dinner with any one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Amelia Earhart. I mean, I’d obviously love to find out what really happened to her, but I just think she has such an inspiring legacy as a woman in history.
What are you going to take away from this experience? What’s your lasting impression of OFN and CDFIs?
I am going to take away my knowledge about community development—that there are institutions, like CDFIs and OFN Members, that are working together to help and advance underserved communities. I’m also really excited because I’m learning how the entire legislative process works, and to see the impact we can have as a team to enact real change.
“Caitlin has made a significant contribution to OFN’s advocacy efforts this summer by leveraging her analytical skills and interest in politics. She has tracked bills impacting the CDFI industry, attended congressional hearings, and prepared #CDFIsInvest infographics for all members of Congress. Our team has enjoyed working with her and we will greatly miss her.” – Liz Lopez, Executive Vice President, Public Policy