The CDFI industry and OFN lost an important partner last week with the passing of Linda G. Davenport, a devoted champion of economic and community development and opportunity for all.
“Our industry has lost a sharp mind, but we gained so much from Linda's years of counsel, passion, and service,” said Lisa Mensah, OFN President and CEO. “She always believed that every community deserves the chance to thrive and succeed, and her life's work was providing this opportunity.”
Linda began her career, post law school, in the affordable housing arena at the National Housing Partnership. After that and some time at Fannie Mae, she joined the CDFI Fund, where she was instrumental in helping to stand-up the New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC) and eventually served as a Deputy Director. For the past six years, she advised clients on community development financing, especially NMTC applications, from her consulting firm, Linda Davenport Associates.
A memorial service for Linda held last weekend was filled to the brim with friends, family, and industry leaders from government, CDFIs, and other opportunity finance institutions. Several colleagues from the field flew in from afar. The crowd was a testament to the time and intent Linda put into cultivating personal and professional communities. Voted “most optimistic” by her high school class, she clearly never lost a sense of what’s possible and spent her life working toward it.
OFN, like so many others, will miss her greatly.